Environment & Ecology Questions in UPSC Mains GS-3

The environment is an important topic in UPSC Mains GS 3 of the Civil Services Examination (CSE.) This article will provide you with a set of Science and Technology Questions asked in the Mains GS 3 of the IAS Exam over the years.

One should also not miss UPSC Prelims Environment and Ecology Questions compiled from 2013-2021 in the linked article.

Candidates can get topic-wise GS 3 questions from the links provided in the table below:

Indian Economy Questions from UPSC Mains GS 3 Science & Technology Questions from UPSC Mains GS 3
Security Questions from UPSC Mains GS 3 Disaster Management Questions from UPSC Mains GS 3
Agriculture Questions from UPSC Mains GS 3

For details of UPSC Mains, check the linked article.

GS 3 Environment Questions (Year-Wise)

The tables below will provide Biodiversity & Environment questions for UPSC Mains GS 3 from the year 2013-2021. Candidates can refer to the detailed GS 3 Structure, Syllabus and Strategy in the linked article.

2021 – Biodiversity & Environment Questions in UPSC Mains

  1. Explain the purpose of Green Grid Initiative launched at the World Leaders Summit of COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasglow in November 2021. When was the idea first floated in the International Solar Alliance (ISA)? (Answer in 150 words)
  2. Describe the key points of the revived Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) recently released by the World Health Organisation (WHO). How are these different from its last update in 2005? What changes in India’s National Clean Air Programme are required to achieve these revised standards?
  3. Describe the major outcomes of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). What are the commitments made by India in this conference? (Answer in 250 words)

2020 – Biodiversity & Environment Questions in UPSC Mains

  1. How does the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020 differ from the existing EIA Notification, 2006?
  2. What are the salient features of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan launched by the Government of India for water conservation and water security?
  3. Suggest measures to improve water storage and irrigation system to make its judicious use under the depleting scenario.
  4. Describe the benefits of deriving electric energy from sunlight in contrast to conventional energy generation. What are the initiatives offered by our Government for this purpose?
  5. What are the key features of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) initiated by the Government of India?
2019 – Biodiversity & Environment Questions in UPSC Mains
  1. Coastal sand mining, whether legal or illegal, poses one of the biggest threats to our environment. Analyze the impact of sand mining along the Indians coasts, citing specific examples.
  2. Define the concept of carrying capacity of an ecosystem as relevant to an environment. Explain how understanding this concept is vital while planning for the sustainable development of a region.
2018 – Biodiversity & Environment Questions in UPSC Mains
  1. What are the impediments in disposing of the huge quantities of discarded solid wastes which are continuously being generated? How do we remove safely the toxic wastes that have been accumulating in our habitable environment?
  2. What is a wetland? Explain the Ramsar concept of ‘wise use’ in the context of wetland conservation. Cite two examples of Ramsar sites from India.
  3. Sikkim is the first ‘Organic State’ in India. What are the ecological and economical benefits of an Organic State?
  4. How does biodiversity vary in India? How is the Biological Diversity Act,2002 helpful in the conservation of flora and fauna?

Read about Ramsar Sites and Biodiversity Act from the links below:

2017 – Biodiversity & Environment Questions in UPSC Mains
  1. Not many years ago, river linking was a concept but it is becoming a reality in the country. Discuss the advantages of river linking and its possible impact on the environment.
  2. ‘Climate Change’ is a global problem. How will India be affected by climate change? How Himalayan and coastal states of India will be affected by climate change?

Read about river linking and climate change from the links provided below:

2016 – Biodiversity & Environment Questions in UPSC Mains
  1. Give an account of the current status and the targets to be achieved pertaining to renewable energy sources in the country. Discuss in brief the importance of the National Programme on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
  2. Rehabilitation of human settlements is one of the important environmental impacts which always attracts controversy while planning major projects. Discuss the measures suggested for mitigation of this impact while proposing major developmental projects.
  3. The frequency of urban floods due to high-intensity rainfall is increasing over the years. Discussing the reasons for urban floods, highlight the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events.
2015 – Biodiversity & Environment Questions in UPSC Mains
  1. The Namami Gange and National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) programmes and causes of mixed results from the previous schemes. What quantum leaps can help preserve the river Ganga better than incremental inputs?

Read about National Mission for Clean Ganga in the linked article.

2014 – Biodiversity & Environment Questions in UPSC Mains
  1. Should the pursuit of carbon credit and clean development mechanisms set up under UNFCCC be maintained even though there has been a massive slide in the value of carbon credit? Discuss with respect to India’s energy needs for economic growth.
  2. Environmental impact assessment studies are increasingly undertaken before the project is cleared by the government. Discuss the environmental impacts of coal-fired thermal plants located at Pitheads.

Refer to the following links to practise answer-writing about UNFCCC and EIA:

2013 – Biodiversity & Environment Questions in UPSC Mains
  1. What are the consequences of Illegal mining? Discuss the Ministry of Environment and Forest’s concept of GO AND NO GO zones for the coal mining sector.
  2. Enumerate the National Water Policy of India. Taking river Ganges as an example, discuss the strategies which may be adopted for river water pollution control and management. What are the legal provisions of the management and handling of hazardous wastes in India?

Candidates can get UPSC Previous Year Question Papers from the linked article.

Environment & Ecology Questions for UPSC Mains GS 3:- Download PDF Here

To get the topic-wise GS 3 questions for UPSC Mains and Subject-Wise questions for UPSC Prelims in one place, check the linked articles below:

GS 3 Environment Related Links:

Environment Notes for UPSC IAS Prelims: UPSC MCQ On Environment
Environment and Ecology Books for IAS Environment & Ecology Trend Analysis
List of Environment Conventions and Protocols Biodiversity


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