Environment & Ecology Trend Analysis: UPSC Strategy

Environment and ecology is a very important segment of the UPSC Prelims syllabus. What makes it interesting is that it is intertwined with current affairs immensely. It also has an overlap with other subjects such as geography, economy and social issues for the IAS exam

As per the UPSC 2023 calendar, the IAS Prelims and main exams are scheduled to take place on May 28, 2023 and September 15, 2023 respectively.

Every year, several questions are asked from this section in the IAS prelims and also the mains exam. In 2019, there were 21 questions from the Environment and Ecology Sections in the IAS Prelims. This number could also go up in the future if you consider the importance of issues like climate change, global warming, conservation and so on. 

Click here to read about UPSC Books for Environment and Ecology.

The topics have both an India and a global perspective. In this article, we discuss the trend analysis of the environment and ecology section in the past IAS prelims papers. Another noteworthy point is that the inclusion of the Indian Forest Services prelims exam along with the civil services exam has made this topic immensely important.

UPSC 2023

Environment & Ecology Trend Analysis

Take a look at the following table. It gives the number of questions asked from environment and ecology in the UPSC CSE prelims from 2011 (when the section was introduced) to 2019.

Year Number of Questions
2011 21
2012 23
2013 22
2014 31
2015 13
2016 10
2017 15
2018 13
2019 21

As evident from the above table, the average number of questions asked from the Environment & Ecology segment in the IAS prelims exam is around 20. That is a substantial number. So, this topic is unavoidable and if thoroughly prepared, has the capacity to fetch you good marks as well. 

Click here to learn How to Prepare Environment and Ecology for UPSC?

Environment & Ecology 2019 MCQs Analysis

Most of the questions asked from this segment are direct and factual, although this cannot be taken for granted. Some of the important topics in this section are environment fundamentals (such as climate change, climate agreements, biodiversity, etc.), pollution and government schemes related to pollution, REDD+, IUCN, Earth Hour, Montreux Record, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), animals and their conservation status, Red List, etc.

In 2019, as mentioned before there were 21 questions from the Environment section and 2 MCQs from the Agriculture section. These questions were a mix of static and dynamic. 

So, if you wish to clear the UPSC Prelims, do have a systematic approach to the environment and ecology section and keep a tab on current affairs in this context. 

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