UPSC Courses



Environment is a term which is widely discussed all over the world, and UPSC question papers year after year are proving that Environment and related areas are a must-know for every Civil Services aspirant. Questions from Environment touch areas of basic understanding as well as hot topics of current importance like Global warming, Urban Heat Islands, Endangered species, Genetic pollution, recent climate summits etc.

Topics of Importance: Environment for UPSC Civil Services

Prioritizing sub-topics in environment is important to crack UPSC mains. The topics of priority are as below.

  • Ecology related aspects : Be familiar with concepts like Ecosystem, Keystone species, Niche, Food chain, Food web etc.
  • Biodiversity related aspects : Be familiar with question-heavy areas like flora and fauna, endangered species, wild life parks, sanctuaries, bio-diversity hot-spots, biosphere reserves, IUCN, summits etc.
  • Climate change/Environment degradation related aspects: Be familiar with topics like global warming, ozone hole depletion, acid rain etc. Also note down important points, when you hear news related to conventions or protocols like Ramsar Convention, Montreal Protocol, Kyoto Protocol etc.

Use online resources like IUCN website, Website of Ministry of Environment and Forests etc. extensively. You should also check websites of national and international organisations related to ecology and biodiversity (A few suggestions include Wetlands International, WWF etc.) Also, check latest reports and statistics related to environment or wildlife too.


You can join our Environment Module and Mains Kunji for complete coverage of all the topics and current events related to environment for conceptual clarity with recent updates.

List of basic topics to be referred in relation with Environment is listed below.

As the topics of Environment in Prelims and Mains Examination overlap for detailed strategy of these topics visit Prelims strategy for Environment.

Disaster and disaster management

This is a very current and dynamic topic, with issues such as floods, cyclones and tsunamis, international agreements such as Sendai Framework, latest current affairs from newspapers, river embankment, land zoning, watershed management etc. After the introduction of Disaster management in school syllabus, since 2005, the government is putting a lot of effort to involve scientists, budding students and bureaucrats to find solutions to managing disaster-related problems.


  • NCERT, (Natural Hazards & Disaster Management), Class XI
  • Aspire IAS Environment Classes and Handouts
  • Mains Kunji for Environment
  • The Hindu
  • NDMA website (Publications and Reports)
  • ARC recommendations (only summary)
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