UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2020: Check Important Questions to Study for Preparation of Environment & Ecology

UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2020 is scheduled for October 4, 2020. Aspirants are meticulously preparing to qualify the first stage of the IAS selection process. Environment and Ecology section covers a significant part of the prelims paper and 10-12 questions have been repeatedly asked from this section in the past 5 years prelims exam. We conducted a detailed analysis of Previous year UPSC Prelims papers to curate this article with all the questions asked from the Environment and Ecology section in the years 2017-2019. 

Key Observations of the Analysis

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UPSC IAS Prelims 2020: Questions Based on Environment & Ecology from 2019 Paper

Ques 1 Consider the following statements:

  1. Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is the first regulatory body set up by the Government of India.
  2. One of the tasks of PNGRB is to, ensure competitive markets for gas.
  3. Appeals against the decisions of PNGRB go before the Appellate Tribunals for Electricity.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3     

Answer: b

Check important topics to study from Environment & Ecology Section for UPSC (IAS) Prelims Exam 2020

Ques 2 In India,'extended producer responsibility' was introduced as an important feature in which of the following?

(a) The Bio-medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998

(b) The Recycled plastic (Manufacturing and Usage) Rules, 1999

(c) The e-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011

(d) The Food Safety and Standard Regulations, 2011

Answer: c

Ques 3 Consider the following statements

  1. As per law, the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority exists at both National and State levels.
  2. People's participation is mandatory in the compensatory afforestation programmes carried out under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: a

Ques 4 Consider the following statements:

  1. As per the recent amendment to the Indian Forest Act, 1927, forest dwellers have the right to fell the bamboos grown on forest areas.
  2. As per the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, bamboo is a minor forest produce.
  3. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 allows ownership of minor forest produce to forest dwellers.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b

Ques 5 Consider the following statements:

  1. According to the Indian Patents Act, a biological process to create a seed can be patented in India.
  2. In India, there is no Intellectual Property Appellate Board.
  3. Plant varieties are not eligible to be patented in India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only             

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: c

Ques 6 Consider the following statements:

The Environment Protection Act, 1986 empowers the Government of India to

  1. State the requirement of public participation in the process of environmental protection, and the procedure and manner in which it is sought
  2. Lay down the standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources

Which of the statements given above is/ are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: b

Ques 7 The word 'Denisovan' is sometimes mentioned in media in reference to

(a) fossils of a kind of dinosaurs

(b) an early human species

(c) a cave system found in North-East India.

(d) a geological period in the history of the Indian subcontinent

Answer: b

 Ques 8 Which one of the following groups of plants was domesticated in the 'New World' and introduced into the 'Old World'?

(a) Tobacco, cocoa and rubber

(b)Tobacco, cotton and rubber.

(c) Cotton, coffee and sugarcane

(d) Rubber, coffee and wheat

Answer: a

Ques 9  Consider the following statements:

  1. Asiatic lion is naturally found in  India only.
  2. A double-humped camel is naturally found in India only.
  3. One-horned rhinoceros is naturally found in India only.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

(a) 1 only            

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: a

Ques 10 Which of the following are in Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve?

(a) Neyyar, Peppara and Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve

(b) Mudumalai, Sathyamangalam and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Silent Valley National Park

(c) Kaundinya, Gundla Brahme-swaram and Papikonda Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Mukurthi National Park

(d) Kawal and Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve

Answer: a

Ques 11  Consider the following statements:

  1. Some species of turtles are herbivores.
  2. Some species of fish are herbivores.
  3. Some species of marine mammals are herbivores.
  4. Some species of snakes are viviparous.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(e) 2 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: d

Ques 12 Why is there a great concern about the 'microbeads' that are released into the environment?

(a) They are considered harmful to marine ecosystems.

(b) They are considered to cause skin cancer in children.

(c) They are small enough to be absorbed by crop plants in irrigated fields.

(d) They are often found to be used as food adulterants.

Answer: a

Ques 13 Consider the following statements:

  1. Agricultural soils release nitrogen oxides into environment.
  2. Cattle release ammonia into environment.
  3. Poultry industry releases reactive nitrogen compounds into the environment.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d

Ques 14 In the context of proposals to the use of hydrogen-enriched CNG (H-CNG) as fuel for buses in public transport, consider the following statements:

  1. The main advantage of the use of H-CNG is the elimination of carbon monoxide emissions.
  2. H-CNG as a fuel reduces carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon emissions.
  3. Hydrogen up to one-fifth by volume can be blended with CNG as fuel for buses.
  4. H-CNG makes the fuel less expensive than CNG.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: b

Ques 15 Recently, there was a growing awareness in our country about the importance of Himalayan nettle (Girardinia diversifolia) because it is found to be a sustainable source of

(a) Anti-malarial drug

(b) Biodiesel

(c) Pulp for the paper industry

(d) Textile fiber

Answer: d

Ques 16 Which of the following statements are correct about the deposits of 'methane hydrate?

  1. Global warming might trigger the release of methane gas from these deposits.
  2. Large deposits of 'methane hydrate' are found in Arctic Tundra and under the seafloor.
  3. Methane in atmosphere oxidizes to carbon dioxide after a decade or two.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d

Ques 17 In India, the use of carbofuran, methyl parathion, phorate and triazophos is viewed with apprehension. These chemicals are used as

(a) Pesticides in agriculture

(b) Preservatives in processed foods

(c) Fruit-ripening agents

(d) Moisturising agents in cosmetics

Answer: a

Ques 18 Consider the following statements:

  1. Under Ramsar Convention, it is mandatory on the part of the Government of India to protect and conserve all the wetlands in the territory of India.
  2. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 were framed by the Government of India based on the recommendations of the Ramsar Convention.
  3. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 also encompass the drainage area or catchment regions of the wetlands as determined by the authority.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: c

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UPSC IAS Prelims 2020: Questions Based on Environment & Ecology from 2018 Paper

Ques 1 With reference to the Genetically Modified mustard (GM mustard) developed in India, consider the following statements :

  1. GM mustard has the genes of a soil bacterium that give the plant the property of pest-resistance to a wide variety of pests.
  2. GM mustard has the genes that allow the plant cross-pollination and hybridization.
  3. GM mustard has been developed jointly by the IARI and Punjab Agricultural University.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a)1 and 3 only

(b)2 only

(c)2 and 3 only

(d)1, 2 and 3

Answer. b

 Ques 2 Which of the following statements best describes "carbon fertilization"?

(a) Increased plant growth due to increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

(b) Increased temperature of Earth due to increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

(c) Increased acidity of oceans as a result of increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

(d) Adaptation of all living beings on Earth to the climate change brought about hr the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

Answer. a

Ques 3 How is the National Green Tribunal (NGT) different from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)

  1. The NGT has been established by an Act whereas the CPCB has been created by an executive order of the Government.
  2. The NGT provides environmental justice and helps reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts whereas the CPCB promotes cleanliness of streams and wells, and aims to improve the quality of air in the country.

Which of the statements given above is/are  correct

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer.b

Ques 4 Which of the following has/have shrunk immensely/dried up in the recent past due to human activities ?

  1. Aral Sea
  2. Black Sea
  3. Lake Baikal

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 2 only

(d) I and 3

Answer.d

Ques 5 The term "sixth mass extinction/sixth extinction" is often mentioned in the news in the context of the discussion of

(a) Widespread monoculture practices in agriculture and large-scale commercial farming with indiscriminate use of chemicals in many parts of the world that may result in the loss of good native ecosystems.

(b) Fears of a possible collision of a meteorite with the Earth in the near future in the manner it happened 65 million years ago that caused the mass extinction of many species including those of dinosaurs. 

(c) Large scale cultivation of genetically modified crops in many parts of the world and promoting their cultivation in other parts of the world which may cause the disappearance of good native crop plants and the loss of food biodiversity.

(d) Mankind's over-exploitation/misuse of natural resources, fragmentation/loss of natural habitats, destruction of ecosystems, pollution and global climate change.

Answer.d

Ques 6 Which of the following is/are the possible consequence/s of heavy sand mining in riverbeds ?

  1. Decreased salinity in the river
  2. Pollution of groundwater
  3. Lowering of the water-table

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1 ,2 and 3

Answer.b

Ques 7 Why is a plant called Prosopis juliflora often mentioned in news ?

 

(a) Its extract is widely used in cosmetics.

(b) It tends to reduce the biodiversity in the area in which it grows.

(c) Its extract is used in the synthesis of pesticides.

(d) None of the above

Answer.b

Ques 8 "Momentum for Change : Climate Neutral Now" is an initiative launched by

(a) The Intergovernmentai Panel on Climate Change

(b) The UNEP Secretariat

(c) The UNFCCC Secretariat

(d) The World Meteorological Organisation

Answer.c

Ques 9  Consider the following statements:

  1. The definition of "Critical Wildlife Habitat" is incorporated in the Forest Rights Act, 2006.
  2. For the first time in India, Baigas have been given Habitat Rights.
  3. Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change officially decides and declares Habitat Rights for Primitive and Vulnerable Tribal Groups in any part of India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer.a

Ques 10 With reference to organic farming in India, consider the following statements:

  1. The National Programme for Organic Production' (NPOP) is operated under the guidelines and directions of the Union Ministry of Rural Development.
  2. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority' (APEDA) functions as the Secretariat for the implementation of NPOP.
  3. Sikkim has become India's first fully organic State.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer.b

Ques 11 With reference to the 'Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (CACSA)', which of the following statements is/are correct.''

  1. GACSA is an outcome of the Climate Summit held in Paris in 2015.
  2. Membership of GACSA does not create any binding obligations.
  3. India was instrumental in the creation of GACSA.

Select the correct answer using the code given

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer.b

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UPSC IAS Prelims 2020: Questions Based on Environment & Ecology from 2017 Paper

Ques 1 With reference to 'Global Climate Change Alliance', which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. It is an initiative of the European Union.
  2. It provides technical and financial support to targeted developing countries to integrate climate change into their development policies and budgets.
  3. It is coordinated by World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer. a

Ques 2 With reference to the religious history of India, consider the following statements:

  1. Sautrantika and Sammitiya were the sects of Jainism.
  2. Sarvastivadin held that the constituents of phenomena were not wholly momentary, but existed forever in a latent form.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer. b

Ques 3 Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) is a standard criterion for

(a) Measuring oxygen levels in blood

(b) Computing oxygen levels in forest ecosystems

(c) Pollution assay in aquatic ecosystems

(d) Assessing oxygen levels in high altitude regions

Answer. C

Ques 4 With reference to the role of UN-Habitat in the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future, which of the statements is/are correct?

  1. UN-Habitat has been mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities to provide adequate shelter for all.
  2. Its partners are either governments or local urban authorities only.
  3. UN-Habitat contributes to the overall objective of the United Nations system to reduce poverty and to promote access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1 only

Answer. b

Ques 5  Consider the following statements:

  1. Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to Reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants is a unique initiative of G20 group of countries.
  2. The CCAC focuses on methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer. b

Ques 6 If you want to see gharials in their natural habitat, which one of the following is the best place to visit?

(a) Bhitarkanika Mangroves

(b) Chambal River

(c) Pulicat Lake

(d) Deepor Beel

Answer. b

Ques 7 In India, if a species of tortoise is declared protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, what does it imply ?

(a) It enjoys the same level of protection as the tiger.

(b) It no longer exists in the wild, a few individuals are under captive protection; and now it is impossible to prevent its extinction.

(c) It is endemic to a particular region of India.

(d) Both (b) and (c) stated above are correct in this context.

Answer. a

Ques 8 Recently there was a proposal to translocate some of the lions from their natural habitat in Gujarat to which one of the following sites ?

(a) Corbett National Park

(b) Kuno Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary

(c) Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary

(d) Sariska National Park

Answer. B

Ques 9 According to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, which of the following animals cannot be hunted by any person except under some provisions provided by law?

  1. Ghari al
  2. Indian wild ass
  3. Wild buffalo

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer. d

Ques 10 From the ecological point of view, which one of the following assumes importance in being a good link between the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats?

(a) Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve

(b) Nallamala Forest

(c) Nagarhole National Park

(d) Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve

Answer: a

Ques 11 Consider the following statements in respect of Trade Related Analysis of Fauna and Flora in Commerce (TRAFFIC):

  1. TRAFFIC is a bureau under United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  2. The mission of TRAFFIC is to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: b

Ques 12 Due to some reasons, if there is a huge fall in the population of species of butterflies, what could be its likely consequence/consequences?

  1. Pollination of some plants could be adversely affected.
  2. There could be a drastic increase in the fungal infections of some cultivated plants.
  3. It could lead to a fall in the population of some species of wasps, spiders and birds.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer. c

Ques 13 In the context of mitigating the impending global warming due to anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide, which of the following can be the potential sites for carbon sequestration?

  1. Abandoned and uneconomic coal seams
  2. Depleted oil and gas reservoirs
  3. Subterranean deep saline formations

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer. d

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