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CUET Environmental Studies Syllabus 2023: Topics, Pdf Download

Author : Palak Khanna

Updated On : March 14, 2023


The CUET 2023 Environmental Studies Syllabus has been made available by the organization in charge of administering the test.

The Common University Entrance Test is organized and administered by the National Testing Agency. You may get the course outline for environmental studies on the official website of CUET 2023, which can be found at https://cuet.samarth.ac.in/index.php/site/syllabus.

Downloading the curriculum in PDF format is available both on this website and on the official website for candidates interested in participating in environmental studies. The subjects Human Beings and Nature, Population and Conservation Ecology, Monitoring Pollution, Third World Development, Sustainable Agriculture, Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, International Relations, and the Environment are included in the CUET Environmental Studies Syllabus.

Candidates need to study all these subjects thoroughly and become familiar with them to have the best possible chance of passing the CUET 2023  examination and gaining admission to the central university of their choice or one of the other universities that are participating in the CUET 2023.

Download CUET Environmental Studies Syllabus Pdf

CUET Environmental Syllabus 2023 Overview

The Common Universities Entrance Test 2023 is one of the most common entrance tests for students seeking admission to Undergraduate programs. Check CUET Exam Pattern as they differ for each subject. 

The CUET happens once per year. The Computer-Based Test (CBT) mode is used for the CUET, and all of the questions on the exam are multiple-choice objective tests.

The test can be taken in any of the 13 languages that are offered for the question paper by the applicants, who are free to choose whatever language they choose. The official notice states that there would be a total of 45 Central Universities and 10 Private Universities participating in CUET 2023.

  • The Language Test is required of each and every applicant to the CUET 2023.
  • Candidates need to demonstrate their expertise in a particular field by taking examinations that are tailored to the curriculum they plan to study throughout their undergraduate education.
  • The CUET 2023  will be held at around 545 examination centres across India, in addition to 13 test locations outside of the country.
  • The CUET 2023 will be split up into two different timeslots.

According to the PDF version of the CUET  syllabus, the question paper for Environmental Studies will consist of 50 questions, and students are expected to answer 40 of those questions.

CUET Environment Studies Syllabus from Class 12

Note: There will be a single Question Paper including 50 questions, of which 40 must be answered.

Humans and the Natural World

  1. I Contemporary ecological philosophies
  2. Deep ecology (Gary Snyder, Earth First) is in contrast to superficial ecology.
  3. Land conservation (e.g., Wendell Berry).
  4. Social ecology [Marxist environmentalism and socialist ecology (Barry Commoner)].
  5. Feminism.
  6. Environmentalism (e.g., Germany and England).
  7. Sustainable Development.

Modern schools of ecological philosophy; definition and basic knowledge of Deep Ecology versus Shallow Ecology; Stewardship, Social Ecology - Marxist environmentalism and Socialist Ecology, Ecofeminism, Green political movements of Germany and England, and Sustainable Development (basic concepts).

World Wide Fund for Nature – The organization, mission, and conservation strategy of the World Wildlife Fund.

Greenpeace - organization, mission, fundamental values, objectives, and strategy.

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Population and Conservation Ecology

Population dynamics: variables influencing population change (birth, death, immigration, and emigration); their relationship; age structure and its significance; population pyramids; survivorship curves; three general forms of R and K methods.

Causes of population change (birth, death, immigration, and emigration); their relationship; the significance of age structure. Population Pyramids - interpretation and consequences Population growth rate - the three basic forms of Survivorship Curves, r and K strategies, as well as the distinctions between the two.

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Human populations (Malthusian model and demographic transition)

Definition of Capacity to Carry The Malthusian concept of "overpopulation" and resource scarcity; Malthus is disputed. Population Growth versus Unequal Resource Consumption within and between Nations. Definition and comprehension of demographic transition; demographic transition-influencing factors.

Population Regulation: unregulated population growth (exponential); basic population regulation (logistic growth curve); variables regulating population size (space, food, and water, territories, predators, weather and climate, parasites and diseases, disasters, and self-regulation). Fundamental knowledge of the Exponential growth curve (J-shaped) and Logistic growth curve (S-shaped); Factors regulating population size (space, food, and water, territories, predators, weather, climate, parasite, diseases, disasters, and self-regulation).

Controlling the human population: family planning, education, economic growth, and the status of women.

Strategies for population control with a focus on empowering women. (Details about family planning methods are not required.)

Threats to the ecosystem: habitat degradation, genetic erosion, biodiversity loss, expanding agriculture, water impounding, human waste, and rising human consumption.

With appropriate examples, only a cursory awareness of the origins and effects of challenges to the provisioning and regulatory functions of the ecosystem.

Conservation: significance; the precarious condition of Indian forests; tensions surrounding forested regions - people and tribal rights 

-tourism - poaching - highways - development projects - dams; scientific forestry and its limitations; social forestry; the function of the forest department; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); joint forestry management; wildlife - sanctuaries, conservation, and management in India; Project Tiger as a conservation case study

Conservation, in situ, and ex situ conservation are defined—the significance of conservation.

In-situ conservation: sanctuaries for wildlife, national parks, and biosphere reserves (definition, objectives, features, advantages, and disadvantages).

Ex-situ conservation: zoos, aquaria, plant collection (objectives, features, advantages, and disadvantages).

Disputes in management and conservation Threats to forests: poaching, development projects such as roads and dams, and overuse of forest resources (direct and indirect).

The involvement of the forest service and NGOs in forest management.

Among the management techniques are scientific forestry, social forestry (different forms of social forestry), Joint Forestry Management (JFM), and ecotourism.

Definition, extent, benefits, and drawbacks of each of the aforementioned.

Origin, aims, objectives, triumphs, and failures of Project Tiger as a case study in conservation.

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Monitoring Pollution

Pollution monitoring.

Primary and secondary pollutants. Importance of monitoring air pollution, including Ambient Air Quality Monitoring (gaseous and particulate) (gaseous and particulate). Concept of carbon credits and carbon trading in regulating emissions. Causes for excessive vehicular pollution and different methods are done to restrict pollution-emission requirements for new cars, implementation of CNG program, inspection & maintenance program for in-use vehicles, phasing out of aged commercial vehicles, and promotion of public transport.

Monitoring the atmosphere: methods

Monitoring at emission source and of ambient air quality, criteria for monitoring stations, types of stations, number of stations, frequency of data collection, characteristics of ambient air sampling, fundamental consideration for sampling (should be dealt with in brief) (to be dealt with in brief). Classification of techniques- manual and instrumental. Manual- Passive samplers, High Volume Samplers, and Bubbler Systems. Instrumental-photometric techniques- NDIR, Chemiluminescence - concept, and usage.

International and national air quality standards

National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring (NAAQM); the major functions of the Central Pollution Board and the State Pollution Control Board, objectives of air quality standards, New name of NAAQM, NationalAir Monitoring Programme (NAMP)objectives of the NAMP.

Definition of air quality standards and importance; National air quality standards for gases/particulate matter are covered under WHO recommendations.

Water testing: indications of water quality

Indicators (electrical conductivity, turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen, fecal waste, temperature, hardness, nitrates, and sulfates)the relevance of each and their interpretations. B.O.D. and C.O.D., a theoretical concept only (lab work for better understanding and not for testing) (lab work for better understanding and not for testing)

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Soil testing: indicators of soil type and quality and laboratory work

Soil indicators- the features of a good soil indicator; the three fundamental categories of soil indicators- biological, physical, and chemical, are two instances of each. The information offered by each of these categories of indicators. Definitions, impacts, and experiments to find out soil respiration, pH, soil aggregate, infiltration rate, and simple techniques for changing each.

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Third World Progress

Urban-rural divide: Urbanization - push and pull causes; repercussions on rural and urban sectors; future trends and forecasts.

Migration causes include push and pull influences, effects on rural and urban areas, and mitigation strategies. Trends and forecasts for the future

An analysis of the conventional paradigm of development from the perspectives of sustainability, environmental impact, and equity.

Explanation of Development

A realization that progress has become associated with expansion. This strategy has the following environmental effects: (a) Ignoring negative environmental repercussions; (b) Changing patterns of resource usage in response to market pressures; (c) Overuse and exploitation of resources; (d) Diversion of scarce resources to luxury goods; (e) Unequal access to resources; (f) Increasing wastes and pollution.

The preceding should be clarified with proper instances.

A case study of the Gandhian method in terms of its objectives and methods

Local autonomy — the fundamental ideas behind village policy, Antoday, Sarvoday, and Panchayati Raj; local self-sufficiency, local markets, and environmental sustainability. The village as a foundation for growth; encouragement of cottage industries and intermediary technologies; emphasis on employment.

Contrast the above with the current paradigm of growth.

Urban environmental planning and management: problems of sanitation; water management; transportation; energy; air quality; housing; constraints (economic, political) in addressing the problems; inapplicability of First World solutions, and the need for an indigenous approach to the urban environment.

A fundamental comprehension of the following urban environmental issues: sanitation, water management, transportation, energy, air quality, and housing.

Rainwater harvesting, garbage segregation, composting, energy from solid and liquid wastes, and sewage management (dry toilets, Decentralized Water Management System) are a few indigenous alternatives that should be known (DEWATS)

Aspects of new urbanism and smart growth objectives. The following examples of urban planning and management from the third world are to be studied: 

  • Bogota - Bolivia (Traffic Management); 
  • Cuba (Urban agriculture using organic methods); 
  • Curitiba - Brazil (Traffic planning and urban renewal utilizing innovative measures);
  • Cochabamba - (Water management and protests against the privatization of water supply).

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Sustainable Agriculture 

Traditional Agriculture in India: irrigation systems; crop varieties; techniques for maintaining soil fertility; the impact of colonialism; Indian agriculture at independence: food scarcity, food import, and the need to increase production - the need for land reform; green revolution - HYVs - fertilizers - pesticides - large irrigation projects (dams); critical appraisal of the green revolution from the perspectives of agro-bio diversity; soil health; the ecological impact of pesticides; energy (petroleum and petrochemicals); ability to reach the poorer sections of the rural communities; sustainability - the need for sustainable agriculture - characteristics for sustainable agriculture; techniques of water soil and nutrient management; techniques of water

Traditional agriculture, natural farming, organic agriculture, modern agriculture (utilization of hybrid seeds, high-yielding varieties, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides), gene revolution (genetically modified seeds), and sustainable agriculture are defined.

Micro versus macro irrigation systems: canal irrigation/dam versus sprinkler/ drip/ trickle drip/dug wells. Fundamental characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of each type. 

Aspects of India's pre-colonial agriculture: cultivating for subsistence rather than profit; multi-cropping.

control of soil health and seed diversity

Colonial influence: punitive taxation, commercial crops for export and British industry, and devaluation of traditional sustainable practices. Bengal famine. The comparative impact of pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial agriculture.

The Origins of the Green Revolution (food scarcity - food import - the need for increasing production).

Development of High Yielding Varieties (HYV); introduction of fertilizers and pesticides; mono cropping; are the fundamental principles of the Green Revolution.

Environmental, societal and economic implications -advantages and drawbacks (from the viewpoints of agro-biodiversity; soil health; the ecological impact of pesticides; energy use; input costs; benefits to small and medium farmers, community level, and household level food security).

Land reform - necessity, benefits, failures, and achievements

Elements of sustainable agriculture: mixed farming, mixed cropping, inter-cropping, crop rotation, use of sustainable practices of water, soil, and pest management for enhancing soil fertility (organic fertilizers, bio-fertilizers, and green manure, to name a few) and pest control (biopesticides). Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and local food consumption

Management of agricultural produce: storage; food preservation techniques, including low and high temperatures, drying, canning, and salt and sugar preservation. Food Transportation.

Definition, food preservation, packaging, and grading of processed foods.

Food adulteration and Food additives-definitions; types of food adulteration and their negative effects.

ISI (Indian StandardInstitute); AGMARK (Agricultural Marketing); FPO (Fruit Product Order) - brief explanation only.

Food: the twin problems of production and access; the global food situation; an integrated and sustainable approach to food security in the Third World. Food Safety.

Definition of Food Security and necessity for food security The obstacles to achieving food security, namely production, storage, and access. An integrated and sustainable approach to food security for the Third World, including working for environmental sustainability and social and economic sustainability via land reform, credit support for farmers, market support for farmers, inadequacies in the current marketing system, and ways to improve the marketing system, increasing access to food, and ownership of seeds.

Understanding that food security at the national level may not translate into food security at the household and community level or long-term environmental sustainability unless the aforementioned factors are addressed. Principal characteristics of the 2013 Food Security Law

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Eco Economics and Natural Resource Management 

Resources; scarcity and growth; accounting for natural resources.

Classification of natural resources according to origin (abiotic and biotic), renewability (renewable and non-renewable), development (potential and actual), and distribution (ubiquitous and localized); scarcity and growth; natural resource accounting.

Classification of renewable and nonrenewable resources.

Physical accounting: definition, basic principles, advantages, and disadvantages

GNP versus other methods of calculating income. GDP, GNP – definitions, benefits, and drawbacks of using them as growth measurement tools.

Economic status and welfare (net economic welfare, natural capital, ecological capital, etc.) A comprehensive overview of environmental economics' purpose.

Classification and definition: Defensive Expenditure (its classification); natural/ ecological capital.

Externalities: a cost-benefit examination (social, ecological). The definition, types (positive and negative), and effects of externalities.

Cost Benefit Analysis - Definition, process overview, and benefits and drawbacks. EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) - explanation, illustrations, and benefits.

Natural capital regeneration.

What is the definition of natural capital? Types of natural capital; classification of ecosystem services; causes of degradation (acid deposition, air pollution, deforestation, biodiversity loss, and carbon dioxide emissions); ecological footprint and man's disproportionate use of natural resources; and the significance of preserving and regenerating natural capital.

International Relations and the Environment 

Using Amazonia, Trade in WildLife, and Ozone Depletion as case studies, Transnational characteristics of environmental issues.

Amazonia case study - causes of forest exploitation, causes of accelerated deforestation, effects of government policies, the ecological value of rainforests, and potential solutions to the problem.

Case study of ivory trade in Africa, including reasons for the once-thriving trade, steps taken to curb the trade, and the effects of a ban on trade.

Case study of ozone depletion - what is meant by the ozone layer and how is it depleted (Chapman's cycle), potential effects of ozone depletion, common ozone-depleting substances (halons, carbon tetrachloride, CFCs, methyl chloroform, methyl bromide, and HCFCs) and their lifetime in the atmosphere; Ozone hole; steps taken to control ozone depletion.

The influence of international politics, national sovereignty, and national interests.

International trade: a theoretical perspective; free trade vs. protectionism; import barriers; domestic industry vs. free trade; transnational companies - a historical perspective (colonialism and its lasting impact today); trade between the first and the third world - characteristics - terms of trade; India's international trade - characteristics - major imports and exports - foreign exchange crises - the export imperative and its impact on the environment; the causation theory of international trade Globalization - trade regimes (WTO, GATT, IPR) and their effects on the developing world.

The advantages and disadvantages of globalization, free trade, and protectionism are defined. Conflict of interest between Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and the environment.

History of trade between third-world nations and developed nations (with specific reference to India) in terms of composition and terms of trade (export of primary goods and import of finished goods at higher cost tapping of primary goods leading to environment degradation- open cast mining, agriculture, aquaculture, etc.).

Aquaculture in India case study to understand the impact of free trade

Allocation of scarce resources and their environmental impact.

Toxic waste trade – definition, origin, sustaining factors, impact on third world countries (for example, health and environmental impacts), and mitigation strategies (Bamako and Basel Conventions).

The organization GATT and its transformation into the WTO.

Principles and functions of WTO: levelling the playing field for international trade through MFN (Most Favored Nation), NT (National Treatment), and reduction of import barriers - tariff and non-tariff barriers and trading to comparative advantage.

The WTOGATT, TRIPS, TRIMS, and Agriculture Agreement (AOA) covers forms and topics. These agreements affected India's trade, food security, economic well-being, and environmental sustainability.

The definition of intellectual property rights and its categories, including copyrights, patents, trademarks, industrial design rights, geographical indicators, and trade secrets.

A concise comprehension of each of the aforementioned categories.

International aid: agencies; benefits; limitations; the need to reorient aid; aid versus self-sufficiency. International aid – benefits and drawbacks; Types of Aid: Advantages and Limitations of Tied and Untied Aid.

Frequently Asked Questions

First things first: establish a study plan in order to ensure your success on the CUET Environmental Science Exam. Long-term success on exams is within reach if this information is supplemented with the appropriate CUET books and other study resources.

If you want to do well on the CUET Environmental Science exam, you should begin with the fundamentals, find and fix your mistakes as soon as possible, and spend a significant amount of time getting acclimated to the environment of the CUET Exam by taking a large number of practice exams. If you do these things, you should be able to succeed.

As part of your preparation for the CUET Environmental Science test, you should go over the CUET Environmental Science Syllabus as well as the curriculum. Then, to become familiar with the exam structure and setting, significant study and a large number of practice exams are necessary to fulfill the prerequisites.

Creating a study strategy before beginning your preparation for the CUET Environmental Science test is critical. Because of this, we gave students a general outline of a study plan in the essay that came before this one. Preparation Tips to cover the whole CUET Syllabus of the topic have been offered by subject matter experts.

Books like "A Textbook of Environmental Studies" by Shradha Sinha, "Environmental Sciences Paperback" by Kishor R. Pawar and Sachin B. Narkhede, and "Environmental Studies" by Satpathy are just a few of the CUET Environmental Science titles that come highly recommended. 


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