The subject of ‘Environment’ is included in the Prelims as well as the Mains of the Union Public Service Commission’s Civil Service Examination (UPSC CSE). In fact, almost 33 per cent of the questions in the General Studies paper of Prelims come from this subject alone. Therefore, it is essential that candidates are well-versed with what this subject entails.
‘Environment’, a book by the Shankar IAS Academy — a popular and sought after UPSC coaching institute in India — is a widely read and recommended book by rank holders and aspirants alike. It covers much of the paper pattern and syllabus as prescribed by UPSC.
B A Rao, a retired IAS officer, wrote on Quora, “Shankar IAS environment book for CSE is a good source to be referred to. Read it to clear basic concepts. This book is more important for Prelims, as current affairs dominate in Mains.”
Here are some more tips to extensively study this book with ease:
1. ‘Be selective’
Not every chapter of this book is important, Quora users said. “While skipping some content, do refer to the current affairs of some topics which are important,” wrote Rao. He suggests skipping chapters 5-9 and 20-23 of the book.
2. ‘Take notes’
After completing one round of reading the whole book, make short notes of each topic. Adding the details of current developments in particular topics will be more helpful. “Update with current affairs,” suggested Rao.
3. ‘Go through previous years’ question papers’
Give utmost importance to topics covered in recent question papers. Ravi Kumar, an online educator, wrote, “Go through [previous years’ papers] and you will get to know what to study and what to ignore.”
4. ‘Focus on second half’
“The second half of the book is quite important. Here, important chapters like international agreements, conventions are there. Read it carefully and make notes of it,” wrote IAS officer Abinash Mishra on Quora.
5. ‘Go for the latest edition’
Never make the mistake of referring to an old version of the book. “Buy the latest edition one,” wrote Abinash. He added that information changes every year, and it’s important that you don’t study events or concepts that are outdated.
6. ‘Make charts and diagrams’
There is no better way to study about the environment than using charts, diagrams and data sheets, IAS officers said. “Go through the book, diagrams, charts, last chapters, data sheets etc. Every time you read, you will find new concepts and data thrown at you,” suggested Akash Bansal, an IAS officer from Delhi.
7. ‘Read it again’
Don’t stop reading the book. Quora users suggest that you will still find new concepts even after several rounds of reading. “You have to read the book multiple times as it is high on content which is very relevant,” wrote Akash.
Ready to ace your UPSC journey? You can buy the book here.
(Edited by Divya Sethu)