top of page

Biological Processes in the Environment


Environmental Biology - ecosphere and biosphere; Biomes and habitats – terrestrial, freshwater and marine; flora and fauna; biological diversity; ecological factors and variables; ecosystem dynamics – food chain, food web, ecological pyramids, ecological energetics, ecological succession and climax community; biological interactions : inter-specific and intra-specific; population regulation; carrying capacity; limiting factors – laws of minimum and tolerance.


Microorganisms Interaction and Microbial Ecology -Foundations of microbial ecology and microbial interactions – mutualism, cooperation, commensalisms, predation, parasitism, amensalism, competition, symbiosis in complex systems; Influence of environmental factors on growth – solute and water activity, pH, temperature, oxygen concentration, pressure, radiation; Microbial growth in natural environment – growth limitation by environmental factors, counting viable but non – cultivable cells, quorum sensing, and microbial populations; Nutrient cycling interactions – carbon cycle, sulphur cycle, nitrogen cycle, manganese cycle, microorganisms and metal toxicity; Microenvironment and niche, biofilm and microbial mats, microorganisms and ecosystems, microorganism movement between ecosystems; Methods in microbial ecology – Examination of microbial communities as complex assemblages – number, type, microbial community structure, and constituents; Stress and viability of microorganisms; Microbial activity and turn over, recovery or addition of individual microbes; General perspectives on microbial


Natural Resources and their Sustainable and Optimal Utilization


Natural Resources : concept and major types of natural resources. Soil and Mineral Resources : overview of major soil types and mineral deposits in India with special reference to Kerala.


Forest Resource : over view of major forest types in India with special reference to kerala – their characteristics; Social forestry; ecorestoration; Agroforestry – types and management; Role of forests in carbon sequestration


Biodiversity : Threats to biodiversity : Endangered, endemic species and threatened species; IUCN threatened species of plants and animals; Red data book; Biodiversity conservation, Biopiracy.


Water Resource : water resource types – surface water, ground water; water availability and uses, freshwater shortages, impact of climate change on freshwater resources, Management and conservation of water resources; Water harvesting and recycling; Watershed management.


Energy Resources: Conventional energy sources; Bioenergy; Nuclear energy; Solar energy; Wind energy; Geothermal energy, Wave & Tidal power;


Alternative fuels: Natural Gas and Hydrogen.


Impairment of the Environment through Anthropogenic Activities

Impairment of Atmosphere - Particles in the atmosphere: Chemical process for formation of organic and inorganic particulate matter, composition of organic and inorganic particles, reactions involving particles in the atmosphere; Gaseous inorganic air pollutant: sources and chemical reactions of CO, NH3, SOX, NOX, fluorine, chlorine and their gaseous compounds and reduced sulphur gases (H2S, CS2 and COS); Organic Air Pollutants: source and reactions of pollutant hydrocarbons, aldehydes, ketones, organohalogen, organosulphur and organonitrogen compounds; Anthropogenic Changes in the Atmosphere: acid rain, greenhouse effect and global warming, ozone layer depletion, photochemical smog.

Impairment of Hydrosphere: nature and types of water pollutants, point and non-point sources; elemental pollutants: heavy metals (Hg, Cd, Pb and Cr) and metalloids (As); inorganic species: algal nutrients and eutrophication - acidity, alkalinity and salinity, oxygen demanding materials, concept of BOD and COD, organic pollutants, pesticides and PCB’s and radionuclides.

Impairment of Geosphere: NPK in soil, synthetic fertilizers (N, P and K), pesticides, heavy metals and wastes as soil pollutants, effect of mining and mineral extraction; effect of waste disposal in geosphere.


Module 7 Environmental Impact Assessment and Policies

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): Definition, purpose and characteristics of EIA; global evolution of EIA; participants in EIA process, stages of EIA, types of EIA. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP); methods of impact identification; impact prediction; impact evaluation (assessment) and impact mitigation - air, water, noise, vegetation and wildlife environment with case studies.


EIA in India: overview, current procedures, practices and guidelines; EIA of water resource projects, industries, mining and quarrying, highway construction, tourism developments.


National Environmental Policy and Regulatory Frame Work : Rules and regulations of Central and State Government and Pollution Control Boards for Environmental Protection; International and National Conservation agencies.


Environmental Management : systems and approaches, standards – international and national; Intellectual Property Rights; labeling environment friendly products (ecomark), Environmental Management Systems (EMS) - ISO 14000.


Environmental Laws : National and International - global warming, ozone depletion, acid rains, hazardous wastes, biodiversity.


Abatement of Environmental Impairment

Bioremediation: Current practices – bio-stimulation and bio-augmentation - microbes involved in bioremediation – bacteria and fungi; in situ and ex situ bioremediation; bioreactors; solid - state bioreactors - composting – different strategies; anaerobic digestion of waste; bioremediation in marine and estuarine systems, phytoremediation: approaches and types, factors influencing phytoremediation - advantages and disadvantages; application of genetic engineering in bioremediation; future trend for bioremediation – nanotechnologies.


Solid and Liquid Waste Management: Physico – chemical and biological processes for waste water treatment.

Air Pollution Control Strategies: Automotive and industrial emission control, green house gases emission control.


Green Technologies: green buildings, green chemistry, zero effluent and zero emission technologies, social forestry, sanctuaries and protected areas, 3R in environmental protection, carbon sequestration, biofulel.

Previous Year Question Paper 

bottom of page