Environment Mains Questions: Get Environment Previous Year Questions UPSC Mains [2022-2013]

By Balaji

Updated on: February 17th, 2023

Environment Mains Questions are asked in UPSC Mains GS 3 Civil Services Examination, and the paper is a mix of conceptual and analytical questions in UPSC Mains. After apprehending the entire syllabus of the Civil services exam, aspirants should check out and practice Environment previous year questions UPSC Mains. Environment Mains Questions will provide all the future UPSC aspirants with a set of Environment and Ecology Questions asked in the Mains exam of IAS over the years.

Candidates planning to appear for the upcoming UPSC exam must download the environment Mains questions and Answers PDF to be well prepared. Understanding the significant Environment and Ecology Questions in UPSC Mains is vital to analyze the difficulty level and making a perfect strategy to answer questions from this portion. Candidates can fetch topic-wise GS 3 questions compiled from 2022 to 2013 in the article.

Table of content

  • 1. Environment Mains Questions 2022 (more)
  • 2. Environment UPSC Mains Questions 2021 (more)
  • 3. Environment PYQ UPSC Mains 2020 (more)
  • 4. Environment and Ecology Previous Year Questions UPSC Mains (more)
  • 5. Topics Asked in Environment PYQ UPSC Mains (more)
  • 6. UPSC Mains Environment Questions Year-Wise (2019-2013) (more)
  • 7. Environment and Ecology UPSC Mains Questions – Preparation Tips (more)

Environment Mains Questions 2022

The UPSC Mains 2022 paper followed more or less the previous year’s trends. The questions about the environment section mainly covered cellulose decomposition topics, Photochemical Fog- Gothenburg protocol, Global warming and Global Climate, and Coastal erosion.

  • Question 1: Discuss in detail the photochemical smog emphasising its formation, effects and mitigation. Explain the 1999 Gothenburg Protocol.
  • Question 2: Explain the causes and effects of coastal erosion in India. What are the available coastal management techniques for combating the hazard?
  • Question 3: Discuss global warming and mention its effects on global climate. Explain the control measures to bring down the level of greenhouse gases which cause global warming in the light of the Kyoto Protocol, 1997.

Environment UPSC Mains Questions 2021

Given below are the environment UPSC Mains 2021 questions. The maximum word limit for answering these questions was 250, and the minimum was 150 words.

  • Question 1: Describe the key points of the revived Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) recently released by the World Health Organisation (WHO). How are these different from its last update in 2005? What changes in India’s National Clean Air Programme are required to achieve these revised standards?
  • Question 2:Explain the purpose of the Green Grid Initiative launched at the World Leaders Summit of COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasglow in November 2021. When was the idea first floated in the International Solar Alliance (ISA)?
  • Question 3: Describe the major outcomes of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). What are the commitments made by India in this conference?

Environment PYQ UPSC Mains 2020

Mentioned are the 4 questions of the Environment PYQ UPSC Mains for 2020. These are important and can come in UPSC 2023 exam.

Question 1: Suggest measures to improve water storage and irrigation system to make its judicious use under the depleting scenario.

Question 2: Describe the benefits of deriving electric energy from sunlight in contrast to conventional energy generation. What are the initiatives offered by our Government for this purpose?

Question 3: What are the salient features of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan launched by the Government of India for water conservation and security?

Question 4: What are the key features of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) initiated by the Government of India?

Question 5: How does the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020, differ from the existing EIA Notification, 2006?

Environment and Ecology Previous Year Questions UPSC Mains

Aspirants can download the complete list of Environment Questions in UPSC Mains using the below links. Every year 1-5 questions are asked from the Environment and Ecology syllabus.

☛ Download: Environment UPSC Mains Questions [2022-13] PDF

Year-wise Environment UPSC Mains Questions

Number of Questions

Difficulty Level

Environment Questions in UPSC Mains 2022


Easy To Moderate

Environment UPSC Questions 2021



Environment Mains Questions 2020


Moderate to Difficult

Environment Questions in UPSC Mains 2019



Environment Previous Year Questions UPSC Mains 2018


Easy to Moderate

UPSC Mains Environment Questions 2017


Moderate to Difficult

Environment and Ecology Mains Questions 2016


Easy to Moderate

Environment PYQ UPSC Mains 2015



Environment Questions in UPSC Mains 2014



Environment Previous Year Questions UPSC 2013



Topics Asked in Environment PYQ UPSC Mains

As per the analysis of the UPSC previous year’s questions, the following topics have been often asked, and aspirants must not miss them for the upcoming exam.

Environment and Ecology UPSC Notes

UPSC Mains Environment Questions Year-Wise (2019-2013)

The number of questions asked every year varies between 1 to 5. Candidates can refer to the detailed GS 3 Syllabus to know the structure, strategy, and best-suggested books. Below are the Environment PYQ Mains from 2019 to 2013.

Environment Mains Questions

Environment Previous Year Questions UPSC Mains 2019

Q1. “Define the concept of carrying capacity of an ecosystem as relevant to an environment. Explain how understanding this concept is vital while planning for the sustainable development of a region.”

Q2. Coastal sand mining, whether legal or illegal, poses one of the biggest threats to our environment. Analyze the impact of sand mining along the Indians coasts, citing specific examples.”

Environment Questions Mains UPSC 2018

Q1. What is a wetland? Explain the Ramsar concept of ‘wise use’ in the context of wetland conservation. Cite two examples of Ramsar sites from India.

Q2. Sikkim is the first ‘Organic State’ in India. What are the ecological and economical benefits of an Organic State?

Q3. What are the impediments in disposing of the huge quantities of discarded solid wastes which are continuously being generated? How do we remove safely the toxic wastes that have been accumulating in our habitable environment?

Q4. How does biodiversity vary in India? How is the Biological Diversity Act,2002 helpful in the conservation of flora and fauna? Know Biodiversity types, importance, hotspots, and conservation in the country.

Q5. Comprehend details about Ramsar Sites in India, which are wetlands of international significance to conserve and ensure sustainable use of its resources.

UPSC Environment Questions Mains 2017

Q1. Not many years ago, river linking was a concept, but it is becoming a reality in the country. Discuss the advantages of river linking and its possible impact on the environment.

Q2. ‘Climate Change’ is a global problem. How will India be affected by climate change? How Himalayan and coastal states of India will be affected by climate change?

GS 3 Environment Questions 2016

Q1. The frequency of urban floods due to high-intensity rainfall is increasing over the years. Discussing the reasons for urban floods, highlight the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events.

Q2. Rehabilitation of human settlements is one of the important environmental impacts which always attract controversy while planning major projects. Discuss the measures suggested to mitigate this impact while proposing major developmental projects.

Q3. Give an account of the current status and the targets to be achieved pertaining to renewable energy sources in the country. Discuss the importance of the National Programme on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) briefly.

Environment and Ecology PYQ UPSC 2015

Question: The Namami Gange and National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) programmes and causes of mixed results from the previous schemes. What quantum leaps can help preserve the river Ganga better than incremental inputs?

Environment Mains Questions 2014

Q1. Should the pursuit of carbon credit and clean development mechanisms set up under UNFCCC be maintained even though there has been a massive slide in the value of carbon credit? Discuss with respect to India’s energy needs for economic growth.

Q2. Environmental impact assessment studies are increasingly undertaken before the government clears the project. Discuss the environmental impacts of coal-fired thermal plants located at Pitheads.

Q3. Environmental Impact Assessment is an essential management tool for ensuring the optimal use of natural resources for sustainable development.

Environment PYQ UPSC Mains 2013

Q1. What are the consequences of Illegal mining? Discuss the Ministry of Environment and Forest’s concept of GO AND NO GO zones for the coal mining sector.

Q2. Enumerate the National Water Policy of India. Taking the river Ganges as an example, discuss the strategies which may be adopted for river water pollution control and management. What are the legal provisions for managing and handling hazardous wastes in India?

Environment and Ecology UPSC Mains Questions – Preparation Tips

The main issue with the Environment section of UPSC is that there needs to be a specific syllabus for this subject, like Geography or History.

  • A solid link to current affairs is established after one scans newspapers regularly and produces a correlation with the topics like Chemicals and pollutants, National Parks, reserves, Environment theory, National and international initiatives, etc., in the defined textbooks.
  • A good way to start the study of the UPSC Environment subject is to preferably go through the previous years’ question papers and scrutinize the Environment Mains questions.
  • The most beneficial source for the Environment in UPSC comprises a composite bag of newspapers, textbooks, journals and primary books like the NCERTs.


Our Apps Playstore
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium