ICSE (Class XII)
Subject: Environmental Science
There will be two papers in the subject.
Paper I: Theory- 3 hours... 70 marks
Paper II: Practical/ Project Work- … 30 marks
PAPER I - THEORY
There will be one written paper of three hours duration of 70
marks divided into two parts.
Part 1 (20 marks) will consist of compulsory short answer
questions on the entire syllabus.
Part 2 (50 marks) will consist of three sections. Each
section will have three questions. The candidate will be expected to answer five
questions in all choosing at least one from each section.
Project work will carry 30 marks. The project needs to be
done under the supervision of the teacher. The project work will be evaluated by
a Visiting Examiner (who has expertise in that specific area), appointed locally
and approved by the Council.
1. Human Beings and Nature
Modern schools of ecological thought.
Deep ecology (Gary Snyder, Earth First) vs. shallow
Stewardship of land (e.g. Wendell Berry).
Social ecology [Marxist environmentalism and socialist
ecology (Barry Commoner)].
Green politics (e.g. Germany and England).
2. Population and Conservation of Ecology
Population dynamics: factors causing population change
(birth, death, immigration and emigration); relation between the factors;
age structure and its significance; population pyramids; survivorship
curves; three general shapes r and K strategies.
Human populations (Malthusian model and demographic
Population regulation: growth without regulation
(exponential); simple population regulation (logistic growth curve); factors
regulating population size (space, food and water, territories, predators,
weather and climate, parasite and diseases, disasters and self-regulation).
Human population control: family planning; education;
economic growth; status of women.
Threats to the ecosystem: habitat destruction; genetic
erosion; loss of diversity; expanding agriculture; impound water; waste from
human societies; increasing human consumption.
Conservation: importance; the critical state of Indian
forests; conflicts surrounding forested areas - populations and tribals and
their rights - tourism - poaching - roads - development projects - dams;
scientific forestry and its limitations; social forestry; the role of the
forest department; NGOs; joint forestry management; wild life - sanctuaries,
conservation and management in India; Project Tiger as a case study in
3. Monitoring Pollution
Monitoring the atmosphere: techniques.
International and national air quality standards.
Water testing: indicators of water quality (including
B.O.D. and C.O.D.); standards of water quality; laboratory work -
determination of pH, B.O.D., C.O.D. and dissolved pollutants.
Soil testing: indicators of soil type and quality and
4. Third World Development
Urban-rural divide: urbanisation - push and pull factors;
consequences on rural and urban sectors; future trends and projections.
A critical appraisal of conventional paradigm of
development from the viewpoints of sustainability, environmental impact and
A case study of Gandhian approach in terms of its aims
Urban environmental planning and management: problems of
sanitation; water management; transport; energy; air quality; housing;
constraints (economic, political) in tackling the problems; inapplicability
of solutions that have worked in the First World and the need for indigenous
approach to urban environment.
5. Sustainable Agriculture
Traditional agriculture in India: irrigation systems;
crop varieties; techniques for maintaining soil fertility; impact of
colonialism; Indian agriculture at independence - food scarcity - food
import - need for increasing production - the need for land reform; green
revolution - HYVs - fertilizers - pesticides - large irrigation projects
(dams); critical appraisal of the green revolution from the view points of
agro-bio diversity; soil health; ecological impact of pesticides; energy
(petroleum and petrochemicals); ability to reach the poorer sections of the
rural communities; sustainability - need for sustainable agriculture -
characteristics for sustainable agriculture; techniques of water soil and
Food: the twin problems of production and access; food
situation in the world; integrated and sustainable approach to food security
for the Third World.
6. Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
Definition: resources; scarcity and growth; natural
GNP vs. other forms of measuring income.
Economic status and welfare (net economic welfare, nature
capital, ecological capital, etc.)
Externalities: cost benefit analysis (social,
Natural capital regeneration.
7. International Relations and the Environment
Trans-national characteristics of environmental issues
using case study of Amazonia, trade in wild life and ozone depletion.
Impact of international politics, national sovereignty
International trade: a theoretical perspective; free
trade vs. protectionism; import barriers; domestic industry vs. free trade;
trans-national 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 case study of
aquaculture in India; diversion of scarce resource from production of
subsistence needs to commercial products; toxic waste trade - extent and
impact; Globalisation - trade regimes (WTO, GATT, IPR, etc.) and their
impact on third world.
International aid: agencies; advantages; limitations;
need for re-orienting aid; aid vs. self-reliance.
PAPER II - PRACTICAL/PROJECT WORK
(Classes XI and XII)
The practical/project work carrying 30 marks needs to be
undertaken under the guidance of the teacher. The project will be evaluated by a
Visiting Examiner (who has specific expertise in the content of the project
work) appointed locally and approved by the Council.
The project work could take one of the five forms:
1. Address a current environmental problem (preferably at
local or regional scale) and should include problem identification and analysis,
use of secondary data as well as some collection of primary data, design of
solution, documentation of the entire process in the form of a solution
2. Design and conduct an environment impact assessment. The
candidates may use secondary data, demonstrate their capacity to collect and
analyse primary data by incorporating some primary data collected and use it in
a few sectors of their work.
3. Systematic monitoring of an aspect of the local
environment over a period of at least six months. The candidate must use
quantitative techniques of monitoring, sampling scientifically. The data
collected must be interpreted and presented in the report.
4. Field work and training in an environmental organisation
(NGOs, Industrial Pollution Control Firms, Testing Laboratories, etc.) for a
period of not less than one month. This work should be focused on one area in
the syllabus. The candidate will produce a paper on the area of his/her work and
training which will include his/her experience and the special expertise that
she/he has acquired.
5. Conduct a study on the density and population of plants
growing in a particular area using the quadral method.