(Download) ICSE: Class XII Syllabus - 2013 "Environmental Science"

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ICSE (Class XII)
Syllabus (2013)

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


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

  1. Modern schools of ecological thought.

  2. Deep ecology (Gary Snyder, Earth First) vs. shallow ecology.

  3. Stewardship of land (e.g. Wendell Berry).

  4. Social ecology [Marxist environmentalism and socialist ecology (Barry Commoner)].

  5. Feminism.

  6. Green politics (e.g. Germany and England).

  7. Sustainable development.

2. Population and Conservation of Ecology

  1. 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.

  2. Human populations (Malthusian model and demographic transition).

  3. 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).

  4. Human population control: family planning; education; economic growth; status of women.

  5. Threats to the ecosystem: habitat destruction; genetic erosion; loss of diversity; expanding agriculture; impound water; waste from human societies; increasing human consumption.

  6. 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 conservation.

3. Monitoring Pollution

  1. Pollution monitoring.

  2. Monitoring the atmosphere: techniques.

  3. International and national air quality standards.

  4. 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.

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


4. Third World Development

  1. Urban-rural divide: urbanisation - push and pull factors; consequences on rural and urban sectors; future trends and projections.

  2. A critical appraisal of conventional paradigm of development from the viewpoints of sustainability, environmental impact and equity.

  3. A case study of Gandhian approach in terms of its aims and processes.

  4. 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

  1. 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 pest management.

  2. 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

  1. Definition: resources; scarcity and growth; natural resource accounting.

  2. GNP vs. other forms of measuring income.

  3. Economic status and welfare (net economic welfare, nature capital, ecological capital, etc.)

  4. Externalities: cost benefit analysis (social, ecological).

  5. Natural capital regeneration.

7. International Relations and the Environment

  1. Trans-national characteristics of environmental issues using case study of Amazonia, trade in wild life and ozone depletion.

  2. Impact of international politics, national sovereignty and interest.

  3. 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.

  4. International aid: agencies; advantages; limitations; need for re-orienting aid; aid vs. self-reliance.


(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 proposal.

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.

Courtesy: cisce.org

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