Q 1. In India, the use of carbofuran, methyl parathion, phorate and triazophos is viewed with
apprehension. These chemicals are used as
(a) pesticides in agriculture
(b) preservatives in processed foods
(c) fruit-ripening agents
(d) moisturising agents in cosmetics

Answer: A
These are used as pesticides in India and are used to control insects in a wide variety of
field crops. These are systemic insecticides, which mean that the plant absorbs it through
the roots, and from here the plant distributes it throughout its organs where insecticidal
concentrations are attained. These are highly toxic for vertebrates, particularly to birds.

Q 2. Consider the following statements:
1. Under Ramsar Convention, it is mandatory on the part of the Government of India to
protect and conserve all the wetlands in the territory of India
2. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 were framed by the
Government of India based on the recommendations of Ramsar Convention
3. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 also encompass the
drainage area or catchment regions of the wetlands as determined by the authority

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: B
Explanation: The Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the
framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise
use of wetlands and their resources. Under the ―three pillars‖ of the Convention, the
Contracting Parties commit to work towards the wise use of all their wetlands; designate
suitable wetlands for the list of Wetlands of International Importance (the ―Ramsar List‖)
and ensure their effective management; cooperate internationally on transboundary
wetlands, shared wetland systems and shared species. Thus, it doesn‘t talk about
‗all‘wetlands in the territory of a country. The convention entered into force in India on 1
February 1982.

Q 3. Consider the following statements:
1. Agricultural soils release nitrogen oxides into the environment
2. Cattle release ammonia into the environment
3. The poultry industry releases reactive nitrogen compounds into the environment
Which of the statements given above is/ are correct?
(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 2 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D
Explanation: Agricultural soils represent a very large, and growing, global source of nitrous
oxide. Current estimates for annual emissions from this source range from 2 to about 4
million tonnes of nitrous oxide-N globally. Across the globe, livestock spew 14.5 percent of
all greenhouse gases (methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases)
released in the environment, and over half that comes specifically from cows, according to a
United Nations report.

Q 4. Why are dewdrops not formed on a cloudy night?
(a) Clouds absorb the radiation released from the Earth’s surface.
(b) Clouds reflect back the Earth’s radiation
(c) The Earth’s surface would have a low temperature on cloudy nights
(d) Clouds deflect the blowing wind to ground level

Answer: B
Explanation: Because on a cloudy night, the clouds send the heat back to the ground so the
ground never gets cold enough for the dew to be formed. Dew drops are formed due to
condensation of water vapours. Air around us contains water vapours which we call moisture
or humidity. Hot air contains more moisture as compared to cold air. During the night when
the hot air comes into contact with some cold surface due to the reflection of earth radiation
by clouds, water vapour present in it condenses on the cold surface in the form of droplets.
These tiny drops of water are called dew drops.

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Q 5. Consider the following statements:
1. According to the Indian Patents Act, a biological process to create a seed can be
patented in India
2. In India, there is no Intellectual Property Appellate Board
3. Plant varieties are not eligible to be patented in India
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: C
Explanation: Article 3(j) excludes from patentability “plants and animals in whole or in any
part thereof other than microorganisms but including seeds, varieties, and species, and
essentially biological processes for production or propagation of plants and animals”. Hence,
Statement 1 is not correct. The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) was constituted
on September 15, 2003 by the Indian Government to hear and resolve the appeals against
the decisions of the registrar under the Indian Trademarks Act, 1999 and the Geographical
Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999. Hence, statement 2 is not

Q 6. The word ‘Denisovan’ is sometimes mentioned in media in reference to
(a) fossils of a kind of dinosaurs
(b) an early human species
(c) a cave system found in North-East India
(d) a geological period in the history of the Indian subcontinent

Answer: B
Explanation: Scientists sifting through the genomes of people scattered across the islands of
south-east Asia have found echoes of ancient pairings with not just one, but three separate
populations of the archaic hominins known as Denisovans. First discovered in 2010, the
Denisovans are a relatively recent addition to the human family tree.

Q 7. Consider the following statements:
The Environment Protection Act, 1986 empowers the Government of India to
1. state the requirement of public participation in the process of environmental
protection, and the procedure and manner in which it is sought
2. lay down the standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from
various sources
Which of the statements given above is/ are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: C
Explanation: In the Environment Protection Act, 1986 governments enable the public to
participate in decision-making, they help meet society‘s goal of sustainable and
environmentally sound development. Public participation in environmental decision-making
and, in particular, in EIA, lead to some benefits in these processes. As a result of public
participation, the process of decision-making, up to and including the final decision, becomes
more transparent and legitimate. This act empowers the Union Govt to take all appropriate
measures to prevent and control pollutions and to establish the effective machinery for the
purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment. It also lays down the
standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources.
Hence, both statements are correct.

Q 8. Consider the following statements:
1. As per the recent amendment to the Indian Forest Act, 1927, forest dwellers have the
right to fell the bamboos grown on forest areas
2. As per the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of
Forest Rights) Act, 2006, bamboo is a minor forest produce
3. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition Forest
Rights) Act, 2006 allows ownership of minor forest produce to forest dwellers
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: B
Explanation: To address the adverse living conditions of many tribal families living in forests
was on account of non-recognition and vesting of pre-existing rights, a landmark legislation
viz. Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights)
Act, 2006, has been enacted to recognize and vest the forest rights. This Act not only
recognizes the rights to hold and live in the forest land under the individual or common
occupation for habitation or for self-cultivation for livelihood, but also grants several other
rights to ensure their control over forest resources which, inter-alia, include right of
ownership, access to collect, use and dispose of minor forest produce, community rights
such as nistar. The Act recognises bamboo as an MFP and vests the ―right of ownership,
access to collect, use and dispose of minor forest produce‖ with Scheduled Tribes and
traditional forest dwellers. The Union Government, in a landmark initiative, has promulgated
the Indian Forest (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 to exempt bamboo grown in non-forest
areas from definition of tree, thereby dispensing with the requirement of felling/transit permit
for its economic use. Hence, now right to fell the bamboos is granted.

Q 9. Recently, there was a growing awareness in our country about the importance of
Himalayan nettle (Girardinia diversifolia) because it is found to be a sustainable source of
[Based on Current Affairs 2018-19] (a) anti-malarial drug
(b) biodiesel
(c) pulp for the paper industry
(d) textile fibre

Answer: D
Explanation: In many parts of the world, natural resources are the only source of livelihood
opportunities available to people. Recently, Girardinia diversifolia (Himalayan nettle), a
fibre-yielding plant, has become an important livelihood option for people living in the remote
mountainous villages of the Hindu Kush Himalaya. There is a community in Khar, a hamlet in
Darchula district in far-western Nepal, which produces fabrics from Himalayan nettle. The
fabric and the things made from it are sold in local as well as national and international
markets as high-end products.

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Q 10. In the context of proposals to the use of hydrogen-enriched CNG (H-CNG) as fuel
buses in public transport, consider the following statements:
1. The main advantage of the use of HCNG is the elimination of carbon monoxide
2. H-CNG as fuel reduces carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon emissions
3. Hydrogen up to one-fifth by volume can be blended with CNG as fuel for buses
4. H-CNG makes the fuel less expensive than CNG
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: B
Explanation: HCNG reduces emissions of Carbon Monoxide up to 70% but does not
eliminate it. It enables up to 5 % savings in fuel. Thus statement 1 is incorrect. The ratio of
natural gas to hydrogen in hydrogen-CNG (H-CNG) is 80 per cent natural gas and 20 per
cent hydrogen by volume. This has been determined to be the best ratio when all factors
such as emissions reduction, cost, and storage capacity are considered. With reduced part
of CNG in H-CNG and improved mileage, reduces the emission of carbon dioxide and

Q 11. Which one of the following groups of plants were domesticated in the ‘New World’ and
introduced into the ‘Old World’?
(a) Tobacco, cocoa and rubber
(b) Tobacco, cotton and rubber
(c) Cotton, coffee and sugarcane
(d) Rubber, coffee and wheat

Answer: A
Explanation: Cotton was cultivate in India since ancient era. Even Harappan era evidence of
cotton cultivation is found. So is wheat. Wheat has been a widely cultivated crop in India
since time immemorial. However tobacco, cocoa and rubber came to India through
Europeans in the late medieval or early modern era. All of them originated in South America.
This process is termed as Columbian exchange (named for Christopher Columbus). It was
the widespread transfer of plants, animals, culture, human populations, technology,
diseases, and ideas between the Americas, West Africa, and the Old World in the 15th and
16th centuries.

Q 12. Which one of the following National Parks lies completely in the temperate alpine
(a) Manas National Park
(b) Namdapha National Park
(c) Neora Valley National Park
(d) Valley of Flowers National Park

Answer: D
Explanation: The Alpine forests are found all along the Himalaya at altitude ranging between
2500m to 3500m. Valley of Flowers National Park – At 3352 to 3658 meters above sea level
Namdapha National Park has a very wide altitudinal variation – from 200m to 4,500m in the
snow-capped mountain. Thus, it doesn‘t lie ‗completely‘ in the temperate alpine zone.

Q 13. Consider the following statements:
1. Asiatic lion is naturally found in India only
2. Double-humped camel is naturally found in India only
3. One-horned rhinoceros is naturally found in India only
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: A
Explanation: Nearly all wild lions live in sub-Saharan Africa, but one small population of
Asiatic lions exists in India’s Gir Forest. Asiatic lions and African lions are subspecies of the
same species. Hence, Statement 1 is correct. The greater one-horned rhino lives in northern
India and southern Nepal, in riverine (floodplain) grasslands and adjacent woodland.Hence,
Statement 3 is not correct. The Bactrian camel is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the
steppes of Central Asia. The Bactrian camel has two humps on its back, in contrast to the
singlehumped dromedary camel. Its population of two million exists mainly in the
domesticated form. A small number of feral Bactrian camels still roam in Kazakhstan and the
Nubra Valley in India. Hence, Statement 2 is not correct.

Q 14. In the context of which of the following do some scientists suggest the use of cirrus
cloud thinning technique and the injection of sulphate aerosol into the stratosphere?
(a) Creating artificial rains in some regions
(b) Reducing the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones
(c) Reducing the adverse effects of solar wind on the Earth
(d) Reducing the global warming
Answer: D
Explanation: Thinning cirrus clouds would be achieved by injecting ice nuclei (such as dust)
into regions where cirrus clouds form, making the ice crystals bigger and reducing the cirrus
optical depth Thinning the clouds could allow more heat to escape into space and thereby
cool the planet.
Stratospheric sulfate aerosol injection has been proposed to counteract anthropogenic
greenhouse gas warming and prevent regional climate emergencies. It increases reflectivity
of lower stratosphere to cast a small proportion of the inbound sunlight back into space and
cool the planet off

Q 15. Which of the following are in Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve?
(a) Neyyar, Peppara and Shendurney Wildlife sanctuaries; and Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger
(b) Mudumalai, Sathyamangalam and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Silent Valley
National Park
(c) Kaundinya, Gundla Brahmeswaram and Papikonda Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Mukurthi
National Park
(d) Kawal and Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuaries; and NagarjunasagarSrisailam Tiger

Answer: A
Explanation: Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve is a unique genetic reservoir of cultivated
plants, in particular cardamom, jamune, nutmeg, pepper and plantain. Three wildlife
sanctuaries, Shendurney, Peppara and Neyyar, are located in the site, as well as the
Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger reserve.

Q 16. Consider the following statements:
1. Some species of turtles are herbivores
2. Some species of fish are herbivores.
3. Some species of marine mammals are herbivores
4. Some species of snakes are viviparous
Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 2 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: D
1. Adult sea turtles are referred to as herbivores although as hatchlings they are omnivores.
Their diet consists primarily of algae, seagrasses, and seaweed.
2. Herbivorous fishes are fishes that eat plant material. Surgeonfish and parrotfish are two
familiar examples, often seen browsing and scraping on reef algae.
3. Invertebrates, animals without backbones, make up 97 percent of all species alive today,
or 25 of the 26 phyla into which the animal kingdom is divided. The majority are carnivores
and omnivores, but a relatively small number are herbivores, such as some sea snails — the
black-footed paua, top shell snails, limpets, turban shells, abalones and conch — sea hares
and sea cucumbers who graze on algae, seaweed and other plants.
4. While the majority of snakes lay their eggs in a nest, some of them actually retain the
eggs inside of their bodies until they’re ready to hatch. Snakes that lay their eggs outside of
their bodies are known as oviparous. Those that retain them are called ovoviviparous.
Ovoviviparous snakes appear to give birth to live young, but they actually don’t — although
there are those who do, known as viviparous snakes.

Q 17. Why is there a great concern about the ‘microbeads’ that are released into the
(a) They are considered harmful to marine ecosystems
(b) They are considered to cause skin cancer in children.
(c) They are small enough to be absorbed by crop plants in irrigated fields.
(d) They are often found to be used as food adulterants.

Answer: A
Explanation: Microbeads are small, solid, manufactured plastic particles that are less than
5mm and don‘t degrade or dissolve in water. They may be added to a range of products,
including rinse-off cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products. Microbeads are used as
ingredients in these products for a variety of purposes. This includes as an abrasive or
exfoliant, a bulking agent, for controlled timed release of active ingredients, and to prolong
shelf life. They are also a relatively cheap ingredient. Microbeads are not captured by most
wastewater treatment systems. If they are washed down drains after use, they can end up in
rivers, lakes and oceans. Once in the water, microbeads can have a damaging effect on
marine life, the environment and human health. This is due to their composition, ability to
adsorb toxins and potential to transfer up the marine food chain. These tiny plastics persist
in the environment as they are almost impossible to remove. The best way to reduce their
impact is to prevent them from entering the environment

Q 18. For the measurement/estimation of which of the following are satellite images/remote
sensing data used?
1. Chlorophyll content in the vegetation of a specific location
2. Greenhouse gas emissions from rice paddies of a specific location
3. Land surface temperatures of a specific location
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D
Explanation: The visible/near infrared reflectance properties of leaves from several
Eucalyptus species were studied to determine appropriate indices for remote sensing of
chlorophyll content. Remote sensing is used in measuring greenhouse gas emissions from
rice paddies and land surface temperature also at some specific locations. Indian scientists
study high resolution maps generated by satellite imagery of cloud-prone rice paddy
cultivation regions.

Q 19. Which of the following statements are correct about the deposits of ‘methane hydrate’?
1. Global warming might trigger the release of methane gas from these deposits
2. Large deposits of ‘methane hydrate’ are found in Arctic Tundra and under the
3. Methane in the atmosphere oxidizes to carbon dioxide after a decade or two
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c)1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D
Explanation: Methane hydrates can only form under very specific physical, chemical and
geological conditions. High water pressures and low temperatures provide the best
conditions. Methane Hydrate deposits may be several hundred meters thick and generally
occur in two types of settings: under Arctic permafrost, and beneath the ocean floor. Global
Warming led to the increase in the temperature which consequently destabilize the methane
hydrates and thus release of methane. Methane is relatively short-lived in the atmosphere; a
molecule of methane is oxidized to water and carbon dioxide within a decade or so, mainly
by reaction with another trace gas, the hydroxyl radical OH-.

Q 20. Consider the following:
1. Carbon monoxide
2. Methane
3. Ozone
4. Sulphur dioxide
Which of the above are released into the atmosphere due to the burning of crop/biomass
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: D
Explanation: Burning biomass emits large amounts of pollutants, just like burning other solid
fuels such as coal. Burning organic material emits particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides
(NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), sulphur dioxide (SO2), lead, mercury, and other hazardous
air pollutants (HAPs)

Also Read: Environment and Ecology Questions and Solutions: UPSC Prelims 2019

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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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