[Studyplan] India 2013 Yearbook: Introduction and approach to Environment and Biodiversity (EnB) (part 1 of 6)

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IAS Mock Interviews
  1. Utility in Prelims (CSAT)
  2. Utility in Mains
  3. Utility in Interview
  4. Limitations of yearbook
  5. General guidelines while using India Yearbook
    1. #1: Skipping sentences
    2. #2: Organizations
    3. #3: Schemes
  6. Yearbook Chapter Classification
  7. Environment and Biodiversity (EnB)
    1. EnB: organizations
    2. EnB: Important facts for MCQ/2m
    3. Laws/conventions/IR
    4. Environment : Policies
    5. EnB: Schemes
    6. EnB: Overview Topics

The India 2013 (also known as India yearbook) is made up of

  1. Overview of topics (like cement industry, Animal husbandry etc.)
  2. Organizations: structure function (like Competition Commission of India, NABARD etc.)
  3. Policies, laws Schemes, projects, missions. (like MNREGA, PMGSY, NRLM etc.)
  4. Some facts, GK (mostly chapter 1, 2, 3, 30, 32).
  5. Truckload of dates, numbers and tables (most of them useless from exam point of view).

Anyways, India Yearbook has specific utility in each stage of UPSC civil service exam.

Utility in Prelims (CSAT)

UPSC often asks MCQs based on

  1. Functions/ Jurisdiction of organizations: “which of the following ministry / organization looks after xyz matter?” and options given.
  2. Salient features of schemes: “which of the following are correct statements regarding XYZ schemes”. Then you’re given 2,3 or 4 statements and you’ve to identify the correct or incorrect statements.
  3. MCQ based on some absolute fact/GK given in yearbook.

Utility in Mains

In last two years, we can see the trend developing

TypeQuestionYearbook provides
Long questions (20, 25 markers)Often asking you to “analyse” or “evaluate” some topic.Fodder material.
Medium question (10, 12, 15 marks)Salient features of a scheme/policy/organization etc. Or “discuss” xyz thing.Direct answers (with followup point from net/newspapers).
(2, 5 marks)
You’re given some name/term, and you’ve to write a few lines on it.Direct answers. (if the term is asked from yearbook).
  1. The schemes/terms with catchy names/short-forms = important for MCQ (prelims)/2markers (in mains). (e.g.SABLA, UJJWALA etc.) so better just maintain a note/MS excel file of it for quick revisions for prelims.

Utility in Interview

  1. Chapter 30 of yearbook provides you information about your home state and neighboring states = important for profile based questions.
  2. The “organization –functions- jurisdiction” angle very important. Because if Board-member asks you “what should be done to improve electricity output for Industries?” and you say “Power ministry should do xyz thing.” But actually that xyz matter falls under jurisdiction of coal ministry / environment ministry = you’re ruining your impression.
  3. The “Schemes” angle. If Board-member asks you “what should be done for Development of North Eastern states?” and you say “xyz thing should be done”. But that xyz thing is already being done under some scheme for last 10 years. Now Board-member thinks that You’re not aware of the realities. Your knowledge/understanding/reading is shallow.

So overall, yearbook helps you in above areas. But at the same time

Limitations of yearbook

  1. For private companies, success = how much money made. Similarly for Government, success = how much money spent. So whenever yearbook talks about a particular scheme, they give you a paragraph/table full of “xyz crores rupees were allotted during 2012-13” and so on….
  2. Such data Is hardly useful for exam (brain’s memory storage capacity). And because of such useless data, book is very bulky.
  3. Yearbook is written by Government. They want to paint a rosy picture. So, Yearbook won’t generally tell you problems / limitations / shortcomings associated with any scheme/organization.
  4. That’s why you’ve to follow newspaper columns on regular basis and maintain a dairy collecting the fodder points. (which you can cite during mains/essay/interview, when questions about “analyse, evaluate, suggest reforms” etc are asked.)
  5. Coverage is not “exhaustive” for every topic. You’ll still need to dig internet/ old newspaper articles to gather more points. (e.g. SEZ, or petro pricing etc.)

General guidelines while using India Yearbook

#1: Skipping sentences

Any statement or table given in yearbook, is important only IF it gives you one or more of the following information:

  1. Some fact/ feature/reason that can be asked in MCQ, 2m or descriptive.
  2. Some fancy name that can be asked in MCQ, 2m (e.g. Annapurna, Swadhar, Ujjwala etc.)
  3. Some Fodder point that can be cited in descriptive answer, essay, interview

^if the statement doesn’t contain any of these, then it’s a useless statement.

Don’t bother finishing the sentence, move to next sentence. Otherwise you cannot finish this 1200+ pages book in time, If you’re going to read it line by line, word by word.

some risk taking is also necessary.

#2: Organizations

In the introductory part of every chapter, the yearbook will tell you about the “evolution” that xyz ministry was earlier known as abc ministry and then it was renamed in 1989 and it was merged with def department and so on….skip “evolution”, just find what functions are performed by the ministry right now?

The organization that affects more lives, is more important.

Small time organizations are not really important. E.g. Rajiv Gandhi flight training academy etc. (cost benefit is not good + gives diminishing rate of returns + you’ve to take some risk, else you can’t finish syllabus.)

Whenever you read about an “organization” ask yourself

  1. Where does it fall in the hierarchy?
  2. What are the functions of this organizations?
  3. What type of organization is it?= executive, statutory, constitutional, society etc.?
  4. Who is the boss, how is he selected? (although not always relevant).

#3: Schemes

Whenever you read about a scheme/mission/project. Ask yourself following

  1. Who’s the boss? (implementing ministry)
  2. Who’s the beneficiary?(target group)
  3. What benefits are given?
  4. Is it cash (e.g. scholarship, pension, insurance) or is it kind (e.g. subsidized fertilizer, wheat, rice, kerosene, tools, training) or both?
  5. Is It 100% centrally sponsored scheme?

Don’t bother with “year” unless some really big n important scheme. Otherwise just have the timeframe in mind (started in 80s, 90s, 2000s.)

Yearbook Chapter Classification

I’ve reclassified the Yearbook chapters into following sections (and then given ch.no and page number from where each topic has to be prepared)

  1. Environment and Biodiversity (EnB)
  2. Economy
  3. International relations, Diplomacy, Diaspora
  4. Rights issues (education, welfare, basic polity)
  5. Science Tech, Public Health and Agro
  6. Communication, IT, Mass comm
  7. Culture, Tourism, Youth, Sports and Misc GK.

In this article, I’m providing the reading list for “Environment and Biodiversity”. Remaining topics given in other five articles separately.

Environment and Biodiversity (EnB)


  1. How to approach Environment and Biodiversity for General Studies (prelims and mains) explained in separate article already (Click me)
  2. NIOS Study material: (click me for download)
  3. IGNOU Study material: (click me for download)
  4. Articles on various topics of [EnB] can be found at http://www.mrunal.org/enb
  5. Following list contains the essential ENB topics to be studied from India 2013 (aka India yearbook).

EnB: organizations

ChPg noTopic
12291ministry of environment forest
12291Botanical survey of India
12292Zoological Survey of India
12292Forest Survey of India
12296Genetic approval Committee: functions
12300national board of wildlife (dig net)
12305Pollution control board (CPCB)
12310national river conservation directorate
12311Ganga Basin authority (+ pg 740 planning)
12323NEAMA authority
27958functions of Ministry of water resources
27966water resource council, water board
27970-71Centrak water Commission functions
27973Central  ground water board + RGI scheme
27975-76WAPCOS functions
27976narmada control authority
27978National Perspective plan + Water Development agency

EnB: Important facts for MCQ/2m

12300WCCB functions
12301central zoo authority : functions
12303name of statutory bodies for animal welfare (2nd para)
12319IGNFA, Dehradun trains IFS officers.
12323ECOMARK dig net
27961hydro project II (fact that world bank gives assistance)
27980river links
27974Farakka, Bansagar, Ganga Flood, Upper Yamuna (mostly MCQs)


12294biosphere reserve
12295Biodiversity Act + overview on pg 743 planning
12323Green tribunal (NGT) + pg 741 planning + dig net

Environment : Policies

12299forest policy (dig net)
12304environment impact assement (dig net)
12304policy for abetment of pollution (+ more on page 306) + pg 742 planning
27958water policy (2nd para) dig net for more

EnB: Schemes

12298IFMS (Forest  Management)
12301project tiger (dig net) + tables given on pg 301, 302 =important for MCQs)
12302project elephant (dig net)
12306clean technology and hazard/waste  Management (upto pg 310)
12312Wetland conservation + Ramsar
12313-14Afforestation + eco Development
12316Gadgil panel (already discussed click me)
23744National Action plan for climate change (dig net for more)
23745Green India mission +low carbon economy

EnB: Overview Topics

These are the topics that don’t fall under conventional classification of “organization / scheme“, but nonetheless, they provide good facts and fodder points.

15flora overview
16fauna overview
473climate change and agriculture
12293Mangrove protection + coral reefs + third para on page 317
12323climate change overview
25888-892Ocean science and tech
25892-896coastal and marine ecology+ coast  Management program from pg 741 planning
25896climate change research, cloud physics, disaster support
26941Sethusamudram project (dig more on net regarding SC orders)
2374012th FYP and environment + issues require attention @pg 742
27962flood  Management
27963ground water Development  upto pg 965: mostly fodder

Remaining Five parts

  1. Approach to Economy, Finance, Industry, Commerce, Corporate Affairs (Part 2 of 6)
  2. Approach to IR, Diplomacy, Diaspora, Communication, IT and Mass Comm (part 3 of 6)
  3. Approach to Rights issue, education, welfare, poverty removal schemes (part 4 of 6)
  4. Approach to Science-Tech, Public Health, Agro (Part 5 of 6)
  5. Approach to Culture, Tourism, Youth, Sports, Misc.GK (Part 6 of 6)

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha

95 Comments on “[Studyplan] India 2013 Yearbook: Introduction and approach to Environment and Biodiversity (EnB) (part 1 of 6)”

  1. sir is it relevant to follow this year’s Year Book if I am targeting UPSC-2014?

  2. sir is it relevant to follow this year’s Year Book if I am targeting UPSC-2014? sir i will attempt in 2014 so pls suggest me relevant books if i choose public administration.

  3. do I need to focus on yearbook for cracking rbi assistants exam.. like as i read it is must for cracking rbi grade ‘b’ officer exam.

  4. good guide line

  5. sir should i read year book continue till it ends.how many hours days should i give for it.if preparing for 2014 upsc

  6. sir my optional subject is botany please provide me study material and books for prepration thanks

  7. sir, i m targeting for 2014 , reading india 2013 will be good or i shud wait for 2014 version. i want to study it from now so that i can have a good revision plan pls advise

    1. u must now focus yb2014 as u r taking prem this year..

  8. same question sir.. should i read year book 2013 if m going for cs in 2014

  9. disaster management for ANDHRA PRADESH PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION……pls someone

  10. sir, i’m targetting civils 2014.. i don’t understand from where do i start my preparation.. please suggest me books and time table so that i can prepare well….

  11. sir,my target is 2014 and I gote tow attempt but I have not creack prelims so pleas give suggestion and relevant book for upsc pre and mains examination and how to make proper notes my medium hindi 2014 my last attempt

  12. sir, i’m targeting civil services exam. but i don’t understand from where do i start my preparation.. please suggest me books and time table so that i can prepare well….

  13. sir,give me information about how to read ncert books & how make a proper notes of it & how write a proper answer of question of main exam?

  14. एक्सीलेंट वर्क

  15. SIR can u plz suggest books for psychology paper2 as it is mostly application based?????????

  16. Myself was the candidate targeting Civil Services in 2015. since i didn’t started my preparation. am searching for a candidates irrespective of any background who is for the same and start our journey of success. if any body interested please mail me.

    1. Myself was the candidate targeting Civil Services in 2015. since i didn’t started my preparation. am searching for a candidates irrespective of any background who is for the same and start our journey of success. if any body interested please mail me.

      [email protected]

  17. Sir,
    I have been following you for few months and I must say that It has been very help full to me. I am great full to you. Sir, please suggest me book for csat paper 2 and anthropology notes for mains(if possible). Once again thank you.

  18. i appeared in IAS(mains) 2013, want to thank you mrunal, for content and quality material provided by u.

  19. Sir,
    I feel, your guidance is inexplicably excellent! But one thing I could not find; the topic wise analysis of the UPSC-IAS CSAT-2013/GS Mains-2013 question papers +recommended books list and not recommended books list for this exam. Which optional is more scoring+ comparatively small syllabus+ ready study material= Recommended. Regards.

  20. SIR, Where can i get pdf of india2013? pls post any website that it contains

  21. sir,can u plz write an article on how to read india 2014 for upsc pre 2014..

  22. Can you plz prepare the study plan for India 2014 like u have done for India 2013. Or does it mostly looks the same as 2013.

  23. dear sir , i have yearbook 2014 . i am finding difficulty to follow the study plan that you have posted to study the year book .
    as the page no’s are posted according to 2013 year book .
    can you please revise these page no’s according to 2014 year book . it will greatly many candidates like me .
    Thank you.

  24. if anybody want printed NIOS one sided material ahmedabad……call 9979521496

  25. dear sir india year book useful for upsc cpf ac exam

  26. dear sir 1 qustn i ask u sir hw to good approaches in essay writing

  27. Sir please update the year book study plans as page numbers and some topic names differ in India 2015

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