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

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  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

Type Question Yearbook 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 https://www.mrunal.org/enb
  5. Following list contains the essential ENB topics to be studied from India 2013 (aka India yearbook).

EnB: organizations

Ch Pg no Topic
12 291 ministry of environment forest
12 291 Botanical survey of India
12 292 Zoological Survey of India
12 292 Forest Survey of India
12 296 Genetic approval Committee: functions
12 300 national board of wildlife (dig net)
12 305 Pollution control board (CPCB)
12 310 national river conservation directorate
12 311 Ganga Basin authority (+ pg 740 planning)
12 323 NEAMA authority
27 958 functions of Ministry of water resources
27 966 water resource council, water board
27 970-71 Centrak water Commission functions
27 973 Central  ground water board + RGI scheme
27 975-76 WAPCOS functions
27 976 narmada control authority
27 978 National Perspective plan + Water Development agency

EnB: Important facts for MCQ/2m

12 300 WCCB functions
12 301 central zoo authority : functions
12 303 name of statutory bodies for animal welfare (2nd para)
12 319 IGNFA, Dehradun trains IFS officers.
12 323 ECOMARK dig net
27 961 hydro project II (fact that world bank gives assistance)
27 980 river links
27 974 Farakka, Bansagar, Ganga Flood, Upper Yamuna (mostly MCQs)


12 294 biosphere reserve
12 295 Biodiversity Act + overview on pg 743 planning
12 323 Green tribunal (NGT) + pg 741 planning + dig net

Environment : Policies

12 299 forest policy (dig net)
12 304 environment impact assement (dig net)
12 304 policy for abetment of pollution (+ more on page 306) + pg 742 planning
27 958 water policy (2nd para) dig net for more

EnB: Schemes

12 298 IFMS (Forest  Management)
12 301 project tiger (dig net) + tables given on pg 301, 302 =important for MCQs)
12 302 project elephant (dig net)
12 306 clean technology and hazard/waste  Management (upto pg 310)
12 312 Wetland conservation + Ramsar
12 313-14 Afforestation + eco Development
12 316 Gadgil panel (already discussed click me)
12 321 ENVIS
23 744 National Action plan for climate change (dig net for more)
23 745 Green 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.

1 5 flora overview
1 6 fauna overview
4 73 climate change and agriculture
12 293 Mangrove protection + coral reefs + third para on page 317
12 323 climate change overview
25 888-892 Ocean science and tech
25 892-896 coastal and marine ecology+ coast  Management program from pg 741 planning
25 896 climate change research, cloud physics, disaster support
26 941 Sethusamudram project (dig more on net regarding SC orders)
23 740 12th FYP and environment + issues require attention @pg 742
27 962 flood  Management
27 963 ground 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)
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95 Comments on “[Studyplan] India 2013 Yearbook: Introduction and approach to Environment and Biodiversity (EnB) (part 1 of 6)”

  1. u saved lot of money, time and effort….thank u very much..

  2. Mrunal sir you are really a ray of light in the dark.

  3. mrunal one question is india year book useful for preparing geography mains and pre and if yes edition of 2010 is appropriate for those who are preparing for 2014 or we should buy the latest editions.
    i have one more question i.e.can you please list books for preparing geography for gs for mains and pre .

    1. if you’re preparing for 2014, better wait for India 2014 (will come during or after December 13).

  4. Sir
    kya “BHART2013” flipkart me hai?
    nahi to iss by post kaise mangwaya jay
    plz help me.

    1. BHARATH 2013 FLIPKART me hai! Enjoy reading.

  5. hi Mrunal,
    Please provide a detailed analysis on the newest pattern of UPSC exam.

  6. Hello Mrunal Sir,

    Because of new mains syllabus of UPSC, I have to drop one optional subject. Earlier, I thought to opt for Psychology and Sociology, but now I am in a dilemma whether I should go with Psychology alone or Sociology. I graduated and post graduated in Psychology, so I prefer it, but is there any drawback of this subject or Sociology is more attractive for UPSC Board members? Please help!

    1. You yourself know that you are definitely comfortable with pschycology,the subject which you have done for years than sociology which would definitely not score for you over pschycology,it is wholly dependant on you how comfortable are you with a particular subject than thinking About board members,and board members don’t consider such things they look at your proficiency with a particular subject.Moreover there is always a possiblity that they try to figure out why someone opts for a subject other than the one in which one has graduated and post graduated.

  7. is there is any sectional cut off in ssc? since it is my first time what score is safe for tier 1 for a gen candidate ??

  8. Sir, first when I bought year book 2013 I really upset to see such a huge book and I don kno wer to start really i feel upset and I backed up to read tat then I saw ur guideline how to use the Year Book… now it is very easy for me to read and complete moreover ur suggested topics in less amount of time… really thanks sir, this is the real guidance wat every UPSC aspirants need…..

  9. Is national board for wildlife & the Indian board for wildlife are one & the same..

  10. This is crap…can’t find any news beyond mar 2012..whether its a 2013yb or 2012..mr.mrunal should I really need to read this or shall I go for chronicle prelims..I can’t read this plz suggest..

  11. Sir, page no. are of english ver. only or these are impliment on hindi ver. too

  12. Please send me Pdf copy of India 2013 if you have.I am in USA so cant buy it.Any help would be great.

  13. Mrunal, can you tell me how do I do YearBook only for prelims. I know its very important for mains as well but I m really short of time. I read through your post but I guess you havent categorically mentioned only for prelims…

  14. Simply superb. Salute to your efforts

  15. Hi sir,

    I am planning to prepare for UPSC for the year 2014, Only today I have visited your website and I found it to be very useful. Now the UPSC syllabus has been changed. Will you please give me some ideas to prepare for the mains examination. I am not going to take any classes, so kindly do the needful. Awaiting for your valuable reply. Thanks.


  17. Sir, i want to prepare for Civil services2014..what should be the strategy..how to start.. when to strt..I cn’t afford coaching classes need to prepare on my own(IS IT POSSIBLE)..which subject should i chose for optional I am from engg backgorund but not rdy to opt dem…seriously in trouble..plz guide a little give me some start..thankyou

  18. please help me for preparation in aptitude portion for UPSC pre 2013

  19. sir,i want to prepare for civil services 2014.really ,sir i dont know how to start,and when to start,please tell me sir which subject i chose for optional, actually i am from engineering background r8 now i entered in final year so plz sir give me some idea….Thank you sir

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. good guide line

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

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

  26. 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..

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

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

  29. 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….

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