GITAM University Environmental Studies Syllabus
Course Code : EURBT406 Category: HS
Credits: 4 Hours : 3 per week
The Multidisciplinary nature of environmental studies – Definition, scope and
importance, need for public awareness. Natural Resources: Renewable and non-renewable
resources. Natural resources and associated problems – Forest Resources: Use and over
exploitation, deforestation, case studies. Timber extraction, mining, dams and their effects on
forests and tribal people. Water resources: Use and over-utilization of surface and ground
water, floods, drought, conflicts over water, dams-benefits and problems. Mineral resources:
Use and exploitation, environmental effects of extracting and using mineral resources, case
studies. Food resources: world food problems, changes caused by agricultural and
overgrazing, effects of modern agriculture, fertilizer-pesticide problems, water logging,
salinity, case studies. Energy resources: growing energy needs, renewable and non-renewable
energy sources, use of alternate energy sources, case studies. Land resources: Land as a
resources, land degradation, man induced landslides, soil erosion and desertification. Role of
an individual in conservation of natural resources. Equitable use of resources for sustainable
Ecosystems: Concept of an ecosystem. Structure and function of an ecosystem, Producers,
consumers and decomposers, Energy flow in the ecosystem. Ecological succession. Food
chains, food webs and ecological pyramids. Introduction, types, characteristic features,
structure and function of the following ecosystems: Forest ecosystems, Grassland ecosystems,
desert ecosystems. Aquatic ecosystems (ponds, streams, lakes, rivers, oceans, estuaries).
Biodiversity and its conservation: Introduction: Definition of ecosystem diversity. Biogeographical
classification of India. Value of Biodiversity: consumptive use, productive use,
social, ethical, aesthetic and option values. Biodiversity at global, national and local levels.
India as a mega-diversity nation. Hotspots of biodiversity, Threats to biodiversity: habitat
loss, poaching of wildlife, man-wildlife conflicts. Endangered and endemic species of India.
Conservation of biodiversity: In-situ and Ex-situ conservation of biodiversity.
Environmental Pollution: Definition, Causes, effects and control measures of Air Pollution,
Water Pollution, Soil Pollution, Marine Pollution, Noise Pollution, Thermal Pollution,
Nuclear hazards. Solid waste management: causes, effects and control measures of urban and
industrial wastes. Role of an individual in prevention of pollution. Pollution case studies,
Disaster Management: floods, earthquakes, cyclones and landslides.
Social Issues and the environment: From unsustainable to sustainable development. Urban
problems related to energy, Water conservation, rain water harvesting and watershed
management. Resettlement and rehabilitation of people, its problems and concerns. Case
studies. Environmental ethics: Issues and possible solutions. Climate change, global warming,
acid rain, ozone layer depletion, nuclear accidents and holocaust. Case studies. Wasteland
reclamation. Consumerism and waste products. Environment Protection Act. Air (Prevention
and Control of Pollution) Act. Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. Wildlife
Protection Act. Forest Conservation Act. Issues involved in enforcement of environmental
legislation. Public awareness.
Human Population and the Environment: Population growth, variation among nations,
Population explosion – Family welfare programme. Environment and human health. Human
rights, Value education, HIV / AIDS, Women and Child welfare, Role of information
technology in environment and human health. Case Studies. Field Work: Visit to local area
to document environmental assets-river / forest / grassland/ hill/mountain. Visit to a local
polluted site – Urban / Rural / Industrial / Agricultural. Study of common plants, Insects,
birds. Study of simple ecosystems – pond, river, hill slopes, etc.
1. Textbook of Environmental Studies for Undergraduate Course s by Erach Bharucha. 2006.
Published by – University Grants Commission, Universities Press, India.