Environmental Studies Syllabus, Assam University Silchar, 2nd SEM CBCS Pattern

 ASSAM University Syllabus
(One-Semester Compulsory Core Module for Undergraduate Programmes)

UNIT 1: Introduction to Environmental Studies and Ecosystem.         (8 lectures)

Ø  Definition, scope and importance of environmental studies, Multidisciplinary nature of environmental studies; Need for public awareness.

Ø  Concept of ecosystem; Producers, consumers and decomposers; Energy flow in an ecosystem; Food chains and food webs; Ecological pyramids; Ecological succession.

Ø  Nutrient cycles (Carbon cycle and nitrogen cycle).

Ø  Major ecosystem; Forest ecosystem, Grassland ecosystem, Desert ecosystem and Aquatic ecosystem (pond, lake, river and ocean).

UNIT 2: Natural Resources: Renewable and Non-renewable Resources.     (8 lectures)

Ø  Land Resources: Land change, land degradation, soil erosion and desertification.

Ø  Forest Resources: Effects of deforestation due to timber-logging, shifting cultivation, mining and dams on forests and tribal populations.

Ø  Water Resources: Use and over-exploitation of surface and ground water, floods, droughts, conflicts over water (inter-state and international).

Ø  Energy Resources: Renewable and non-renewable energy resources; use and importance of alternative energy resources.

UNIT 3: Biodiversity and conservation.                  (8 lectures)

Ø  Definition, levels of biodiversity (genetic, species and ecosystem diversity); Bio-geographic zones of India; Biodiversity patterns and global biodiversity hot spots.

Ø  Biodiversity of India: India as a mega-biodiversity nation; Endangered and endemic biodiversity of India with special reference to North East India.

Ø  Threats of Biodiversity: Habitats loss, poaching of wildlife, man-wildlife conflicts in India context, biological invasions.

Ø  Conservation of Biodiversity: In-situ and ex-situ conservation of biodiversity.

UNIT 4: Environmental pollution, Environmental Policies and Practices.                8 lectures)

Ø  Environmental pollution: Types (Air, water, soil and noise pollution), causes, effects and controls.

Ø  Solid waste management: Control measures of urban and industrial waste; nuclear hazards and human health risks.

Ø  Climate change, global warming, ozone layer depletion, acid rain and impact on human communities and agriculture.

Ø  Environment Laws: Environment Protection Act; Air (Prevention and control of pollution) Act: Water (Prevention and control of pollution); Wildlife Protection Act; Forest Conservation Act.

Ø  Nature reserves, Sustainability and sustainable development; tribal population and right.

Also Read: Environmental Studies Notes, MCQs, Question Papers and Solutions

UNIT 5: Human communities and the Environment.        (8 lectures)

Ø  Human population growth: Impact on environment, human health and welfare.

Ø  Resettlement and rehabilitation of project affected persons; case studies.

Ø  Disaster management: floods, earthquake, cyclones and landslides.

Ø  Environmental movement: Chipko, Silent valley, Bishnois of Rajasthan.

Ø  Environmental ethics: Role of different Indian religious and cultures in environmental conservation.

Ø  Environmental communication and public awareness.


1.          Bharucha, E (2003): Text book for Environmental Studies, University Grants Commission, New Delhi and Bharati Vidhyapeet Institute of Environmental Education and Research, Pune.

2.          Carson, Rachel (1962): Salient Spring (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962), Mriner Books, 2002.

3.          Economy, Elizabeth (2010): The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China’s Future.

4.          Gadgil, M. and Ramachandra, G (1993): This fissured land: an ecological history of India. University of California Press.

5.          Gleeson, B. and Low, N. (eds.) (1999): Global Ethics and Environment, London, Routledge.

6.          Grumbine, R. Edward, and Pandit, M. K. (2013): Threats from India’s Himalaya dams, Science 339. 6115: 36-37.

7.          Heywood V. H. and Watson, R. T. (1995): Global Biodiversity Assessment. Cambridge University Press.

8.          McCully, P. (1996): silenced Rivers: the ecology and politics of large dams. Zed Books.

9.          McNeill, John R (2000): Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth Century.

10.      Odum, E. P. Odum, H. T. And Andrews, J. (1971): Fundamentals of Ecology Philadelphia: Saunders.

11.      Pepper, I. L. Gerba, C. P. and Brusseau, M. L. (2011): Environmental and Pollution Science, Academic Press.

12.      Raw, M. N. and Datta, A. K. (1987): Waste Water Treatment. Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd.

13.      Raven, P. H. Hassenzahl, D. M. and Berg, L. R. (2012): Environment, 8th Edition. John Wiley and Sons.

14.      Ricklefs, R. E. and Miller, G. L. (2000): Ecology, W. H. Freeman, New York.

15.      Robbins, P. (2012): Political Ecology: A critical introduction John Wiley and Sons.

16.      Rosencranz, A. Divan, S. and Noble, M. L. (2002): Environmental law and policy in India. Oxford University Press, India.

17.      Sengupta R. (2003): Ecology and Economics: An approach to sustainable development. OUP Catalogue.


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