Natural vegetation refers to a plant community that has been left undisturbed over a long time, so as to allow its individual species to adjust themselves to climate and soil conditions as fully as possible.
- Himalayan heights are marked with temperate vegetation;
- Western Ghats and the Andaman Nicobar Islands have tropical rain forests
- Deltaic regions have tropical forests and mangroves;
- Desert and semi desert areas of Rajasthan are known for cactii, a wide variety of bushes and thorny vegetation
On the basis of certain common features such as predominant vegetation type and climatic regions, Indian forests can be divided into the following groups
TYPES OF FORESTS
- Tropical Evergreen and Semi-Evergreen forests
- Tropical Deciduous forests
- Tropical Thorn forests
- Montane forests
- Littoral and Swamp forests
Tropical Evergreen and Semi Evergreen Forests
- Western slope of the Western Ghats, hills of the northeastern region and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- Warm and humid areas
- Annual precipitation of over 200 cm
- mean annual temperature above 22oC
- Tropical evergreen forests are well stratified, with layers closer to the ground and are covered with shrubs and creepers, with short structured trees followed by tall variety of trees.
- In these forests, trees reach great heights up to 60 m or above.
- There is no definite time for trees to shed their leaves, flowering e.g. rosewood, mahogony, aini, ebony,fruition.
Semi evergreen forests
- Found in the less rainy parts of these regions. Such forests have a mixture of evergreen and moist deciduous trees.
- The under growing climbers provide an evergreen character to these forests.
- Main species are white cedar, hollock and kail
- British were aware of the economic value of the forests in India, hence, large scale exploitation of these forests was started. The structure of forests was also changed.
- The oak forests in Garhwal and Kumaon were replaced by pine (chirs) which was needed to lay railway lines.
- Forests were also cleared for introducing plantations of tea, rubber and coffee.
- The British also used timber for construction activities as it acts as an insulator of heat.
Tropical Deciduous Forests
- Most widespread forests in India (monsoon forests) – Rainfall- 70-200 cm.
- Further divided into moist (200-100)and dry (70-100) deciduous.
- Moist northeastern states along the foothills of Himalayas, eastern slopes of the Western Ghats and Orissa.
- Teak, sal, shisham, hurra, mahua,amla, semul, kusum, and sandalwood
- Dry Rainier areas of the Peninsula and the plains of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
- In the higher rainfall regions of the Peninsular plateau and the northern Indian plain, these forests have a parkland landscape with open stretches in which teak and other trees interspersed with patches of grass are common.
- As the dry season begins, the trees shed their leaves completely and the forest appears like a vast grassland with naked trees all around.
- Tendu, palas, amaltas, bel, khair, axlewood, etc.
- In the western and southern part of Rajasthan, vegetation cover is very scanty due to low rainfall and overgrazing.
Tropical Thorn Forests
- Rainfall less than 50 cm
- Grasses and shrubs
- Semi-arid areas of south west Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
- Plants remain leafless for most part of the year and give an expression of scrub vegetation.
- babool, ber, and wild date palm, khair, neem, khejri, palas, etc.
- Tussocky grass grows upto a height of 2 m as the under growth.
Montane Forests –
- Decrease in temperature with increasing altitude leads to a corresponding change in natural vegetation
- Types- northern mountain forests and the southern mountain forests.
- Himalayan ranges show a succession of vegetation from the tropical to the tundra, which change in with the altitude.
Deciduous forests are found in the foothills of the Himalayas.
- 1,000-2,000 m – wet temperate type of forests
- 1,500-1,750 m- pine forests, Chir Pine ,Deodar – construction activity. chinar and walnut –Kashmir handicrafts
- 2,225-3,048 m – Blue pine and spruce
- 3,000-4,000 m – Silver firs, junipers, pines, birch and rhododendrons
Littoral and Swamp Forests
- About 70 per cent of this comprises areas under paddy cultivation.
- Total area of wet land is 3.9 million hectares.
- Two sites — Chilika Lake (Orissa) and Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur) are protected as water-fowl habitats under the Convention of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention).
The country’s wetlands have been grouped into eight categories-
- The reservoirs of the Deccan Plateau in the south together with the lagoons and other wetlands of the southern west coast;
- The vast saline expanses of Rajasthan, Gujarat and the Gulf of Kachchh;
- Freshwater lakes and reservoirs from Gujarat eastwards through Rajasthan (Keoladeo National Park) and Madhya Pradesh;
- The delta wetlands and lagoons of India’s east coast (Chilika Lake);
- The freshwater marshes of the Gangetic Plain; (vi) the floodplains of the Brahmaputra;
- The marshes and swamps in the hills of northeast India and the Himalayan foothills;
- The lakes and rivers of the montane region of Kashmir and Ladakh;
- The mangrove forest and other wetlands of the island arcs of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- Mangroves grow along the coasts in the salt marshes, tidal creeks, mud flats and estuaries.
- Crisscrossed by creeks of stagnant water and tidal flows, these forests give shelter to a wide variety of birds.
- In India, the mangrove forests spread over 6,740 sq. km which is 7 per cent of the world’s mangrove forests.
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Sunderbans of West Bengal, Mahanadi, the Godavari and the Krishna deltas
- Transhumance tribes – Gujjars, the Bakarwals, the Bhotiyas and the Gaddis.
- At higher altitudes, mosses and lichens form part of the tundra vegetation.
- Southern slopes of the Himalayas carry a thicker vegetation cover because of relatively higher precipitation than the drier north-facing slopes.
- The southern mountain forests include the forests found in three distinct areas of Peninsular India viz; the Western Ghats, the Vindhyas and the Nilgiris.
- Temperate forests are called Sholas in the Nilgiris, Anaimalai and Palani hills.
Forest– magnolia, laurel, cinchona and wattle.
CSE Mains General Studies Paper – III
(Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
a. Economic Development
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
- Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
- Government Budgeting.
- Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
- Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
- Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
- Land reforms in India.
- Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
- Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.
- Investment models.
- Science and Technology – developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
- Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Bio diversity, Environment
- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
- Disaster and disaster management.
- Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
- Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
- Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
- Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
- Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
General Studies Paper – II
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
a. Constitution and Polity
- Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
- Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
- Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
- Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
- Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
- Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
- Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
b. Social Justice and Governance
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
- Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
- Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
- Role of civil services in a democracy.
c. International relations
- India and its neighborhood- relations.
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
- Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
UPSC CSE General Studies Paper – I
(Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)
a. Indian Heritage and Culture
- Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
b. Modern History
- Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present significant events, personalities, issues.
- The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors or contributions from different parts of the country.
c. Post-Independence and World History
- Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
- History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc. – their forms and effect on the society.
d. Societal Issues
- Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
- Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
- Effects of globalization on Indian society.
- Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
e. Indian and World Geography
- Salient features of world’s physical geography.
- Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India).
- Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location – changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
Qualifying Papers – Not counted for final ranking:
Paper ‐ A – Indian Language – Syllabus. (One of the Indian Languages to be selected by the candidate from the Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. This paper will not be compulsory for candidates hailing from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.) 300 Marks.
Paper‐ B – English Language – Syllabus . 300 Marks.
Papers to be counted for merit ranking:
Paper‐I :- Essay – Syllabus. 250 Marks.
Paper‐II :- General Studies – I – Syllabus. 250 Marks. (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society).
Paper‐III :- General Studies –II – Syllabus. 250 Marks. (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations).
Paper‐IV :- General Studies –III – Syllabus. 250 Marks. (Technology, Economic Development, Bio‐diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management).
Paper‐V :- General Studies –IV – Syllabus. 250 Marks. (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude).
Paper‐VI :- Optional Subject – Paper 1 – 250 Marks.
Paper‐VII :- Optional Subject – Paper 2 – 250 Marks.