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Course Detail

Course Name Environmental Science and Sustainability
Course Code 15ENV300
Program B. Tech. in Mechanical Engineering
Semester Seven
Year Taught 2019


Unit 1

State of Environment and Unsustainability, Need for Sustainable Development, Traditional conservation systems in India, People in Environment, Need for an attitudinal change and ethics, Need for Environmental Education, Overview of International Treaties and Conventions, Overview of Legal and Regulatory Frameworks.

Environment: Abiotic and biotic factors, Segments of the Environment, Biogeochemical Cycles, Ecosystems (associations, community adaptations, ecological succession, Food webs, Food chain, ecological pyramids), Types of Ecosystems – Terrestrial ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, Economic value of ecosystem services, Threats to ecosystems and conservation strategies.

Biodiversity: Species, Genetic & Ecosystem Diversity, Origin of life and significance of biodiversity, Value of Biodiversity, Biodiversity at Global, National and Local Levels, India as a Mega-Diversity Nation (Hotspots) & Protected Area Network, Community Biodiversity Registers. Threats to Biodiversity, Red Data book, Rare, Endangered and Endemic Species of India. Conservation of Biodiversity. People’s action.

Impacts, causes, effects, control measures, international, legal and regulatory frameworks of: Climate Change, Ozone depletion, Air pollution, Water pollution, Noise pollution, Soil / land degradation / pollution

Unit 2

Linear vs. cyclical resource management systems, need for systems thinking and design of cyclical systems, circular economy, industrial ecology, green technology. Specifically apply these concepts to: Water Resources, Energy Resources, Food Resources, Land & Forests, Waste management.

Discuss the interrelation of environmental issues with social issues such as: Population, Illiteracy, Poverty, Gender equality, Class discrimination, Social impacts of development on the poor and tribal communities, Conservation movements: people’s movements and activism, Indigenous knowledge systems and traditions of conservation.

Unit 3

Common goods and public goods, natural capital / tragedy of commons, Cost benefit analysis of development projects, Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), Environment Management Plan (EMP), Green business, Eco-labeling, Problems and solutions with case studies.

Global and national state of housing and shelter, Urbanization, Effects of unplanned development case studies, Impacts of the building and road construction industry on the environment, Eco-homes / Green buildings, Sustainable communities, Sustainable Cities.

Ethical issues related to resource consumption, Intergenerational ethics, Need for investigation and resolution of the root cause of unsustainability, Traditional value systems of India, Significance of holistic value-based education for true sustainability

Text Books

  • R. Rajagopalan, Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure. Oxford University Press, 2011, 358 pages. ISBN: 9780198072089.
  • Daniel D. Chiras, Environmental Science. Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 01-Feb-2012, 669 pages. ISBN: 9781449645311.
  • Andy Jones, Michel Pimbert and Janice Jiggins, 2011. Virtuous Circles: Values, Systems, Sustainability. IIED and IUCN CEESP, London.
  • Annenberg Learner, The Habitable Planet, Annenberg Foundation 2015.


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