GATE 2021 Syllabus for Environmental Science and Engineering (ES)

GATE 2021 Environmental Science and Engineering (ES) Syllabus

Get here the GATE Environmental Science and Engineering Syllabus 2021. The syllabus for the Environmental Science and Engineering subject of GATE 2021 can be found by the candidates from this page. The Environmental Science and Engineering syllabus contains 9 broad sections. Environmental Science is the new subject that has been added from this year. These sections further include various topics and subtopics. Candidates must prepare for the exam accordingly. The GATE 2021 syllabus for all the 27 subjects are available on the GATE 2021 website in a Pdf form.

The syllabus for the GATE 2021 Environmental Science and Engineering subject is divided into 9 sections that include Mathematics Foundation, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Microbiology, Water Resources, and Environmental Hydraulics, Water & Wastewater Treatment and Management, Air and Noise Pollution, Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, Global and Regional Environmental Issues, Environmental Management and Sustainable Development.

Section 1: Mathematics Foundation

Linear Algebra: Determinants and matrices, Systems of linear equations, Eigenvalues and eigenvectors.

Calculus: Functions, Limit, Continuity, Differentiability, Local maxima and minima, Taylor series, Tests for convergence, Definite and indefinite integrals, Application of definite integral to obtain area and volume, Partial and total derivatives.

Differential Equations: Linear and non-linear first order ordinary differential equations (ODE), Higher order linear ODEs with constant coefficients, Cauchy’s and Euler’s equations, Laplace transform and its application in solving linear ODEs.

Probability and Statistics: Descriptive statistics, Measurement of central tendency, Dispersion, Skewness and kurtosis, Probability concepts, Conditional probability, Bayes theorem, Risk and reliability, Probability distributions, Correlation, Single and multiple regression models, Hypothesis testing (t-test, F-test, chi-square test).

Section 2: Environmental Chemistry

Fundamentals of Environmental Chemistry: Covalent and ionic bonding; Chemical equations, concentration and activity; Structure and chemistry of organic molecules; Radioactivity of elements; Chemical equilibria; Thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical reactions.

Principles of water chemistry: Water quality parameters and their measurement; Acid-base equilibria; Buffer solution; Carbonate system; Solubility of gases in water; Complexation, precipitation, and redox reactions; Inorganic and organic contaminants in water and their speciation.

Soil chemistry; Organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, cation exchange capacity, base saturation, and sodium absorption ratio.

Atmospheric Chemistry: Composition of the atmosphere; Reactivity of trace substances in the atmosphere; Urban atmosphere—smog and particulate pollution; Chemistry of ozone formation; Chemistry of stratosphere.

Section 3: Environmental Microbiology

Prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms; Characteristics of diverse groups of microorganisms; Classification of microorganisms; Microbial diversity; Plant-microbe and soilmicrobe interactions; Role of microorganisms in wastewater treatment, bioremediation and biogeochemical cycling.

Cell chemistry and cell biology: Structure of proteins, nucleic acid (DNA & RNA), lipids and polysaccharides; Bonds in biomolecules; Stereoisomerism in biomolecules; Structure of cell; Structure and function of cytoplasmic membrane, cell wall, outer membrane, glycocalyx, chromosomes, endospores, storage products, mitochondria and chloroplasts.

Microbial metabolism: Anabolism and catabolism; Phosphorylation; Glycolysis; TCA cycle; Electron transport chain; Fermentation; Anaerobic respiration; Energy balances; Enzymes and Enzyme kinetics.

Growth and control of microorganisms: Bacterial nutrition and growth; Specific growth rate and doubling time; Monod’s model; Types of culture media; Batch and continuous culture; Effects of environmental factors on growth; Control of microbes using physical and chemical methods.

Microbiology and health: Pathogens and modes of transmission; Indicator organisms; Quantification of coliforms using MPN and membrane filtration techniques.

Section 4: Water Resources and Environmental Hydraulics

Global Water Resources: Structure, properties and distribution of water; Water quality; Threats to water resources; Water conservation.

Surface Water Resources: Hydrological cycle and water balance – precipitation, infiltration, evapotranspiration, runoff; Flow hydrographs; Unit hydrographs; Stage-discharge relationship; Reservoir capacity; Reservoir and channel routing; Surface run-off models; Surface water management; Rain water harvesting and storage.

Groundwater Resources: Geologic formations as aquifers; Vadose and saturated zones; Confined and unconfined aquifers and their parameters – porosity, permeability, transmissivity and storage coefficient; Darcy’s law and applications; Steady state well hydraulics.

Environmental Hydraulics: Concepts of mechanics; Properties of fluids; Pressure measurement; Hydrostatic force on surfaces; Buoyancy and flotation; Laminar and turbulent flow; Flow through pipes; Pipe networks; Boundary layer theory; Forces on immersed bodies; Flow measurement in channels and pipes; Kinematics of flow; Continuity, momentum and energy equations; Channel hydraulics – specific energy, critical flow, hydraulic jump, rapid and gradually varied flow; Design of lined and unlined channels.

Section 5: Water & Wastewater Treatment and Management

Water and wastewater quality parameters; Eutrophication and thermal stratification in lakes; River pollution – Oxygen sag curve.

Water treatment methods – screening, sedimentation with and without coagulation, filtration, desalination, disinfection; Water distribution and storage

Point and non-point sources of wastewater; Population forecasting methods; Design of sewer and storm water sewers; Sewer appurtenances; Preliminary, primary, secondary and tertiary sewage treatment; Sludge generation, processing and disposal methods; Sewage farming.

Sources and characteristics of industrial effluents; Concept of Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETP); Wastewater recycling and zero liquid discharge.

Kinetics and reactor design: Mass and energy balance, Order and rate of reactions, Batch reactors, Completely mixed flow reactors, Plug flow reactors.

Section 6: Air and Noise Pollution

Structure of the atmosphere; Natural and anthropogenic sources of pollution; Atmospheric sources, sinks, transport; Indoor air pollution; Effects on health and environment; Air pollution: gases and particulate matter; Air quality standards; Primary and secondary pollutants; Criteria pollutants, ambient and source standards, air quality indices, visibility.

Particulate pollutants: measurement and control methods; Control of particulate air pollutants using gravitational settling chambers, cyclone separators, wet collectors, fabric filters (Baghouse filter), electrostatic precipitators (ESP).

Gaseous Pollutants: Measurement and control methods; Control of gaseous contaminants: absorption, adsorption, condensation and combustion; Control of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons; Vapour-liquid and vapour-solid equilibria; Diffusion, Fick’s law and interfacial mass transfer.

Automotive emission controls, fuel quality, diesel particulate filters, catalytic convertors.

Air quality management: Point, line and area sources; Inventory; Influence of meteorology – wind rose diagrams, stability, mixing height, topography, dispersion modelling, monitoring. Noise pollution: Sources; Health effects; Standards; Measurement and control methods.

Section 7: Solid and Hazardous Waste Management

Integrated solid waste management; Waste hierarchy; Rules and regulations for solid waste management in India.

Municipal solid waste management: Sources, generation, characteristics, collection and transportation, waste processing and disposal (including reuse options, biological methods, energy recovery processes and landfilling).

Hazardous waste management: Characteristics, generation, fate of materials in the environment, treatment and disposal.

Soil contamination and leaching of contaminants into groundwater.

Management of biomedical waste, plastic waste and E-waste: Sources, generation and characteristics; Waste management practices including storage, collection and transfer.

Section 8: Global and Regional Environmental Issues

Global effects of air pollution – Greenhouse gases, global warming, climate change, urban heat islands, acid rain, ozone hole.

Ecology and various ecosystems; Biodiversity; Factors influencing increase in population, energy consumption, and environmental degradation.

Section 9: Environmental Management and Sustainable Development

Environmental Management Systems; ISO14000 series; Environmental auditing: Environmental Impact Assessment; Life cycle assessment; Human health risk assessment.

Environmental Law and Policy – Objectives; Polluter pays principle, Precautionary principle; The Water and Air Acts with amendments; The Environment (Protection) Act (EPA) 1986; National Green Tribunal Act, 2010; National Environment Policy; Principles of International Law and International treaties.

Energy and Environment: Energy sources – overview of resources and reserves; Renewable and non-renewable energy sources; Energy-Environment nexus.
Sustainable Development: Definition and concepts of sustainable development; Sustainable development goals; Hurdles to sustainability; Environment and economics

GATE 2021 General Aptitude Syllabus

The General Aptitude section is common in all the subjects and so is the syllabus of the General Aptitude section. There will be 10 questions coming from this section. Among these questions, 5 of them will be carrying 1 mark each. The rest of the 5 questions will be carrying 2 marks each. The total marks for this section are 15 marks. The questions will be asked under two divisions – Verbal Ability and Numerical Ability. 

The syllabus for General Aptitude section is given below. 

Verbal Ability: English grammar, sentence completion, verbal analogies, word groups, instructions, critical reasoning and verbal deduction. 

Numerical Ability: Numerical computation, numerical estimation, numerical reasoning and data interpretation. 

GATE 2021 Environmental Science and Engineering Exam Pattern

Before starting your preparation, you must go through the exam pattern of the exam and the marking scheme as well. Candidates can look at the exam pattern and the marking scheme of GATE 2021 below. 

Section Distribution of Marks  Total MarksTypes of questions
GA5 questions of 1 mark each
5 questions of 2 marks each

     15 marks 

ES – Subject-Based25 questions of 1 mark each
30 questions of 2 marks each 
    85 marks  MCQs and NATs
  • Exam mode : Online, Computer Based Test
  • Duration : 3 hours
  • Type of questions : MCQs & NATs 
  • No/name of sections : 3 sections, General Aptitude, Mathematics, Subject-based
  • No. of questions : 65
  • No. of marks : 100 marks
  • Negative marking : for MCQs only

Marking scheme

Type of questionNegative marking for wrong answerMarking for correct answer
MCQs⅓ for 1 mark questions
⅔ for 2 marks questions
1 or 2 marks
NATsNo negative marking 1 or 2 marks

How To Prepare For GATE Environmental Science and Engineering?

Some students might have already started their preparation for GATE 2021, and some might be starting right now. No matter what category you lie under, these tips are for each one of you. But it is recommended that you must stick to tips from only a few sources. As they say, too many cooks spoil the broth. It’s better to stick to one source for both tips and study material. Read below to find out what are these tips. 

Don’t run

You read it right. Don’t run after completing the syllabus or mugging up as much as you can. Take it one at a time. You can start by preparing early so that you get a headstart. Take topics one at a time. Don’t hurry or you won’t learn anything.

Aim for accuracy

Your aim should be set on accuracy. It doesn’t matter if you learn 5 topics in a day or just 1. What matters is how well you have learned it. Your accuracy will influence your performance in the exam along with your speed. Don’t try to cover all the syllabus if you are short on time. Prepare for just 90 marks but prepare in such a way that those 90 marks are guaranteed. And trust yourself in the process. Have confidence in your preparation.

Basic and Standard

Learn basic concepts from standard books. Learning basic concepts is important as it will build your foundation and it should be strong. Approach standard books because the explanation of concepts in these books is simplistic and easy to understand. Your aim should be to gain concept clarity. That is possible when you are preparing from reliable and standard sources.

Follow a timetable

Being disciplined is necessary for everything you do. Especially during your preparation for any exam. Make a timetable in which you have to allot time to the topics according to your level of preparation. Discipline comes when you actually follow that table. Just making the timetable won’t do. Also keep enough leisure time so that it doesn’t get hectic.

Make Notes 

We have learned to make running notes since your highschool tie. Use that talent during your preparation. Make notes while you are doing a topic and go through it once at the end of the day. These notes should be to the point and precise. Keep them secured because they will be useful in our next tip. 

Do Revision

Imagine this, you have prepared the entire syllabus with all your dedication and in the last month, you sit to revise all of it. You find out that all you have learned has completely vanished out of your system. That’s a cue to panic. But you can avoid all of this if you just make it a habit to revise at the end of the day, whatever you have studied the entire day. Now you have revised the syllabus daily in small amounts. Now when you will sit in that last 1 month, it will all come back to you immediately. Also, you have revised the syllabus two times which is enough to score good marks. To revise, make sure to use those running notes that you made during your preparation

What is Environmental Science and Engineering ?

Environmental Science Engineering is a multidisciplinary field of engineering science that contains biological, chemical, and physical sciences with the field of engineering. This major traditionally requires the student to take basic engineering classes in fields such as thermodynamics, advanced math, computer modeling and simulation, and technical classes in subjects such as statics, mechanics, hydrology, and fluid dynamics. As the student progresses, the upper-division elective classes define a specific field of study for the student with a choice in a range of science, technology, and engineering-related classes

GATE 2021 Preparation FAQs

Q1. How many mock tests should I practice?
Ans. There is no specific number as such for solving mock tests. You can solve as many mocks as you can. Though you should practice them throughout your preparation. Try practicing from weekly mocks and topic-wise mocks.

Q2. Is the General Aptitude section important? 
Ans. Yes, the section is important as it carries 15 marks. If you prepare well then the section can be very scoring. 

Q3. How should I revise the entire syllabus?
Ans. You can make notes during preparation and then revise the syllabus from them. Also, you should revise in small parts so that you remember better. 

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