Indian Civil Services Syllabus - Zoology

Detailed Preliminary and Main exam Syllabus for Zoology- Optional are:

Preliminary Examination Paper I- Cell Structure and function
(a) Prokaryote and eukaryote.
(b) Structure of animal cell, structure and functions of cell organelles.
(c) Cell cycle mitosis, meiosis.

(d) Structure and contents of nucleus, including nuclear membrane, structure of chromosome and gene, chemistry of genetic components.
(e) Mendel’s laws of inheritance, linkage and genetic recombination; cytoplasmic inheritance.
(f) Function of gene: replication, transcription and translation; mutations (spontaneous and artificial); Recombinant DNA: principle and application.
(g) Sex determination in Drosophila and man; sex linkage in man.

(a) Classification of non-chordates (up to sub-classes) and chordates (up to orders) giving general features and evolutionary relationship of the following phyla: Protozoa, Porifera, Coelenterata, Platyhelminthes, Nematheliminthes, Annelida, Arthropoda, Mollusca, Echinodermata, Minor Phyla (Bryozoa, Phoronida and Chaetognatha) and Hemichordata.
(b) Structure reproduction and life history of the following types: Amoeba, Monocystis, Plasmodium, Paramaecium, Sycon, Hydra, Obelia, Fasciola, Taenia, Ascaris, Neanthes, Pheretima, Hirudinia, Palaemon, Buthus, Periplaneta, lamellidens, Pila, Asterias and Balanoglossus.
(c) Classification of chordates (up to orders), giving general features and evolutionary relationship of the following: Protochordata; Agnatha; Gnathostomata—Pisces, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves and Mammalia.
(d) Comparative functional anatomy of the following based on type animals (Scoliodon, Rana, Calotes, Columba and Oryctolagus): Integrument and its derivatives, endoskeleton, digestive system, respiratory system, circulatory system, including heart and aortic arches, urinogenital system; brain and sense organs (eye and ear); endocrine glands and other hormone producing structures (Pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pancreas, gonads), their function.

Vertebrate Physiology and Biochemistry
(a) Chemical composition of protoplasm; nature and function of enzymes; vitamins, their sources and role; colloids and hydrogen ion concentration; biological oxidation, electron transport and role of ATP, energetics, glycolysis, citric acid cycle; vertebrate hormones: their type, sources and functions; pheromones and their role.
(b) Neuron and nerve impulse conduction and transmission across synapses; neurotransmitters and their role, including acetyl cholinesterase activity.
(c) Homeostasis; osmoregulation; active transport and ion pump.
(d) Composition of carbohydrates, fats, lipids and proteins; steroids.

(a) Gametogenesis, fertilization, cleavage; gastrulation in frog and chick
(b) Metamorphosis in frog and retrogressive metamorphosis in ascidian; extra embryonic membranes in chick and mammal; placentation in mammals; Biogenetic law.

(a) Origin of life; principles, theories and evidences of evolution; species concept.
(b) Zoogeographical realms, insular fauna; geological eras.
(c) Evolution of man; evolutionary status of man.

Ecology, Wildlife and Ethology
(a) Abiotic and biotic factors; concept of ecosystem, food chain and energy flow; adaptation of aquatic, terrestrial and aerial fauna; intra- and inter-specific animal relationships; environmental pollution: types, sources, causes, control and prevention.
(b) Wildlife of India; endangered species of India; sanctuaries and national parks of India.
(c) Biological rhythms.

Economic Zoology
(a) Beneficial and harmful insects, including insect vectors of human diseases.
(b) Industrial fish, prawn and molluscs of India.
(c) Non-poisonous and poisonous snakes of India.
(d) Venomous animals centipede, wasp, honey bee.
(e) Diseases caused by aberrant chromosomes/genes in man; genetic counselling; DNA as a tool for forensic investigation.

PAPER I- Section  A- Non-chordata and hordate

(a) Classification and relationship of various phyla up-to sub-classes; Acoelomata and Coelomata; Protostomes and Deuterostomes, Bilateralia and Radiata; Status of Protista, Parazoa, Onychophora and Hemichordata; Symmetry.
(b) Protozoa: Locomotion, nutrition, reproduction; evolution of sex; general features and life history of Paramaecium, Monocystis, Plasmodium and Leishsmania.
(c) Porifera: Skeleton, canal system and reproduction.
(d) Coelenterata: Polymorphism, defensive structures and their mechanism; coral reefs and their formation; metagenesis; general features and life history of Obelia and Aurelia.
(e) Platyhelminthes: Parasitic adaptation; general features and life history of Fasciola and Taenia and their relation to man.
(f) Nemathelminthes: General features, life history and parasitic adaptation of Ascaris; nemathelminthes in relation to man.
(g) Annelida: Coelom and metamerism; modes of life in polychaetes; general features and life history of nereis (Neanthes), earthworm (Pheretima) and leach (Hirundaria).
(h) Arthropoda: Larval forms and parasitism in Crustacea; vision and respiration in arthropods (prawn, cockroach and scorpion); modification of mouth parts in insects (cockroach, mosquito, housefly, honey bee and butterfly); metamorphosis in insects and its hormonal regulation; social organization in insects (termites and honey bees).
(i) Mollusca: Feeding, respiration, locomotion, shell diversity; general features and life history of Lamellidens, Pila and Sepia, torsion and detorsion in gastropods.
j) Echinodermata: Feeding respiration, locomotion larval forms; general features and life history of Asterias.
(k) Protochordata: Origin of chordates; general features and life history of Banchiostoma and Herdamania.
(l) Pisces: Scales, respiration, locomotion, migration.
(m) Amphibia: Origin of tetrapods; parental care, paedomorphosis.
(n) Reptilia: Origin of reptiles; skull types; status of Sphenodon and crocodiles.
(o) Aves: Origin of birds; flight adaptation, migration.
(p) Mammalia: Origin of mammals; dentition; general features of egg laying mammals, pouched-mammals, aquatic mammals and primates; endocrine glands and other hormone producing structures (pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pancreas, gonads) and their inter-relationships.
(q) Comparative functional anatomy of various systems of vertebrates (integument and its derivatives, endoskeleton, locomotory organs, digestive system, respiratory system, circulatory system, including heart and aortic arches; urino-genital system, brain and sense organs (eye and ear).

Section  B- Ecology
(a) Biosphere: Biogeochemical cycles, green-houses effect, ozone layer and its impact; ecological succession, biomes and ecotones.
(b) Population, characteristics, population dynamics, population stabilization.
(c) Conservation of natural resources mineral mining, fisheries, aquaculture; forestry; grassland; wildlife (Project Tiger); sustainable production in agriculture—integrated pest management.
(d) Environmental biodegradation; pollution and its impact on biosphere and its prevention.

(a) Behaviour: Sensory filtering, responsiveness, sign stimuli, learning, instinct, habituation, conditioning, imprinting.
(b) Role of hormones in drive; role of pheromones in alarm spreading; crypsis, predator detection, predator tactics, social behaviour in insects and primates, courtship (Drosophila, 3-spine stickleback fish and birds).
(c) Orientation, navigation, homing; biological rhythms; biological clock, tidal, seasonal and circadian rhythms.
(d) Methods of studying animal behaviour.

Economic Zoology
(a) Apiculture, sericulture, lac culture, carp culture, pearl culture, prawn culture.
(b) Major infectious and communicable diseases (small pox, plague, malaria, tuberculosis, cholera and AIDS) their vectors, pathogens and prevention.
(c) Cattle and livestock diseases, their pathogens (helminths) and vectors (ticks, mites, Tabanus, Stomoxys).
d) Pests of sugar cane (Pyrilla perpusilla), oil seed (Achaea janata) and rice (Sitophilus oryzae).

Designing of experiments; null hypothesis; correlation, regression, distribution and measure of central tendency, chi square, student t-test, F-test (one-way & two- way F-test).

Instrumental methods
(a) Spectrophotometry, flame photometry, Geiger-Muller counter, scintillation counting.
(b) Electron microscopy (TEM, SEM).

PAPER  II- Section - A

Cell Biology

(a) Structure and function of cell and its organelles (nucleus, plasma membrane, mitochondria, Golgi bodies, endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes and lysosomes), cell division (mitosis and meiosis), mitotic spindle and mitotic apparatus, chromosome movement.
(b) Watson-Crick model of DNA, replication of DNA, protein synthesis, transcription and transcription factors.

(a) Gene structure and functions; genetic code.
(b) Sex chromosomes and sex determination in Drosophilla, nematodes and man.
(c) Mendel’s laws of inheritance, recombination, linkage, linkage-maps, multiple alleles, cistron concept; genetics of blood groups.
(d) Mutations and mutagenesis: radiation and chemical.
(e) Cloning technology, plasmids and cosmids as vectors, transgenics, transposons, DNA sequence cloning and whole animal cloning (Principles and methodology).
(f) Regulation and gene expression in pro-and eu-karyotes.
(g) Signal transduction; pedigree analysis; congenital diseases in man.
(h) Human genome mapping; DNA finger printing.


(a) Origin of life.
(b) Natural selection, role of mutation in evolution, mimicry, variation, isolation, speciation.
(c) Fossils and fossilization; evolution of horse, elephant and man.
(d) Hardy-Weinberg law, causes of change in gene frequency.
(e) Continental drift and distribution of animals.


(a) Zoological nomenclature; international code; cladistics.

Section  B- Biochemistry

(a) Structure and role of carbohydrates, fats, lipids, proteins, aminoacids, nucleic acids; saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, cholesterol.
(b) Glycolysis and Krebs cycle, oxidation and reduction, oxidative phosphorylation; energy conservation and release, ATP, cyclic AMP - its structure and role.
(c) Hormone classification (steroid and peptide hormones), biosynthesis and function.
(d) Enzymes: types and mechanisms of action; immunoglobulin and immunity; vitamins and co-enzymes.
e) Bioenergetics.

Physiology- Physiology (with special reference to mammals).

(a) Composition and constituents of blood; blood groups and Rh factor in man; coagulation, factors and mechanism of coagulation; acid-base balance, thermoregulation.
(b) Oxygen and carbon dioxide transport; haemoglobin: constituents and role in regulation.
(c) Nutritive requirements; role of salivary glands, liver, pancreas and intestinal glands in digestion and absorption.
(d) Excretory products; nephron and regulation of urine formation; osmoregulation.
(e) Types of muscles, mechanism of contraction of skeletal muscles.
(f) Neuron, nerve impulse its conduction and synaptic transmission; neurotransmitters.
(g) Vision, hearing and olfaction in man.
(h) Mechanism of hormone action.
(i) Physiology of reproduction, role of hormones and pheromones.

Developmental Biology

(a) Differentiation from gamete to neurula stage; dedifferentiation; metaplasia, induction, morphogenesis and morphogen; fate maps of gastrulae in frog and chick; organogenesis of eye and heart, placentation in mammals.
(b) Role of cytoplasm in and genetic control of development; cell lineage; causation of metamorphosis in frog and insects; paedogenesis and neoteny; growth, degrowth and cell death; ageing; blastogenesis; regeneration; teratogenesis; neoplasia.
(c) Invasiveness of placenta; in vitro fertilization; embryo transfer, cloning.
(d) Baer’s law; evo-devo concept.

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