Junior Scientific Assistant -Pollution Control Board -Syllabus | Pattern of Exam | Exam Date | Mark Distribution

 Exam Date : 1 April 2023

Pattern of Exam: Online /Objective OMR 

Total Marks-100

Main Topics:

  •  Chrmistry -25 marks, 
  • Microbiology-25 Marks, 
  • Biotechnology-25 marks, 
  • Environmental Science -25 Marks

Junior Scientific Assistant -Pollution Control Board -Syllabus | Pattern of Exam |  Exam Date | Mark Distribution



(Category Nos: 516/2021)

PART I : CHEMISTRY ( 25 Marks)

1. Atomic structure and Chemical bonding (2 marks)

Bohr’s atom model , Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, Schrodinger wave equation , Wave function, Shapes of orbitals, various rules for adding electrons to different orbitals, Ionic bond, Covalent bond, Metallic bond, Coordinate bond and Weak chemical forces 

2. Periodic table (2 marks)

Classification of elements- Periods and groups, Ionisation energy, Electron affinity, Electronegativity - Variation of these properties along a group and a period.

3. Analytical Chemistry (5 marks)

Titrametric, gravimetric and colorimetric analysis, Errors- Types of errors, accuracy and precision.

Spectroscopic methods- UV-Visible, IR, NMR and Mass spectroscopy.

Separation techniques- Solvent extraction, Extraction of metal ions and organic species from aqueous solutions, principle of Chromatography

Instrumental techniques- Principle and application of Thermogravimetric analysis

and Differential thermal analysis 

4. Colloids and Surface chemistry (3 marks)

Colloids- Classification, Mechanical, Electrical and Electrokinetic properties of colloids, Surfactants, Micelle formation, Emulsification Adsorption- Applications, adsorption isotherms- Freundlich, Langmuir and BET theory. 

5. Green chemistry(3 marks)

Need of green chemistry, Principles of green chemistry, Green solvents, Microwave assisted reactions and ultrasound assisted reactions

6. Environmental chemistry (10 marks)

Atmospheric structure and composition, Toxic chemicals in environment, Sources and treatment of heavy metal poisoning,

Air pollution –Air pollutants, Greenhouse effect, Global warming, Ozone depletion, control of air pollution

Soil pollution- Soil formation, soil acidification, liming of soil, Industrial and urban wastes

Water pollution- Sources, Eutrophication, BOD, COD, Hardness of water, Domestic water treatment, Sewage treatment.

Noise and radiation pollution- Noise - general features, control of noise pollution.

Biological effects of radiation, Radioactive waste management

Chemical toxicology- Toxic chemicals in the environment, Effects of toxic chemicals, Pesticides and its biochemical effects. 


Techniques in Microbiology (Marks 5)

Microscopy, types of microscopes, advanced techniques in microscopy. Staining techniques- simple,

negative, Grams, spore, flagella, acid fast, volutin, capsule and Feulgen staining. Sterilisation and

disinfection techniques- Physical and chemical methods- flaming, boiling, autoclaving, inspissation,

Heat, Filtration, Radiation. Calorimetry and spectrophotometry, Electrophoretic techniques for

proteins and nucleic acids, PCR. Chromatography techniques: adsorption, partition, ion exchange,

gel filtration, HPLC, FPLC. Techniques used for identification of microorganisms – biotyping,

serotyping, molecular techniques.

General Microbiology and Microbial Physiology (5 Marks)

Comparison of eukaryotes and prokaryote. Archaebacteria and eubacteria. Bacterial forms and

arrangement of cells. Actinomycetes, Mold and yeast forms. Viral and bacteriophage forms.

Ultrastructure of bacteria. Effect of antibiotics on microbial cells. Structure, function and chemical

composition of cell wall and cell membrane. Endospore: Structure, formation, stages of sporulation.

Effect of various parameters and Environmental factors on microbial growth. Bacteria classification

based on specific requirements-based on temperature, pH, O2 and solute concentration. Nutritional

requirements of bacteria. Nutritional types of bacteria. Modes of bacterial nutrition. Transport of

nutrients by bacteria. Solid and liquid media, use of agar. Different types of culture media. Culturing

methods-Streak, spread, pour plate methods, stab culture and lawn culture. Cultivation of aerobic

and anaerobic bacteria. Culture preservation strategies. Growth curve and its significance. Viral

growth- lytic and lysogenic stage. Viral cultivation methods. Viral and bacteriophage quantitation


Environmental Microbiology (5 Mark)

Soil Microbiology - Types of soil microbes, role of microorganisms in soil fertility; Factors

affecting microbial population - moisture, pH, temperature, organic matter, agronomic practices etc.

Aquatic Microbiology: Aquatic environment, distribution of microorganisms in aquatic

environment. Factors influencing their growth and distribution. Water Purification procedures for

public water supplies, Concept of indicator organisms, Microbiological examination of water. BOD,

COD, Wastewater treatment steps and methods. Eutrophication and algal bloom. Brief account of

water borne diseases and transmission. Aerobiology - atmospheric layers, organisms in air,

distribution and sources. Disease forecasting in plants. Indoor and outdoor air. Droplet nuclei,

aerosol, infectious dust. Microbiological sampling of air. Air borne transmission of harmful

microbes and air borne infections. Biogeochemical cycle- Role of microorganisms in Carbon,

Phosphorous, Nitrogen and sulphur cycles. Microbe-Microbe Interactions. Mutualism, Synergism,

Commensalism, Competition, Amensalism, Parasitism, Predation.

Waste management and Xenobiotic metabolism (5 Marks)

Solid waste management- Sources and types of solid waste, need for management, Landfills,

composting, vermicomposting, anaerobic digesters, and production of biogas. Design and

management of biogas plants. Xenobiotic metabolism - Novel pollutants, persistence and

biomagnification. Recalcitrant halocarbons- nitroaromatic compounds, PCB, alkyl benzene

sulphonates, and petroleum hydrocarbons - their biodegradation. Bioremediation of polluted

environment. Oil spills, heavy Metals and other xenobiotics. Microbial leaching and corrosion of


Food Microbiology (5 Marks)

Food as a substrate for microorganisms. Types of microorganisms in food. Source of contamination.

Factors influencing microbial growth in foods. Physical and chemical properties of milk. Milk as a

substrate for microorganisms. Types of microorganisms in Milk- bacteria, fungi and yeast. Sources

of microbial contamination of milk. Microbiological analysis of milk. Food fermentations: Cheese,

bread, yoghurt, idli, fermented pickles and fermented vegetables, Ice cream, - methods and

organisms used. SCP, Probiotics and prebiotics. General principles underlying spoilage, spoilage of

different kinds of foods. Principles of food preservation. Physical and chemical methods of

preservation. Food Sanitation, good manufacturing practices, HACCP and personnel hygiene.


Module I- Biophysics and Principle of Instrumentation (3 MARKS)

Principles of thermodynamics :

Laws of conservation of energy- first and second laws and its relevance in the biological system, entropy and enthalpy, Gibbs free energy, bioenergeticsendothermic and exothermic reactions of biological systems, energy change in the biochemical reactions, sources of heat limits to temperature, heat dissipation and conservation.

Colorimetry and Spectrophotometry: Beer-Lambert’s law, visible absorption spectrum, molar extinction coefficient, colorimeter, spectrophotometer, fluorescence, phosphorescence.

Centrifugation: Principle of sedimentation technique, different types of centrifuge and rotors, principle and procedure and application of differential centrifugation, density gradient centrifugation, ultra centrifugation rate zonal centrifugation,

Isopycnic centrifugation

pH meter: Principle and working.

Brief account of densitometry, fluorimetry, manometry, polarography, atomic

absorption spectroscopy, IR, NMR and X-ray crystallography and Mass spectrometry.

Electrophoresis: Principle, procedure and application of zone electrophoresis-, paper

electrophoresis, gel electrophoresis (native PAGE, SDS-PAGE).

Isotopes and radioisotopes:

Isotopes and radioisotopes, radiations- ionizing radiations, Application of isotopes

and radioisotopes in biological research, radioisotope tracer technique and


Module II Biochemistry & Enzymology ( 2 MARKS)

Normality, molality, molarity, percentage solution, mole fraction, parts per million,

simple numerical problems from the above, fundamental principles of diffusion,

osmosis, osmotic pressure, carbohydrates, lipids, aminoacids, proteins, nucleic acids

– their detection methods, Enzymes- Classification and nomenclature, enzyme

activation, enzyme inhibition- competitive and non-competitive, allosteric regulation,

purification of enzymes, coenzymes.

Module III Microbiology (3 MARKS)

Bacteria, virus, fungi, protozoa, mycoplasma, concept of microbial species, strains;

microbial cell surfaces, Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria, Motility in

bacteria, kinds of flagella, nutritional classification of bacteria.

Viruses:Viruses, phage culture, Bacteriophage, DNA and RNA phages, T4 phage,

Llytic and

lysogenic cycles, host cell adsorption and penetration, synthesis phage nucleic acid.

Microbes in extreme environments

Thermophiles and alkalophiles, pathogenic microorganisms- bacteria, fungi, viruses,

protozoans and mycoplasma, defense mechanism against microorganisms, symbiosis

and antibiosis among microbial population, nitrogène fixing bacteria in agriculture

and forestry, photosynthetic bacteria, Role of bacteria in carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and

phosphorous cycle in nature.

Bacterial nutrition

Culture media – requirements of bacterial culture media, types and uses, Bacterial

growth curve, microbial metabolism, fermentation, different types of fermentation,

methanogenic bacteria.

Isolation of pure culture: Spread plate, streak plate, pour plate etc., synthetic media,

simple and complex media. Isolation of anaerobes and its culture techniques, slant

culture and stab culture.

Industrial microbes and their uses

Production of food (dairy and SCP) and drugs (antibiotics such as penicillin &

streptomycin), products of fermentation, Strain improvement by enrichment mutation

and recombinant DNA technique, production of heterologous proteins of interest in


Control of microorganisms

Physical agents, chemical agents, antibiotics and other therapeutic agents

Bacterial cell structure and Growth – Eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic cells,

Glycocalyx, bacterial cell membranes, bacterial cell wall, cytoplasm, spores, organs

of locomotion, chemotaxis in bacteria, ribosomes in bacteria, bacterial nucleus and

chromosomes, bacterial nucleoid. Bacterial Growth curve, Measurement of growth,

factors affecting growth of bacteria.

Nutrition in bacteria-classification based on nutrition- autotrophic and heterotrophic

organisms, Photosynthetic and chemosynthetic organisms- purple sulfur bacteria,

Saprophytes and parasites-pathogenic parasites.

Nitrogen Metabolism- Biological nitrogen fixation, symbiotic nitrogen fixation,

components involved in the process of nitrogen fixation, Inorganic nitrogen

metabolism, assimilation of inorganic nitrogen, Nitrogen cycle.

Energy production in bacteria- Energy and ATP, aerobic respiration, Glycolysis and

tricarboxylic acid cycle, Electron transport and oxidative phosphorylation in Bacteria,

catabolism of other carbohydrates.Photosynthesis in bacteria

Anaerobic respiration- Fermentation, alcohol fermentation by yeasts and bacteria,

lactic acid fermentation, Methnogenic bacteria, Acetobacter and acetic acid


Application of bacterial metabolism in industry and agriculture, economically

important bacteria – lactic acid bacteria, nitrogen fixing bacteria etc.

Lichens, mycorrhizae, pollution indicators etc.

Microbial Diseases of Humans

Airborne bacterial diseases – streptococcal; diseases, tuberculosis, Pneumococcal

Pneumonia, Klebsiella Pneumonia,

Foodborne and waterborne bacterial diseases- Foodborne and waterborne

intoxications-Botulism, Staphylococcal food poisoning;

Foodborne and waterborne infections- Typhoid fever, salmonellosis, Cholera,

Shigellosis, E.coli Diarrheas, Brucellosis

Soilborne bacterial diseases- Anthrax, Tetanus, Leptospirosis,

Viral diseases of Humans- Pneumotropic viral diseases-Influenza, Adenoviral


Rhinoviral infections,

Dermatoviral diseases- Herpes simplex, chickenpox, Measles, Rubella,

Viscerotropic Viral diseases- yellow fever, Dengue fever,

Neurotropic viral diseases- rabies, Polio

Module IV Molecular Biology ( 2 Marks)


DNA, replication of DNA, RNA, Types of RNA. Transcription, translation,

transcriptional and translational modifications, ORF, Eukaryotic and prokaryotic

differences in the genetic makeup and processing, genes, transposons, mutations and

repair of nucleic acids,

Transfer of genetic information in bacteria, Bacterial chromosomes- DNA, Plasmids,

different types of plasmids- non-conjugative, mobilizable plasmids, resistance


Bacterial recombination:Conjugation- Fertility factors, F+ and F- cells, F pili, High

frequency recombination, Transformation- Griffith’s effect, evidence of DNA as

genetic material, , Transduction- general characteristics of bacteriophages, Lambda

pahage-general structure, general multiplication in bacteria- lytic phase and lysogenic

phase, bacterial recombination through transduction, Phages and plasmids as vectors

for genetic engineering, Bacterial recombination and transferable drug resistance

Module V Immunology & Immunotechnology ( 2 Marks)

The Human Immune System: Organs and cells of immune system

Immune system and immunity, innate and specific or acquired immunity,

Immune system- organs, tissues and cells involved in immunity, Humoral immunity

and cell mediated immunity, antigens, antibodies, immunogens,

haptens.Immunoglobulins, structure and functions, Antibody-antigen interaction,

antigen-antibody reactions, agglutination, immuno-diffusion, immunoelectrophoresis,

ELISA, RIE, production of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies,

hybridoma technolog, Immunity to infections of diseases: vaccines - attenuated and

recombinant vaccines, vaccination.therapeutic antibodies

Autoimmunity and autoimmune diseases: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; Myasthenia gravis;

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Pernicious anemia, Asthma.

Module VI Recombinant DNA Technology ( 3 Marks)

Tools of recombinant DNA technology-

Restriction endonucleases, classification and general characteristics of endonucleases;

Other enzymes used in the recombinant DNA technique- DNA ligase, alkaline


Vectors, the vehicle for cloning: special features needed for a vector, Various types of

cloning vectors- plasmid cloning vectors- pBR322, Expression vectors, the pUC

series,Bacteriophage cloning vectors -phage  cloning vectors, M13 based vectors,

Phagemids and Cosmid vectors, Artificial Chromosomes: Yeast Artificial vectors

(YACs), Bacterial artificial Vectors (BACs), Application for YAC and BAC,- genome


Shuttle vectors for animals and plants, mammalian vectors; Gene Therapy- Vectors

for gene therapy.

Construction of recombinant DNA, host cells, competent cells, bacterial

transformation, screening methods of transformed cells, Various methods of genetic

transformation in eukaryotes- Direct gene transfer and vector mediated gene transfer,

Screening methods of transformed cells and organisms.

Molecular hybridization techniques for genome analysis Genome analysis: RFLP,

AFLP, RAPD, Southern hybridization PCR: Principle and applications, Nucleic acid

sequencing: Principle and applications, Genome sequencing methods, Human

genome project– a brief account.Gene expression analysis – Northern hybridization

and microarrays. Transgenic organisms and its impact in agriculture, Medicine and

Environment, Biosafety and Ethics in Genetic Engineering.

Module VII Industrial and Food Biotechnology ( 3 Marks)

Industrial Microbiology

Microbes in industry- Industrially important microorganisms, screening and isolation,

industrially important enzymes and chemicals, Industrial production of enzymes and

chemicals, Microbial production of antibiotics, vitamins, amino acids and other

organic acids


The biological process of fermentation- various types of fermentation, alcohol

fermentation, Respiration vs Fermentation – Important products of fermentation.

Fermentation as an industry, selection of industrial microorganisms for specific

products and reactions,

Laboratory scale biological process- scale up of biological reactions in to bioprocess;

Bioreactors-types of bioreactors / Fermentors, Bioreactors for bacteria and yeast cells,

Fermentors for plant cell cultures and animal cell cultures,

Microbes of food and fermented food- Curd, wheat and rice flour, Meat and fish,

Poultry and Eggs, Breads and bakery products, Grains, Microorganism in food

spoilage, types of spoilage, canning, microbes in the spoilage of canned foods,

principles of preservation of foods, Hazardous effect of food spoilage, mycotoxins;

Industrial production of antibiotics (penicillin & streptomycin) and organic acids

(acetic acid & Citric acids)

Microorganisms as food and food supplements – fermented food, microalgae- Single

cell protein, Edible mushrooms. Microbes in dairy industry, dairy products; microbial

processing of foods- enzymes in food processing.

Agricultural waste and food industry wastes as the substrate for fermentation, solid

state fermentation; production of single cell proteins, microbial production of


Module VIII Environmental Biotechnology ( 3 Marks)

Ecosystem, Biodiversity, Types of ecosystem and biosphere;

Pollution: sources of pollution, Greenhouse effect, general characteristics of

domestic wastes, community wastes, agricultural wastes, effect of solid waste in the


Types of pollution, Organic load in aquatic systems, BOD and COD, microbial

quality of water, drinks and food Use of biotechnology in the treatment of municipal

wastes and hazardous industrial effluents

Bioremediation: Microbial degradation of pesticides, herbicides and other toxic

chemicals in the environment, Biological control of pests and insects, Biopesticides-

Bacillus thuringiensis, bioherbicides; Plants used in metal remediation, plants and

algae used in phytoremediation and their mechanisms

Application of biotechnology in the production of biofertilizers and nitrogen fixation

– nitrogen fixing microorganisms, mycorrhiza

Renewable and non-renewable energy resources: conventional fuels and their

environmental impacts (fire word, animal oils, coal, petroleum)

Non-conventionnel Energy Sources

Biomass: utilization of biomass as energy source– application of microbes in

production of fuels from biomass- biogas and methanogenic bacteria, microbial

hydrogen production, production of methanol, ethanol and other types of chemicals

from biomass and agricultural wastes, the gasohol experiment

Solar energy converter, hopes from photosynthetic pigments, vegetable oils as engine

fuels, energy crops-jojoba;

Possibility of plant-based petroleum industry and cellulose degradation for

combustible fuels


Enrichment of ores by microorganisms (bioaccumulation and biomineralization);

Bio-assessment of environmental quality.

Module IX Plant and Animal Biotechnology (3 Marks)

Plant tissue culture

Fundamental principles of in vitro plant cultures: use of plant growth regulators,

composition of tissue culture media- media components and its functions.Types of in

vitro cultures

Callus cultures, cell suspension cultures, organ cultures- root cultures, hairy root

cultures, embryo cultures, anther culture ; their applications,

Genetic engineering of plants

Methods of gene transfer in plants –Physical, chemical and biological methods

Agrobacterium tumefaciens, tumor formation in plants by A. tumefaciens, application

of A. tumefaciens in plant genetic engineering, Virus mediated gene transfer in plants.

Transgenic plants

Transgenic crops, Impact of transgenic plants in agriculture and Horticulture, Non-

Agricultural applications of transgenic plants- Biopharming- production of

therapeutic proteins in transgenic plants, edible vaccines, disease resistant, salt

tolerant, pest resistant and stress tolerant crop and medicinal plants, Metabolic

engineering of plants for enhanced and controlled production of plant products.

Application of Animal Cell Cultures

Uses of animal cell cultures, Products of animal cell cultures- hormones (insulin,

growth hormones), interferon,t-plasminogen activator, factorVIII, Factor IX and virus


Expression of cloned proteins in animal cells, production of vaccines in animal cells,

production of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies-hybridoma technology

Transgenic animals and its practical uses

Module X Bioinformatics (1 Mark)

Databases-various types of databases, Biological Databases- Importance of databases

in biotechnology, NCBI, Gene bank, PubMed. Etc.

Genomics and Proteomics-Definitions, Application of Proteomics and genomics in


PART IV : Environmental Science (25 Marks)

Module 1 (5 marks)

Dissociation of water, ionic product of water, concept of pH and pOH, types of

acids, bases, buffers and electrolytes. Dissociation of weak acids and

electrolytes. Meaning pKa values, buffers and mechanism of action.

Handerson Hassel’s baach equation. Molecular interactions. Non covalent

interactions and covalent interactions with examples. Meaning of normality,

molality and molarity. Percentage solutions and mole fractions. Simple

numerical values from the above. Principles of diffusion and osmosis,

definition of osmotic pressure. Influence of ionization and molecular size on

osmotic pressure. Isotonic, hypertonic and hypotonic solutions- definition and

examples. Meaning of true solutions, colloidal solution and coarse suspension.

The distinction between lyophilic and lyophobic salts with examples.

Elementary study of charge on colloids, Tyndall effect. Emulsions and

emulsifying agents and examples. Reverse osmosis and its applications.

Module 2 (5 marks)

Biomolecules-carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, aminoacids, fatty

acids, nucleotides classification with examples. Basic structure of proteins,

carbohydrates and nucleic acids. Enzymes-properties, factors affecting its

action, basic mechanism of action. Name of methods for the detection of

carbohydrates, amino acids and proteins in a solution. Denaturation of proteins

and DNA. Precipitation reactions of proteins.

Polymers. Natural polymers, semisynthetic polymers, synthetic polymers,

definition and examples. Examples for addition polymers, condensation

polymers, elastomers, thermoplastic polymers, thermo setting polymers.

Difference between natural and synthetic rubber. Biodegradable polymers.

Module 3 (5 marks)

Methods of microbial control. Physical and chemical methods with examples

and their mechanism of action. Preparation of different culture media.

Preparation of slants, butts and plates. Inoculation techniques and study of

growth. Use of differential and selective media with examples. Identification

of gram positive and negative bacteria. Microbiological analysis of water

purity, indicator organisms, ground water quality and home treatment systems.

Distribution and sources of air borne organisms. Droplet and droplet nuclei.

Examples of water borne and food borne microbial diseases. Food adulterants,

artificial sweeteners, artificial colours, artificial flavours. Common microbial

toxins and fungal toxins in stale food.

Module 4 (5 marks)

Air pollutants. Gaseous air pollutants, oxides of sulphur, oxides of nitrogen,

hydrocarbons, oxides of carbon, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, their sources

and health effects. Particulate air pollutants. Smoke, dust, mist, fumes and their

sources. Smog, classical and photochemical smog with examples and their

effects and control measures. Global warming and green house effect, acid rain,

ozone hole. Assessment of air quality, air sanitation. Examples of air borne

microbial diseases. Water pollution- Organic wastes, in water, chemical

pollutants, heavy metal pollutants. Water analysis for chemical detection.

Eutrophication. Soil pollution-Pesticides and its types, herbicides and its types,

industrial wastes, biodegradable and non biodegradable, with examples.

Radioactive wastes-sources and management. Measurement of the level of

pollution- Chemical oxygen demand. Suspended solids. Biological oxygen

demand. Ammoniacal nitrogen content and biological indicators. Biological

magnification. Sources and effects of noise pollution. Noise standards.

Environmental education, major conservation efforts of World Wildlife Fund,

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), United Nations

Environment Programme (UNEP), Convention on International Trade in

Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Environmental

Information System (ENVIS).

Module 5 (5 marks)

Microscopy- basic principle and technique of compound and electron

microscope. Principle, basic technique and uses of photoelectric colorimeter and

spectrophotometer. Basic techniques and application of chromatography, paper,

thin layer, gel, gas liquid, high pressure liquid chromatography. Principle and

basic technique of electrophoresis like gel electrophoresis and poly acrylamide

electrophoresis. Basic technique of recombinant DNA technology and its

applications. Basics of blotting techniques and its application. Basic principles

of PCR and its applications. Measurement of radioactivity- Geiger- Muller and

Scintillation counters, autoradiography and its applications. Biotechnological

management of solid and liquid wastes. Uses of immobilized enzymes with


NOTE: - It may be noted that apart from the topics detailed above, questions from other topics prescribed for the educational qualification of the post may also appear in the question paper. There is no undertaking that all the topics above may be covered in the question paper.

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