Environmental Impact Assessment

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSHE2ED3144

To which offered: III or IV semester

Course Title: Environmental Impact Assessment

Credits: 4 Credits

Course Code (new): SHE2ED314

Type of Course: Elective yes Cohort MAED

Course Coordinator and Team:Dr Pulak Das

Email of course coordinator: pulak[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites : None


The course will begin with ethics in practice and action, in assessment of environmental impact. Students will be taught various types of assessment technique, stages of assessment, data gathering, data and information analysis and inference, environmental cost benefit analysis and investment decisions, ecological risk analysis, issues of time and geographical space. The course includes ongoing debates on assessment methods and assessment of alternatives. The course gives an overview of environmental impact assessment across nations and discusses its role in law and governance of environment in India. The course will discuss the importance of domain knowledge and legal principles, access to information, public participation, institutions and access to justice along with case studies of landmark cases and analysis of the role of environmental impact assessment. The course will discuss stakeholder perspective and its implication. Students will be taught to prepare environmental impact assessment reports on assigned projects.

Learning Objectives:

The aim of this course is to give students the conceptual basis and the necessary tools for understanding environmental impact in qualitative and quantitative terms and putting them to practice in environmental impact assessment. The emphasis is on understanding concepts and principles underlying the theory, and applying them to formulating parameters and indicators relating to the environment for decision making in development projects. Students will learn law, governance, institutions and stakeholder issues related to EIA in India to be able to connect it with the trends of development and its impact on the ecological and social context. They will learn to use environmental impact assessment as a tool for assessing trajectories of alternate development. Students will be taught to prepare environmental impact assessment reports through practical knowledge on allocated projects.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Connect perspectives from ecological and social sciences to understand complex socio-ecological issues in developmental projects at multiple spatial scales
  2. Analyse and evaluate evidence, arguments, claims, beliefs on the basis of empirical evidence during Project Scoping for EIA
  3. Pursue careful field-based enquiry into the ‘big questions’ of justice, well-being and sustainability in issues related with developmental projects and impacts associated with it.
  4. Communicate research findings effectively through written, media materials and colloquia in Public hearing for project based EIA
  5. Analyse and synthesise data from a variety of sources during preparation of EIA
  6. Assess social and environmental impacts of different policies, plans, and programs (PPP) for strategic environmental assessment (SEA)
  7. Work in teams from different discipline and members of different functional area expert (FAE) during preparation of EIA

Course content:

S. No.



Introduction and overview of EIA


Governance of EIA systems, Legal and Policy Issues


EIA (Need, Project Cycle and the EIA Process)


Screening and Scoping


Assessment of Impacts (Physical, Biological, Social)


Mitigation and Impact Management


Social Impact Assessment I


Social Impact Assessment II


Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Biodiversity in EIAs


Risk Assessment, Vulnerability, and Decision Making


Cumulative Impact Assessment


EIA Practice, Case Studies and Critical Overview

Summary, Feedback Session


Indicative Reading List:

  • Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment (3rd Edition) by John Glasson, Riki Therivel and Andrew Chadwi (2005).
  • Methods of Environmental Impact Assessment (3rd Edition) by Peter Morris and Riki Therivel (2009)
  • Environmental Impact assessment handbook - A practical guide for planners, developers and communities (2nd Edition) by Barbara Carroll and Trevor Turpin (2009)
  • Handbook of Environmental Impact Assessment - Vol 1 (Environmental Impact Assessment: Process, Methods and Potential) by Judith Petts (2005).


  1. Written test
  2. Take home
  3. In class activity/Field work