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ISC Class 12 Biology Syllabus 2024 Download

ISC Class 12 Biology Syllabus 2024 PDF Download: Check Revised Class 12th Biology Syllabus – ISC Class 12 Biology (Code: 863) syllabus introduces many important to become a doctor, nurse, agriculturist, or forensic scientist. In this article, you will find the latest and revised ISC Class 12 Biology Syllabus 2024 in pdf format.

ISC Board Class 12 Biology Exam Pattern 2024

  • Papers – Two
  • Paper 1: Theory – 80 marks
  • Exam Duration – 3 Hours
  • Project Work – 20 Marks

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ISC Board Class 12 Biology Syllabus 2024

PAPER I (THEORY) – 70 Marks

1.Reproduction16 Marks
2.Genetics and Evolution15 Marks
3.Biology and Human Welfare14 Marks
4.Biotechnology and its Applications10 Marks
5.Ecology and Environment15 Marks
TOTAL70 Marks

PAPER I –THEORY – 70 Marks

All structures (internal and external) are required to be taught along with diagrams.

  1. Reproduction

(i) Sexual reproduction in flowering plants

Development of male and female gametophytes; outbreeding devices; pollen-pistil interaction; double fertilization; post fertilization events – development of endosperm and embryo, development of seed and formation of fruit; special modes – apomixis, parthenocarpy, polyembryony.

Pre-fertilisation structures and events.

Structure of microsporangium, T.S. of anther microsporogenesis, structure and development of pollen grain, viability of pollen grain, economic importance of pollen grain. Pistil – structure of megasporangium (L.S. of anatropous ovule), megasporogenesis, structure and development of female gametophyte.

Pollen-pistil interaction in terms of incompatibility/compatibility, events leading to fertilisation, definition of triple fusion and double fertilization, changes in the ovary and ovule for seed and fruit formation. Significance of double fertilization. Apomixis, polyembryony, parthenocarpy to be explained briefly.

Post-fertilisation events – embryo formation (dicot); types of endosperm (cellular, nuclear and helobial); definition of perisperm.

(ii) Human Reproduction

Male and female reproductive systems; microscopic anatomy of testis and ovary; gametogenesis – spermatogenesis and oogenesis; menstrual cycle; fertilisation, embryo development upto blastocyst formation, implantation; pregnancy and placenta formation (elementary idea); parturition (elementary idea); lactation (elementary idea).

Organs of male and female reproductive system and their functions; internal structure of testis and ovary to be taught with the help of diagrams; gametogenesis- spermatogenesis (including spermiogenesis and spermiation) oogenesis; hormonal control of gametogenesis, structure of sperm and mature ovum, menstrual cycle – different phases and hormone action, differences between oestrous and menstrual cycle, menarche and menopause, physico-chemical events during fertilisation, implantation, embryonic development up to blastocyst formation, important features of human embryonic development (formation of heart, limbs, digits, appearance of hair on head, eyelashes, separation of eye lids, external genital organs and first movement of foetus with reference to time period) placenta and its functions. Parturition; lactation – hormonal control and importance.

(iii) Reproductive Health

Need for reproductive health and prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs); birth control – need and methods, contraception and medical termination of pregnancy (MTP); amniocentesis; infertility and assisted reproductive technologies – IVF, ZIFT, GIFT (elementary idea for general awareness).

Definition of reproductive health, programs of reproductive health (family planning, RCH), population explosion – role of government in controlling the population, contraceptives methods and their methods of action (natural-periodic abstinence, withdrawal or coitus interruptus, lactational amenorrhea; artificial – barriers, IUDs, oral pills, implants and surgical methods, definition of medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) and reasons for it; causes of infertility. Amniocentesis and its role in detecting genetic defects. Assisted reproductive technologies: IVF, IUT, ZIFT, ICSI, GIFT, AI, IUI. – definition and application only. Causes, symptoms and methods of prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (gonorrhoea, syphilis, genital herpes, chlamydiasis, genital warts, trichomoniasis, hepatitis- B, AIDS).

  1. Genetics and Evolution

(i) Principles of inheritance and variation

Heredity and variation: Mendelian inheritance; deviations from Mendelism – incomplete dominance, co-dominance, multiple alleles and inheritance of blood groups, pleiotropy; elementary idea of polygenic inheritance; chromosomal theory of inheritance; chromosomes and genes; sex determination – in humans, fruit fly, birds, honey bee and grasshopper; linkage and crossing over; mutation; sex linked inheritance: Mendelian disorders in humans; chromosomal disorders in humans.

Explanation of the terms heredity and variation; Mendel’s Principles of inheritance; reasons for Mendel’s success; definition of homologous chromosomes, autosomes and sex chromosomes; alleles – dominant and recessive; phenotype; genotype; homozygous; heterozygous, monohybrid and dihybrid crosses; back cross and test cross, definitions to be taught with simple examples using Punnett square. Incomplete dominance with examples from plants (snapdragon – Antirrhinum) and co-dominance in human blood group, multiple alleles – e.g. blood groups, polygenic inheritance with one example of inheritance of skin colour in humans (students should be taught examples from human genetics through pedigree charts. They should be able to interpret the patterns of inheritance by analysis of pedigree chart). Biological importance of Mendelism. Pleiotropy with reference to the example of starch synthesis in pea seeds. Chromosomal theory of inheritance; autosomes and sex chromosomes (sex determination in humans, fruit fly, birds, honey bees and grasshopper), sex-linked inheritance – with reference to Drosophila (colour of body-yellow and brown; and colour of eyes-red and white), definition and significance of linkage and crossing over. Mutation: spontaneous, induced, gene (point – transition, transversion and frame-shift); chromosomal aberration: euploidy and aneuploidy; human genetic disorders: phenylketonuria, thalassaemia, colour blindness, sickle cell anaemia; chromosomal disorders: Down’s syndrome, Klinefelter’s syndrome, Turner’s syndrome.

(ii) Molecular basis of Inheritance

Search for genetic material and DNA as genetic material; structure of DNA and RNA; DNA packaging; DNA replication; central dogma; transcription, genetic code, translation; gene expression and regulation – lac operon; human genome project; DNA fingerprinting.

Structure of eukaryotic chromosomes with reference to nucleosome; properties of genes such as ability to replicate, chemical stability, mutability and inheritability. Search for DNA as genetic material – Griffith’s experiment, Hershey and Chase’s experiment, Avery, McLeod and McCarty’s experiment; double helical model of DNA (contributions of Meischer, Watson and Crick, Wilkins, Franklin and Chargaff); Differences between DNA and RNA; types of RNA (tRNA, mRNA and rRNA, snRNA, hnRNA); central dogma – concept only; reverse transcription (basic idea only), Meselson and Stahl’s experiment, replication of DNA (role of enzymes, namely DNA. Discovery and essential features of genetic code. Definition of codon. Protein synthesis – translation in prokaryotes. Gene expression in prokaryotes; lac operon in E. coli.

Human Genome Project: goal; methodologies [Expressed Sequence Tags (EST), Sequence Annotation], salient features and applications. DNA finger printing – technique, application and ethical issues to be discussed briefly.

(iii) Evolution

Origin of life; biological evolution and evidences for biological evolution (palaeontology, comparative anatomy, embryology and molecular evidences); Darwin’s contribution, modern synthetic theory of evolution; mechanism of evolution – variation (mutation and recombination) and natural selection with examples, types of natural selection; gene flow and genetic drift; Hardy – Weinberg’s principle; adaptive radiation; human evolution.

Origin of life – abiogenesis and biogenesis, effect of oxygen on evolution to show that reducing atmosphere is essential for abiotic synthesis. Important views on the origin of life, modern concept of origin of life, Oparin Haldane theory, definition of protobionts, coacervates), vestigial organs; Miller and Urey experimentEvidences of evolution: morphological evidences, definition and differences between homologous and analogous organs (two examples each from plants and animals). Embryological evidences – theory of recapitulation, definition and differences between ontogeny and phylogeny. Palaeontological evidence – definition of fossils. Geological time scale (with reference to dominant flora and fauna) Biogeographical evidence – definition of biogeography, molecular (genetic) evidences -for example genome similarity, universal genetic code; Darwin’s finches (adaptive radiation).

Darwinism: salient features of Darwinism, contribution of Malthus, criticism of Darwinism. Examples of natural selection – Long neck of giraffe, industrial melanism, resistance of mosquitoes to DDT and resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, Lederberg’s replica plating experiment, Neo-Darwinism (Modern Synthetic Theory); Variation – causes of variation, Hugo de Vries theory of mutation – role of mutation in evolution; Hardy Weinberg’s principle, factors affecting Hardy Weinberg equilibrium: gene migration or gene flow, genetic drift (Founder’s effect, bottle-neck effect), mutation, genetic recombination and natural selection, types of natural selection (directional, disruptive and stabilizing). Evolution of man – three features of each of the ancestors Dryopithecus, Ramapithecus, Australopithecus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis, Cro-magnon man and Homo sapiens leading to man of today.

  1. Biology and Human Welfare

(i) Human Health and Diseases

Pathogens; parasites causing human diseases (common cold, dengue, chikungunya, typhoid, pneumonia, amoebiasis, malaria, filariasis, ascariasis, ring worm) and their control; Basic concepts of immunology – vaccines; cancer, HIV and AIDS; Adolescence – drug and alcohol abuse.

Communicable and non-communicable diseases; modes of transmission, causative agents, symptoms and prevention; viral diseases (common cold, chikungunya and dengue), bacterial diseases (typhoid, pneumonia, diphtheria and plague), protozoal diseases (amoebiasis, and malaria, graphic outline of life cycle of Plasmodium), helmintic diseases (ascariasis, and filariasis); fungal (ringworm); cancer – types of tumour (benign, malignant), causes, diagnosis and treatment, characteristics of cancer cells (loss of contact inhibition and metastasis).

Immunity (definition and types – innate and acquired, active and passive, humoral and cell-mediated), Interferons – definition, source and function; structure of a typical antibody molecule, types of antibodies – IgG, IgA, IgM, IgD and IgE (function and occurrence, e,g. in serum, saliva, colostrum); vaccination and immunisation, allergies and allergens – definition and general symptoms of allergies; autoimmunity, primary and secondary lymphoid organs and tissues, brief idea of AIDS – causative agent (HIV), modes of transmission, diagnosis (ELISA), symptoms, replication of retrovirus in the infected human cell (including diagram) and prevention.

Alcoholism and smoking – effects on health.

Drugs: effects and sources of opioids, cannabinoids, cocaine and barbiturates.

Reasons for addiction; prevention and control of alcohol and drug abuse.

(ii) Microbes in Human Welfare

In household food processing, industrial production, sewage treatment, energy generation and microbes as biocontrol agents and biofertilisers. Antibiotics.

Use of microbes in: (i) Household products: Lactobacillus (curd), Saccharomyces (bread), Propionibacterium (Swiss cheese); (ii) Industrial products: beverages (with and without distillation), antibiotics (Penicillin – discovery and use); sources (microbes) and uses of organic acids, alcohols and enzymes (lipase, pectinase, protease, streptokinase) in industry, source (microbes) and applications of Cyclosporin-A, Statins. (iii) Sewage treatment – primary and secondary treatment; (iv) Production of biogas (methanogens, biogas plant, composition of biogas and process of production); (v) Microbes as biocontrol agents (ladybird, dragonfly, Bacillus thuringiensis Trichoderma, Nucleopolyhedrovirus (Baculovirus), and (vi) Microbes as biofertilisers (Rhizobium, Azospirillum, Azotobacter, Mycorrhiza, Cyanobacteria), IPM, harmful effects of chemical pesticides.

  1. Biotechnology and its Applications

(i) Biotechnology – Principles and processes

Genetic Engineering (recombinant DNA technology).

Definition and principles of biotechnology; isolation of genomic (chromosomal) DNA (from bacteria/plant cell/animal cell, by cell lysis), isolation of gene of interest (by electrophoresis), steps of formation of recombinant DNA, discovery, nomenclature, features and role of restriction enzymes (EcoRI, HindII) and role of ligase; cloning vectors (features of a good cloning vector, examples of cloning vectors like pBR322, Agrobacterium, retroviruses, bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC), yeast artificial chromosome (YAC)), methods of transfer of rDNA into a competent host, e.g. by direct-method (temperature shock), microinjection, gene gun, methods of selection of recombinants (antibiotic resistance, insertional inactivation/blue-white selection), cloning of recombinants, i.e., gene amplification (by in vivo or in vitro method – using PCR technique), bioreactor (basic features and uses of stirred tank and sparged tank bioreactors), downstream processing.

(ii) Biotechnology and its applications

Applications of biotechnology in health and agriculture: human insulin and vaccine production, stem cell technology, gene therapy; genetically modified organisms – Bt crops; transgenic animals; biosafety issues, biopiracy and biopatents.

In agriculture: for production of crops tolerant to abiotic stresses (cold, drought, salt, heat); pest-resistant crops (Bt-crops, RNAi with reference to Meloidogyne incognita); crops with enhanced nutritional value (golden rice).

In medicine: insulin, gene therapy – with reference to treatment of SCID, molecular diagnosis by PCR, ELISA and use of DNA/RNA probe.

Transgenic animals for bioactive products like alpha-1-antitrypsin for emphysema, alpha-lactalbumin; vaccine safety testing, chemical safety testing; study of diseases.

Role of GEAC, definition and two examples of biopiracy, biopatent; ethical issues.

  1. Ecology and Environment

(i) Organisms and Populations

Population interactions – mutualism, competition, predation, parasitism; population attributes – birth rate and death rate, age distribution.

Definition of population; population attributes: sex ratio, types of age distribution pyramids for human population; definition of population density, natality, mortality, emigration, immigration, carrying capacity. Ways to measure population density. Calculation of natality and mortality.

Population interactions – definition of mutualism, competition (interspecific, interference, competitive release and Gause’s Principle of Competitive Exclusion), predation (adaptations in organisms to avoid predation), parasitism (ecto-, endo-, and brood parasites), commensalism, amensalism.

(ii) Ecosystem

Ecosystems: patterns, components; productivity and decomposition; energy flow; pyramids of number, biomass, energy.

Definition and types of ecosystems; structure of ecosystem (brief idea about biotic and abiotic components).

Ecosystem functions: (i) Productivity – gross primary productivity (GPP), net primary productivity (NPP) and secondary productivity (ii) Decomposition (fragmentation, leaching, catabolism, humification and mineralization), factors affecting rate of decomposition (iii) Energy flow. Various types of food chains – grazing and detritus, food webs, trophic levels, ecological pyramids – energy, number and biomass.

Definition of PAR, 10% Law, standing crop and standing state.

(iii) Biodiversity and its Conservation

Concept of biodiversity; patterns of biodiversity; importance of biodiversity; loss of biodiversity; biodiversity conservation; hotspots, endangered organisms, extinction, Red Data Book, biosphere reserves, national parks, sanctuaries and Ramsar sites

Definition of biodiversity, few examples of each type of biodiversity – species, ecosystem and genetic. Global biodiversity and proportionate number of species of major taxa of plants, invertebrates and vertebrates; patterns of biodiversity (latitudinal gradients, species-area relationship – graph and equation), “rivet popper hypothesis”, importance of species diversity to the ecosystem (narrowly utilitarian, broadly utilitarian, ethical terms).

Examples of some recently extinct organisms, causes of loss of biodiversity (habitat loss and fragmentation, over-exploitation, alien species invasion, co-extinction).

Biodiversity conservation: In-situ methods – protected areas: biosphere reserves, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, sacred groves; ex-situ methods – captive breeding, zoo, botanical gardens, cryopreservation, wild life safari, seed banks, tissue culture. Definitions and examples of each of the above. Hotspots, Ramsar sites and Red Data Book.



1) Taxonomy: Study floral characteristics through dissection of flowers, drawing floral formula and diagrams of following families:

(i) Malvaceae: type – China rose / Hollyhock.

(ii) Leguminosae: subfamily – Papilionaceae – type – Sweet pea/ Pea/ Bean/ Sesbania/ Clitoria (single flower).

(iii) Solanaceae: type – Petunia / Datura / Brinjal Flower / Solanum nigrum.

(iv) Liliaceae: type – Onion or Amaryllidaceae –type – Lily/Spider lily/ Tiger lily/ Tube rose/ Gladiolus.

Floral characteristics should be explained by dissection of flowers. Students should be taught how to cut vertical section of the flower and draw accurately labelled diagrams. The technique of drawing floral diagrams with the mother axis in the right position is necessary. Floral formula should be correctly written. Identification of the correct family giving reasons, technique of cutting T.S. and L.S of ovary should be explained and accordingly correct labelled-diagram should be drawn.

Students should know the examples of plants (belonging to each family) which are of economic importance. The examples of common names of plants must be supported with correct scientific names as well.

NOTE: In the examination, candidates will be tested on any one of the above families.

2) Simple biochemical and physiological experiments

(i) Study of arrangement/distribution of stomata in dicot and monocot leaves.

Students should be taught to set up and demonstrate the experiments with correct diagram of the setup, record their observations methodically and give conclusions. This will give a clear idea of the physiological processes. Questions can be asked based on the above physiological processes studied.

(ii) To study the effect of enzyme action at three different temperatures and pH on starch solution.

Effect of enzyme (amylase/ diastase) action at three different temperatures (low- below 10oC, optimum – 37oC and high – above 70oC) and pH (acidic, neutral and basic) on starch solution.

(iii) To isolate DNA from available plant material.

Isolation of DNA from spinach leaves, green pea seeds, pulp of banana and papaya.

Take half a ripe and peeled banana into a beaker and add 50 ml of extraction fluid (1.5gm table salt +10 ml liquid detergent +90 ml distilled water). Place the beaker in a water bath set at 60 °C for 15 minutes. Stir gently with a glass rod. Filter 5ml of cooled content into a clean test tube and add 5ml of cold 90% ethanol. DNA molecules separate out and appear as white fibres.

3) Slide preparation

(i) Germination of pollen grain in a nutrient medium.

(ii) T.S. of ovary of any locally available flower, to show marginal / axile placentation.

(iii) T.S. of a hydrophyte stem.

(iv) T.S. of a xerophytic leaf (Nerium).

(v) L.S. of monocot and dicot seed (soaked seeds of maize/wheat, pea/ bean.)

The technique of staining and mounting neatly should be explained. Students should also know how to make labelled outline diagrams. They should also be taught to identify the mount under low/ high power of microscope. Two identifying features of the above need to be mentioned.

4) Spotting: (three minutes to be given for each spot which includes identification, drawing a labelled diagram and writing at least two identifying characteristics).

NOTE: Spotting must be done on a separate answer sheet during examination, which should be handed over to the Examiner immediately after spotting.

(i) Identify and comment on the following:

(a) T.S. of ovary of mammal (Permanent slide).

(b) T.S. of testis of mammal (Permanent slide).

(c) Germinating pollen grain (slide/chart).

(d) T.S. of ovary to show the type of placentation (marginal, axile, basal (LS), parietal).

(e) T.S. of blastula / blastocyst of a mammal (chart/ slide).

(f) Whole mount of Plasmodium sporozoite (slide /chart).

(g) Whole mount of Entamoeba histolytica trophozoite (slide/chart).

(h) Preserved specimen/ chart/ model of Ascaris.

(ii) Comment upon ecological adaptations of plants and animals.

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