Home » Geography Syllabus for UPSC Prelims and Mains: Insight into Geography IAS Optional
Geography Syllabus for UPSC Prelims and Mains: Insight into Geography IAS Optional
Every year the Union Public Service Commission holds the Civil service exams to recruit civil servants. The exam is conducted in three parts such as prelims, mains and the interview aka the final round.
UPSC offers various options to the candidates for choosing their optional subjects, some of the optional subjects are botany, zoology, geography, chemistry, sociology etc. A very crucial step while filling the UPSC form is the right selection of the optional subject.
In this article, you will get to know about the geography syllabus for UPSC prelims and mains. UPSC geography optional syllabus is also given in detail below.
Geography Syllabus for UPSC Prelims
As the UPSC exam is concerned, geography is a widely chosen subject by the candidates. In UPSC prelims general studies paper geography is included as well as in the main exam’s GS paper 1. Even if someone doesn’t take geography as the optional subject, he/ she has to study this subject in order to clear the IAS exam.
In the prelims syllabus, there are four parts such as Indian, world, physical and human geography. Let’s take a clear look at this.
Civil Service Geography Prelims Syllabus – Part 1
Geography syllabus for UPSC prelims
1. Basics of India
Location, latitude, longitude, time zone, etc.
States and their position
States with international boundaries
The Himalayas – geological formation, climate, vegetation, soil, biodiversity, physiographic divisions, major passes, significance
The Great North Indian Plains – geological formation, physiographic divisions, climate, vegetation, soil, biodiversity, significance
Peninsular Plateau – geological formation, Central Highlands, Deccan Plateau, Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats
Coastal plains and islands.
3. River systems
Regional development and planning
Hydropower projects, major dams
West-flowing and east-flowing rivers
Interlinking of rivers
Monsoons – driving mechanism, El Nino, La Nina
5. Minerals and industries – mineral distribution, industrial policies, location
Types of agricultural practices
Soils and crops
7. Natural vegetation and fauna
Classification of natural vegetation
Biosphere reserves, national parks, etc.
8. Economic infrastructure
Transportation (highways, inland waterways, etc.)
Power and energy sector
Conventional and non-conventional sources of energy
Settlements, urbanisation, functional classification of towns, million-cities and megacities
IAS Mains Geography Syllabus
Distribution of key natural resources across the world including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent; factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world including India.
Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
Salient features of the world’s physical geography that includes geomorphology, climatology, oceanography, biogeography and environmental geography.
Looking at the topics included in the geography mains syllabus, it can be said that the UPSC mains geography syllabus is a comprehensive one. It is important for students to understand the IAS mains geography syllabus well and prepare accordingly to achieve a better score at it.
A large part of the Geography syllabus is in common with the syllabus of GS paper I & IV of the preliminary exams, especially GS paper I thus encouraging many aspirants to opt for this.
Candidates who opt for geo optional find the syllabus to be very vast but since many aspirants choose geography as an optional subject in IAS, there are ample amount of resources available for this subject thus making the preparation journey less troublesome.
Geography syllabus for UPSC optional includes paper 1 and paper 2 and each of that paper carries 250 marks. Now let;’s have a look at the UPSC geography optional syllabus.
Geography Syllabus for UPSC Optional – Paper 1
There are two parts under part 1 of the optional civil service geography syllabus that includes physical and human geography.
Physical Geography – Geo Optional Syllabus
Origin and evolution of the earth’s crust
Physical conditions of the earth’s interior
Plate tectonics and endogenetic and exogenetic forces.Recent views on mountain building
Fundamentals of geomagnetism
Factors controlling landform development
Earthquakes and Tsunamis
Concepts of geomorphic cycles and Landscape development
Geosynclines Denudation chronology
Vulcanicityand Applied Geomorphology: Geohydrology, economic geology and environment.
Heat budget of the earth
atmospheric stability and instability
Planetary and local winds
Monsoons and jet streams
Air masses and frontogenesis
Temperate and tropical cyclones
Weather and Climate; Atmospheric circulation
Koppen’s, Thornthwaite’s and Trewartha’s classification of world climates
Temperature and pressure belts of the world
Types and distribution of precipitation
Global climatic change and role and response of man in climatic changes
Applied climatology and Urban climate.
Temperature and salinity of the oceans
Marine resources: biotic, mineral and energy resources
Coral reefs, Waves, currents and tides
Bottom topography of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans
Heat and salt budgets, Ocean deposits
Law of the sea and marine pollution.
Soil erosion, Genesis of soils
Problems of deforestation and conservation measures
Classification and distribution of soils
Factors influencing world distribution of plants and animals
Major gene pool centres and Degradation and conservation.
Global and regional ecological changes and imbalances
Ecosystem their management and conservation
Human ecological adaptations
Influence of man on ecology and environment
Environmental degradation, management and conservation
Principle of ecology
Biodiversity and sustainable development
Environmental hazards and remedial measures
Environmental education and legislation.
Human Geography – Geo Optional Syllabus
Perspectives in Human Geography
Dichotomy and dualism
Quantitative revolution and locational analysis
Radical, behavioural, human and welfare approaches
Religions and secularisation
Languages, human development index and cultural regions of the world.
World resources and their distribution
Energy crisis; the limits to growth
World agriculture: a typology of agricultural regions; agricultural inputs and productivity
World economic development: measurement and problems
Food and nutrition problems; famine: causes, effects and remedies
World industries: locational patterns and problems; patterns of world trade.
Population and Settlement Geography
Causes and consequences of migration; concepts of over-under-and optimum population
Growth and distribution of world population
Population theories, world population problems and policies, demographic attributes
Social well-being and quality of life
The population as social capital
Types and patterns of rural settlements
Hierarchy of urban settlements
Urban morphology: Concepts of primate city and rank-size rule
Environmental issues in rural settlements
Functional classification of towns
Sphere of urban influence
Problems and remedies of urbanization
Sustainable development of cities.
Concept of a region
Types of regions and methods of regionalisation
Growth centres and growth poles
Regional imbalances; regional development strategies; environmental issues in regional planning
Planning for sustainable development
Models, Theories and Laws in Human Geography
Systems analysis in Human geography
Malthusian, Marxian and demographic transition models
Land, surface and groundwater, Forest and wildlife resources and their conservation
Infrastructure: irrigation, seeds, fertilizers, power
Institutional factors: landholdings, land tenure and land reforms
Cropping pattern, agricultural productivity, agricultural intensity, crop combination, land capability
Agro and social-forestry
Green revolution and its socio-economic and ecological implications
Significance of dry farming
Livestock resources and white revolution; aquaculture; sericulture, apiculture and poultry; agricultural regionalisation; agro-climatic zones; agro-ecological regions.
Evolution of industries
Locational factors of cotton, jute, textile, iron and steel, aluminium, fertilizer, paper, chemical and pharmaceutical, automobile, cottage and agro-based industries
Industrial houses and complexes including public sector undertakings
New industrial policies
Multinationals and liberalization
Special Economic Zones
Tourism including eco-tourism.
Space relationship of India with neighbouring countries
Structure and relief
The drainage system and watersheds
Mechanism of Indian monsoons and rainfall patterns, Tropical cyclones and western disturbances
Floods and droughts
Soil types and their distributions.
Transport, Communication and Trade
Road, railway, waterway, airway and pipeline networks and their complementary roles in regional development
The growing importance of ports on national and foreign trade
Export processing zones
Developments in communication and information technology and their impacts on the economy and society
Indian space programme.
Historical Perspective of Indian Society
Racial, linguistic and ethnic diversities; religious minorities; major tribes, tribal areas and their problems; cultural regions
Growth, distribution and density of population
Demographic attributes: sex-ratio, age structure, literacy rate, work-force, dependency ratio, longevity; migration (inter-regional, intraregional and international) and associated problems
Population problems and policies
Types, patterns and morphology of rural settlements
Morphology of Indian cities
Functional classification of Indian cities
Conurbations and metropolitan regions; urban sprawl
Slums and associated problems; town planning
Problems of urbanization and remedies.
Regional Development and Planning
Experience of regional planning in India
Five Year Plans
Integrated rural development programmes
Panchayati Raj and decentralised planning
Command area development
Planning for the backward area, desert, drought-prone, hill, tribal area development; multi-level planning
Regional planning and development of island territories.
Geographical basis of Indian federalism
The emergence of new states
Regional consciousness and interstate issues; international boundary of India and related issues
Cross border terrorism
India’s role in world affairs
Geopolitics of South Asia and Indian Ocean realm.
Contemporary Issues: Ecological issues
Environmental hazards: landslides, earthquakes, Tsunamis, floods and droughts, epidemics
Issues relating to environmental pollution
Changes in patterns of land use
Principles of environmental impact assessment and environmental management
Population explosion and food security
Deforestation, desertification and soil erosion
Problems of agrarian and industrial unrest
Regional disparities in economic development
Concept of sustainable growth and development
Linkage of rivers
Globalization and the Indian economy.
Aspirants who choose geography as an optional subject in IAS have to follow a proper strategy for it. They should go through the previous year papers as well as keep on practising sample questions. Mapping plays an important role in geography syllabus for UPSC so one should also focus on that part. With proper preparation and practice, one can easily score good marks in this options paper.
Now that you know what is there in the civil service geography syllabus, how do you plan to prepare for it? Do share your thoughts with us by commenting in the below box.