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UPSC Geography Syllabus 2024 for UPSC IAS Mains Paper 1 and 2

UPSC Geography Syllabus 2024

Geography holds significant importance in the UPSC Civil Services Exam, being a part of both the UPSC Prelims and Main exams. Meanwhile, UPSC Geography Syllabus is a popular optional subject among candidates due to its logical and scoring nature, even those who don’t choose it cannot ignore the need to study UPSC Geography Syllabus 2024 to clear the UPSC Mains Exam.

UPSC Geography Syllabus includes the following stages

  • The main exam consists of 3 stages i.e. general studies, essay writing, and the interview stage.
  • The UPSC Geography Syllabus provides information about the relationship between Physical and Human Geography.
  • The Impact of Geographical Factors on Social, Economical, and Political Areas of the Country.

Regardless of individual choice to choose UPSC Geography as an Optional Subject, The UPSC Geography Syllabus will provide essential information regarding our diverse world.

UPSC Geography Syllabus 2024 for Mains

UPSC Geography Syllabus is a part of the official UPSC Syllabus 2024 Geography is an integral part of the General Studies (GS) Paper I in the UPSC Mains examination. The UPSC Geography syllabus covers a wide range of topics, including natural resource distribution, industrial location factors, geophysical phenomena, physical geography, and environmental geography.

1. Distribution of key natural resources:

Understanding the global distribution of natural resources, including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Factors influencing the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries worldwide, with a focus on India.

2. Important geophysical phenomena:

  • Studying significant geophysical events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activities, cyclones, etc.
  • Identifying geographical features and their locations and analyzing the impact of changes in these features on flora, fauna, and the environment.

3. Salient features of world physical geography:

Exploring various aspects of physical geography, including geomorphology, climatology, oceanography, biogeography, and environmental geography.

4. Geomorphology:

Examining the interior of the Earth, tectonic processes, mountain formation, volcanic activities, earthquakes, weathering, erosion, rocks, and landforms.

5. Climatology:

Understanding the Earth’s atmosphere, temperature patterns, jet streams, pressure systems, wind circulation, air masses, weather fronts, cyclones, humidity, precipitation, geographical phenomena, and global climatic regions.

6. Oceanography:

Studying ocean topography, temperature distribution, ocean currents, salinity variations, coral bleaching, marine pollution, sea level changes, international laws related to the oceans, and other relevant aspects.

7. Biogeography:

  • soil profiles, soil degradation, soil conservation methods, biotic regions, deforestation, conservation of forests, changes in critical geographical features, and environmental pollution.
  • It is important to note that there is a significant overlap between geography and environmental studies in some of the topics mentioned above.

Candidates preparing for the UPSC Mains examination should delve deeper into each of these areas, understanding specific examples, case studies, current developments, and their implications on global and regional scales.

UPSC Geography Syllabus 2024 for  Prelims

UPSC Geography Syllabus for Indian Geography is as follows:

1. UPSC Geography Syllabus – Basics of India

  1. Location, latitude, longitude, time zone, etc.
  2. Neighbors
  3. Important straits

2. UPSC Geography Syllabus -States and Union Territories of India

  1. States and their positions
  2. States with international boundaries

3. UPSC Geography Syllabus – Physical Features

  1. The Himalayas
  2. Geological formation
  3. Climate
  4. Vegetation
  5. Soil
  6. Biodiversity
  7. Physiographic divisions
  8. Major passes

viii.) Significance.

  1. The Great North Indian Plains
  2. Geological formation
  3. Physiographic divisions

iii.) Climate

  1. Vegetation
  2. Soil
  3. Biodiversity

vii. Significance

  1. Peninsular Plateau
  2. Geological formation
  3. Central Highlands
  4. Deccan Plateau
  5. Western Ghats
  6. Eastern Ghats
  7. Indian Desert
  8. Coastal plains and islands

UPSC Geography Syllabus – River Systems

  1. Himalayan rivers
  2. Peninsular rivers
  3. River basins
  4. West-flowing and east-flowing rivers
  5. Interlinking of rivers

UPSC Geography Syllabus – Climate

  1. Monsoons
  2. Driving mechanism
  3. El Nino
  4. La Nina
  5. Seasons
  6. Cyclones

UPSC Geography Syllabus – Minerals and Industries

  1. Mineral distribution
  2. Industrial policies
  3. Location

UPSC Geography Syllabus – Agriculture

  1. Land utilization
  2. Types of agricultural practices
  3. Green Revolution
  4. Soils and crops
  5. Irrigation
  6. Land reforms
  7. Animal Husbandry
  8. Government Schemes

UPSC Geography Syllabus – Natural vegetation and fauna 

  1. Classification of natural vegetation
  2. Rainfall distribution in India
  3. Biosphere reserves, national parks, etc.
  4. Red-listed species

UPSC Geography Syllabus – Economic infrastructure

  1. Transportation (highways, inland waterways, etc.)
  2. Power and energy sector
  3. Conventional and non-conventional sources of energy
  4. Energy conservation

UPSC Geography Syllabus – Human Geography

  1. Demographic
  2. Recent census

UPSC Geography Syllbaus Paper – I

UPSC Geography Syllabus – Physics 

1. UPSC Geography Syllabus – Geomorphology:

  • Factors controlling landform development
  • Endogenetic and homogeneity forces
  • Origin and evolution of the Earth’s crust
  • Fundamentals of geomagnetism
  • Physical conditions of the Earth’s interior
  • Geosynclines
  • Continental drift
  • Isostasy
  • Plate tectonics
  • Recent views on mountain building
  • Volcanicity
  • Earthquakes and Tsunamis
  • Concepts of geomorphic cycles and landscape development
  • Denudation chronology
  • Channel morphology
  • Erosion surfaces
  • Slope development
  • Applied Geomorphology
  • Geomorphology, economic geology, and environment
  1. UPSC Geography Syllabus – Climatology:
  • Temperature and pressure belts of the world
  • Heat budget of the earth
  • Atmospheric circulation Atmospheric stability and instability
  • Planetary and local winds
  • Monsoons and jet streams
  • Air masses and fronts
  • Temperate and tropical cyclones
  • Types and distribution of precipitation
  • Weather and Climate
  • Koppen Thorn Thwaite’s and Trewartha’s classification of world climate
  • Hydrological cycle
  • Global climatic change and the role and response of man in climatic changes
  • Applied climatology and urban climate

UPSC Geography Syllabus – Oceanography:

  • Bottom topography of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans
  • Temperature and salinity of the oceans
  • Heat and salt budgets
  • Ocean deposits
  • Waves, currents, and tides
  • Marine resources (biotic, mineral, and energy resources)
  • Coral reefs and coral bleaching
  • Sea-level changes
  • Law of the sea and marine pollution

UPSC Geography Syllabus – Biogeography:

  • Genesis of soils
  • Classification and distribution of soils
  • Soil profile
  • Soil erosion, degradation, and conservation
  • Factors influencing the world distribution of plants and animals
  • Problems of deforestation and conservation measures
  • Social forestry and agro-forestry
  • Wildlife
  • Major gene pool centers

UPSC Geography Syllabus – Environmental Geography:

  • Principles of ecology
  • Human ecological adaptations
  • Influence of Man on Ecology and Environment
  • Global and regional ecological changes and imbalances
  • Ecosystem management and conservation
  • Environmental degradation, management, and conservation
  • Biodiversity and sustainable development
  • Environmental policy
  • Environmental hazards and remedial measures
  • Environmental education and legislation

UPSC Geography Syllabus – Human Perspectives:

  • Areal differentiation: The study of spatial variations and differences in human phenomena across different areas or regions.
  • Regional synthesis: The process of integrating and synthesizing diverse information and data to gain a comprehensive understanding of a particular region.
  • Dichotomy and dualism: The examination of contrasting and often interconnected pairs of concepts or phenomena, such as urban-rural, developed-underdeveloped, or global-local.
  • Environmentalism: The perspective that emphasizes the relationship between humans and their environment, and the impacts of human activities on the natural world.
  • Quantitative revolution and locational analysis: The use of quantitative methods and spatial analysis techniques to study human geography, focusing on the locational patterns of various phenomena.
  • Radical, behavioral, human, and welfare approaches: Different theoretical approaches that emphasize social, cultural, economic, or political factors in understanding human geography, ranging from radical perspectives to those centered on individual behavior, human agency, or social welfare.
  • Languages, religions, and secularization: The study of the distribution, diversity, and influence of languages and religions in different regions, as well as the processes of secularization and its impact on societies.
  • Cultural regions of the world: The identification and analysis of regions characterized by shared cultural traits, including language, religion, customs, traditions, and artistic expressions.
  • Human Development Index: A composite measure that assesses the overall well-being and development of countries based on indicators such as life expectancy, education, and income.

UPSC Geography Syllabus – Economic:

  • World economic development: The study of global economic systems, their measurement, and the challenges and disparities in economic development across different countries and regions.
  • World resources and their distribution: Examination of the spatial distribution of natural resources, such as minerals, energy sources, water, and agricultural land, and their implications for economic activities.
  • Energy crisis and the limits to growth: The analysis of global energy challenges, including issues related to resource depletion, environmental impacts, and the need for sustainable energy alternatives. The concept of the “limits to growth” refers to the idea that there are ecological and resource constraints that can restrict long-term economic growth.
  • World agriculture: A typology of agricultural regions: The classification and study of different types of agricultural systems and regions, considering factors such as climate, soil, crops, farming practices, and their relationship with food production and rural economies.
  • Agricultural inputs and productivity: The examination of factors that contribute to agricultural productivity, including inputs like fertilizers, machinery, and technology, as well as the impacts of agricultural practices on the environment.
  • Food and nutrition problems, food security, famine: The study of issues related to access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food, including problems such as food shortages, malnutrition, food security, and famine, along with their causes, effects, and potential remedies.
  • World Industries: Location patterns and problems: The analysis of the spatial distribution of industrial activities worldwide, including factors influencing location decisions, clustering of industries, and challenges related to industrial development and sustainability.
  • Patterns of world trade: The study of global trade flows, patterns, and networks, including the spatial distribution of trade, the role of multinational corporations, trade agreements, and the impacts of globalization on economic geography.

UPSC Geography Syllabus – Population and Settlement:

  • Growth and distribution of world population: The examination of global population growth trends, patterns, and distribution across different regions and countries.
  • Demographic attributes: The study of population characteristics, including age structure, gender, fertility rates, mortality rates, migration patterns, and their implications for social and economic development.
  • Causes and consequences of migration: Analysis of the factors driving migration, such as economic opportunities, political conflicts, environmental factors, and the social, economic, and cultural impacts of migration on sending and receiving regions.

UPSC Geography Syllabus Paper – II

  1. Physical Setting: Space relationship of India with neighbouring countries; Structure and relief; Drainage system and watersheds; Physiographic regions; Mechanism of Indian monsoons and rainfall patterns; Tropical cyclones and western disturbances; Floods and droughts; Climatic regions; Natural vegetation, Soil types, and their distributions.
  2. Resources: Land, surface and ground water, energy, minerals, biotic and marine resources, Forest and wildlife resources and their conservation; Energy crisis.
  3. Agriculture: Infrastructure: irrigation, seeds, fertilizers, power; Institutional factors; land holdings, 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, Agriculture, and poultry; Agricultural regionalization; Agro-climatic zones; Agroecological regions.
  4. Industry: Evolution of industries; Locational factors of cotton, jute, textile, iron and steel, aluminum, fertilizer, paper, chemical and pharmaceutical, automobile, cottage, and ago-based industries; Industrial houses and complexes including public sector undertakings; Industrial regionalization; New industrial policy; Multinationals and liberalization; Special Economic Zones; Tourism including ecotourism.
  5. Transport, Communication, and Trade: Road, railway, waterway, airway, and pipeline networks and their complementary roles in regional development; Growing importance of ports on national and foreign trade; Trade balance; Trade Policy; Export processing zones; Developments in communication and information technology and their impacts on economy and society; Indian space program.
  6. Cultural Setting: 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; Health indicators.
  7. Settlements: Types, patterns, and morphology of rural settlements; Urban developments; Morphology of Indian cities; Functional classification of Indian cities; Conurbations and metropolitan regions; Urban sprawl; Slums and associated problems; Town planning.
  8. Regional Development and Planning: Experience of regional planning in India; Five Year Plans; Integrated rural development programmers; Panchayati Raj and decentralized planning; Command area development; Watershed management; Planning for backward area, desert, drought-prone, hill tribal area development; multi-level planning; Regional planning and development of island territories.
  9. Political Aspects: Geographical basis of Indian federalism; State reorganization; Emergence of new states; Regional consciousness and inter-state 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.
  10. Contemporary Issues: Ecological issues: Environmental hazards: landslides, earthquakes, Tsunamis, floods and droughts, epidemics; Issues related to environmental pollution; Changes in patterns of land use; Principles of environmental impact assessment and environmental management; Population explosion and food security; Environmental degradation; Deforestation, desertification, and soil erosion; Problems of agrarian and industrial unrest; Regional disparities in economic development; Concept of sustainable growth and development; Environmental awareness; Linkage of rivers; Globalizations and Indian economy.

How to prepare for the UPSC Geography Mains Exam?

Preparing for the Geography section of the UPSC Mains examination requires a comprehensive approach. Understand the UPSC Geography Syllabus, Collect Study Material, Read NCERT Books, create a Study Plan, Focus on Key Concepts, Map Work, Current Affairs, Practice Answer Writing, Diagrams and Maps, Mock Tests and Revision, Analyze Previous Years’ Papers, Seek Guidance Remember, consistency, discipline, and a thorough understanding of concepts are key to success in the UPSC Mains Geography examination. Good luck with your preparation.

UPSC Geography Syllabus 2024 for UPSC IAS Mains Paper 1 and 2_3.1

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Is geography tough for UPSC?

The definite syllabus of Geography makes it easy for the candidates and encourages them to go for self-study for Geography optional.

Which is the shortest optional subject for UPSC?

But Philosophy is usually considered to be the shortest optional subject for UPSC.

Which optional subject is very easy?

Sociology is the easiest subject to be considered in UPSC.

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