Indian Geography and UPSC Prelims
Indian geography and geographical locations form the core areas from where UPSC generally asks questions in prelims.India and the World is an important constituent of General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary Examination. You may expect 17 to 20 questions from this part. Now we will discuss the previous year's questions.
It is critical to review the pattern of previous year's exams before entering the minefield of UPSC Preliminary examination. This will not only assist aspirants in cutting their preparation to the bone for optimum results, but it will also assist them in developing a well-informed and balanced preparation approach. With this essay, we present an in-depth study of the pattern, particularly in the Prelims Papers Geography portion.
The questions asked in UPSC in Geography section from 1981 to 2010 are as follows:
- The maximum angle of incidence of sun’s rays on the North Pole occurs when the sun’s rays are vertically incident on the _____?
The Angle of Incidence of Sun
- The Westerlies bring more rain than the Trade Winds because _____?
- Name the crops which require the given conditions: Average 25°C temperature throughout the growing period, over 100 cm of rain, alluvial soil with sub-soil layer of clay?
- The river which flows between Vindhyas and Satpuras is _____?
- Does Duncan passage lie between _____?
- Which is the second largest linguistic unit in India?
- Western Rajasthan receives scanty rainfall because _____?
- What is ‘reserved forest’?
- The soil of India’s eastern and western coast is _____?
- Of the total water of the earth, fresh water reserves constitute approximately _____?
- Winter rain in North-Western India is caused by _____?
- Indian Standard Time is based on _____?
- The solar radiation reflected back from the top of the atmosphere is equal to _____?
- What is Roaring forties?
- Which planet takes the longest time to rotate upon its axis?
- Which tribal group has the largest population in India?
- Under coastal erosion, vast strips of land are turned into _____?
- Barkhans are the landforms of, the canal project in Rajasthan is concerned with which river _____?
- When it is half-moon, the angle between sun and moon as observed from the earth is _____?
- The brightest star in the sky is _____?
- Neap tides are caused as a result of _____?
- Winter rains in Kashmir are due to _____?
- Does the Mississippi River fall into _____?
In 1992 in UPSC there were fewer questions from UPSC Prelims Some of the questions were as follows-
- The maximum amount of area under dry farming is in which state?
- Edible oil is imported from which of the following countries at present _____?
- The leading producers of silk in the world are _____?
- Where is Nandana Wildlife sanctuary?
- Is fertile soil suitable for growing common crops is likely to have a pH value of _____?
- The production of cultured pearls is an important cottage industry of _____?
- The only land-locked country in South-east Asia is _____?
- The Neyveli thermal power plant is fed by _____?
- From 1991-2010 we see Map questions also. Maps are given with some spots, and you have to identify the places. You should know the correct Geographical position of different countries.
From 1993 to 2010 the questions in UPSC Prelims in Geography were:
- ‘The length of its day and the tilt of its axis are almost identical to those of the earth’. What is 'it' here?
- The shortest air-route from Perth to London is _____?
- The Himalayas are formed of parallel fold ranges of which the oldest range is _____?
- Which type of erosion is responsible for the formation of Chambal Ravines?
It is suggested to read Physical Geography of India to have an in-depth understanding for the Geography section of UPSC Prelims.
Some of the questions in UPSC Prelims were based on maps:
- One has to locate the thermal power stations, the non-cereal crop production areas, tidal ports, countries of erstwhile the Soviet Union etc.
- High temperature and low pressure over the Indian Sub-Continent during the summer season draws air from the Indian Ocean leading to the in-blowing of the ‘Siddle Peak’.
Map of India
- The highest peak of Andaman and Nicobar islands is located in _____?
- Locate Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia on a given map.
- The Palk Bay lies between, Diamond ring is a phenomenon observed at _____?
- “From Aceh in the far north-west to Torres Strait in the east is 5000 miles, almost as far as from London to Baghdad. The archipelago has 14,000 islands, some mere equatorial rocks, others some of the largest in the world.” This description best fits which country?
- Which of the following places are known for the paper manufacturing industry?
- The tribal population in Andaman and Nicobar Islands belongs to the _____?
- The group of small pieces of rock revolving around the sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter are called _____?
- If the earth's direction of rotation is reversed, what would be the IST when it is noon at the International Date Line?
- Which one of the following stars is nearest to the Earth?
- Daily weather map showing isobars is an example of _____?
- Which one of the following countries is the largest producer of fuelwood in the world?
- The January isotherm taken as a basis for dividing India into tropical and subtropical zones is _____?
- The Alamatti dam is on the river _____?
- Which factor is responsible for the change in the regular direction of the ocean currents in the Indian Ocean?
Generally, the questions from the map are from the length of surface roads of different states, population, size of SCs & STs, railway lines and stations, river and cities on the bank of them, groundwater resources, different research institutes, world cities pointed in the map, oil and natural gas and forest areas.
The map of Indian and World Geography should be there in your mind. Languages spoken by the largest number of people in the world is, what are the reasons for the low growth rates of population in Kerala.
Some questions were from ocean currents, cyclones, identify the cities pointed in a map, physical region, copper deposits and about largest minorities.
In the year 2009 and 2010, Some direct questions were there in UPSC prelims for which you have to have some in-depth knowledge of Geography
- Generally, questions are asked from Physical Geography (8-10 questions), which include such sub-topics as Solar Eclipse, Lunar Eclipse, the Monsoons, the Planetary winds, Longitude and Latitude etc. (You must have a clear cut understanding of the various geographical phenomenon).
- Economic Geography (5-8 questions, greater emphasis should be placed on the Economic Geography of India), which includes such topics as agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, rural development, irrigation, transport, communication, and tourism etc. and Physiography of India (5 to 7 questions).
- Before going through the chapter, read the NCERT books of class Xth and XIIth for the subject's basic knowledge. A cramming habit is necessary for the preparation of this part.
In the year 2011, the questions in UPSC Prelims were:
- On orchids, cereals, flowers, fruits, plants, and their producing state, methods of conservation of fauna, on the river system, Demographic divided, Indian animals and their natural habitats, on La Nina and El Nino.
- On mangroves as a safety hedge, on salination of the irrigated land, difference between asteroids and comets, on Westerlies.
- On Malacca straits, on biodiversity region of the world, ecosystem, productivity, on rain forest and tropical deciduous forest, on the Himalayan range and its species, on crop and climatic region, Reason for the formation of African and Eurasian desert, Brahmaputra takes U-turn and flows into India...why?
In the year 2012, the questions in UPSC Prelims were:
- On the characteristics of Tropical Savana Regions, Categories of protected areas and their rules and regulations.
- About millennium Ecosystem Assessment, on endangered species, Difference between the antelope's Oryx and Chiru, Animals found in India.
- On carbon sequestration /storage in the soil, Plant 'Sea buckthorn and its importance'.
- On pulse, fodder and green manure.
- On wetlands of India, rained crops, evidence of Himalaya being folded mountain, temperature decreases with the increase from earth surface because of.... etc.
In the year 2013, the questions in UPSC Prelims were:
- There was a matching question on Geographical features and the regions, Different species found in India, sugar industry and its bi-products, Variation in the season of the length of daytime and nighttime from season to season is due to, the Narmada flows to the west and other peninsular river flow to the east .... why?
- Other than ice caps and glaciers remaining freshwater is found from, Matching question on Bio-sphere reserves, Lake and National Parks, on factors bringing dynamic changes on the surface of the earth. In the grasslands, trees do not replace the grasses as a part of ecological succession, because, Decreasing productivity of ocean, lakes, grasslands and mangroves in practical sense, contour bunding method of soil conservation.
- On National parks and rivers flowing through them, Lion-tailed macaque found in its natural habitat.
- The most important fishing grounds of the world are found in the regions where_______.
- On characteristics of equatorial forests, the annual range of temperature in the interiors is high compared to the coastal areas ..... why?
- On the characteristics of Indian coal, characteristics of laterite soil, Minerals, and gas and where they are found, on Kharif crops, Region and its characteristics, Tribes and the states they belong to, on endangered fauna, etc.
In the year 2014, the questions in UPSC Prelims were:
- What are the significances of a practical approach to sugarcane production known as 'Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative'?, If a wetland of international importance is brought under 'Montreux Record'.
- What does it imply?
- Which is separated by 'Ten Degree Channel'?
- On Tiger Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Peaks and States related to it.
- Which country of south-west Asia does not open out to the Mediterranean sea?
- In India, in which one of the following types of forests is teak a dominant tree species?
- On characteristic of different types of rain.
- The best description of the term ecosystem.
- Which National Park is unique in being a swamp with floating vegetation that supports a rich biodiversity?
- Which can be the impact of excessive/inappropriate use of nitrogenous fertilizers in agriculture?
- What explains the eastward flows of the equatorial counter-current?
- On places of pilgrimage and location, On marine species, On Golan Heights, which region in India has a combination of mangrove forest, evergreen forest and deciduous forest. On Goldilocks Zone etc.
In the Year 2015, the questions in UPSC Prelims were:
- Which national park has a climate that varies from tropical to subtropical, temperate and the Arctic?
- In India, the steel production industry requires the import of _____?
- Living Root Bridges are found in _____?
- Tides occur in the oceans and seas due to _____?
- In which state do Tropical Evergreen Forests Occur?
In the year 2016, the questions in UPSC Prelims were:
- On the tributaries of Brahmaputra, What is unique about Kharai Camel breed found in India?
- On Red Sander, a tree species found in a part of South India, on Shale gas resources found in India, Advantages of participating drip irrigation.
- On Community and the country like Kurd, Madhesi, and Rohingya (although current phenomenon).
Most of the questions in this year were currently based. Questions were also on Wetlands International, which has influenced the evolution of organism-continental drift or Glacier cycles, Reasons for the decline in the population of Ganges River Dolphins.
- Which phenomenon adds carbon dioxide to earth, Naturally growing plants of the Himalayas, Important pollutants released by the steel industry in India, Ecologically important campaign/festival practised by communities and tribes in India, about Champa community in India, Cluster bean (guar).
- On coral reefs and the places found, the problem of social erosion, a seasonal reversal of wind, Matching questions on Wetlands, National Park and Lake, and hill regions.
- Turkey is located between cities situated from South to North in Southeast Asia, Integrated Watershed Development Programmes, places in India which produce Areca nut, Mango and Soya bean.
Read Indian Geography: Size & Location to have a better understanding of Indian Locations and their Importance.
In the year 2017, the questions in UPSC Prelims were:
- Mediterranean sea is a border of which of the following countries- i.e., Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria (it is Lebanon and Syria).
- On the Himalayas, the Western Ghats and Pulicat Lake spread over how many states in India.
- On natural habitat of gharials, Practices which help in water conservation in agriculture, Wild Life Protection Act 1972.
- Which country is geographically located near to Great Nicobar, On Teesta river, On Event Horizon, Singularity, String Theory, Standard Model, (Actually these are observation and understanding of the earth).
- On Indian map — if you have to travel from Kohima to Kottayam, through how many states you have to travel?
- Which assumes importance in being a good link between the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats?
- On Geological Phenomenon of the Sea-shore in India etc.
- As the question-types show, a candidate needs to have a sound understanding of the subject. A selective study lessens the chances of a high score. Merely knowing the subject is not enough, it is necessary to learn to concentrate on and do exactly what the question asks, systematically and logically.
- It is equally necessary that the candidate marks the right response at the right place on the answer sheet, and it is advisable to make up one’s mind firmly before-hand rather. In this volume, we are giving you the updated material. Go through all the pages. Remember one thing, without Geography, it is very difficult to cross the first barrier.
Prepare the Following Heads Carefully for UPSC CSE Prelims-
- Physical Geography of India
- Drainage System
- Climate in India
- Food Crops
- Horticultural Crops
- Cash Crops
- Plantation Crops
- Water Resources and Irrigation
- Major Irrigation and power projects
- Animal Husbandry
- Energy Resources
- Environmental Awareness in India
- Social Forestry
- Child Labour
- Women Welfare and Development
- Land Reforms
- Labour Welfare Schemes
- Regeneration of Wastelands
- The decline in a global environment
- Fisheries Sector
- Crop Production Schemes
- Rainfed Farming System
- National Watershed Development Project
- Eco-Friendly Sustainable Development
- Saving Land Resources
- Chari Committee Report
- Integrated Pest Management
- Aluminium Extraction and Uses
- Leguminous Crops
- Soil and Water Conservation Measures
- Cause and Low Productivity and Its Remedy
Advantages and Disadvantages of Farm
- Mechanization in India
- Important Problems Faced is Command Area Development (CAD)
- Humid Meso-thermal or warm temperate
- Geography of India
- Radioactive Minerals
- Mineral Resources
- Major Products of Various Natural Regions
- Forest Policy in India
- Power Resources
- Multipurpose Projects
- Irrigation Projects
- Power Projects
- Climate and Vegetation
- Type of forest
- Water Resources
- Annual Husbandry
- Breeds of Sheeps
- Foodgrains Production
- Commercial Crops
- Road and Road Transport
- Ports Railway
- Civil Aviation
- Natural Regions of The World
- The Savanna Region
- Hot Desert Region
- Mediterranean Type Region
- Temperate Grasslands
- Coniferous Forests
- Tundra Region
- World Population, Distribution and Growth
- Human Races
- Major Products of Various Natural Regions
- Chief Agricultural Products and the Chief Producers
- Animal Products and Chief Producers
- Important Minerals and Leading Producers
- Chief Industrial Products and Leading Producers
- Tribal Groups of the world
- Tribal Groups in India
In terms of geography, a growing tendency in UPSC is to place more focus on social and cultural components of geography, such as food security, population demographics, cultural customs, and so on.
Aspirants should concentrate on these elements of current events throughout their preparation.
As a result, with the recent trend of Prelims papers exhibiting a tilt into more uncharted terrain, notably in the Geography section, with a greater emphasis on economic and social components of Geography, it is critical to connect current events with larger aspects of geography.
In the Prelims test, you will be given questions about India's and the world's physical geography. NCERTs from Class VIII to XII are required reading for Geography preparation.
FAQs Related to Geography in UPSC Prelims
- Is NCERT enough for IAS prelims?
For the IAS exam, NCERT books are required reading. Candidates should, however, read subject-specific publications and stay up with current events.
- Is geography a scoring optional?
Geography, as an elective, is a high-scoring subject. Many applicants believe that this topic requires a lot of memorization, which is entirely wrong. Geography is a more abstract subject. As a result, applicants with a science or technological background have an easier time doing well in geography.
- Which part of Geography is important for UPSC Prelims?
World Geography is important for the Prelims exam due to the fact that almost 5-6 questions are asked every year from this section in the exam. NCERT books are the best source for preparation of World Geography.