Physical & Political Indian Geography UPSC Notes | EduRev

Geography for UPSC CSE

UPSC : Physical & Political Indian Geography UPSC Notes | EduRev

The document Physical & Political Indian Geography UPSC Notes | EduRev is a part of the UPSC Course Geography for UPSC CSE.
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INTRODUCTION 

India with an area of 32,87,782 sq. km., is the seventh-largest country after Russia, Canada, USA, China, Brazil, and Australia(in that order) and the second most populous (next to China) country in the world. It extends between 8°4' and 37°6' north latitudes and 68°7' and 97°25' east longitudes, lying north of the equator and thus belongs to the Northern Hemisphere.
Physical & Political Indian Geography UPSC Notes | EduRev

IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT INDIA

  • India lies entirely in the northern hemisphere of the earth.
  • The Tropic of Cancer divides the country approximately into two equal parts.
  • While the southern half coinciding with peninsular India lies in the tropical zone, the northern half, somewhat continental in nature, belongs to the subtropical zone.
  • India occupies the south-central peninsula of the Asian continent.
  • It is situated to the east of the Prime Meridian.
  • India measures about 3,214 km from north to south and about 2,933 km from east to west, which is one-twelfth of the Earth’s circumference at the Equator.
  • It has a land frontier of about 15,200 km.
  • The total length of the coastline of the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands and Andaman and Nicobar Islands is 7,516.6 km.
  • India’s territorial waters extend into the sea to a distance of 12 nautical miles (13.8 mi; 22.2 km) from the coast baseline.
  • India's Southernmost Point is Indira Point in the Nicobar District of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, whereas its southernmost tip of the Indian mainland is Cape Comorin in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.

Physical & Political Indian Geography UPSC Notes | EduRev

Try yourself:Consider the following statements:
1. India’s territorial waters extend into the sea to a distance of 22 nautical miles
2. Indira Point is the southernmost tip of Indias mainland
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
View Solution

Try yourself:How much time log is there between Saurashtra in the west and Arunachal Pradesh in the east?
View Solution

STANDARD TIME OF INDIA 

  • India takes its standard time from the meridian of 82°30' E, which is 5 (1/2) hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (0° longitude).
  • The longitudinal difference between Saurashtra in the west and Arunachal Pradesh in the east is about 30°, which is why there is a time lag of two hours and Arunachal Pradesh has sunrise about two hours before the sunrise at Saurashtra.
  • In order to have a single time zone, the time along the Standard Meridian of India (82°30'E) passing through Mirzapur (Uttar Pradesh) is taken as the standard time for the whole country.
  • Indian Standard Time was adopted on 1 September 1947.

DO YOU KNOW

Recently, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill, 2019 divided the state into two separate UTs; one is Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with legislative assembly and the other is Union Territory of Ladakh without Legislative Assembly.

The Union Territory of Ladakh has Kargil and Leh districts, and the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir comprise the remaining territories of the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir.

INDIA AND ITS PHYSICAL FEATURES 

  • The Indian subcontinent is a peninsula, more or less triangular in shape, which adjusts southward from the mainland of Asia. The lofty mountain ranges of the Himalayas in the north form the base of the triangle while the apex runs far out into the Indian Ocean in the south.
  • It deserves to be called a subcontinent-meaning a large, relatively self-contained landmass forming a subdivision of a continent-both because of its large area and its large population.
  • India occupies the southern part of the Asian continent, which is not only the largest but also the most populous continent of the world. Such a location has its own geopolitical and economic advantages.
  • In ancient times its location helped in establishing cultural and other contacts with the Arab world in the west and the south-east Asia and the Far East in the east. 

Significance of Location

India is isolated in a remarkable way from the rest of Asia, making it a distinct geographical unit. Barring the plateau of Balochistan (which forms part of Pakistan), the two great ranges of Sulaiman and Kirthar cut it off from the west. Along the north, the great mountain wall formed by the Hindukush, Karakoram and the Himalayas, which is difficult to cross, cuts it off from the east of the continent.Physical & Political Indian Geography UPSC Notes | EduRev

Sulaiman and Kirthar Range

Similarly, the southward offshoots of the Eastern Himalayas separate it from Russia. The mountain barriers thus secure the country from the rest of Asia. 

In the west, the Indian Ocean in the south and the Bay of Bengal in the east. These again perform the security function besides providing a very good infrastructural component for development of not only a transport system but also a defence system. The tropical monsoon climate of India, which ensures a fair supply of moisture and forms the basis of farming in India, is also a result of its location in the southern part of Asia.

India’s strategic location at the head of Indian Ocean from where the entire Asia could be controlled had encouraged the British to make it the base of British empire in the east. India is favorably situated on the world’s highway to trade and commerce both to east and west.

The oceanic routes serving East and South-east Asia and Australia in the east and the countries of West Asia and Africa in the west pass through both the routes—the Cape of Good Hope and Suez Canal. Since the opening of the Suez Canal (1867) India’s distance from Europe has been reduced by 7000 Km. It thus bridges the space between the highly industrialized nation of the west and the semi-arid, and southwestern Asia and the most fertile and populated regions in the south-east and far-east countries.

The lack of islands in the Indian Ocean and the absence of any other country having such a large coastline this ocean as ours, with natural resources and population comparable to that of India, makes India even today, by far the most significant among the countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

Try yourself:Consider the following statements:
1. The Asian continent is the most populous continent of the world
2. India occupies the southern part of the Asian continent
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
View Solution

INDIA AND ITS NEIGHBOURS 

  • India has 15,200 land boundaries with Pakistan in the west and northwest, Afghanistan in the north-west, China, Nepal and Bhutan in the north, Bangladesh and Myanmar in the east.
  • India’s longest border is with Bangladesh, while the shortest is with Afghanistan.
  • Sri Lanka and the Maldives are the two island countries located in the Indian Ocean, with Sri Lanka separated by a narrow channel of sea formed by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Munnar, whereas the Maldives Islands are situated to the south of the Lakshadweep Islands.

Physical & Political Indian Geography UPSC Notes | EduRevIndia and its neighboring countries

States with Neighboring Countries-Land Borders:

  • Bangladesh : Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, and West Bengal.
  • Bhutan : Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Sikkim, and West Bengal.
  • China : Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Sikkim and Uttarakhand.
  • Myanmar : Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, and Nagaland.
  • Nepal : Bihar, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
  • Pakistan : Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Ladakh and Rajasthan
  • Afghanistan : Jammu and Kashmir.

Maritime borders of India with Countries:

  • Bangladesh : New Moore Island
  • Indonesia : Indira Point
  • Myanmar : Coco Islands
  • Pakistan : Sir Creek (Gujarat)
  • Thailand : Similan Islands
  • Sri Lanka : Katchatheevu Island (Palk Strait)
  • Maldives : Maliku Kandu

FACTS TO REMEMBER 

  • Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Delhi, Haryana and Telangana -States with no international boundaries.
  • India’s longest border is with Bangladesh while the shortest border is with Afghanistan.
  • India-Myanmar boundary runs along the watershed between the Brahmaputra and Irrawaddy river.
  • India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh boundary demarcated by Radcliffe award.
  • Radha Krishna Mathur has been appointed as the first Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) of Ladakh and Girish Chandra Murmu, that of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).

Try yourself:Which of the following state does not share a border with Bhutan?
View Solution

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