Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev

Geography for UPSC CSE

UPSC : Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev

The document Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev is a part of the UPSC Course Geography for UPSC CSE.
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UPSC Prelims 2020: Geography

Q.1. What are the advantages of fertigation in agriculture? 

1. Controlling the alkalinity of irrigation water is possible.
2. Efficient application of Rock Phosphate and all other phosphatic fertilizers is possible.
3. Increased availability of nutrients to plants is possible.
4. Reduction in the leaching of chemical nutrients is possible. 

Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1, 2, and 3 only
(b) 1, 2, and 4 only
(c) 1, 3, and 4 only
(d) 2, 3, and 4 only
Ans.
(c)
Solution: Fertigation is a method of fertilizer application in which fertilizer is incorporated within the irrigation water by the drip system. In this system, fertilizer solution is distributed evenly in irrigation.
S1: Drip irrigation also avoids water spillage on the field which could have promoted weed growth or increase soil alkalinity due to waterlogging. So, fertigation also helps control weed growth and cut down alkalinity.
S2: Urea, potash, and highly water-soluble fertilizers are available for applying through fertigation. In fact, Urea is well suited for injection in a micro-irrigation system. It is highly soluble and dissolves in the non-ionic form so that it does not react with other substances in the water. But, Rock phosphate is not soluble and thus not suitable.
S3: By this method, fertilizer use efficiency is increased from 80 to 90 percent as they are delivered directly to roots via a drip. As water and fertilizer are supplied evenly to all the crops through fertigation there is a possibility for getting 25-50 percent higher yield.
S4: This is correct since overapplication and soil waterlogging is avoided.

Q.2. Consider the following minerals:
1. Bentonite
2. Chromite
3. Kyanite
4. Sillimanite 

In India, which of the above is/are officially designated as major minerals?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 4 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 2, 3, and 4 only
Ans. (d)

Q.3. With reference to Ocean Mean Temperature(OMT), which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. OMT is measured upto a depth of 26 degree Celsius isotherm which is 129 meters in the south-western Indian Ocean during January-March.
2. OMT collected during January-march can be used in assessing whether the amount of rainfall in monsoon will be less or more than a certain long-term mean. 

Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans. 
(b)
Solution: S1 and S2: The depth for the 26-degree isotherm is 50-100 meters, not 129 meters as the question suggests.
Ocean mean temperature is a better indicator of monsoon rainfall than sea surface temperatures. This is because OMT measures the ocean’s thermal energy, and on the other hand, SST is influenced by surface winds, evaporation, thick clouds, etc. OMT is a more stable indicator.

Q.4. Siachen Glacier is situated to the
(a) East of Aksai Chin
(b) East of Leh
(c) North of Gilgit
(d) North of Nubra Valley
Ans. (d)

Q.5. With references to the history of India, consider the following pairs:
Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev
Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?
(a) 1 and 3 only 
(b) 1 and 4 only 
(c) 2 and 3 only 
(d) 2 and 4 only
Ans. (a)
Solution: S1: For e.g. Bhilsa topes about Bhilsa is a famous work on this site in MP.
S2: Dwarasamudra was in Karnataka, like a regal capital of the Hoysalas.
S3: This is straightforward.
S4: This is in Haryana. As of now, it is known to host a monastic cluster. Sthanesvara Mahadev Temple is also at Thanesar. It was here that the Pandavas prayed to Lord Shiva.

Q.6. Consider the following statements:
1. 36% of India’s districts are classified as “overexploited” or “critical” by the Central Ground Water Authority(CGWA).
2. CGWA was formed under the Environment (Protection) Act.
3. India has the largest area under groundwater irrigation in the world.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 and 3 only 
(c) 2 only 
(d) 1 and 3 only
Ans. (b)
Solution: S1: About 29% are such, not 26%. Out of the 5723 assessment units assessed jointly by State Ground Water Departments and CGWB in the country, 4078 are safe (71%), 550 are semi-critical (10%), 226 are critical (4%) and 839 are overexploited (15%).
S2: Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) constituted under Section 3(3) of ‘The Environment (Protection) Act, (1986)’ regulates extraction of groundwater through guidelines which are updated regularly.
S3: At 39 million hectares (67% of its total irrigation), India has the world’s largest groundwater well-equipped irrigation system (China with 19 MHA is second, USA with 17 MHA is third).

Q.7. Consider the following statements:
1. Jet Streams occur in the Northern Hemisphere only.
2. Only some cyclones develop an eye.
3. The temperature inside the eye of a cyclone is nearly 10 degrees Celsius lesser than that of the surroundings.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 and 3 only 
(c) 2 only 
(d) 1 and 3 only
Ans. (c)
Solution: S1: This is obviously incorrect, they occur in the upper atmospheres of both hemispheres.
S2: Correct. Extra-tropical cyclones may not always have an eye, whereas mostly mature storms have well-developed eyes. Rapidly intensifying storms may develop an extremely small, clear, and circular eye, sometimes referred to as a pinhole eye.
S3: It is warmer and not colder for a tropical cyclone. The warmer temperature is what drives the storm.

Q.8. What is/are the advantage/advantages of zero tillage in agriculture?
1. Sowing of wheat is possible without burning the residue of the previous crop.
2. Without the need for the nursery of rice saplings, direct planting of paddy seeds in the wet soil is possible.
3. Carbon sequestration in the soil is possible.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only 
(b) 2 and 3 only 
(c) 3 only 
(d) 1,2 and 3 only
Ans. (d)
Solution: Tillage is an agricultural land preparation through mechanical agitation which includes digging, stirring, and overturning.
S1: Zero tillage is the process where the crop seed will be sown through drillers without prior land preparation and disturbing the soil where previous crop stubbles are present. Zero tillage not only reduces the cost of cultivation it also reduces the soil erosion, crop duration and irrigation requirement, and weed effect which is better than tillage. Zero tillage (ZT) also called No-Tillage or Nil Tillage.
S2: Direct Seeded Rice Zero-Tillage DSR is an alternative crop establishment method for rice where seeds are sown directly without raising them in a nursery and can be done in zero-tillage conditions.
S3: If crops are not burnt and the land is prepared through mechanical agitation, carbon sequestration remains possible.

Q.9. “The crop is subtropical in nature. A hard frost is injurious to it. It requires at least 210 frost-free days and 50 to 100 centimeters of rainfall for its growth. A light well-drained soil capable of retaining moisture is ideally suited for the cultivation of the crop.” Which one of the following is that crop?
(a) Cotton
(b) Jute
(c) Sugarcane
(d) Tea
Ans. (a)

Q.10. With reference to the current trends in the cultivation of sugarcane in India, consider the following statements:
1. A substantial saving in seed material is made when ‘bud chip settlings are raised in a nursery and transplanted in the main field.
2. When direct planting of setts is done, the germination percentage is better with single-budded setts as compared to setts with many buds.
3. If bad weather conditions prevail when setts are directly planted, single-budded setts have better survival as compared to large sets.
4. Sugarcane can be cultivated using settlings prepared from tissue culture.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 4 only
(d) 2, 3, and 4 only

Ans. (c)
Solution: Conventional method of sugarcane planting requires 7 to 8 tonnes of seed cane per hectare and this is the main reason for the slow rate of speed and varietal replacement. Sugarcane being a long duration crop and heavy biomass producer requires about 1500 to 2500 mm water.
Keeping in mind the likely to be faced situations in the future, the ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute (ICAR-SBI) has developed an integrated sugarcane cultivation model called Settling Transplanting Technology (STT). Components of the model are listed below:

  • High yielding and better quality varieties
  • Raising and transplanting of settlings derived from single bud setts/ bud chips
  • Sub-surface drip irrigation and fertigation
  • Wider row planting
  • Intercropping
  • Trash mulching
  • Multiple ratooning
  • Mechanization

S1: Transplanting sugarcane single-bud/ bud-chip settlings can save seed cane requirement up to 80 percent besides providing healthy plants and good field establishment. It is less expensive and labor-saving in comparison with conventional sett planting.
Other options are spaced transplanting (STP) and polybag / pro-tray nursery.
S2 and S3: Reverse is true.
S4: Yes, tissue culture or vegetative propagation (a subset of TC), can be used to germinate and grow these settlings which can be transplanted in the field later.

Q.11. In the context of India, which of the following is/are considered to be practice(s) of eco-friendly agriculture?
1. Crop diversification
2. Legume intensification
3. Tensiometer uses
4. Vertical farming
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1, 2, and 3 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
Ans. (d)

Q.12. Consider the following pairs:
Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, and 4 only
Ans. (c)

UPSC Prelims 2019: Geography

Q.1. With reference to the cultivation of Kharif crops in India in the last five years, consider the following statements:
1. Area under rice cultivation is the highest.
2. Area under the cultivation of jowar is more than that of oilseeds.
3. Area of cotton cultivation is more than that of sugarcane.
4. Area under sugarcane cultivation has steadily decreased.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2, 3, and 4 only
(c) 2 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
Ans.
(a)
Solution: The chart below (from Ministry report 2016-17) clarifies all the statements. S2 and S3 are wrong since the area under coarse grains is smaller than that of oil seeds and the area under sugarcane do not show a steadily increasing trend, rather fluctuates.

Q.2. Recently, scientists observed the merger of giant ‘blackholes’ billions of light-years away from the Earth. What is the significance of this observation?
(a) ‘Higgs boson particles’ were detected.
(b) ‘Gravitational waves’ were detected.
(c) Possibility of intergalactic space travel through ‘wormhole’ was confirmed.
(d) It enabled the scientists to understand ‘singularity’.

Ans. (b)
Solution: Two black holes recently collided to create a larger one – the biggest black hole merger yet detected. It has a mass more than 80 times that of the sun. The resulting energy injected into the fabric of spacetime was also record-breaking, with five sun’s worth of mass released in the form of gravitational waves as the two holes spiraled in towards each other. Such titanic amounts of energy meant that the signal was still detectable by the time it reached gravitational wave detectors on Earth. It produced a record-breaking result – the most distant collision detected so far, nine billion light-years away.

Q.3. Consider the following pairs
Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev
Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?
(a) 1 and 2 only 
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only 
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans. (a)
Solution: The Bhima River is a major river in Western India and South India. The river is also referred to as Chandrabhaga River, especially at Pandharpur, as it resembles the shape of the Moon. Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in the eastern part of central Karnataka. The two major rivers draining Tiruchirappalli are the Kaveri and its tributary the Kollidam.

Q.4In the context of which of the following do some scientists suggest the use of cirrus cloud thinning technique and the injection of sulphate aerosol into stratosphere?
(a) Creating the artificial rains in some regions
(b) Reducing the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones
(c) Reducing the adverse effects of solar wind on the Earth
(d) Reducing the global warming

Ans. (d)
Solution: The ability of stratospheric sulfate aerosols to create a global dimming effect has made them a possible candidate for use in solar radiation management climate engineering projects to limit the effect and impact of climate change due to rising levels of greenhouse gases. Delivery of precursor sulfide gases such as sulfuric acid, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), or sulfur dioxide (SO2) by artillery, aircraft, and balloons has been proposed. Cirrus cloud thinning is a proposed form of climate engineering. Cirrus clouds are high cold ice that, like other clouds, both reflect sunlight and absorb warming infrared radiation. However, they differ from other types of clouds in that, on average, infrared absorption outweighs sunlight reflection, resulting in a net warming effect on the climate. Therefore, thinning or removing these clouds would reduce their heat-trapping capacity, resulting in a cooling effect on Earth’s climate.

Q.5. On 21st June, the Sun 
(a) Does not set below the horizon at the Arctic Circle 
(b) Does not set below the horizon at Antarctic Circle 
(c) Shines vertically overhead at noon on the Equator 
(d) Shines vertically overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn
Ans. (a)
Solution: For that hemisphere, the summer solstice is when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky and is the day with the longest period of daylight. At the pole, there is continuous daylight around the summer solstice.

Q.6What is common to the places known as Aliyar, Isapur, and Kangsabati?
(a) Recently discovered uranium deposits
(b) Tropical rain forests
(c) Underground cave systems
(d) Water reservoirs
Ans.
(d)
Solution: They are all water reservoirs.

Q.7. Why are dewdrops not formed on a cloudy night?
(a) Clouds absorb the radiation released from the Earth’s surface.
(b) Clouds reflect back the Earth’s radiation.
(c) The Earth’s surface would have low temperature on cloudy nights.
(d) Clouds deflect the blowing wind to ground level.
Ans.
(b)
Solution: The dew formation is more when the sky is clear and less when it is cloudy. When the sky is clear and the trees and plants are cooler at night, there is more evaporation of water and hence more dew formation. But when it is cloudy, trees and plants do not get cool in the night and hence there is less dew formation. As the sun rises high in the sky, these dew drops evaporate into air.

Q.8. Consider the following pairs:
Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev
Which of the pair given above are correctly matched?
(a) 1, 2 and 4 only 
(b) 1, 3 and 4 only 
(c) 2 and 5 only 
(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
Ans. (b)
Solution: The countries with coasts on the Adriatic are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, and Slovenia.

Q.9. Consider the following pairs:
Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev
Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?
(a) 1, 2 and 4 
(b) 1, 3 and 4 
(c) 2 and 5 
(d) 3 and 5
Ans. (a)
Solution: S3: Mandakini originates from the Chorabari Glacier near Kedarnath in Uttarakhand, India. Mandakini is fed by the Vasukiganga River at Sonprayag.
S5: The Manas river system as a whole in Bhutan constitutes a length of 3,200 kilometers (2,000 mi), the main stem of the river is the Manas or Gongri river, which originates in the West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh in India. Zemu is located in Sikkim.

UPSC Prelims 2018: Geography

Q.1. Which of the following has/have shrunk immensely/dried up in the recent past due to human activities?
1. Aral Sea
2. Black Sea
3. Lake Baikal
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3
(c) 2 only
(d) 1 and 3
Ans.
(a)
Solution: S1: The Aral Sea is a saline lake located in Central Asia that was once the world’s fourth largest salt lake. In the 1960s the Aral Sea, which was the drainage basin for Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Kazakhstan, began to shrink as the Soviet Union began to divert water for agricultural purposes. The Aral Sea, which was once 26,300 square miles in size had decreased in size by 2007 to only 10% of its original area. Lake Baikal hasn’t shrunk immensely yet.  Certainly its water is shrinking. But, it’s not ‘immense’ like Aral Sea. If one has to go for two options, the intensity of shrinkage should be either equal or comparable. Case of Aral Sea is extreme and Lake Baikal’s present condition, which is better, is no comparison to Aral Sea’s fate.

Q.2. Consider the following statements:
1. The Earth’s magnetic field has reversed every few hundred thousand years.
2. When the Earth was created more than 4000 million years ago, there was 54% oxygen and no carbon dioxide.
3. When living organisms originated, they modified the early atmosphere of the Earth.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans.
(a)
Solution: S1: A change in the Earth’s magnetic field resulting in the magnetic north being aligned with the geographic south, and the magnetic south being aligned with the geographic north is called as geomagnetic reversal. Complete magnetic reversals have happened every 200,000 to 300,000 years over the past 20 million years. But that regularity hasn’t continued, as the last known reversal occurred roughly 780,000 years ago.
S2: Between 4.5 and 2.5 billion years (the Archaean and Proterozoic time), the earliest  atmosphere contained carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), water vapour (H2O), carbon monoxide (CO), a little nitrogen (N), and hydrogen (H).
S3: When living organisms originated, they did not affect the early atmosphere because they lacked the ability to do so. Early atmosphere of earth was modified by solar winds. This happened not only in case of the earth, but also in all the terrestrial planets, which were supposed to have lost their primordial atmosphere through the impact of solar winds.

Q.3. With reference to the circumstances in Indian agriculture, the concept of “Conservation Agriculture” assumes significance” Which of the following fall under the Conservation Agriculture?
1. Avoiding the monoculture practices 
2. Adopting minimum tillage 
3. Avoiding the cultivation of plantation crops 
4. Using crop residues to cover soil surface 
5. Adopting spatial and temporal crop sequencing/crop rotations
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1, 3 and 4 
(b) 2, 3, 4 and 5 
(c) 2, 4 and 5 
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 5
Ans. (c)
Solution: Conservation agriculture (CA) can be defined by a statement given by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations as “a concept for resource-saving agricultural crop production that strives to achieve acceptable profits together with high and sustained production levels while concurrently conserving the environment”
The 3 principles of CA are:

(i) Minimum tillage and soil disturbance 

(ii) Permanent soil cover with crop residues and live mulches 

(iii) Crop rotation and intercropping

Q.4. The term “sixth mass extinction/sixth extinction” is often mentioned in the news in the context of the discussion of
(a) Widespread monoculture Practices agriculture and large-scale commercial farming with indiscriminate use of chemicals in many parts of the world that may result in the loss of good native ecosystems.
(b) Fears of a possible collision of a meteorite with the Earth in the near future in the manner it happened 65million years ago that caused the mass extinction of many species including those of dinosaurs.
(c) Large scale cultivation of genetically modified crops in many parts of the world and promoting their cultivationin other Parts of the world which may cause the disappearance of good native crop plants and the loss offood biodiversity.
(d) Mankind’s over-exploitation/misuse of natural resources, fragmentation/loss, natural habitats, destructionof ecosystems, pollution and global climate change.
Ans.
(d)

Solution: The Holocene extinction, otherwise referred to as the Sixth extinction or Anthropocene extinction, is the ongoing extinction event of species during the present Holocene epoch, mainly as a result of human activity. The large number of extinctions spans numerous families of plants and animals, including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and arthropods. With widespread degradation of highly bio-diverse habitats such as coral reefs and rainforests, as well as other areas, the vast majority of these extinctions is thought to be undocumented, as we are either not even aware of the existence of the species before they go extinct, or we haven’t yet discovered their extinction. The current rate of extinction of species is estimated at 100 to 1,000 times higher than natural background rates.

Q.5. Which one of the following is an artificial lake?
(a) Kodaikanal (Tamil Nadu)
(b) Kolleru (Andhra Pradesh)
(c) Nainital (Uttarakhand)
(d) Renuka (Himachal Pradesh)
Ans.
  (a)
Solution: Kodaikanal Lake, also known as Kodai Lake is a manmade lake located in the Kodaikanal city in Dindigul district in Tamil Nadu, India. Kodaikanal Lake is in the Palni Hills. It is starfish-shaped but with four points, centrally located in the town of Kodaikanal and is surrounded by lush green hills of the Northwestern Palani Hills.

Q.6. Which of the following is/are the possible consequence/s of heavy sand mining in riverbeds?
1. Decreased salinity in the river
2. Pollution of groundwater
3. Lowering of the water-table
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans.
(b) 

Solution: The removal of sand from the river bed increases the velocity of the flowing water, with the distorted flow-regime eventually eroding the river banks. Sand acts like a sponge, which helps in recharging the water table; its progressive depletion in the river is accompanied by declining water tables in the nearby areas. Depletion of sand in the stream bed causes the deepening of rivers and estuaries, and the enlargement of river mouths and coastal inlets. It leads to saline-water intrusion. Sand acts as an efficient filter for various pollutants and thus maintains the quality of water in rivers and other aquatic ecosystems.

Q.7. With reference to agricultural soils, consider the following statements:
1. A high content of organic matter in soil drastically reduces its water holding capacity. 
2. Soil does not play any role in the sulphur cycle. 
3. Irrigation over a period of time can contribute to the salinization of some agricultural lands.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only 
(b) 3 only 
(c) 1 and 3 only 
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans. (b)
Solution: S1: Soil water holding capacity is the amount of water that a given soil can hold for crop use. Soil texture and organic matter are the key components that determine soil water holding capacity. Organic matter influences the physical conditions of a soil in several ways. Plant residues that cover the soil surface protect the soil from sealing and crusting by raindrop impact, thereby enhancing rainwater infiltration and reducing runoff. Each 1 percent increase in soil organic matter helps soil hold 20,000 gallons more water per acre.
S2: Sulphur is one of three nutrients that are cycled between the soil, plant matter and the atmosphere. The sulphur cycle describes the movement of sulphur through the atmosphere, mineral and organic forms, and through living things. Although sulphur is primarily found in sedimentary rocks, it is particularly important to living things because it is a component of many proteins
S3: Salinization is a major problem associated with irrigation, because deposits of salts build up in the soil and can reach levels that are harmful to crops. Hence statement 3 is correct.

Q.8. Consider the following statements:
1. The Barren Island volcano is an active volcano located in the Indian Territory. 
2. Barren Island lies about 140 km east of Great Nicobar 
3. The last time the Barren Island volcano erupted was in 1991 and it has remained inactive since then.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 and 3 only 
(c) 3 only 
(d) 1 and 3
Ans. (a)
Solution: Barren Island, a possession of India in the Andaman Sea about 140 km NE of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, is the only historically active volcano along the N-S-trending volcanic arc extending between Sumatra and Burma (Myanmar). The 354-m-high island is the emergent summit of a volcano that rises from a depth of about 2250 m.
The Barren Island volcano, on a remote uninhabited island off the country’s eastern coast, had been lying dormant for more than 150 years until it saw a major eruption in 1991. Since then it has shown intermittent activity, including eruptions in 1995 and 2005.

Q.9. Consider the following pairs:
Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev
Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only 
(b) 3 and 4 only 
(c) 1 and 3 only 
(d) 2 and 4 only
Ans. (c)
Solution: The autonomous community of Catalonia occupies a triangular area in the north-eastern corner of Spain. It is bordered by France and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, the autonomous community of Valencia to the south, and the autonomous community of Aragon to the west. The Republic of Crimea, officially part of Ukraine, lies on a peninsula stretching out from the south of Ukraine between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. It is separated from Russia to the east by the narrow Kerch Strait. Mindanao, island, the second largest (after Luzon) in the Philippines, in the southern part of the archipelago, surrounded by the Bohol, Philippine, Celebes, and Sulu seas. Oromia is one of the nine ethnically based regional states of Ethiopia, covering 284,538 square kilometres.

Q.10. In which one of the following States is Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary located?
(a) Arunachal Pradesh
(b) Manipur
(c) Meghalaya
(d) Nagaland

Ans. (a)
Solution: Spread over an area of 862 sq. km. at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in Arunachal Pradesh, Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary is also known as Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary and more popularly as Pakke Tiger Reserve. Earlier a game sanctuary, it became a wildlife sanctuary in 2001 and a part of Project Tiger in 2002. The sanctuary is well-known for being home to tigers and many amazing species of hornbill.

Q.11. Consider the following pairs
Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev
Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched? 
(a) 1 and 2 
(b) 1 and 4 
(c) 2 and 3 
(d) 3 and 4
Ans. (b)
Solution: 
(i) Aleppo – Syria
(ii) Kirkuk – Iraq
(iii) Mosul – Iraq
(iv) Mazar-i-sharif – Afghanistan

UPSC Prelims 2017: Geography

Q.1. From the ecological point of view, which one of the following assumes importance in being a good link between the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats?
(a) Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
(b) Nallamala Forest
(c) Nagarhole National Park
(d) Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve

Ans. (a)
Solution: Sathyamangalam forest range is a significant wildlife corridor in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve between the Western Ghats and the rest of the Eastern Ghats and a genetic link between the four other protected areas which it adjoins, including the Billigiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Sigur Plateau, Mudumalai National Park and Bandipur National Park.

Q.2. At one of the places in India, if you stand on the seashore and watch the sea, you will find that the sea water recedes from the shore line a few kilometres and comes back to the shore, twice a day, and you can actually walk on the sea floor when the water recedes. This unique phenomenon is seen at
(a) Bhavnagar
(b) Bheemunipatnam
(c) Chandipur
(d) Nagapattinam

Ans. (c)
Solution: Chandipur-on-sea (Odisha) beach is unique in that the water recedes up to 5 kilometers during the ebb tide.

Q.3. With reference to river Teesta, consider the following statements:
1. The source of river Teesta is the same as that of Brahmaputra but it flows through Sikkim.
2. River Rangeet originates in Sikkim and it is a tributary of river Teesta.
3. River Teesta flows into Bay of Bengal on the border of India and Bangladesh.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 3 only 
(b) 2 only 
(c) 2 and 3 only 
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans. (b)
Solution: Statement 1 and 3: Teesta River originates from the Pahunri glacier. Brahmaputra originates in Angsi glacier. Teesta is a tributary of Brahmaputra. So, 1 is wrong. But, Teesta flows through West Bengal and Sikkim, before going to Bay of Bengal through Bangladesh. Statement 3 is incorrect.

Q.4. The terms ‘Event Horizon’, ‘Singularity’, `String Theory’ and ‘Standard Model’ are sometimes seen in the news in the context of
(a) Observation and understanding of the Universe
(b) Study of the solar and the lunar eclipses
(c) Placing satellites in the orbit of the Earth
(d) Origin and evolution of living organisms on the Earth
Ans.
(a)
Solution: Singularity and event horizons are related to Black Holes. Standard model of physics tries to explain universal phenomena. String theory is used in the context of quantum physics that is used to understand quantum phenomena

Q.5. If you travel by road from Kohima to Kottayam, what is the minimum number of States within India through which you can travel, including the origin and the destination?
(a) 6
(b) 7
(c) 8
(d) 9
Ans.
(b)
Solution: You need to cross Nagaland (origin), Assam, WB, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and then through either Tamilnadu to Kerala (Kottayam), or through AP to Karnataka to Kerala: 7 states either way.

Q.6. Mediterranean Sea is a border of which of the following countries?
1. Jordan
2. Iraq
3. Lebanon
4. Syria
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 3 and 4 only
Ans. 
(c)
Solution:
Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev


Q.7. Consider the following statements:
1. In India, the Himalayas are spread over five States only.
2. Western Ghats are spread over five States only.
3. Pulicat Lake is spread over two States only.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only 
(b) 3 only 
(c) 2 and 3 only 
(d) 1 and 3 only
Ans. (b)
Solution: Statement 1: Himalayas are spread over almost all the Northern and north-eastern Indian states. Statement 1 is wrong.
Statement 2: Western Ghats traverse the States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat (6 states).
Statement 3: Pulicat Lake (second largest brackish water lake in India)straddles the border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states (2 states).

Q.8. With reference to ‘Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)’ sometimes mentioned in the news while forecasting Indian monsoon, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. IOD phenomenon is characterised by a difference in sea surface temperature between tropical Western Indian Ocean and tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean.
2. An IOD phenomenon can influence an El Nino’s impact on the monsoon.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans.
(b)
Solution: Statement 1: The IOD, also known as the Indian Niño, is an irregular oscillation of sea-surface temperatures in which the western Indian Ocean becomes alternately warmer and then colder than the eastern part of the Indian ocean (not tropical eastern pacific ocean.
Statement 2: IOD has a much more significant effect on the rainfall patterns in south-east Australia than the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the Pacific Ocean as shown in several recent studies.

Q.9. Which of the following practices can help in water conservation in agriculture? ‎ ‎
1. Reduced or zero tillage of the land ‎ ‎
2. Applying gypsum before irrigating the field ‎ ‎
3. Allowing crop residue to remain in the field ‎
Select the correct answer using the code given below : ‎
(a) 1 and 2 only‎
‎(b) 3 only ‎
‎(c) 1 and 3 only ‎ ‎
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans. 
(d)
Solution: Statement 1: Tillage is the agricultural preparation of soil by mechanical agitation of various types, such as digging, stirring, and overturning. No-till farming (also called zero tillage or direct drilling) is a way of growing crops or pasture from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage. Zero tillage helps in soil moisture conservation.
Statement 2: An infiltration problem often occurs in farms if the irrigation water does not enter the soil rapidly enough during a normal irrigation cycle. Gypsum helps in dissolution of the salt clay pan found in soils that hinder the percolation of water. This increases the efficiency of irrigation as less water is needed to irrigate the same soil. Adding gypsum to irrigation water further increases its infiltration rate.
Statement 3: This reduces evaporation of farm soil water

Q.10. Which of the following is geographically closest to Great Nicobar?
(a) Sumatra
(b) Borneo
(c) Java
(d) Sri Lanka
Ans.
(a)
Solution: Distance from Great Nicobar to Sri Lanka is 1,437 km. Distance from Great Nicobar to Sumatra is 1,192 km.
Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev

UPSC Prelims 2016: Geography 

Q.1. In which of the following regions of India are shale gas resources found?
1. Cambay Basin
2. Cauvery Basin
3. Krishna-Godavari Basin
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans.
(d)
Solution: The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) has identified six basins as potentially shale gas bearing. These are Cambay, Assam-Arakan, Gondwana, Krishna-Godavari, Kaveri, and the Indo-Gangetic plain.

Q.2. Which of the following is/are tributary/tributaries of Brahmaputra?
1. Dibang
2. Kameng
3. Lohit
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans.
(d)

Q.3. Recently, linking of which of the following rivers was undertaken? 
(a) Cauvery and Tungabhadra 
(b) Godavari and Krishna 
(c) Mahanadi and Son 
(d) Narmada and Tapti
Ans. (b)

Q.4. Why does the Government of India promote the use of “Neem-coated Urea” in agriculture?
(a) Release of Neem oil in the soil increases nitrogen fixation by the soil microorganisms.
(b) Neem coating slows down the rate of dissolution of urea in the soil.
(c) Nitrous oxide, which is a greenhouse gas, is not at all released into atmosphere by crop fields
(d) It is a combination of weedicide and a fertilizer for particular crops.
Ans. 
(b)
Solution: Down-to-earth explains the role of Neem-coated Urea very well.
(i) “Urea is an important supplier of nitrogen, which is necessary for the development of plants. But only 30-40 per cent of nitrogen present in the urea is utilised by crops. The rest gets degraded in various stages.
(ii) When ordinary urea is applied, it gets converted to ammonium carbamate. Some of this gets converted to ammonia gas in what is called ammonia volatilisation. About 8-10 per cent nitrogen is lost during volatilisation.
(iii) The rest of the ammonium carbamate undergoes chemical transfor-mation and nitrates are formed. Some of these are absorbed by the plants.
(iv) The rest are either leached into the underground water or are denitrified to gaseous nitrogen and nitrous oxide under anaerobic conditions (absence of oxygen).
(v) Neem has properties that check nitrogen loss at each stage. It slows down the process of nitrate formation and hence excess nitrate is not available for denitrification.
(vi) So, clearly B is the most appropriate option. Neem coating also prevents Urea from being diverted to non-agricultural purposes.

Q.5. Which of the following is/are the advantage/advantages of practicing drop irrigation?
1. Reduction in weed 
2. Reduction in soil salinity 
3. Reduction in soil erosion
Select the correct answer using the code given  below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) None of the above is an advantage of practicing drip irrigation
Ans. (c)
Solution: Statement 1: Weeds usually grow in between the plant rows due to availability of moisture on that strip of land. In drip irrigation, water is applied directly to the roots, and not the entire field (thus excluding the land space between plants where weeds usually grow). So, weed growth is inhibited.
Statement 2: There may be some confusion in this statement. Generally excessive logging and flooded fields suffer from higher salinity. So, replacing conventional irrigation may help in curbing water-logged soil salinity.
(i) But, generally speaking, as a rule, we cannot claim that if drip irrigation system is installed on a farm land, it would always reduce soil salinity. Seen in isolation from instances of water logging (or other such cases), drip irrigation and soil salinity do not have much co-relation. The system simply delivers water to the roots of the plant.
(ii) Also, if we use elimination, as 1 and 3 must be correct, there is no option “1, 2 and 3” which automatically tells us that statement 2 is wrong.
Statement 3: Surface irrigation is a significant contributor to top soil erosion. Drip irrigation reduces soil erosion as water is delivered directly to plant roots at a very slow rate (unlike surface irrigation where water velocity can be fast).

Q.6. With reference to “Red Sanders” sometimes seen in the news, consider the following statements:
1. It is a tree species found in a part of South India.
2. It is one of the most important trees in the tropical rain forest areas of South India.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans.
(a)
Solution: Statement 1: Red Sanders (a tree) has a highly restrictive distribution in the South Eastern portion of Indian peninsula (Eastern Ghats of South India) to which it is endemic. So, clearly 1 is correct.
Statement 2: It occurs in the forest formation which is classified as “Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests”. So, clearly 2 is wrong. It is generally found at altitudes of 150 – 900 m. It grows on dry, hilly, often rocky ground, and occasionally found on precipitous hill sides also. It prefers lateritic and gravelly soil and cannot tolerate water logging.

Q.7. Consider the following pairs:
Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev
Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?
(a) 1, 2 and 4 
(b) 2, 3, 4 and 5 
(c) 2 and 5 only 
(d) 1, 3, 4 and 5
Ans. (c)
Solution: Baghelkhand is in Central India, whereas Bodhgaya is in Bihar. So, if 1 is wrong, we have options (b) and (c) remaining. Malwa doesn’t extend to Nasik and Shirdi is in Ahmadnagar (far from Vidarbha). So, 3 and 4 are wrong. The only answer can be C.

Q.8. Consider the following pairs:
Community sometimes In the affairs of mentioned in the news
1. Kurd : Bangladesh
2. Madhesi : Nepal
3. Rohingya : Myanmar
Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?
(a) 1 and 2 
(b) 2 only 
(c) 2 and 3 
(d) 3 only
Ans. (c)
Solution: Kurds are an ethnic group in the Middle East. So, 1 is incorrect. Madhesis were recently in news due to Nepal’s constitutional debates about their representation in the polity. So, 2 is correct. Rohingyas muslims and Buddhist rakhines have been indulging into fights and riots in Myanmar, which has frequently been in news. So, 3 is correct.

UPSC Prelims 2015: Geography 

Q.1. Tides occur in the oceans and seas due to which among the following?
1. Gravitational force of the Sun
2. Gravitational force of the Moon
3. Centrifugal force of the Earth
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans.
(d)
Solution: Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of gravitational forces exerted by the Moon, Sun, and rotation of the Earth. The times and amplitude of tides at a locale are influenced by the alignment of the Sun and Moon, by the pattern of tides in the deep ocean, by the amphidromic systems of the oceans, and the shape of the coastline and near-shore bathymetry.

Q.2. In the South Atlantic and South-Eastern Pacific regions in tropical latitudes, cyclones do not originate. What is the reason?
(a) Sea Surface temperatures are low
(b) Inter-Tropical Convergence zone seldom occurs
(c) Coriolis force is too weak
(d) Absence of land in these regions
Ans. (a)
Solution: Option C is wrong. Coriolis force is weak only in the region around 0-5 degrees North or South latitudes. Option B is also wrong. ITCZ formation is not essential to the formation of cyclones. Cyclones are formed in regions where ITCZ does not form, for e.g. in North Atlantic. Option D is absurd as absence of land boosts cyclones. Presence of land cuts off moisture from the cyclone. So, the most appropriate answer should be A. For cyclone formation, a sea temperature of at least 26 degree Celsius is needed. In the South-eastern pacific and South Atlantic region cold currents are found. This leads to lower sea temperatures. Hence, cyclones don’t form there.

Q.3. What explains the eastward flow of the equatorial counter-current?
(a) The Earth’s rotation on its axis
(b) Convergence of the two equatorial currents
(c) Difference in salinity of water
(d) Occurrence of the belt of calm near the equator
Ans. (b)
Solution: The equatorial countercurrents are driven by a distinct surface wind pattern in the tropics. Strong westward trade winds result in westward surface flow in most of the tropical Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. However, several hundred mi. (km.) north of the equator the winds are much weaker, in comparison. The stronger winds to the south pile up water where the winds are weak. As a result, the surface of the ocean can be up to 6 in. (15 cm.) higher and the thermocline (region of strongest decrease of temperature with increasing depth) as much as 328 ft. (100 m.) deeper than it is directly to the north. The excess water flows eastward under the influence of the Earth’s rotation, giving rise to the equatorial countercurrents.

Q.4. Consider the following statements: 
1. The winds which blow between 300N and 600S latitudes throughout the year are known as Westerlies. 
2. The moist air masses that cause winter rains in North-Western region of India are part of Westerlies.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans. (b)
Solution: Westerlies flow between latitudes 30-60 degrees North and 30-60 degrees South. The statement mentions 30N-60S. So it is wrong. The western cyclonic disturbances are weather phenomena of the winter months brought in by the westerly flow from the Mediterranean region. They usually influence the weather of the north and north-western regions of India. They are a non-monsoonal precipitation pattern driven by the Westerlies.

Q.5. “Each day is more or less the same, the morning is clear and bright with a sea breeze; as the Sun climbs high in the sky, heat mounts up, dark clouds form, then rain comes with thunder and lightning.  But rain is soon over.”
Which of the following regions is described in the above passage?
(a) Savannah
(b) Equatorial
(c) Monsoon
(d) Mediterranean
Ans. (b)
Solution: Equatorial climate is characterized by consistently high temperatures (around 30 °C), with plentiful precipitation (150–1,000 cm), heavy cloud cover, and high humidity, with very little annual temperature variation. Wet equatorial regions lie within about 12° latitude of the Equator.

Q.6. Which one of the following pairs of State of India indicates the Easternmost and the Westernmost State?
(a) 
Assam and Rajasthan
(b) 
Arunachal Pradesh and Rajasthan
(c) 
Assam and Gujarat
(d) 
Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat
Ans.
(d)

Q.7. Which one of the following regions of India has a combination of mangrove forest, evergreen forest and deciduous forest?
(a) North Coastal Andhra Pradesh
(b) South-West Bengal
(c) Southern Saurashtra
(d) Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Ans. (d)
Solution: The South Andaman forests have a profuse growth of epiphytic vegetation, mostly ferns and orchids. The Middle Andamans harbours mostly moist deciduous forests. North Andamans is characterized by the wet evergreen type, with plenty of woody climbers. The North Nicobar Islands (including Car Nicobar and Battimalv) are marked by the complete absence of evergreen forests, while such forests form the dominant vegetation in the central and southern islands of the Nicobar group. Grasslands occur only in the Nicobars, and while deciduous forests are common in the Andamans, they are almost absent in the Nicobars. The present forest coverage is claimed to be 86.2% of the total land area.

Q.8. Consider the following States:
1. Arunachal Pradesh
2. Himachal Pradesh
3. Mizoram
In which of the above States do “Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests” occur?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans.
(c)
Solution: These are typical rain forests which grow in those areas where the annual rainfall exceeds 250 cm, the annual temperature is about 25°-27°C the average annual humidity exceeds 77 per cent and the dry season is distinctly short. The true evergreen forests are found along the western side of the Western Ghats (between 500 to 1370 metres above sea level) south of Mumbai, in a strip running from northeast to south-west direction across Arunachal Pradesh, Upper Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura upto a height of 1070 metres and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Q.9. In India, in which one of the following types of forests is teak a dominant tree species?
(a) Tropical moist deciduous forest
(b) Tropical rain forest
(c) Tropical thorn scrub forest
(d) Temperate forest with grasslands
Ans.
(a)
Solution: Tropical moist deciduous forests exist mostly in the eastern part of the country – northeastern states, along the foothills of the Himalayas, Jharkhand, West Orissa and Chhattisgarh, and on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. Teak is the most dominant species of this forest. Bamboos, sal, shisham, sandalwood, khair, kusum, arjun, mulberry are other commercially important species.

Q.10. In India, the steel production industry requires the import of:
(a) Saltpetre
(b) Rock phosphate
(c) Coking coal
(d) All the above
Ans. (c)
Solution: Saltpetre (Potassium nitrate) is not used in the production of steel. It is instead used in fertilizers, tree stump removal, rocket propellants and fireworks. It is one of the major constituents of gunpowder (blackpowder) and has been used since the Middle Ages as a food preservative. India definitely imports coking coal. So, the answer has to be C. It requires 0.8 tonnes coking coal to produce one tonne of steel. The government had recently imposed a 2.5 per cent duty on coking coal import.

Q.11. Which one of the following countries of South-West Asia does not open out to the Mediterranean Sea?
(a) Syria
(b) Jordan
(c) Lebanon
(d) Israel
Ans. (b)
Solution:
Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev

Q.12. Consider the following rivers:
(a) Vamsadhara
(b) Indravati
(c) Pranahita
(d) Pennar
Which of the above are tributaries of Godavari?
(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 2, 3 and 4
(c) 1, 2 and 4
(d) 2 and 3 only
Ans. (d)
Solution: Left tributaries: Purna, Pranahita, Indravati, Sabari, Taliperu, Wainganga, Penganga, Wardha, Dudhana Right tributaries: Pravara, Manjira, Pedda Vagu, Manair, Kinnerasani

Q.13. What can be the impact of excessive/inappropriate use of Nitrogenous fertilizers in Agriculture?
1. Proliferation of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms in soil can occur.
2. Increase in the acidity of soil can take place.
3. Leaching of Nitrate to the groundwater can occur
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans. (c)
Solution: Statement 1 is absurd. Increasing the amount of nitrogen based fertilizer does not lead to more micro-organisms in the field. If it did, just one dose of fertilizer would make a farm nitrogen rich for years together.
Statement 2: Excessive use of nitrogen fertilizers resulting in soil acidity is a well-known fact.
Statement 3: Nitorgen fertilizers break down into nitrates and travel easily through the soil. Because it is water-soluble and can remain in groundwater for decades, the addition of more nitrogen over the years has an accumulative effect.

Q.14. In a particular region in India, the local people train in the roots of living trees into robust bridges across the streams. As the time passes, these bridges become stronger.  These unique “living root bridges” are found in:
(a) Meghalaya
(b) Himachal Pradesh
(c) Jharkhand
(d) Tamil Nadu
Ans. (a)
Solution: Meghalaya’s double-decker and single-decker root bridges are unique in the world and are a sight to behold. The bridges are tangles of massive thick roots, which have been intermingled to form a bridge that can hold several people at a time. Khasi people have been trained to grow these bridges across the raised banks of streams to form a solid bridge, made from roots. The living bridges are made from the roots of the Ficus elastic tree, which produces a series of secondary roots that are perched atop huge boulders along the streams or the riverbanks to form bridges. The root bridges, some of which are over a hundred feet long, take ten to fifteen years to become fully functional, but they’re extraordinarily strong – strong enough that some of them can support the weight of fifty or more people at a time. The bridges are alive and still growing and gain strength over time.

Q.15. Consider the following pairs:
Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev
Which of the above pairs is/ are correctly matched?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans. (a)
Solution: The town (as well as the mandal) of Srisailam is reputed for the shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna on the flat top of Nallamala Hills. Omkareshwar is situated on the Mandhata hills in Madhya Pradesh, known in ancient times as Shivpuri. The temple dates back to the Krita Yuga. River Narmada flows here around the Mandhata hill in the form of an Om (Omkaram). The Mahadeo Hills are a range of hills in Madhya Pradesh state of central India. But, Pushkar lies in Ajmer, Rajasthan.

Q.16. The area known as ‘Golan Heights’ sometimes appears in the news in the context of the events related to: 
(a) Central Asia 
(b) Middle East 
(c) South-East Asia 
(d) Central Africa
Ans. (b)
Solution:
Previous Year Questions (PYQs): Geography Prelims Notes | EduRev

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