UPSC Prelims & Mains Syllabus for Geography Notes | EduRev

Geography for UPSC CSE

UPSC : UPSC Prelims & Mains Syllabus for Geography Notes | EduRev

The document UPSC Prelims & Mains Syllabus for Geography Notes | EduRev is a part of the UPSC Course Geography for UPSC CSE.
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Geography is an important subject as far as the UPSC civil services exam is concerned. It is a part of the UPSC prelims and mains exams. Geography is also an optional subject offered by the commission and as far as the numbers go, it is an immensely popular option. Its rational nature and scoring ability make it especially popular among candidates with both science and arts backgrounds. But even if you don’t opt for Geography optional, you cannot escape studying Geography if you want to clear the IAS exam. In this article, you will read about the syllabus of Geography for the IAS exam – prelims, mains, and optional. The geography syllabus for UPSC is given in detail below.

UPSC Prelims Geography Syllabus

Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World. As you can see, the syllabus mentions only 1 line. Let us look at the details now.

Indian Geography

Basics of India

  • Location, latitude, longitude, time zone, etc.
  • Neighbors
  • Important straits
  • States and their position
  • States with international boundaries

Physical features

  • The Himalayas – geological formation, climate, vegetation, soil, biodiversity, physiographic divisions, major passes, significance
  • The Great North Indian Plains – geological formation, physiographic divisions, climate, vegetation, soil, biodiversity, significance
  • Peninsular Plateau – geological formation, Central Highlands, Deccan Plateau, Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats
  • Indian Desert
  • Coastal plains and islands

River systems

  • Himalayan rivers
  • Peninsular rivers
  • River basins
  • Regional development and planning
  • Hydropower projects, major dams
  • West-flowing and east-flowing rivers
  • Interlinking of rivers

Climate

  • Monsoons – driving mechanism, El Nino, La Nina
  • Seasons
  • Cyclones

Minerals and industries – mineral distribution, industrial policies, location

Agriculture

  • Land utilization
  • Types of agricultural practices
  • Green revolution
  • Soils and crops
  • Irrigation
  • Land reforms
  • Animal husbandry
  • Government schemes

Natural vegetation and fauna

  • Classification of natural vegetation
  • Rainfall distribution
  • Biosphere reserves, national parks, etc.
  • Red-listed species

Economic infrastructure

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

Human Geography

  • Demographics 
  • Recent census

World Geography

  • Major natural regions
  • Regional geography of developed countries
  • Regional geography of developing countries
  • Regional geography of South Asia

Physical Geography

Geomorphology

  • Origin of the earth
  • Interior of the earth
  • Types and characteristics of rocks
  • Folding and Faulting
  • Volcanoes, earthquakes
  • Interior of the earth
  • Weathering
  • Landforms formed by fluvial, aeolian, and glacial actions

Climatology

  • Atmosphere – structure, and composition
  • Temperature
  • Pressure belts
  • Wind systems
  • Clouds and types of rainfall
  • Cyclones and anti-cyclones
  • Major climatic types

Oceanography

  • Ocean relief
  • Temperature, salinity
  • Ocean deposits
  • Ocean currents
  • El Nino and La Nina
  • Waves and tides

Biogeography

  • Soil – origin, and types
  • Major biomes of the world
  • Ecosystem, food chain
  • Environmental degradation and conservation

Human Geography

  • Man & environment; relationship, growth, and development of human geography; determinism and possibilism
  • Population, tribes, migration
  • Economic activities – agriculture, manufacturing, industries, tertiary activities
  • Settlements, urbanization, functional classification of towns, million-cities, and megacities

Location-based questions pertaining to India and the world are also asked in the prelims.

UPSC Mains Geography Syllabus

Geography is part of the GS paper I in the IAS mains exam. The syllabus for GS Geography is given below:

  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent; factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world including India
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone, etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes
  • Salient features of the world’s physical geography (geomorphology, climatology, oceanography, biogeography, and environmental geography)
    (i) Geomorphology – the interior of the earth, tectonics, physical phenomenon, mountain building, volcanoes, earthquakes, weathering & erosion, rocks, landforms
    (ii) Climatology – atmosphere, temperature distribution, jet streams, pressure & wind systems, air masses, fronts, cyclones, humidity, precipitation, geographical phenomenon, climatic regions of the world
    (iii) Oceanography – ocean relief, temperature distribution, ocean currents, salinity, coral bleaching, marine pollution, sea-level change, UN laws, etc.
    (iv) Biography – soil profile, degradation, conservation), biotic regions, deforestation, and conservation of forests, changes in critical geographical features, environmental pollution
  • There is a good overlap of the environment in some of the topics in geography. The Geography UPSC syllabus is quite comprehensive, as you can see from above. It is an important subject as far as UPSC is concerned and every year, many questions are asked from the syllabus of geography for UPSC.
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