Everything You Need To Know About Geography Optional Syllabus

Geography Optional Syllabus For UPSC CSE Mains 2024

UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus



Syllabus of Geography Optional Paper-I { PRINCIPLES OF GEOGRAPHY


Section A – Physical Geography

1. Geomorphology :

    • Factors controlling landform development; endogenetic and exogenetic forces;
    • Origin and evolution of the earth’s crusts;
    • 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 Land scape development;
    • Denudation chronology; Channel morphology; Erosion surfaces; Slope development;
    • Applied Geomorphology; Geomorphology, economic geology and environment.

2. 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 fronto; Temperate and tropical cyclones;
    • Types and distribution of precipitation; Weather and Climate; Koppen’s Thornthwaite’s and Trewar Tha’s classification of world climate; Hydrological cycle;
    • Global climatic change, and role and response of man in climatic changes Applied climatology and Urban climate.

3. 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 coral bleaching; Sea-level changes; Law of the sea and marine pollution.

4. Biogeography :

    • Genesis of soils; Classification and distribution of soils; Soil profile;
    • Soil erosion, Degradation and conservation;
    • Factors influencing world distribution of plants and animals;
    • Problems of deforestation and conservation measures; Social forestry, agro-forestry; Wild life; Major gene pool centres.

5. Environmental Geography :

    • Principle ecology; Human ecological adaptations; Influence of man on ecology and environment;
    • Global and regional ecological changes and imbalances; Ecosystem their management and conservation;
    • Environmental degradation, management and conservation; Biodiversity and sustainable development;
    • Environmental policy; Environmental hazards and remedial measures; Environmental education and legislation.


Section B – Human Geography :

1. Perspectives in Human Geography :

    • Areal differentiation; Regional synthesis; Dichotomy and dualism;
    • Environmentalism; Quantitative revolution and locational analysis;
    • Radical, behavioural, human and welfare approaches;
    • Languages, religions and secularisation; Cultural regions of the world;
    • Human development index.
  1. Economic Geography :
    • World economic development: measurement and problems;
    • World resources and their distribution; Energy crisis; the limits to growth;
    • World agriculture: typology of agricultural regions; Agricultural inputs and productivity; Food and nutritions problems; Food security; famine: causes, effects and remedies;
    • World industries: location patterns and problems; Patterns of world trade.
  2. Population and Settlement Geography :
    • Growth and distribution of world population; Demographic attributes; Causes and consequences of migration; Concepts of over-under-and optimum population;
    • Population theories, world population problems and policies, Social well-being and quality of life; Population as social capital.
    • Types and patterns of rural settlements; Environmental issues in rural settlements;
    • Hierarchy of urban settlements; Urban morphology; Concept of primate city and rank-size rule; Functional classification of towns; Sphere of urban influence; Rural-urban fringe; Satellite towns; Problems and remedies of urbanization; Sustainable development of cities.
  3. Regional Planning :
    • Concept of a region; Types of regions and methods of regionalisation;
    • Growth centres and growth poles; Regional imbalances;
    • Regional development strategies;
    • Environmental issues in regional planning; Planning for sustainable development.
  4. Models, Theories and Laws in Human Geography :
    • System analysis in Human geography;
    • Malthusian, Marxian and demographic transition models;
    • Central Place theories of Christaller and Losch; Perroux and Boudeville;
    • Von Thunen’s model of agricultural location;
    • Weber’s model of industrial location;
    • Ostov’s model of stages of growth.
    • Heart-land and Rimland theories; Laws of international boundaries and frontiers.


Geography Optional Paper-II {GEOGRAPHY OF INDIA}

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 wild life 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; Aqua-culture; Sericulture, Agriculture and poultry; Agricultural regionalisation; Agro-climatic zones; Agro-ecological regions.

4. Industry :

    • Evolution of industries; Locational factors of cotton, jute, textile, iron and steel, aluminium, fertiliser, paper, chemical and pharmaceutical, automobile, cottage and ago-based industries;
    • Industrial houses and complexes including public sector undertakings;
    • Industrial regionalisation;
    • New industrial policy; Multinationals and liberalisation; 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 programme.

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, interaregional 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; Problems of urbanisation and remedies.

8. Regional Development and Planning:

    • Experience of regional planning in India; Five Year Plans; Integrated rural development programmes; Panchayati Raj and decentralised 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 reorganisation; 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;
    • Globalisation and Indian economy.

NOTE : Candidates will be required to answer one compulsory map question pertinent to subjects covered by this paper.


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