Geography plays a very important part in the IAS Prelims Exam. It forms around 20-30 percent of the questions in the IAS Prelims Question Paper. It is very scientific subject and based on the scientific principles and hence candidates find it difficult to understand it sometimes.
Principle of Physical Geography is one of the most important books for the IAS Prelims as well as IAS Main Exam. It is written in a well planned manner and the presentation of the concepts is very chronologically explained. Moreover the figures used in explaining the concept are very useful.
The candidates can redraw these figures in their answer sheet in order to get more marks. The presentation of this book is so designed to explain the things in a coherent and relative manner. It helps in understanding the concept as well as relating them with the other related concepts.
1.Population: Distribution, Density, Growth and Composition
The people are very important component of a country. India is the second most populous country after China in the world with its total population of 1,028 million (2001). India’s population is larger than the total population of North America, South America and Australia put together. More often, it is argued that such a large population invariably puts pressure on its limited resources and is also responsible for many socio-economic problems in the country.
2.Migration : Types, Causes and Consequences
Ram Babu, working as an engineer in Bhilai Steel Plant, Chhattisgarh, was born in a small village of district Bhojpur, Bihar. At an early age of twelve he moved to a nearby town Ara to complete his intermediate level studies. He went to Sindri, Jharkhand for his engineering degree and he got a job at Bhilai, where he is living for the last 31 years. His parents were illiterate and the only source of their livelihood was meagre income from agriculture. They spent their whole life in that village. Ram Babu has three children who got their education up to the intermediate level at Bhilai and then moved to different places for higher education. First one studied at Allahabad and Mumbai and is presently working in Delhi as a scientist. The second child got her higher education from different universities in India and is now working in USA. The third one after finishing her education settled at Surat after marriage.
Sixty years ago, Rekha was born in a family of small farmer in Uttarakhand. She helped her mother in household chores. While her brothers went to school, she did not receive any education. She was dependent on her in laws after she was widowed immediately after marriage. She could not be economically independent and faced neglect. Her brother helped her to migrate to Delhi. For the first time, she travelled by bus and train and was exposed to a large city like Delhi. After a while, the same city which attracted her with its buildings, roads, avenues and facilities and amenities disillusioned her.
Human Settlement means cluster of dwellings of any type or size where human beings live. For this purpose, people may erect houses and other structures and command some area or territory as their economic support-base. Thus, the process of settlement inherently involves grouping of people and apportioning of territory as their resource base.
5.Land Resources and Agriculture
You must have observed that the land around you is put to different uses. Some land is occupied by rivers, some may have trees and on some parts roads and buildings have been built. Different types of lands are suited to different uses. Human beings thus, use land as a resource for production as well as residence and recreation. Thus, the building of your school, roads on which you travel, parks in which you play, fields in which crops are grown and the pastures where animals graze represent different uses to which land is put.
Do you think that what exists today will continue to be so, or the future is going to be different in some respects? It can be said with some certainty that the societies will witness demographic transition, geographical shift of population, technological advancement, degradation of environment and water scarcity. Water scarcity is possibly to pose the greatest challenge on account of its increased demand coupled with shrinking supplies due to over utilisation and pollution. Water is a cyclic resource with abundant supplies on the globe. Approximately, 71 per cent of the earth’s surface is covered with it but fresh water constitutes only about 3 per cent of the total water. In fact, a very small proportion of fresh water is effectively available for human use. The availability of fresh water varies over space and time. The tensions and disputes on sharing and control of this scare resource are becoming contested issues among communities, regions, and states. The assessment, efficient use and conservation of water, therefore, become necessary to ensure development. In this chapter, we shall discuss water resources in India, its geographical distribution, sectoral utilisation, and methods of its conservation and management.
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7.Mineral and Energy Resources
India is endowed with a rich variety of mineral resources due to its varied geological structure. Bulk of the valuable minerals are products of pre-palaezoic age (Refer: Chapter 2 of Class XI, Textbook: “Fundamentals of Physical Geography” and are mainly associated with metamorphic and igneous rocks of the peninsular India. The vast alluvial plain tract of north India is devoid of minerals of economic use. The mineral resources provide the country with the necessary base for industrial development. In this chapter, we shall discuss the availability of various types of mineral and energy resources in the country.
We use various items to satisfy our needs. Agricultural products like wheat, rice, etc. are to be processed into flour, husked rice before we consume these. But besides bread and rice, we also require clothes, books, fans, cars, medicines, etc. and these are manufactured in various industries. In modern times industries have become very important part of an economy. They provide employment to large labour force and contribute significantly in the total national wealth/income.
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9.Planning and Sustainable Development in Indian Context
The word ‘planning’ is not new to you as it is a part of everyday usage. You must have used it with reference to preparation for your examination or visit to a hill station. It involves the process of thinking, formulation of a scheme or programme and implementation of a set of actions to achieve some goal. Though it is a very broad term, in this chapter, it has been used with reference to the process of economic development. It is, thus different from the traditional hit-and-miss methods by which reforms and reconstruction are often undertaken.
10.Transport and Communication
We use many items in our daily life. From tooth paste to our bed tea, milk, clothes, soaps, food items, etc. are required every day. All these can be purchased from the market. Have you ever thought as to how these items are brought from the site of production? All the production is meant for consumption. From the fields and factory, the produce is brought to the place from where consumers purchase it. It is the transportation of these items from the site of their production to the market which make them available to the consumer.
You have already studied about the various aspects of International trade in the book Fundamentals of Human Geography. International Trade is mutually beneficial as no country is self-sufficient. India’s International trade has undergone a sea change in recent years in terms of volume, composition as well as direction. Although India’s contribution in the world trade is as low as one per cent of the total volume, yet it plays a significant role in the world economy.
12.Geographical Perspective on Selected Issues and Problems
Environmental pollution results from ‘the release of substances and energy from waste products of human activities. There are many types of pollution. They are classified on the basis of medium through which pollutants are transported and diffused. Pollution can be classified into (i) air pollution, (ii) water pollution, (iii) land pollution and (iv) noise pollution.