UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Syllabus for Geography Optional Subject
UPSC: Although the syllabus for Geography optional is dynamic and lengthy, if read well, it proves to be one of the scoring optional subjects. In this article, we have provided a comprehensive syllabus of Geography optional for the UPSC IAS Mains 2020 exam.
UPSC IAS Mains 2020: Syllabus for Geography Optional Subject
UPSC: The UPSC IAS Mains Optional papers carry a total weightage of 500 marks. The optional papers are divided into two papers - Papers I & II carrying 250 marks each. For the UPSC Main exam, the candidates are required to choose one optional subject from the list of subjects offered. Geography as an optional has a high success rate and easy availability of study material, which makes it a preferred optional subject for many. It is advised that the candidates should at first go through the syllabus and only if it looks interesting, they should opt for the Geography optional. At the end of the day, you need to master our optional. The syllabus is quite vast and lengthy which requires consistent effort and strategy. Check below the detailed syllabus of Geography optional for the UPSC IAS Mains 2020 exam.
Also Check: Geography Optional Previous Years’ Question Papers (2019 to 2009)
UPSC Optional Paper Syllabus for Geography- Paper I
Origin and evolution of the earth’s crust;
Physical conditions of the earth’s interior;
endogenetic and exogenetic forces.
Recent views on mountain building;
Fundamentals of geomagnetism;
Factors controlling landform development;
Earthquakes and Tsunamis;
Concepts of geomorphic cycles and Landscape development;
Geosynclines Denudation chronology; Vulcanicityand Applied Geomorphology: Geohydrology,
economic geology and environment. 2. Climatology
Heat budget of the earth;
atmospheric stability and instability. Planetary and local winds;
Monsoons and jet streams;
Air masses and frontogenesis,
Temperate and tropical cyclones; Weather and Climate;
Thornthwaite’s and Trewartha’s classification of world climates;
Temperature and pressure belts of the world;
Types and distribution of precipitation;
Global climatic change and role and response of man in climatic changes, Applied climatology, and Urban climate. 3. Oceanography:
Temperature and salinity of the oceans; Marine resources:
biotic, mineral and energy resources;
Coral reefs, Waves, currents and tides; Bottom topography of the Atlantic
Indian and Pacific Oceans;
Heat and salt budgets, Ocean deposits;
sea level changes;
law of the sea and marine pollution.
Soil erosion, Genesis of soils;
Problems of deforestation and conservation measures;
Classification and distribution of soils;
Factors influencing world distribution of plants and animals;
Major gene pool centers and Degradation and conservation.
Global and regional ecological changes and imbalances;
Ecosystem their management and conservation;
Human ecological adaptations;
Influence of man on ecology and environment;
Environmental degradation, management, and conservation;
Principle of ecology;
Biodiversity and sustainable development; Environmental hazards and remedial measures;
Environmental education and legislation. Human Geography
Perspectives in Human Geography
Dichotomy and dualism; Environmentalism;
Quantitative revolution and locational analysis;
radical, behavioral, human and welfare approaches;
religions and secularisation;
Languages, Human development index and Cultural regions of the world.
World resources and their distribution;
Energy crisis; the limits to growth;
typology of agricultural regions;
agricultural inputs and productivity;
World economic development:
patterns of world trade.
measurement and problems;
Food and nutrition problems;
causes, effects and remedies;
locational patterns and problems;
Population and Settlement Geography
Causes and consequences of migration; concepts of over-under-and optimum population;
Growth and distribution of world population;
Population theories, world population problems and policies, demographic attributes;
Social well-being and quality of life; Population as social capital.
Types and patterns of rural settlements; Hierarchy of urban settlements;
Concepts of primate city and rank-size rule;
Environmental issues in rural settlements; Functional classification of towns;
Sphere of urban influence;
Rural urban fringe;
Problems and remedies of urbanization; Sustainable development of cities.
Concept of a region;
Types of regions and methods of regionalisation;
Growth centers and growth poles;
regional development strategies; environmental issues in regional planning;
Planning for sustainable development.
Models, Theories and Laws in Human Geography
Systems 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.
Heartland and Rimland theories;
Laws of international boundaries and
UPSC Optional Paper Syllabus for Geography- Paper-II
Space relationship of India with neighboring countries;
Structure and relief;
Drainage system and watersheds;
Mechanism of Indian monsoons and rainfall patterns,
Tropical cyclones and western disturbances; Floods and droughts;
Soil types and their distributions.
Energy, minerals, biotic and marine resources;
Land, surface and ground water,
Forest and wild life resources and their conservation;
Infrastructure: irrigation, seeds, fertilizers, power;
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; aquaculture;
sericulture, apiculture, and poultry; agricultural regionalization;
Evolution of industries;
Locational factors of cotton, jute, textile, iron and steel, aluminum, fertilizer, paper, chemical and pharmaceutical, automobile, cottage, and agro-based industries;
Industrial houses and complexes including public sector undertakings;
New industrial policies;
Multinationals and liberalization;
Special Economic Zones;
Tourism including eco-tourism.
Transport, Communication and Trade:
Road, railway, waterway, airway, and pipeline networks and their complementary roles in regional development;
The growing importance of ports on national and foreign trade;
Export processing zones;
Developments in communication and information technology and their impacts on economy and society;
Indian space program.
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;
sex-ratio, age structure, literacy rate, work-force, dependency ratio, longevity; migration (inter-regional, intra- regional and international) and associated problems;
Population problems and policies; Health indicators.
Types, patterns and morphology of rural settlements;
Morphology of Indian cities;
Functional classification of Indian cities;
Conurbations and metropolitan regions; urban sprawl;
Slums and associated problems;
Problems of urbanization and remedies.
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;
Planning for backward area, desert, drought-prone, hill, tribal area development; multi-level planning;
Regional planning and development of island territories.
Geographical basis of Indian federalism; State reorganisation;
Emergence of new states;
Regional consciousness and interstate 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.
Contemporary Issues: Ecological issues
landslides, earthquakes, Tsunamis, floods and droughts, epidemics;
Issues relating to environmental pollution; Changes in patterns of land use;
Principles of environmental impact assessment and environmental management; Population explosion and food security;
Deforestation, desertification and soil erosion; Problems of agrarian and industrial unrest; Regional disparities in economic development;
Concept of sustainable growth and development;
Linkage of rivers;
Globalization and Indian economy. Also Check: