Geography trend and analysis
Geography plays a very vital role in the journey of UPSC. In 2019, 12 questions were asked from this section and in 2020, 10 questions were asked. It might be seen on an average this portion covers 10-12% portion of prelims. This percentage in itself says how much geography is important to qualify for the exam? So in this article, we examine the geography section of UPSC.
Below the given graph shows the importance of geography in UPSC:
Year by year the number of questions decreases from this section but still, it is UPSC and number of questions can vary from year to year. And after all, mains is waiting for you where GS paper 1 dedicated to Geography. So aspirants can’t afford to ignore these portions too.
Generally, Geography divided into three sections:
1) Indian Geography
2) World Geography
3) Physical Geography
Weightage of geography topic wise which varies every year:
Highlights of Geography
– Averagely from this section, 11% of questions come each year from Geography.
– Geography is divided into 2 parts: Indian Geography and World Geography.
– Proper syllabus plays a vital role in Geography Preparation.
– Environment and Ecology is a different part of Geography.
– Geography questions often depend on climate changes and natural calamity also.
– Relate your geography preparation with Environment and Ecology.
Syllabus of Geography in UPSC
1. For Prelims
Let us discuss the syllabus of geography in UPSC in details:
A) Basics of India:
Location, latitude, longitude, time zone, etc.; Neighbours; Important straits; States and their position; States with international boundaries
B) 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
C) 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
Monsoons – driving mechanism, El Nino, La Nina; Seasons; Cyclones
E) Minerals and industries:
mineral distribution, industrial policies, location
Land utilisation; Types of agricultural practices; Green revolution; Soils and crops; Irrigation; Land reforms; Animal husbandry; Government schemes
G) Natural vegetation and fauna:
Classification of natural vegetation; Rainfall distribution; Biosphere reserves, national parks, etc.; Red-listed species
H) Economic infrastructure:
Transportation (highways, inland waterways, etc.); Power and energy sector; Conventional and non-conventional sources of energy; Energy conservation
I) Human Geography:
Demographics; Recent census
– Major natural regions
– Regional geography of developed countries
– Regional geography of developing countries
– Regional geography of South Asia
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
Atmosphere – structure and composition, Temperature, Pressure belts, Wind systems, Clouds and types of rainfall, Cyclones and anti-cyclones, Major climatic types
Ocean relief, Temperature, salinity, Ocean deposits, Ocean currents, El Nino and La Nina, Waves and tides
Soil- origin and types, Major biomes of the world, Ecosystem, food chain, Environmental degradation and conservation
1. Man & environment; relationship, growth and development of human geography; determinism and possibilism
2. Population, tribes, migration
3. Economic activities – agriculture, manufacturing, industries, tertiary activities
4. Settlements, urbanisation, functional classification of towns, million-cities and megacities
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).
– Geomorphology – the interior of the earth, tectonics, physical phenomenon, mountain building, volcanoes, earthquakes, weathering & erosion, rocks, landforms.
– Climatology – atmosphere, temperature distribution, jet streams, pressure & wind systems, air masses, fronts, cyclones, humidity, precipitation, geographical phenomenon, climatic regions of the world.
– Oceanography – ocean relief, temperature distribution, ocean currents, salinity, coral bleaching, marine pollution, sea-level change, UN laws, etc.
– Biography – soil profile, degradation, conservation), biotic regions, deforestation and conservation of forests, changes in critical geographical features, environmental pollution
STRATEGY FOR GEOGRAPHY
1. Go throughout the syllabus thoroughly to understand the demand of UPSC. It is a rumour that UPSC asked everything from every section. No. To understand the demand for UPSC completely read the syllabus.
2. After reading it the most important thing is segregate the topic what not to study. Everyone knows what to study but there is only a few who knows what not to study. It will much beneficial for you if you get out what not to study.
3. Analyse the previous year questions and try and understand how UPSC manipulate the question paper.
4. Try to relate the current affairs with geography. Every day you read news related to the topics of Geography. Try to co-relate the things for better understanding.
5. Geography present everywhere, in Science, History, Economics, everywhere so try to relate the other subjects with geography.
6. Practice mapping as much as you can. Without a map of India and World, you won’t able to comprehend geography deeply.
7. Try to make your notes with various sources.
8. Concise your material. As distraction present in our surroundings, so without any distraction try to limit yourself.
9. Give mock tests regularly.
BOOKS and SOURCES FOR UPSC
1. NCERT books of class 9, 10, 11 and 12 for beginners.
2. Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong
3. Geography of India – Majid Husain
4. Geography of Population: Concepts, Determinants and Patterns – RC Chandna
5. World Geography – Majid Hussain
6. Physical, Human and Economic Geography for Civil Services Examination – D R Khullar
Source of Current Affairs
7. Newspapers: The Hindu, The Indian Express, the Hindustan, The Economic Times, The Times of India.
8. Magazines: Economic And Political Weekly, Down To Earth
That’s all about geography. Hope this will aid you in your preparation.
Best of luck for your further journey….