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UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus for IAS Exam Preparation 2024-25

By July 11, 2024July 18th, 2024No Comments
UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus

What is UPSC?

UPSC or Union Public Services Commission examination is one of the toughest exams in India. The pass percentage of 0.2% says a lot about how tough UPSC exams are. UPSC is the very first step for anyone wanting a career as an IAS, IPS, ICAS officer etc. The total number of people appearing for UPSC exams in India are more than a million. Each year lakhs of students appear for UPSC exams for a total vacancy which is under 1500. A student is required to have a deep knowledge and analytical skills in order to ace the UPSC exams.

UPSC exams mainly consist of three phases. They are as follows:

  • UPSC Prelims
  • UPSC Mains
  • IAS Interview

UPSC Prelims pass percentage is high compared to the final pass percentage. IAS Prelims is comparatively less tough compared to mains and the personality test. UPSC Mains and Interview are the two stages where a large number of people face failure. A candidate is required to opt for an optional subject in the mains examination. Choosing the right optional subject for UPSC Preparation is vital to get the desired results.

Why Geography For UPSC Optional Subject?

 Geography is one of the first choices of many upsc aspirants. Geography was the optional subject of the 2015 all India rank 1 holder and 2016 all India Rank 4 holder. The number of people opting geography as their optional paper is over 3000. Many candidates consider geography as a paper that they can ace in the exams. The optional subject Geography syllabus also consists of topics from many other subjects like economics, ecology, environment etc.

UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus 2024-25

The total marks of UPSC Geography optional curriculum is 500 marks since it consists of two exams of 250 marks each. The main aim of the geography optional syllabus is to assess the candidates’ deep knowledge in areas related to Physical geography, human geography, Environmental Geography etc. Like many other optional subjects, the UPSC syllabus of Geography optional is updated regularly according to the current events in the world.

UPSC Geography Syllabus 2024-25 – Paper I

Physical Geography Syllabus for UPSC Exam:

  1. Geomorphology
  • Concepts of geomorphic cycles and Landscape development
  • Origin and evolution of the earth’s crusts
  • Fundamentals of geomagnetism
  • Physical conditions of the earth’s interior
  • Geosynclines
  • Continental drift
  • Isostasy
  • Factors controlling landform development
  • Geomorphology, economic geology and environment
  • Plate tectonics
  • Erosion surfaces
  • Endogenetic and exogenetic forces
  • Earthquakes and Tsunamis
  • Denudation chronology
  • Channel morphology
  • Slope development
  • Applied Geomorphology
  • Volcanicity
  • Recent views on mountain building
  1. Climatology Syllabus for UPSC Optional Exam Preparation
  • Atmospheric stability and instability
  • Air masses and fronts
  • Temperature and pressure belts of the world
  • Heat budget of the earth
  • Atmospheric circulation
  • Planetary and local winds
  • Monsoons and jet streams
  • Hydrological cycle
  • Global climatic change
  • Temperate and tropical cyclones
  • Weather and Climate
  • Types and distribution of precipitation
  1. Oceanography Syllabus for UPSC Exam Preparation
  • Waves, currents and tides
  • Marine resources
  • Heat and salt budgets
  • Law of the sea and marine pollution.
  • Ocean deposits
  • Biotic, mineral and energy resources
  • Sea-level changes
  • Coral reefs coral bleaching
  • Temperature and salinity of the oceans
  1. Biogeography Syllabus for UPSC Exam Preparation
  • Soil erosion, Degradation and conservation
  • Wild life
  • Problems of deforestation and conservation measures
  • Genesis of soils
  • Classification and distribution of soils
  • Social forestry, agroforestry
  • Major gene pool centres
  • Soil profile
  1. Environmental Geography Syllabus for UPSC Exam Preparation
  • Environmental hazards and remedial measures
  • Ecosystem their management and conservation
  • Principle ecology
  • Global and regional ecological changes and imbalances
  • Environmental degradation, management and conservation
  • Biodiversity and sustainable development
  • Environmental policy
  • Environmental education and legislation.
  • Human ecological adaptations
  • Influence of man on ecology and environment

Human Geography Syllabus:

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

UPSC Mains Geography Optional Syllabus 2024 – Paper II

  1. Physical Setting

  • Physiographic regions
  • Structure and relief
  • Space relationship of India with neighbouring countries
  • Floods and droughts
  • Natural vegetation, Soil types and their distributions
  • Mechanism of Indian monsoons and rainfall patterns
  • Tropical cyclones and western disturbances
  • Climatic regions
  • Drainage system and watersheds
  1. Agriculture Syllabus

  • Sericulture, Agriculture and poultry
  • Irrigation, seeds, fertilisers, power
  • Institutional factors
  • Agricultural regionalisation
  • Agro and social-forestry
  • Infrastructure
  • Green revolution
  • Significance of dry farming
  • Livestock resources and white revolution
  • Aqua-culture
  • Land holdings, land tenure and land reforms
  • Agro-climatic zones
  • Agro-ecological regions.
  1. Industry Syllabus

  • New industrial policy
  • Evolution of industries
  • Special Economic Zones
  • Multinationals and liberalisation
  • Tourism including ecotourism
  • Industrial regionalisation
  1. Cultural Setting Syllabus

  • Growth, distribution and density of population
  • Historical Perspective of Indian Society
  • Racial linguistic and ethnic diversities; religious minorities
  • Health indicators
  • Population problems and policies
  • Major tribes, tribal areas and their problems
  • Cultural regions
  • Demographic attributes
  1. Settlements Syllabus

  • Town planning
  • Slums and associated problems
  • Types, patterns and morphology of rural settlements
  • Urban sprawl
  • Functional classification of Indian cities
  • Conurbations and metropolitan regions
  • Problems of urbanisation and remedies
  • Morphology of Indian cities
  • Urban developments
  1. Regional Development and Planning Syllabus

  • Panchayati Raj and decentralised planning
  • Command area development
  • Regional planning and development of island territories
  • Experience of regional planning in India
  • Integrated rural development programmes
  • Watershed management
  • Planning for backward area
  • Multi-level planning
  • Five Year Plans
  1. Political Aspects Syllabus

  • Cross-border terrorism
  • India’s role in world affairs
  • Geographical basis of Indian federalism
  • Emergence of new states
  • Regional consciousness and inter-state issues
  • International boundary of India and related issues
  • State reorganisation
  1. Contemporary Issues Syllabus

  • Environmental hazards
  • Linkage of rivers
  • Globalisation and Indian economy
  • Problems of agrarian and industrial unrest
  • Issues related to environmental pollution
  • Changes in patterns of land use
  • Environmental awareness
  • Population explosion and food security
  • Environmental degradation
  • Ecological issues
  • Deforestation, desertification and soil erosion
  • Regional disparities in economic development
  • Concept of sustainable growth and development
  1. Resources

  • Energy crisis
  • Forest and wildlife resources and their conservation
  1. Transport, Communication and Trade

  • Export processing zones
  • Road, railway, waterway, airway and pipeline networks and their Trade balance
  • Trade Policy
  • Indian space programme

Mistakes to Avoid

The syllabus of Geography optional is very vast and every aspirant is required to have a deep understanding of the topics. In order to ace the geography optional exam, a candidate should avoid the following mistakes.

  • Giving unnecessary importance to less important topics
  • Not staying updated about the geographical changes happening around the world
  • Lack of map practice
  • Failure to integrate knowledge
  • Mugging up instead of understanding the topics

Every candidate should consider going through the past year geography optional question paper to get an idea about the pattern of the exams. This is also a great way to understand what type of questions can be expected in the UPSC examination.

Must to Check out:

Varshitha Adepu UPSC CSE 2020 (AIR-413)