UPSC Mains Exam Syllabus - Geography (Optional)
::Paper – 1::
Principles of Geography
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, Degrada-tion 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.
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 indix.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
::Paper - 2::
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; Aquaculture; Sericulture, Agriculture and poultry; Agricultural regionalisation; Agro-climatic zones; Agroecological 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 underkings; 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 net works 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 asssociated 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.