In this article, we provide the list of Geography Optional Books for the UPSC examination. Geography as a subject assumes a significant part in all UPSC IAS examinations. It assumes great significance in both Prelims and Mains examination in the IAS Exam. It is a vast subject dealing with the spatial association between individuals, places, and the earth and it broadly covers all spheres. If the approach to the subject is right, this is the most scoring optional that also helps in general studies paper. Many candidates have cracked UPSC Mains examination by opting for geography as their optional subject.
UPSC IAS aspirants who have opted for Geography as their optional subject may also check UPSC Geography Strategy in the linked article.
First things first, what to read, before giving you a long list of books, I need to clarify a few things:-
- I’ll not prescribe any notes by any reputed teachers. I would like to suggest reading directly from books instead of mugging up NOTES. Books give you a better perspective of things which notes cannot.
- I have no clue about any GURUS out in the market. Few may be good but definitely not all. Criticizing them is for another answer but here I wish to clarify something. NOBODY, remember NOBODY will be able to COMPLETE THE SYLLABUS. Geography is not the subject that could be completed in four or five months. So if you are that person who is religiously mugging up your Guru notes then step out from them for a second. Take up the syllabus and compare it. Next, take up previous year questions and see how relevant the notes are. Don’t fall into the trap if you find everything. it’s just he has added it in your batch to make you believe everything comes from his notes.
- if someone is saying EVERYTHING IS FROM HIS NOTES OR TEST SERIES, remember something, the person is cheating you. You are following the advice of the wrong person.
- UPSC has given only two directives for optional. They are the syllabus and previous year question papers. if you are smart enough to understand and analyze the subject, you’ll clear the exam in the first attempt. Else, the vicious cycle goes on and on and on.
Now Coming to the reading list :)
Paper 1: (250 Marks)
Paper 1 is divided into two-part i.e. Part-A (1 to 5 chapters) and Part-B (6 to 10 chapters)
- Environmental geography
- Perspective in human geography
- Economic geography
- Population and settlement geography
- Regional geography
- Models, Theories, and laws in human geography.
Paper 2: (250 Marks)
Paper 2 is also divided into two-part i.e. Part-A (1 to 5 chapters) and Part-B (6 to 10 chapters)
- Physical setting
- Transport, Communication, and Trade
- Cultural Setting
- Regional Development and Planning
- Political Aspects
- Contemporary issues.
Books For Geography Optional
Here is the complete paper-wise booklist of Geography optional for UPSC.
Paper-1 (Part A)
4. Climatology – Savinder Singh and DS Lal (selective reading)
6. Rupa Made Simple for (Biogeography and Environment)
7. Noaa website (for Oceanography)
Paper-1 (Part B)
1. India: A comprehensive geography by D.R. Khullar
2. India Year Book
3. Economic Survey (for data and statistics)
4. NITI Aayog & Ministry – website
5. Oxford Student Atlas
6. Yojana magazine
7. Down to earth magazine
8. Kurukshetra magazine
Most important government website: e-PGPathshala
Here is the URL of the website: https://epgp.inflibnet.ac.in/
Another website: https://www.noaa.gov
*All these books are Reference books (i.e. Don’t try to read cover to cover)