In this blog post, You will read the Geography Optional Question Paper 2020 of UPSC MAINS.

Geography Optional Question Paper 2020

Exam Name: UPSC IAS Mains Geography
Marks: 250
Time Allowed: 3 Hours
Year: 2020

Geography Optional Question Paper-1 (2020)

Paper-I (Section-A)

Q. 1

(a) Write a geographical note on Halloween storm.

(b) Why is mapping important for analyzing geo-hydrological investigations? Explain with relevant examples.

(c) Marine resources are economically very significant. Discuss citing suitable examples.

(d) Which factors influence the growth of wild plants in India? Discuss their economic significance.

(e) Discuss the problems associated with the living environment in million-plus cities in India. How can these be managed?

Q. 2

(a) Write an essay on the evolution of continents and oceans using various theories and models.

(b) Discuss the concept of coral bleaching, its recovery and microalgal regime shifts due to this process.

(c) Explain the currents of the North Atlantic ocean and their significant role in the climate of western Europe.

Q. 3

(a) Explain how various factors influence the origin and development of the Indian monsoon system.

(b) Explain the effects and causes of deforestation and its impact on the pattern of agriculture in India.

(c) Explain the characteristic features of frontogenesis and frontolysis.

Q. 4

(a) Discuss the problems of erosional surfaces and explain the different methods to identify them with suitable diagrams.

(b) Land use/Land cover and soil types influence forage quantity and quality in semi-arid regions of the world. Discuss with relevant examples.

(c) Discuss the human response to and management of hazards and disasters in India.

Paper-I (Section-B)

Q. 5

(a) Analyse India’s food security in the context of population growth.

(b) Identify the causes and effects of energy crisis, and suggest suitable measures to solve the problem.

(c) Distinguish between mobility and migration. What are the causes and consequences of rural to urban migration in India?

(d) “Where economic growth is sustained over long time periods, its incidence works towards a progressive integration of the space economy.” Elucidate.

(e) Write a note on the relevance of Von Thunen’s agricultural location theory in the present context.

Q. 6

(a) Compare and contrast the Malthusian and Neo-Malthusian perspectives in the context of population growth, resource use, and environmental impact.

(b) “Land degradation is a threat to productivity and sustainable resource management” Explain with suitable examples from India.

(c) In the modern world, most of the frontiers have been replaced by boundaries. Explain the reasons.

Q. 7

(a) Discuss the concept of urban resilience in the context of planning for sustainable development with reference to towns and cities of India.

(b) Analyse the dynamics of industrial location in the metropolitan cities of India.

(c) Write an essay on gender equity and equality in India in the context of balanced human development.

Q. 8

(a) Discuss how and why Mackinder modified his concept of Pivot Area after the World Wars.

(b) Provide an account of world population transition in the context of fertility decline and socio-economic development.

(c) “Human ecology is the study of the mutual relationship of people and their environment both natural and social.” Discuss in detail using ecological concepts.

Geography Optional Question Paper-2 (2020)

Paper-II (Section-A)


(a) On the outline map of india provided to you,mark the location of all of the following. Write in your QCR Booklet the significance the these locations whether physical/commercial/economic/ecological/enviromental/culture, not more than 30 words for each entry :

  1. Vadhawan 
  2. Salkhan 
  3. Coorg
  4. Mhow 
  5. Umroi 
  6. Thoothukudi 
  7. Bargarh 
  8. Atal Tunnel . 
  9. Gurushikhar. 
  10. Bum La

(b) Climate change has unsettled the rhythm of seasons. Comment with examples and empirical evidence.

(c) Discuss the method of crops residue management in rural india to reduce pollution.

(d) Has the regional aspiration of the people of Jammu and Kashmir been addressed through re-organization of the state? Make an assessment.


(a) Identifying areas covered under tribal sum-plan, discus the programmers initiated to address to their problems.

(b) Soil type in India, classified on the basis of colour, possess specific chemical and mineral characteristics. Discuss.

(c) The Pharmaceutical industry in india depend on the import of raw material. Evaluate this statement in viewe of the Indo-Chinese relationship.


(a) India has opened-up its space to private sectors for satellite-based activities. Critically examine its implications indicating the major security concerns.

(b) Identify oilseeds producing areas in India and the dicusse the measure to promote edible oil industry. 

(c) Give a reasoned geographical account of changing rural folk houses in india.


(a) Border are development is an important national priority. What are the resilient steps needed for peaceful borders? 

(b) Stunting and wasting among children are major consequences of food in insecurity. Discuss various schemes of the Government of India to address insecurity. Address these problems and their achievements. 

(c) The Essential Commodities (Amendment)Bill 2020 aims to deregulate the production, supply, and distribution of farm produce. Critically examine its spatial consequences.

Paper-II (Section-B)

Q5.Answer the following questions in about 150 words each: 

(a) The success of Panchayati Raj depends upon meaningful participation of people grassroots level. Examine. 

(b) Elucidate the benefits of neem coated urea scheme for indian agriculture.

(c) Canal irrigation has led to monocropping in India. Explain with suitable exmples.

(d) The pattern of growing ecological foot-prints is uneven in nature. Analyze with reference to land resources in India.

(e) Identify challenges faced by generative and parasitic towns in India and their possible remedies. 


(a) Digital Divide in India needs quick redressal to reduce regional disparity in development. Elaborate with suitable examples.

(b) Awalanche is a major hazard in the Himalayas. What are its causes and mitigation measures? 

(c) The process of demographic transition is not uniform in India. Examine this statement in the context of demographic transition theory.


(a) Demarcating the seismic zones of India, suggest suitable interventions required the most sensitive seismic zones for sustainable human settlements.

(b) What are the characteristics of Blue Flag certified beaches? Discuss their significance for beach tourism in India. 

(c) Urban sprawl around planned cities evolves leading to the emergence of squatter settlements. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of such outgrowth.


(a) Analyse the changing nature of workforce composition vis-à-vis rural-urban divide in India. 

(b) Describe the economic, maritime and strategic interests of India in South China Sea. 

(c) What kind of skill promotion programmes have been initiated for job deficient regions in India? Explain.

Geography Optional Question Paper 2020 A
Geography Optional Question Paper 2020 B
Geography Optional Question Paper 2020 C
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