In this blog post, I wanna walk you through the Geography Optional Question Paper 2021 of UPSC Mains.

Geography Optional Question Paper 2021

Exam Name: UPSC IAS Mains Geography
Time Allowed: 3 Hours
Year: 2021

Geography Optional Question Paper-1 (2021)


Q. 1

(a) Describe the concept of Altiplanation.

(b) What are the important factors responsible for Airmass modifications?

(c) Discuss the hazards associated with the rising of sea surface temperature.

(d) Gene pool centres are Good Hope for biodiversity conservation. Elucidate.

(e) Describe How ecosystem services of Himalaya are essential for Highland-Lowland sustainability in Asia.

Q. 2

(a) The concept of Plate Techtonics has been derived from the Isostasy and Continental Drift Theory. Elaborate citing suitable examples.

(b) Give a detailed account of the bottom topography of the Pacific Ocean.

(c) Soil erosion and Soil degradation are threats to the food supply. Discuss.

Q. 3

(a) Examine major influencing factors for varied patterns of precipitations on the continents.

(b) Maritime security is being neglected. Indicate the major challenges and suggest solutions in the context of the Law of Sea.

(c) Explaining the concept of carbon neutrality, describe the measures taken by carbon positive and negative nations.

Q. 4

(a) With suitable examples, elaborate human ecological adaptations. Explain its impacts on ecology and the environment in various parts of the world.

(b) Stream basins and drainage divides are important components to delineate a watershed area. Explain.

(c) Indicating the causes of lightning, describe the threats associated with it.


Q. 5

(a) The interrelationships between the social and spatial structure are complex. Explain in the context of socio-spatial dialectic.

(b) How is energy transition seen as an instrument for achieving zero carbon by 2050?

(c) Protected cultivation assists in healthier and larger produce. Justify with examples.

(d) Explain the processes of contagion and hierarchical diffusion in addressing regional imbalances.

(e) Examine the relevance of the Central Place Theory of Christaller in the present context.

Q. 6

(a) Development-induced displacement poses serious challenges. Mention its causes, consequences, and solutions.

(b) Describe the role of accessibility and affordability in the food security of the developing world.

(c) The environmental issues are not adequately addressed in the regional planning. Comment.

Q. 7

(a) Suggest criteria, indicators, and techniques for delimitation of formal regions.

(b) Boundaries are important in geopolitics. Explain. What issues develop from the inclusionary and exclusionary aspects of borders.

(c) Small number of mega-cities are playing a key role in organization of global economics and culture. Explain.

Q. 8

(a) Why is radicalism seen as major a paradigm shift in geography? Explain its causes, approaches, and criticism.

(b) Aging population has adverse social and economic consequences. Explain with examples.

(c) Present a critical account of Alfred Weber Theory of Industrial location.

Geography Optional Question Paper-2 (2021)


Q. 1

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

  • Ziro Valley
  • Khecheopalri Lake
  • Toranmal
  • Subarnarekha River
  • Koderma
  • Sir Creek
  • Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Peechi Dam
  • Digha Beach
  • Pamban Island

(b) Discuss the geopolitical impact of the bilateral relationship between India and Bhutan.

(c) Discuss the economic significance of the volcanic soils of India.

(d) Give a reasoned account of the difference between the sugar industry of North and Peninsular India.

Q. 2

(a) Landslide is a major problem in the Himalayan region. Discuss its causes and mitigation measures.

(b) Appraise why drought is one of the most common climatic extremes in India.

(c) Discuss the ecological and economic challenges of river linking in India.

Q. 3

(a) Discuss the importance of solar energy in the future economic development of India.

(b) Critically examine the importance of the Smart Cities Programme for solving the urban problems in India.

(c) Examine the significance of ecotourism in relation to socio-economic development and biodiversity conservation in India.

Q. 4

(a) Discuss the reserves, distribution, and production of all varieties of coal in India.

(b) Describe the salient features of the east-flowing rivers of India.

(c) Critically examine the problems of inter-State border disputes in India.


Q. 5

(a) Discuss the salient features of Project Tiger in India.

(b) Describe the problems of cloud burst in India giving suitable examples.

(c) Discuss the role of watershed management for soil and water conservation in hilly regions of India.

(d) Critically examine the relevance of Ravenstein’s law of population migration with reference to India.

(e) Discuss Ashok Mitra’s classification method of Indian cities.

Q. 6

(a) Explain the impact of tropical cyclones and western disturbances on the climate of India.

(b) Examine the critical issues of groundwater resources in India.

(d) Describe the structure and relief features of the Deccan Plateau.

Q. 7

(a) Critically examine how the Panchayati Raj system is a catalyst in decentralized planning in India.

(b) Identify the major industrial corridors of India and discuss the characteristics of the Bengaluru-Mumbai Corridor.

(c) Assess the growth of multinational corporations in the liberalized economic environment of India.

Q. 8

(a) Examine how information and communication technology has boosted the development of certain regions of India.

(b) Discuss the Command Area Development Programme and its impact on eliminating regional inequalities in India.

(c) Critically assess the status of the balance of trade in India and suggest some measures to combat the issues.

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Aditya Kamlesh Awasthi

Give solution as well if possible

Pankaj Mishra

May you Post the model ans for these questions so that we can compare our ans with yours for the improvement in aspirants answer writing ?


All the questions are attendable, paper 1 easily can score 145+
And paper 2, 160+

Raj Maurya

Can you Please suggest, How to go with section B of paper 1 ( I found it difficult to interpret and clarity on how to write the answer).

Please help! I need your support to understand things.
Telegram: @rajkmaurya111


This year I had written mains with geography optional.
Thanks lotusarise team for geography optional notes.i enriched my study from ur notes and it helped me lot

Pankaj Mishra

can you share your notes with me, if possile then please reply

anuradha pathak

Sandesh can you review my ans? But where to send?