Exam Name: UPSC IAS Mains Geography
Time Allowed: 3 Hours
Year: 2022

Geography Optional Question Paper-1 (2022)


Q. 1 Answer the following in about 150 words each:

a) Define ‘speleothem’. Discuss the various forms and features of speleothems.

b) What are the high altitude environmental hazards? Explain with suitable examples.

c) What is pollution dome? Discuss its formation and impacts.

d) When corals are affected by stress it causes them to turn completely white. Explain the reasons of such an occurence.

e) Well developed soils typically exhibit distinct layers in their soil profile. Elaborate.

Q. 2

a) Sequential changes in land use and land cover have brought global and regional ecological changes and imbalances. Elucidate.

b) Explain how various aspects of channel morphology are used in transportation, settlement and land use planning, flood control and flood managament?

c) What is the relationship between ocean currents and global surface wind systems? Explain with examples how does the gyre in the Northern Hemisphere differ from the one in the Southern Hemisphere.

Q. 3

a) Plants and animals that exist in a particulars ecosystem are those that have been successful in adjusting to their habitat and environmental conditions. Elucidate with examples.

b) With suitable examples describe the impacts of movement of airmasses on weather and winds in different parts of the continents.

c) Discuss the role of Slope, Altitude and Relief (SAR) in the landscape development.

Q. 4

a) Rise of Surface temperature brings severe consequences. Elaborate the potential changes and threats associated with it in the world.

b) Describe how short term variations in temperature are related to the processes of receiving energy from the sun to the Earth’s surface and dissipating it to the atmosphere.

c) With the help of suitable sketches describe the mountain genesis and mountain types. Give suitable examples from various mountain systems of the world.


Q. 5 Answer the following in about 150 words each:

a) Analyse the effects of Globalisation on languages.

b) “Shifting global trade patterns create new opportunities”. Examine this statement.

c) Examine the morphological factors that influence the origin and growth of towns.

d) Discuss the role of transportation accessibility in regional development.

e) Explain the geometrical boundaries with examples.

Q. 6

a) “Culture is a dynamic concept”. Elucidate with examples.

b) “Automation is rapidly changing the economies of labour and will affect trade patterns in significance ways”. Clarify.

c) “Over crowding leads to chronic problems of shortage of housing in Indian cities”. Explain citing relevant examples.

Q. 7

a) “Climate change is a serious problem to global food security and poverty eradication”. Critically examine.

b) Critically examine the significance of the Quantitative Revolution and its influence in the development of Geography.

c) Explain in detail the impact of regional disparities on economic development.

Q. 8

a) How migration is affected by push and pull factors? Explain how these factors play a role in understanding new settlement patterns.

b) Explain the relevance and applicability of Von Thunen theory of Agriculture-location in today’s world.

c) Discuss the concept of ‘Rank-Size-Rule’ given by G. K. Zipf. Is this rule relevant in Indian context?

Geography Optional Question Paper-2 (2022)


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: (2 x 10 = 20)

  1. Tarangambadi
  2. Mahe
  3. Bomdila
  4. Dhola Sadiya Bridge
  5. Talakaveri
  6. Satkosia
  7. Dholavira
  8. Sonamarg
  9. Maliku Atoll
  10. Gangasagar

b) Why has extreme particulate pollution remained a festering issue in Delhi NCR region?

c) How do physiography and climate of India explain the biological diversity of the country?

d) The process of desertification leads to soil desiccation and soil loss. Explain.


a) Critically examine the factors affecting the unpredictability of South-West Monsoon system in India.

b) The peninsular location of India provides scope for harnessing non-conventional energy resources. Discuss with examples.

c) Groundwater contamination in the fast expanding urban landscape of India appears to have become a major public health issue. Discuss.


a) Discuss the recent changes brought about in institutional frameworks of agriculture in India. Evaluate its impact on the agrarian economy of the country.

b) Discuss the continuing disputes on water sharing between the riparian states of North-West India.

c) Soils of India, are clear reflections of the structure and process. Comment.


a) India is bestowed with rich mineral resources due to its geological structure. Correlate the above statement with large mineral belts of India.

b) Discuss the importance of ‘Dry-land’ farming in the drought-prone regions of India.

c) Incidence of extreme rainfall events and flash floods in recent times have led to devastating consequences for people living in low-lying areas and flood plains of the country. Discuss.


Q. 5

a) Discuss the impact of Forest Rights Act, 2006 on the local forest communities in India.

b) Can the Panchayat Raj institutions play a role in grassroot level planning in India? If yes, discuss how.

c) Discuss the significance of new ports on the Western Coast of India on the external trade of the country.

d) How would decline in Total Fertility Rate (TFR) below the replacement level, in many states of India affect the future population structure of the country?

e) Kalapani dispute has opened a new front on the India-Nepal international border. Explain.


a) Why do disparities in development and incomes between regions persist in large countries like India? How does the recent ADP plan address the issue?

b) Critically examine the role of IRNSS-NavIC programme on the satellite navigation system of India.

c) Examine the role of high population concentration in Indian slums in making them more vulnerable during pandemic conditions like the COVID-19.


a) Discuss the salient characteristics of industrial complexes of Western India. Examine the impact of SEZ policy on the region.

b) Discuss the emergence of linguistic regions and states in India.

c) What are the drivers of urban sprawl around the major cities of the country? How have new investments in transport projects supported sprawl development?


a) How do agro-climatic and land capability indicators assist in macro-agricultural regionalisation of India? Illustrate with an appropriate map.

b) Discuss the geopolitical significance of Quad in the Indo-Pacific realm with reference to marine trade in the region.

c) Evaluate the role of the National Food Security Act, 2003 in providing access of food to the poor in India.

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