Geography Optional Syllabus for UPSC: Micro Topic Analysis

Geography Optional Syllabus

Hey Dosto, In this article we will discuss Geography Optional Syllabus for UPSC Mains examination with Micro topics analysis.

Here are some useful resources for Geography Optional Preparation

Now, you have to need to know and by heart the UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus.

Here is the complete Geography Optional SyllabusDownload PDF (free)


Physical Geography:

1. Geomorphology: Factors controlling landform development; endogenetic and exogenetic forces; Origin and evolution of the earth’s crust; Fundamentals of geomagnetism; Physical conditions of the earth’s interior; Geosynclines; Continental drift; Isostasy; Plate tectonics; Recent views on mountain building; Vulcanicity; Earthquakes and Tsunamis; Concepts of geomorphic cycles and Landscape development ; Denudation chronology; Channel morphology; Erosion surfaces; Slope development ; Applied Geomorphology : Geohydrology, 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 frontogenesis, Temperate and tropical cyclones; Types and distribution of precipitation; Weather and Climate; Koppen’s, Thornthwaite’s and Trewartha’s classification of world climates; 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, Degradation, and conservation; Factors influencing world distribution of plants and animals; Problems of deforestation and conservation measures; Social forestry; agro-forestry; Wildlife; Major gene pool centers.

5. Environmental Geography: Principle of 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, behavioral, human and welfare approaches; Languages, religions, and secularization; Cultural regions of the world; Human development index.

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 nutrition problems; Food security; famine: causes, effects and remedies; World industries: locational 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 the 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: Concepts 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 regionalization; Growth centers 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: Systems 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.


Geography Of India

1. Physical Setting: Space relationship of India with neighboring 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 groundwater, energy, minerals, biotic and marine resources; Forest and wildlife resources and their conservation; Energy crisis.

3. Agriculture: Infrastructure: irrigation, seeds, fertilizers, power; Institutional factors: landholdings, 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, apiculture and poultry; agricultural regionalisation; agro-climatic zones; agroecological regions.

4. Industry: Evolution of industries: Locational factors of cotton, jute, textile, iron and steel, aluminium, fertilizer, paper, chemical and pharmaceutical, automobile, cottage and agro-based industries; Industrial houses and complexes including public sector undertakings; Industrial rationalisation; New industrial policies; Multinationals and liberalization; Special Economic Zones; Tourism including eco-tourism.

5. Transport, Communication and Trade: Road, railway, waterway, airway and pipeline networks 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, intraregional 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 associated problems; town planning; Problems of urbanization and remedies.

8. Regional Development and Planning: Experience of regional planning in India; Five Year Plans; Integrated rural development programs; Panchayati Raj and decentralized planning; Command area development; Watershed management; Planning for the 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 reorganization; 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 relating 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.

Micro Topics Analysis (Geomorphology) For Geography Optional Syllabus

Note: Start your Preparation from 1. (Origin of Universe and Earth) hereinafter 2., 3., 4., 5., and so on…

1. Origin Of Universe And Earth

  1. Universe
    1. Basic information
    2. Galaxy
    3. Stars
      1. Birth to Death
      2. Constellations
      3. Sun
    4. Planets(Detailed information)
    5. Moon
    6. Asteroids, Meteoroids, Comets
  2. Earth
    1. Origin of earth
    2. Important statics about Earth
    3. Size and Shape
    4. Motion
      1. Rotation
      2. Revolution
    5. Longitudes and Latitudes
    6. Eclipses
      1. Solar
      2. Lunar
    7. Evolution and Composition of earth
    8. Movement
      1. Volcanism
      2. Earthquakes
    9. Minerals
    10. Rocks
      1. Igneous
      2. Sedimentary
      3. Metamorphic
    11. Landforms
      1. Mountain
      2. Plateau
      3. Plains
      4. Fluvial
  3. Theories of origin of the earth
    1. The gaseous hypothesis of Kant
    2. Nebular hypothesis of Laplace
    3. The planetesimal hypothesis of Chamberlin
    4. Jean and Jeffery’s tidal theory
    5. Russel’s Binary Star Hypothesis
    6. Hoyle’s supernova hypothesis hypothesis
    7. Schmidt’s interstellar hypothesis
    8. Big bang Theory (important)

2. Geological Time Scale

  1. Pre-Cambrian
  2. Paleozoic
  3. Mesozoic
  4. Cenozoic

3. Earth’s Interior

  1. Interior of the earth (overview)
  2. Sources to study of earth’s interior
  3. Earth’s Layers
    1. Core
    2. Mental
    3. Asthenosphere
    4. Crust
  4. Chemical Composition of earth
  5. Seismic Discontinuities on Earth’s Layer

4. Seismic Waves And Study Of Earth

  1. Seismic waves (overview)
  2. Earthquake waves
  3. The behavior of earthquake waves
  4. Primary waves (P-waves)
  5. Secondary waves (S-waves)
  6. Surface waves (L-waves)
  7. Analysis

5. Origin And Evolution Of Earth And Related Theories

  1. Continental Drift
  2. Convection current and seafloor Spreading
  3. Plate tectonics

6. Earthquake

  1. Overview
  2. The terminology used in the study of Earthquakes
    1. Earthquake Intensity
    2. Earthquake magnitude
    3. Richter Scale
    4. Mercalli Scale
    5. Fault
    6. Focus and Epicenter
    7. Seismic wave
    8. Seismograph
  3. Continental plates
  4. Plate Boundaries
    1. Divergent
    2. Convergent
    3. Transform
  5. Distribution of Earthquakes
  6. Classification of Earthquakes
  7. Addressing the Hazard

7. Tsunami

  1.  Overview
  2. Causes of Tsunami
    1. Earthquake
    2. Landslides
    3. Undersea Volcanoes
    4. Meteors, Asteroids
    5. Anthropogenic factors
  3. Course of Tsunami
  4. Tsunami Propagation
  5. Tsunami early warning system

8. Volcanoes

  1. Overview
  2. Magma
  3. Parts of Volcanoes
  4. Volcanoes formation hotspots
  5. Global distribution of Volcanoes
  6. Classification of Volcanoes
    1. On the basis of periodicity
    2. On the basis of the intensity
    3. On the basis of composition
  7. Geysers, Fumaroles, and Hot Springs
  8. Types of Volcanoes
    1. Active Volcano
    2. Dormant Volcano
    3. Extinct Volcano
  9. Volcanic Landforms
    1. Extrusive
    2. Intrusive

9. Rocks And Rock Cycle

  1. Overview
  2. Minerals and its type
  3. Rocks
  4. Classification of Rocks
    1. Sedimentary Rocks
    2. Metamorphic Rocks
    3. Igneous Rocks
  5. The Rock Cycle

10. Earth Movements

  1. Endogenetic
    1. Diastrophism
    2. Sudden movements
  2. Exogenetic
    1. Weathering
    2. Erosion

11. Landforms

  1. Mountains, Plateaus, Plains
  2. River landform
  3. Glacial landform
  4. Desert landform
  5. Coastal landform
  6. Limestone or Karst landform

12. Type Of Lakes

  1. Overview
  2. Lakes formed by earth movement
    1. Tectonic lakes
    2. Rift valley lakes
  3. Lakes formed by Glaciation
    1. Cirque lakes
    2. Kettle lakes
  4. Lakes formed by Glaciation
    1. Rock hollow lakes
    2. Lakes formed due to Moraine damming of Valleys
    3. Lakes formed due to deposition of glacial drifts
  5. Lakes formed by volcanic activity
    1. Crater & Caldera Lakes
    2. Lava blocked lakes
    3. Lakes formed due to subsidence of the volcanic land surface
  6. Lakes formed by erosion
    1. Karst lakes
    2. Wind deflated lakes
  7. Lakes formed by deposition
    1. Due to river deposits
    2. Due to marine deposits
  8. Lakes formed by Human and Biological activities
    1. Man-made lakes
    2. Lakes made by Animals
    3. Other

Micro Topics Analysis (Oceanography) For Geography Optional Syllabus

Note: Start your Preparation from 1. hereinafter 2., 3., 4., 5., and so on…

1.Relief Of Ocean-Basin

  • Overview of the earth: The water Planet
  • Oceans
  • Continental shelf
  • Continental slope
  • Continental Rise
  • Abyssal Plain
  • Deep-sea Trench
  • Submarine canyons
  • Sea Mounts
  • Guyot

2.Ocean Waves

  • Introduction
  • Characteristics of wave
    • Crest
    • Trough
    • Wavelength
    • Wave height
    • Frequency
    • Amplitude
  • Freak waves
  • Movement of water in the wave
  • Wavecut Action

3. Tide

  • Introduction
  • Origin of tides
  • Types of tides
  • Tidal Bores
  • Tidal currents

4. Ocean Currents

  • Introduction
  • Origin of currents
  • Forces (Influenced by…)
  • Classification of ocean currents
  • Types of ocean currents
  • Conveyer belt
  • Major ocean currents of the world
  • Effects of ocean currents
  • Importance of ocean currents

5. Ocean Temperature And Density Of Ocean Water

  • Introduction
  • Temperature distribution of oceans
  • Horizontal distribution of Temperature
  • Vertical distribution of temperature
  • Density of oceans

6. Ocean Salinity

  • Introduction
  • Composition of seawater
  • Source of ocean salinity
  • Controlling factors of salinity
  • Distribution of salinity
    • Horizontal
    • Vertical
  • Significance of Salinity

7. Ocean Resources

  • Maritime zones
  • Biotic
    • Planktons
    • Nektons
    • Benthos
  • Abiotic
    • Mineral
    • Energy

8. Corals

  • Introduction
  • Ideal conditions of coral growth
  • Coral reef distribution
  • Types of reef
    • Fringing
    • Barrier
    • Atoll
  • Location of coral reefs in India
  • Origin of coral reefs and Atolls
  • Coral Bleaching

9. El-Nino And La- Nino

10. Law Of The Sea

  • Territorial sea
  • Contiguous zone
  • EEZ (Exclusive economic zone)
  • High Sea

11. Sea-Level Changes

12. Marine Pollution

After reading these chapters, you are able to use your own sense and jump on the question paper and geography optional syllabus and focus more on those topics which are coming in the UPSC exam.

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