Geography Optional Syllabus for UPSC 2022:

Geography Optional Syllabus for UPSC

UPSC candidates can read or download Geography Optional Syllabus for UPSC from here. UPSC mains exam syllabus is divided in 2 papers.




Physical Geography : 

1. GEOMORPHOLOGY : Factors controlling landform development; endogenetic and exogenetic  forces; Origin and evolution of the earth’s crusts; Fundamentals of geomagnetism; Physical conditions of  the earth’s interior; Geosynclines; Continental drift; Isostasy; Plate tectonics; Recent views on mountain  building; Volcanicity; Earthquakes and Tsunamis; Concepts of geomorphic cycles and Land scape  development; Denudation chronology; Channel morphology; Erosion surfaces; Slope development; Applied  Geomorphology; Geomorphology, 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 fronto; Temperate and tropical cyclones; Types and distribution of precipitation; Weather  and Climate; Koppen’s Thornthwaite’s and Trewar Tha’s classification of world climate; 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,  Degrada-tion and conservation; Factors influencing world distribution of plants and animals; Problems of  deforestation and conservation measures; Social forestry, agro-forestry; Wild life; Major gene pool centres. 

5. Environmental Geography : Principle 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, behavioural, human  and welfare approaches; Languages, religions and secularisation; Cultural regions of the world; Human  development indix. 

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 nutritions problems; Food security;  famine: causes, effects and remedies; World industries: location 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 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; Concept 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 regionalisation; Growth centres 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 : System 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. Heart-land and Rimland theories; Laws of international boundaries  and frontiers. 



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 ground water, energy, minerals, biotic and marine resources,  Forest and wild life resources and their conservation; Energy crisis.

3. Agriculture : Infrastructure: irrigation, seeds, fertilizers, power; Institutional factors; land  holdings, 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; Aqua culture; Sericulture, Agriculture and poultry; Agricultural regionalisation; Agro-climatic zones; Agro ecological regions. 

4. Industry : Evolution of industries; Locational factors of cotton, jute, textile, iron and steel,  aluminium, fertiliser, paper, chemical and pharmaceutical, automobile, cottage and ago-based industries;  Industrial houses and complexes including public sector underkings; Industrial regionalisation; New  industrial policy; Multinationals and liberalisation; Special Economic Zones; Tourism including  ecotourism.

5. Transport, Communication and Trade : Road, railway, waterway, airway and pipeline net works  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, interaregional 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 asssociated problems; Town planning; Problems of urbanisation and  remedies. 

8. Regional Development and Planning: Experience of regional planning in India; Five Year Plans; Integrated rural development programmes; Panchayati Raj and decentralised planning; Command area  development; Watershed management; Planning for 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 reorganisation; 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 related 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.

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