The UPSC IAS Geography Mains Optional carry a total weightage of 500 marks. The Geography Optional Syllabus for UPSC Examination 2021 and 2022 is divided into two papers - Papers I & II carrying 250 marks each.
For the UPSC Main exam, the candidates are required to choose one optional subject from the list of subjects offered.
Geography as an optional has a great success rate and it has been a record of Aspire IAS that those who write Mains with Geography Optional has high chances of clearing UPSC Examination 2021 – 2022 due to great mentorship of Ankit Sir and targeted preparation through Geography optional strategy which helps them score 290+ marks in UPSC Optional Papers like Reeshma Mam. The Geography Optional Syllabus for UPSC is quite vast and lengthy which requires consistent effort and strategy.
Division of Geography Optional Syllabus
Geography of India
Hence we have divided the Geography Optional Syllabus into an easily understandable format for targeted studies as we do in Aspire IAS under the guidance of Ankit Sir who has 15+ years of Geography.
PAPER I: Principles of Geography
Paper-I of Geography Optional Syllabus is divided into Physical Geography and Human Geography.
Part 1: Physical Geography:
Part I of Paper I of UPSC IAS Geography Optional Syllabus consists of Physical Geography which includes Geomorphology, Climatology, Oceanography, Biogeography, and Environment Geography.
1. Geomorphology for Geography Optional Syllabus:
Geomorphology is the study of landforms, their processes, form, and sediments at the surface of the Earth (and sometimes on other planets). The study includes looking at landscapes to work out how the earth's surface processes, such as air, water, and ice, can mold the landscape. The Geomorphology syllabus of Physical Geography includes the following subtopics
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;
Recent views on mountain building;
Earthquakes and Tsunamis;
Concepts of geomorphic cycles and Landscape development;
Geomorphology, economic geology, and environment.
2. Climatology for Geography Optional Syllabus:
Climatology or climate science is the scientific study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time. Following are the subtopics:
Temperature and pressure belts of the world;
Heat budget of the earth;
Atmospheric stability and instability.
Planetary and local winds;
Monsoons and jet streams;
Air masses and Fronts;
Temperate and tropical cyclones;
Types and distribution of precipitation;
Weather and Climate;
Koppen’s Thornthwaite’s and Trewartha’s classification of world climate;
Global climatic change, and role and response of man in climatic changes
Applied climatology and
3. Oceanography for Geography Syllabus:
Oceanography is a science that deals with the oceans and includes the delimitation of their extent and depth, the physics and chemistry of their waters, marine biology, and the exploitation of their resources. It includes
Bottom topography of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans;
Temperature and salinity of the oceans;
Heat and salt budgets,
Waves, currents, and tides;
Biotic, mineral, and energy resources;
Coral reefs coral bleaching;
Law of the sea and
4. Biogeography for Geography Optional Syllabus:
Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species and ecosystems in geographic space and through geological time. It includes
The genesis of soils;
Classification and distribution of soils;
Degradation and conservation;
Factors influencing world distribution of plants and animals;
Problems of deforestation and conservation measures;
Social forestry, agroforestry;
Major gene pool centers.
5. Environmental Geography for Geography Syllabus:
Environmental geography is the branch of geography that describes the spatial aspects of interactions between humans and the natural world. It includes:
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 hazards and remedial measures;
Environmental education and legislation.
Part II: Human Geography
1. Perspectives in Human Geography for Geography Optional Syllabus:
Dichotomy and dualism;
Quantitative revolution and locational analysis;
Radical, behavioral, human, and welfare approaches;
Languages, religions, and secularisation;
Cultural regions of the world;
Human development index.
2. Economic Geography for Geography Optional Syllabus:
World economic development: measurement and problems;
World resources and their distribution;
The limits to growth;
World agriculture: a typology of agricultural regions;
Agricultural inputs and productivity;
Food and nutrition problems;
Famine: causes, effects, and remedies;
World industries: location patterns and problems;
Patterns of world trade.
3. Population and Settlement Geography for Geography Syllabus:
Growth and distribution of world population;
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;
The population as social capital.
Types and patterns of rural settlements;
Environmental issues in rural settlements;
Hierarchy of urban settlements;
Concept of primate city and rank-size rule;
Functional classification of towns;
Sphere of urban influence;
Problems and remedies of urbanization;
Sustainable development of cities.
4. Regional Planning for Geography Syllabus:
Concept of a region;
Types of regions and methods of regionalization;
Growth centers and growth poles;
Regional development strategies;
Environmental issues in regional planning;
Planning for sustainable development.
5. Models, Theories, and Laws in Human Geography for Geography Syllabus:
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;
Rostov’s model of stages of growth.
Heartland and Rimland theories;
Laws of international boundaries and frontiers
PAPER-II: GEOGRAPHY OF INDIA
1. Physical Setting for Geography Optional Syllabus:
Space relationship of India with neighboring countries;
Structure and relief;
Drainage system and watersheds;
Mechanism of Indian monsoons and rainfall patterns;
Tropical cyclones and western disturbances;
Floods and droughts;
Soil types and their distributions.
2. Resources for Geography Syllabus:
Land, surface and groundwater, energy, minerals, biotic and marine resources, Forest and wildlife resources and their conservation;