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UPSC Courses

UPSC MAINS STRATEGY - GS PAPER 1

Geography

Indian Geography is a vital part of the IAS Syllabus. Conceptual understanding of geography is necessary to score well in both UPSC IAS Prelims as well as in UPSC IAS Mains. Here we are providing the detailed strategy for preparing geography for UPSC Mains. Keep a copy of the IAS mains syllabus with you if you have not yet memorized the keywords from the syllabus. These Keywords will help you identify the vital information to be extracted from the newspaper. Do a profound analysis of the last 5 years previous IAS papers to identify the most central focal point of UPSC.

Syllabus of GS Paper 1 Geography Section

  • Salient features of world’s physical geography.
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world; factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India).
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

Salient features of world’s physical geography

Physical geography is one of the complex parts of Geography, with minimum rote learning and focusing more on understanding concepts and phenomenon just like science. This part is also very important when preparing for mains as it has at least some marks allotted to itself, if not more.

Traditionally it is a static part, but the questions are also asked keeping in mind the current development as well. Generally, candidates rush to cover geography from a number of books. But the evolving trend and pattern by UPSC say otherwise and focus is shifting more towards analytical questions than static.

Sample question from 2016-

The Himalayas are highly prone to landslides. Discuss the causes and suggest suitable measures of mitigation.-(Recent Himalayan catastrophe in Uttarakhand)

Therefore, it is better to understand the concept along with reading newspapers and then clubbing both as to write a good answer during exam. Also, Geography becomes very interesting when you visualize various phenomenons with the help from our Geography Batch.

Sources/books for Indian Geography

  • NCERT- Class 11th, Physical Geography
  • Goh Cheng Leong Physical Geography
  • Newspapers- The Hindu.

Distribution of key natural resources across the world; factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)

This part carries the maximum weightage among all other topics of GS Paper1 and therefore proper focus must be given in order to fetch good marks in GS Paper1. Most of the topics can be prepared from static books but a reference can be found from newspapers too as the questions have an undertone of current events as evident from a few questions asked in 2016.

South China Sea has assumed great geopolitical significance in the present context. Comment (South China Sea Dispute)

Enumerate the problems and prospects of inland water transport in India - (In news recently)

Sources/books for this section

  • NCERT (Class 12th) Human Geography & India-People and Economy
  • Majid Hussain- Geography of India.
  • Newspaper- The Hindu

Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

These topics can best be prepared through books preferably NCERT, G.C Leong as well as documentaries and newspapers because most of the changing geophysical phenomenon be it Earthquake, Cyclones, El-Nino, Tsunami etc. are part of modern geographical changes due to climate change or Global Warming and are often covered in newspapers and magazines very frequently.

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