UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus

Welcome to UPSC CSE Website. If you are a beginner in the upsc civil services exam then this is the best post to read to know about the full pattern of upsc civil services exam with key facts and the full syllabus of upsc civil services exam including prelim exam [2 papers], main exam [9 papers includes geography optional syllabus] and interview syllabus.

So, Let’s get started

First, you will fill the form for upsc civil services preliminary exam and then you will appear for that and if you pass prelim exam then only you will be eligible for mains exam.

So, in the civil services prelim exam you will have two compulsory papers worth of 400 marks and each paper will be for 200 marks with 2hrs each. Both papers are compulsory but paper 2 is compulsory and qualifying in nature. Means paper 2 marks are not to be counted for prelim cut offs but you have to get minimum of 33% marks in paper 2, Otherwise, you will fail in prelim. only paper 1 marks to be counted for upsc prelim cut offs.

UPSC CSE (Civil Services Exam) Prelim Syllabus :(400 Marks Exam)

Paper I – (200 marks) (100 Questions) Duration :Two hours

• Current events of national and international importance.

• History of India and Indian National Movement.

• Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.

• Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

• Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

• General issues on Environmental ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.

• General Science.  

Paper II-(200 marks) (80 Questions) Duration :Two hours

• Comprehension;

• Interpersonal skills including communication skills;

• Logical reasoning and analytical ability;

• Decision making and problem solving;

• General mental ability;

• Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. — Class X level);

Note 1 : Paper-II of the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will be a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.

Note 2 : The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.

Note 3 : It is mandatory for the candidate to appear in both the Papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination for the purpose of evaluation. Therefore a candidate will be disqualified in case he/she does not appear in both the papers of Civil Services (Prelim) Examination.  

So, After prelim exam you will wait for prelim result and if you pass the prelim then you will  be eligible to appear for civil services mains exam.

So, in mains examination you will have a total of 9 papers [ 2 languages papers, 1 essay paper, 4 General Studies Papers and 2 Optional Papers of one subject] in which language papers are only qualifying in nature with 25% marks required for each paper A and Paper B of language Papers. And you have to get minimum 10% marks in other 7 competitive papers ( 10% marks in each of the seven competitive papers i.e. Essay, GS‐I, GS‐II, GS‐III, GS‐IV, Optional‐I and Optional‐II. )

UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus

UPSC CSE(Civil Services Exam) Mains Syllabus :(1750 Marks To Be Counted for Merits)

Following Paper A and Paper B Marks are Not to be counted  For Merits. These two papers are qualifying papers.

Note : The aim of the language and english paper is to test the candidate’s ability to read and understand serious discursive prose, and to express his ideas clearly and correctly, in English and Indian language concerned.

The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows :

Paper A : Indian Languages : (3hrs)(300marks)(25% Required Qualifying Marks)

(i) Comprehension of given passages.

(ii) Precis Writing.

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.

(iv) Short Essays.

(v) Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa.

Paper B : English language (3hrs)(300marks)(25% Required Qualifying Marks)

(i) Comprehension of given passages.

(ii) Precis Writing.

(iii) Usage and Vocabulary.

(iv) Short Essays.

Note 1 : The papers on Indian Languages and English will be of Matriculation or equivalent standard and will be of qualifying nature only. The marks obtained in these papers will not be counted for ranking.

Note 2 : The candidates will have to answer the English and Indian Languages papers in English and the respective Indian language (except where translation is involved).

From following Paper 1 to Paper VII Marks Are to be counted for Merits

PAPER-I (3hrs)(250marks)(10% Marks required otherwise fail)

Essay Paper : Candidates may be required to write essays on multiple topics. They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in an orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression.  

PAPER-II (3hrs)(250marks)(10% Marks required otherwise fail)

General Studies-I : Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of theWorld and Society.

• Indian culture will cover the salient aspects ofArt Forms, literature andArchitecture from ancient to modern times.

• Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

• The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

• Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

• History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

• Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

• Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

• Effects of globalization on Indian society.

• Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

• Salient features of world’s physical geography.

• Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); 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.

PAPER-III (3hrs)(250marks)(10% Marks required otherwise fail)

General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

• Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings,   evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

• Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

• Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

• Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

• Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

• Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

• Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

• Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

• Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

• Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

• Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

• Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

• Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

• Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

• Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

• Role of civil services in a democracy.

• India and its neighborhood- relations.

• Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

• Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.  

• Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

PAPER-IV (3hrs)(250marks)(10% Marks required otherwise fail)

General Studies-III:Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

• Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

• Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

• Government Budgeting.

• Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

• Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution Systemobjectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

• Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

• Land reforms in India.

• Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

• Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads,Airports, Railways etc.

• Investment models.

• Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

• Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

• Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

• Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

• Disaster and disaster management.

• Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

• Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

• Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

• Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

• Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

PAPER-V (3hrs)(250marks)(10% Marks required otherwise fail)

General Studies- IV: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilise the case study approach to determine these aspects.

The following broad areas will be covered :

• Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

• Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

• Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

• Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

• Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

• Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

• Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

• Case Studies on above issues.  

UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus :

PAPER-VI (3hrs)(250marks)(10% Marks required otherwise fail)

PAPER I : PRINCIPLES OF GEOGRAPHY

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; Volcanicity; Earthquakes and Tsunamis; Concepts of geomorphic cycles and Landscape 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 the 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, agroforestry; 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 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: 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.  

PAPER-VII (3hrs)(250marks)(10% Marks required otherwise fail)

PAPER II : GEOGRAPHY OF INDIA

1. Physical Setting : Space relationship of India with neighbouring 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; land holdings, land tenure and land reforms; Cropping patterns, 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 undertakings; Industrial regionalisation; New industrial policies; Multinationals and liberalisation; Special Economic Zones; Tourism including ecotourism.

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 (interregional, 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 associated 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.  

So, This is the Syllabus of UPSC Civil Services Geography Optional Subject Paper 1 and paper 2 with General Studies, essay and UPSC Civil Services Preliminary examination syllabus.

After mains exam upsc will select 3 candidates per posts with respect to vacancies for personal interview of 275 marks.  For eg. if vacancies are 1000 then only 3000 candidates will be eligible from mains exam to take an interview for selection of 1000 candidates.

So, What is the syllabus of UPSC Civil Services Interview which is for 275 Marks and its highest.

UPSC CSE Interview Syllabus : (275 Marks)

The candidate will be interviewed by a Board who will have before them a record of his career. He will be asked questions on matters of general interest. The object of the interview is to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service by a Board of competent and unbiased observers. The test is intended to judge the mental caliber of a candidate. In broad terms this is really an assessment of not only his intellectual qualities but also social traits and his interest in current affairs. Some of the qualities to be judged are mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, variety and depth of interest, ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity.

2. The technique of the interview is not that of a strict cross-examination but of a natural, though directed and purposive conversation which is intended to reveal the mental qualities of the candidate.

3. The interview test is not intended to be a test either of the specialised or general knowledge of the candidates which has been already tested through their written papers. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only in their special subjects of academic study but also in the events which are happening around them both within and outside their own State or Country as well as in modern currents of thought and in new discoveries which should rouse the curiosity of well educated youth.

So, This is the full syllabus of upsc civil services exam with geography optional syllabus.

Finally, after interview the final result will come after that there will be medical test and physical test(for technical Posts Only). After that you will be free for some months and then the foundations course will start at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie-248179 (Uttarakhand).  

After Foundation course you will be sent for your posts related training course at respected academies which are present in all over india.

For eg.

For IAS, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.

For IFS, Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs, Delhi

For IPS, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy. Hyderabad

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