Geography Syllabus for UPSC Prelims, Mains, and Optional 

Indian geography and the world’s geography hold great significance in the UPSC Exam, as many questions have been asked about geography in the UPSC Prelims and Mains. Along with this, Geography is also an optional subject. So, all the aspirants preparing for the UPSC exam must be familiar with the geography UPSC Syllabus in Hindi and English. The syllabus for the Prelims, Mains, and options is almost similar. But, it requires different preparation techniques as Prelims is an objective exam while the rest is subjective. 

Geography Syllabus for UPSC Prelims

The Geography Syllabus for UPSC Prelims involves economic, physical, and social geography. Here is the detailed syllabus for Indian geography and world geography for the UPSC Prelims is as under- 

Indian Geography

The Indian geography comprises the following topics- 

    • Basics of India– longitude, latitude, location, time zone, neighboring countries, states with international boundaries, states, and their position, and important straits. 
    • Physical features– the Himalayas, The Great North Indian Plains, Peninsular Plateau, Coastal plains and islands, and Indian Deserts. 
    • River systems– River basins, Peninsular rivers, Himalayan rivers, Hydropower projects, major dams, Interlinking of rivers, Regional development and planning, West-flowing and east-flowing rivers. 
    • Minerals and industries– location, industrial policies, and mineral distribution.
    • ClimateCyclones, Seasons, and Monsoons.
    • Agriculture– Types of agricultural practices, Land utilization, Soils and crops, Green revolution, Land reforms, Irrigation, and various important Government schemes. 
    • Human Geography– Recent census and Demographics.
  • Natural vegetation and fauna- Classification of natural vegetation, Indian rainfall distribution, national parks, biosphere reserves, re-listed species. 
  • Economic infrastructure– Energy conservation, Transportation, power and energy sector, sources of energy. 

World Geography

The world geography comprises the following topics- 

  • Major natural regions
  • Regional geography of developing and developed countries
  • Regional geography of South Asia

Physical Geography

The syllabus for physical geography is as follows- 

  • Biogeography– Soil – origin and types, Ecosystem, food chain, Major biomes of the world, Environmental degradation, and conservation
  • Oceanography– Temperature, salinity, Ocean relief, Ocean currents, Ocean deposits, Waves and tides, and El Nino and La Nina. 
  • Climatology– Temperature, Atmosphere – structure and composition, Pressure belts of the Earth, Clouds and types of rainfall, Wind systems, Major climatic types, Cyclones, and anti-cyclones. 
  • Geomorphology– Origin, and interior of the earth, Volcanoes, earthquakes, Types and characteristics of rocks, Weathering, Folding and Faulting, Landforms formed by fluvial, aeolian, and glacial actions. 

Human Geography

The topics under human geography are as follows- 

  • Man & Environment
  • Population, tribes, migration
  • Settlements
  • Economic activities

UPSC Mains Geography Syllabus

There is an overlap between the UPSC Prelim syllabus for geography and the UPSC Mains geography syllabus. The UPSC Mains Geography Syllabus for GS1 includes-

  • Important Geophysical phenomena
  • Flora and fauna
  • Geographical features
  • Distribution of key natural resources
  • Geomorphology
  • Climatology
  • Oceanography
  • Biography

UPSC Geography Syllabus for Optional

The UPSC Geography Syllabus for Optional paper 1 and paper 2 includes the principles of geography and geography of India. This includes

  • Physical geography (geomorphology, Climatology, Oceanography, Biogeography, Environmental geography)
  • Human geography ( Perspectives in human geography, economic geography, population, settlement geography, regional planning, models, laws, theories)
  • Physical setting
  • Resources
  • Agriculture
  • Industry
  • Transport, communication, and trade
  • Culture setting
  • Settlements
  • Regional Development and Planning
  • Political aspects
  • Contemporary issues
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