CBSE-2022 Syllabus for Polotical Geography Classes XI and XII

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Geography is introduced as an elective subject at the senior secondary stage. After ten years of general education, students branch out at the beginning of this stage and are exposed to the rigours of the discipline for the first time. Being an entry point for the higher education, students choose geography for pursuing their academic interest and, therefore, need a broader and deeper understanding of the subject. For others, geographical knowledge is useful in daily lives because it is a valuable medium for the education of young people. Its contribution lies in the content, cognitive processes, skills and values that geography promotes and thus helps the students explore, understand and evaluate the environmental and social dimensions of the world in a better manner.

Since geography explores the relationship between people and their environment, it includes studies of physical and human environments and their interactions at different scales-local, state/region, nation and the world. The fundamental principles responsible for the varieties in the distributional pattern of physical and human features and phenomena over the earth՚s surface need to be understood properly. Application of these principles would be taken up through selected case studies from the world and India. Thus, the physical and human environment of India and study of some issues from a geographical point of view will be covered in greater detail. Students will be exposed to different methods used in geographical investigations.


The course in geography will help learners:

  • Familiarise themselves with the terms, key concepts and basic principles of geography
  • Search for, recognize and understand the processes and patterns of the spatial arrangement of the natural as well as human features and phenomena on the earth՚s surface
  • Understand and analyse the inter-relationship between physical and human environments and their impact
  • Apply geographical knowledge and methods of inquiry to new situations or problems at different levels-local, regional, national and global
  • Develop geographical skills, relating to collection, processing and analysis of data/information and preparation of report including maps and graphs and use of computers whereas possible
  • Utilize geographical knowledge in understanding issues concerning the community such as environmental issues, socio-economic concerns, gender and become responsible and effective members of the community.

Part a: Fundamentals of Physical Geography- (Periods 75)

Class XI One Theory Paper 3 Hours and 70 Marks

Part a. Fundamentals of Physical Geography-35 (Marks)

Geography as a discipline3 Marks
The Earth5 Marks
Landforms8 Marks
Climate10 Marks
Water (Oceans)4 Marks
Life on the Earth3 Marks
Map work2 Marks

India-Physical Environment-35 (Marks)

Introduction3 Marks
Physiography10 Marks
Climate, vegetation and soil10 Marks
Natural hazards and Disasters9 Marks
Map Work3 Marks

Part C. Practical Work-3 Hours and 30 Marks

Fundamentals of Maps

10 Marks

Topographic and Weather Maps

15 Marks

Practical Record Book & Viva

5 Marks

Unit-1: Geography as a Discipline (Periods 3)

  • Geography as an integrating discipline, as a science of spatial attributes
  • Branches of geography; importance of physical geography.

Unit-2: The Earth (Periods 10)

  • Origin and evolution of the earth; Interior of the earth
  • Wegener՚s continental drift theory and plate tectonics
  • Earthquakes and volcanoes.

Unit-3: Landforms (Periods 18)

  • Rocks: Major types of rocks and their characteristics
  • Landforms and their evolution
  • Geomorphic processes: Weathering, mass wasting, erosion and deposition; soil-formation

Unit 4: Climate (Periods 30)

  • Atmosphere-composition and structure; elements of weather and climate.
  • Insolation-angle of incidence and distribution; heat budget of the earth-heating and cooling of atmosphere (conduction, convection, terrestrial radiation and advection) ; temperature-factors controlling temperature; distribution of temperature-horizontal and vertical; inversion of temperature.
  • Pressure-pressure belts; winds-planetary, seasonal and local; air masses and fronts; tropical and extratropical cyclones.
  • Precipitation-evaporation; condensation-dew, frost, fog, mist and cloud; rainfall-types and world distribution.
  • World climates-classification (Koeppen and Thornthwaite) , greenhouse effect, global warming and climatic changes.

Unit 5: Water (Oceans) (Periods 8)

  • Hydrological Cycle.
  • Oceans-distribution of temperature and salinity; movements of ocean water-waves, tides and currents; submarine reliefs.

Unit 6: Life on the Earth (Periods 6)

  • Biosphere-importance of plants and other organisms; biodiversity and conservation; ecosystem and ecological balance.

Unit 7: Map Work on Identification of Features Based on the Above Units on the Outline Political Map of the World

Part B. India-Physical Environment 65 Periods

Unit 8: Introduction (Periods 3)

  • Location-space relations and India՚s place in the world.

Unit 9: Physiography (Periods 23)

  • Structure and Relief
  • Drainage systems: Concept of watershed; the Himalayan and the Peninsular
  • Physiographic divisions.

Unit 10: Climate, Vegetation and Soil (23 Periods)

  • Weather and climate-spatial and temporal distribution of temperature, pressure winds and rainfall, Indian monsoon: Mechanism, onset and withdrawal, variability of rainfalls: Spatial and temporal; Climatic types (Koeppen)
  • Natural vegetation-forest types and distribution; wild life; conservation; biosphere reserves
  • Soils-major types (ICAR՚s classification) and their distribution, soil degradation and conservation.

Unit 11: Natural Hazards and Disasters: Causes, Consequences and Management (One Case Study to be Introduced for Each Topic) (Periods 16)

  • Floods, Clouds bursts and droughts
  • Earthquakes and Tsunami
  • Cyclones
  • Landslides

Unit 12: Map Work of Features Based on Above Units for Locating and Labelling on the Outline Political Map of India

Practical Work (40 Periods)

Unit 1: Fundamentals of Maps (12 Periods)

  • Maps-types; scales-types; construction of simple linear scale, measuring distance; finding direction and use of symbols.
  • Latitude, longitude and time.
  • Map projection-typology, construction and properties of projection: Conical with one standard parallel and Mercator՚s projection.

Unit 2: Topographic and Weather Maps (28 Periods)

  • Study of topographic maps (1: 50,000 or 1: 25,000 Survey of India maps) ; contour cross section and identification of landforms-slopes, hills, valleys, waterfall, cliffs; distribution of settlements.
  • Aerial Photographs: Types & Geometry-vertical aerial photographs; difference between maps & aerial photographs; photo scale determination.
  • Satellite imageries, stages in remote sensing data-acquisition, platform & sensors and data products (photographic & digital) ,
  • Identification of physical & cultural features from aerial photographs & satellite imageries.
  • Use of weather instruments: Thermometer, wet and dry-bulb thermometer, barometer, wind vane, raingauge.
  • Use of weather charts: Describing pressure, wind and rainfall distribution.

Unit 3: Practical Record Book and Vivavoce

Class XII One Paper 3 Hours 70 Marks

Fundamentals of Human Geography-35 Marks

Human Geography3 Marks
People5 Marks
HumanActivities10 Marks
Transport, Communication & Trade10 Marks
Human settlements5 Marks
Unit 6: Map Work2 Marks

India: People and Economy-35 Marks

People5 Marks
Human Settlements4 Marks
Resources and Development12 Marks
Transport, Communication and International Trade7 Marks
Geographical Perspective on selected issues and problems4 Marks
Map Work3 Marks

Practical Work-30 Marks

Processing of Data and Thematic Mapping15 Marks
Field study or Spatial Information Technology10 Marks
Practical Record Book and Viva Voce5 Marks

Class XII

Fundamentals of Human Geography (70 Periods) 35 Marks

Unit 1: Human Geography: Nature and Scope-Periods 3

Unit 2: People-Periods 15

  • Population-distribution, density and growth
  • Population change-spatial patterns and structure; determinants of population change
  • Age-sex ratio; rural-urban composition
  • Human development-concept; selected indicators, international comparisons

Unit 3: Human Activities-Periods 25

  • Primary activities-concept and changing trends; gathering, pastoral, mining, subsistence agriculture, modern agriculture; people engaged in agricultural and allied activities-some examples from selected countries.
  • Secondary activities-concept; manufacturing: Types-household, small scale, large scale; agro based and mineral based industries; people engaged in secondary activities-some examples from selected countries.
  • Tertiary activities-concept; trade, transport and communication; services; people engaged in tertiary activities-some examples from selected countries
  • Quaternary activities-concept; knowledge based industries; people engaged in quaternary activities-some examples from selected countries

Unit 4: Transport, Communication and Trade-Periods 19

  • Land transport-roads, railways; trans-continental railways.
  • Water transport-inland waterways; major ocean routes.
  • Air transport-Intercontinental air routes.
  • Oil and gas pipelines.
  • Satellite communication and cyber space.
  • International trade-Bases and changing patterns; ports as gateways of international trade, role of WTO in International trade.

Unit 5: Human Settlements-Periods 8

  • Settlement types-rural and urban; morphology of cities (case study) ; distribution of mega cities; problems of human settlements in developing countries.

Unit 6: Map Work on Identification of Features Based on Above Units on the Outline Political Map of World

Part B. India: People and Economy-70 Periods

Unit 7: People-Periods 12

  • Population: Distribution, density and growth; composition of population-linguistic, religious; sex, rural-urban and occupational-polulation change through time and regional variations
  • Migration: International, national-causes and consequences
  • Human development: Selected indicators and regional patterns
  • Population, environment and development.

Unit 8: Human Settlements-Periods 8

  • Rural settlements-types and distribution
  • Urban settlements-types, distribution and functional classification.

Unit 9: Resources and Development-Periods 28

  • Land resources-general land use; agricultural land use, Geographical conditions and distribution of major crops (Wheat, Rice, Tea, Coffee, Cotton, Jute, Sugarcane and Rubber) , agricultural development and problems.
  • Water resources-availability and utilization-irrigation, domestic, industrial and other uses; scarcity of water and conservation methods-rain water harvesting and watershed management (one case study related with participatory watershed management to be introduced) .
  • Mineral and energy resources-distribution of metallic (Ironore, Copper, Bauxite, Manganese) ; non-metallic (Mica, Salt) minerals; conventional (Coal, Petroleum, Natural gas and Hydro electricity) and non-conventional energy sources (solar, wind, biogas) and conservation.
  • Industries-types, factors of industrial location; distribution and changing pattern of selected industries-iron and steel, cotton textiles, sugar, petrochemicals, and knowledge based industries; impact of liberalization, privatisation and globalisation on industrial location; industrial clusters.
  • Planning in India-target area planning (case study) ; idea of sustainable development (case study) .

Unit 10: Transport, Communication and International Trade-Periods 12

  • Transport and communication-roads, railways, waterways and airways: Oil and gas pipelines; national electric grids; communication networkings-radio, television, satellite and internet.
  • International trade-changing pattern of India՚s foreign trade; sea ports and their hinterland and airports

Unit 11: Geographical Perspective on Selected Issues and Problems (One Case Study to be Introduced for Each Topic) -Periods 10

  • Environmental pollution; urban-waste disposal.
  • Urbanisation, rural-urban migration; problems of slums.
  • Land Degradation.

Unit 12: Map Work on Locating and Labelling of Features Based on Above Units on Outline Political Map of India 3 Marks

Practical Work

Unit I: Processing of Data and Thematic Mapping- (Periods 20)

  • Sources of data.
  • Tabulating and processing of data; calculation of averages, measures of central tendency, deviation and rank correlation
  • Representation of data-construction of diagrams: Bars, circles and flowchart; thematic maps; construction of dot; choropleth and isopleth maps.
  • Use of computers in data processing and mapping.

Unit II: Field Study or Spatial Information Technology- (Periods 10)

Field visit and study: Map orientation, observation and preparation of sketch; survey on any one of the local concerns; pollution, ground water changes, land use and land-use changes, poverty, energy issues, soil degradation, impact of floods and drought, catchment area of school, Market survey and Household survey (any one topic of local concern may be taken up for the study; observation and questionnaire survey may be adopted for the data collection; collected data may be tabulated and analysed with diagrams and maps) . OR Spatial Information Technology Introduction to GIS; hardware requirements and software modules; data formats; raster and vector data, data input, editing & topology building; data analysis; overlay & buffer.

Recommended Text Books

  1. Fundamentals of Physical Geography, Class XI, Published by NCERT
  2. India, Physical Environment, Class XI, Published by NCERT
  3. Practical Work in Geography, Class XI, Published by NCERT
  4. Fundamentals of Human Geography, Class XII, Published by NCERT
  5. India-People and Economy, Class XII, Published by NCERT
  6. Practical Work in Geography, Class XII, Published by NCERT

Note: The above textbooks also available in Hindi medium.