Exam Strategy for Geography

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Paper I


  • Fundamentals of Geomagnetism.
  • Recent view on mountain building.
  • Tsunamis.
  • Channel Morphology.
  • Erosion surfaces.
  • Slope development.
  • Geohydrology, economic geology and environment.


  • Atmospheric stability and instability.
  • Weather and Climate.
  • Global Climate change & role and response of man in climatic changes.
  • Applied Climatology and Urban climate.


  • Heat and Salt Budget.
  • Waves.
  • Coral bleaching.
  • Law of the sea and marine pollution.


  • Soil degradation.
  • Wild life.
  • Major gene pool centers.

Environmental Geography

  • Human ecological adaptations.
  • Influence of man on ecology and environment.
  • Ecosystem conservation.
  • Environmental management.
  • Bio-diversity and sustainable development.
  • Environmental policy.
  • Environmental hazards and remedial measures.
  • Environmental education and legislation.

Perspectives in Human Geography

  • Languages, religions and secularization.

Economic Geography

  • Food securities.

Population and Settlement Geography

  • Population theories, World Population policies, social well-being and quality of life.
  • Population as social capital, Types and patterns of rural settlements.
  • Environmental issues in rural statements.
  • Urban morphology.
  • Remedies of urbanization.
  • Sustainable development of cities.

Regional Planning

  • Regional development strategies.

Models, Theories and Laws in Human Geography

  • Perroux and Boudeville.

Paper II

Physical Setting

  • Rainfall pattern.


  • I Forest and wild life resources and conservation.
  • Soil types and their distributions.


  • Cropping pattern.
  • Aqua-culture.
  • Seri, apiculture & poultry.
  • Agro-ecological regions.


  • Agro-based industries.
  • Industrial houses and complexes including public sector undertakings.
  • Special Economic zones.
  • Tourism including eco-tourism.

Transport, Communication and Trade

  • Trade Policy.
  • Indian Space Programme.

Cultural Setting

  • Historical Perspective of Indian society.
  • Linguistic diversities.
  • Religious Minorities.
  • Cultural regions.
  • Health Indicators.


  • Remedies of urbanization.

Regional Development and Planning

  • Regional planning and development of Island territories.

Political Aspects

  • Inter state issues.
  • Cross border terrorism.
  • India՚s role in World affairs.
  • Geopolitics of South Asia.

Contemporary Issues

  • Ecological issues.
  • Tsunamis.
  • Deforestation, desertification and soil erosion.
  • Environmental awareness.
  • Linkage of rivers.
  • Globalisation and Indian Economy.

Topics as Well as Their Usefulness


  1. Law of the sea and marine population: We are at a juncture which deals with biosphere reserves and ecological problems with the alacrity namely Sethusamudram Project. This topic is very much remarkable in that context, In its same vein.
  2. Environment Policy, hazards and remedies consisting legislation is ultimately desirable for a policy-maker of the future.
  3. Special Economic Zones: This is yet another crucial topic which has been and is continuing to be the hot topic of today.
  4. And on top of this, a knowledge of agro-based industries and industrial houses in general will help the ardent civil servant to dispense justice in a logical sequence.
  5. Tsunamis: After the huge thumboldt in 2004, this Japanese term has become very much popular in the local parlance. A thorough study of this topic is very much desirable.
  6. Geomagnetism to broaden the horizon of Geography, elements of geology has been incorporated. This makes the syllabus wide and diverse and at the same time more scientific. And serious students do not need to be afraid of this, since “logic” should be the order of the day.
  7. Recent views on Mountain Building: Is an extension of plate tectonics.
  8. Denudation chronology: Is yet another or alternative explanation of cycle concept.
  9. River morphology: The topic deals with different types of river channels as well as river flow.
  10. Slope analysis extension of cycle of erosion concept.
  11. Geohydrology & Economic Geology: A component Geology which will consist Darcy՚s Law, Various methods or mineral resource formation.
  12. Applied Climatology will be a very scientific presentation of the role of climate in town planning, aviation, tourism geography etc
  13. Urban Climate: Is on the various facets of urban heat island effects, Venturi effect etc.
  14. Waves: The dynamics of generation, types and movement, another example of its use in physics and geography.
  15. Coral bleaching: Detailed study of the morphology of corals and its association with dinoflagelates i.e.. . Znoxanthellae.
  16. Wild life: Helpful topic for learning.
  17. Gene pools: Extension of the topic of Biodiversity.
  18. Environmental Hazards: The topic deals with environment and its management needs to be taken proper care of:
  19. Environmental education and legislation: It focuses on a sign of the multi dimensional aspect of geography.
  20. Population Geography: Population Geography is much like Sociology with insertion of analytical nature of topics like social well-being, population as Social capital and Sustainable development of cities.

Paper II

When we talk about Paper II, here the topics are contemporary, very specialized and elaborative in nature as well as include sericulture, aquaculture, apiculture in Indian agriculture section. The topics of Indian Industrial geography have turned towards economics with the introduction of various topics namely Industrial Houses, Public Sector undertakings, SEZs, eco tourism and trade policies.

  • The Culture setting section deals with population geography has now a days more inclined towards sociology, again as is mentioned by Historical perspective on Indian societies and a topic like a wellness industries like health indicators.
  • The syllabus of Geography is no doubt very vast and dynamic. Geography as a subject no longer remains a pure geography but has become a combination and mixture of various subjects.
  • The new contents that are being introduced in the syllabi has just not only shape the subject as more multi-dimensional, multi-disciplinary and contemporary but also very logical and specialized. The usefulness of this new syllabus distinctly moves to sincere students. The alterations will make it very-very difficult to teach and coach and equally difficult to grasp. The topics are now become more knowledge based, observation based, skill based and specialty based. Ultimately, it can be taught only by knowledge depending upon teaching and creative teaching.
  • Geography can be consider as a never before and can no way it can be approached in a conventional manner. It is elaborative as well as practical and applied in nature. A quick highlight of the topics makes one feel that it is an extension of GS But GS will remain be information oriented while Geography analytical. The only major drawback assosiated with the topics seems to be the non availability of proper notes to study.
  • Following are some crucial tips and techniques to handle the Geography paper in the mains exams for the IAS. Firstly, it is stated here how should you write your answers well-
  • You should first understand the question and only then attempt to answer it. The question could be more discussion based or analytical in nature or you need to elaborate the same, So prepare for all. After that you have to give answer according what the question wants. Whatever the problem may be, you need to give an orderly, sequential and logical presentation of information for that.
  • There should not be any opposition within or between the answers. What the examiner is looking for in your answers is concept and how organised your thinking is. Thinking pattern is mentioned well in the structure of an answer.
  • No extreme view-points should be there when you are debating on a particular issue.
  • No requirement is there to quote anyone.
  • Every part of the question should be given equal weightage. Hence, focus on all the parts. Answers must be appropriate.
  • The idea is that you might know about all topics but you should develop your own language to write them.
  • Focus must be on those facts which are easy to learn and then back up with your language. Your facial or emotional expression does not require you to quote down hard English words. It must be simple and reasonable as much as possible.
  • Following are some of the main topics that are to be included. As some sections come only on alternate years, please focus on the trend and do not include a topic if it has been majorly covered in the earlier year and choose another in the same category. Short questions can also be asked. So prepare well.

Geography IAS Mains Paper I

  • Geomorphology: Plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanism are the most remarkable sections as far as Geomorphology is concerned. The Union Public Service Commission keeps on changing queries between endogenic and exogenic forces every annum.
  • Climatology: In this section, you can expect remarkable number of questions from tropical cyclones and climatic changes.
  • Oceanography: Marine resources, which include biotic, mineral and energy resources and ocean currents are few of the crucial areas in Oceanography.
  • Perspectives in Human Geography: Environmentalism.
  • Economic Geography: Energy crisis.
  • Population and Settlement Geography: Distribution of world population Causes and consequences of migration Functional classification of towns
  • Regional Planning: Growth centers and growth poles.
  • Models, Theories and Laws in Human Geography: Systems analysis in Human Geography Central Places theories of Christaller and Losch Laws of international boundaries and frontiers.

Geography IAS Mains Paper II

  • Physical setting: Structure and relief Natural vegetation.
  • Resources: Energy crisis.
  • Agriculture: Agricultural intensity Agro and social forestry Livestock resources and white revolution.
  • Industry: Location factor of cottage industry.
  • Transport, Communication and Trade: Increasing importance of ports on national and foreign trade, trade balance Developments in communication technology and its influence on economy as well as on society.
  • Settlements: Morphology of Indian cities Conurbations and metropolitan regions Urban sprawl Slums and associated problems.
  • Regional Development and Planning: Decentralised planning Multi-level planning Geography and regional planning.
  • Political Aspects: Geographical basis of Indian federalism India and geopolitics of the Indian ocean.
  • Contemporary Issues: Environmental hazard like landslide Changes in pattern of land use Principles of environmental influence assessment and environmental management.