IAS Mains Geography Optional 2017 – Paper 2 (Part 1) (Download PDF)


Download PDF of This Page (Size: 666.93 K)

Geography optional paper was very predictable based on the recent happenings around the globe –indeed many concepts were similar to those asked in our past test series. In the 2018 Geography optional Test Series, we have reserved 2 mock test for the month of March to cover the contemporary happenings. As expected, climate and environment was indeed the major focus areas for 2017 paper.

Loading video

IAS Mains Geography Optional 2017 Solutions: Paper 2 (In English)

Dr. Manishika Jain explains how to write answers and what examiners expect in UPSC Mains Geography Optional. The solutions explained are for 2017 Paper 2


Q1. (a) On the outline map of India provided to you, mark the location of all of the following. Write in your QCA Booklet the significance of these locations whether physical/commercial/economic/ecological/environmental/cultural, in not more than 30 words for each entry: (2x10 = 20 Marks)

(i) Thumba

(ii) Nauachar Island

(iii) Doddabetta

(iv) Devsthal

(v) Pangong Lake

(vi) Hampi

(vii) Havelock Island

(viii) Luni River

(ix) Daringbadi

(x) Dudhsagar Waterfalls

1 (b) Give a Reasoned Account of Unusual Pattern of Distribution of Monsoonal Rainfall in India in 2017. (10 Marks)

Loading video

Indian Monsoon - Factors, Theories, Phenomena & Characteristics

Dr. Manishika Jain in this lecture explains the concept of Indian Monsoon.

  • Monsoon ending sooner – length is compressed
  • Global warming shortens active period & prolongs break periods
  • Impact of El-Nino & La-Nina
  • Warming and cooling of the Indian and Atlantic oceans - Indian Ocean Dipole and the Atlantic Nino
  • Plans for rain capturing, rainwater harvesting and agro-forestry

1 (c) Explain the Inter-State Issues Involved in Implementation of the Satluj-Yamuna Link Canal Project. (10 Marks)

  • Supreme Court on November 10, 2016 ruled that Punjab Termination of Agreement Act, 2004 with neighbouring Haryana and other states is unconstitutional
  • SC ordered completion of project
  • AR Dave bench – states concerned should settle their disputes themselves
  • Haryana separated in 1966 & Punjab not willing to share waters of Ravi & Beas
  • Centre allocated water to Haryana in 1976 – to enable this canal linking Sutlej to Yamuna was created crossing Haryana
  • 1981 – Centre under Indira Gandhi negotiated tripartite agreement between Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan
  • Work started in 1982 - construction of the 214-km Sutlej-Yamuna Link (or SYL) canal, 122 km in Punjab, and 92 km in Haryana

1 (d) Small Towns in India Have Problems and Prospects of Their Own. Elaborate. (10 Marks)


  • Decentralization

  • Urbanization of rural areas

  • Spread of urban influence

  • Sizeable population

  • Kinship structure and occupational relationship

  • Relieve pressure on metropolitans


  • Outflow of youth

  • Ageing population

  • Lack of infrastructure and high poverty

  • Lack of transportation

  • Limited planning

  • Loss of natural areas

  • Opposition to regulations

  • Flaws in administrative machinery

2 (a) Discuss the Freshwater Crisis in India and Prepare a Blueprint for Its Sustainable Management. (20 Marks)

  • Freshwater sources – surface (rivers are main source with dams) and groundwater (55%)
  • 60 % irrigation from groundwater takes 80 % total water usage
  • Groundwater accounts for 30 % urban water supply and 70 % rural water supply
  • Water table is declining – grey zones developed
  • Around 1/3rd of total water potential of Indian rivers can be used
  • Implementation of policies & programs
  • Check over-extraction and poor management
  • Traditional water conservation practices
  • Refer Kurukshetra Special Edition – Nov 2017

2 (b) Identify the Naxal-affected Areas in India and Discuss Their Socio-economic Problems. (15 Marks)

  • Naxalites - 60 districts in India
  • Odisha (5 affected districts)
  • Jharkhand (14 affected districts)
  • Bihar (5 affected districts)
  • Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh (10 affected districts)
  • Madhya Pradesh (8 affected districts)
  • Maharashtra (2 affected districts)
  • West Bengal (8 affected districts)
Naxal-affected areas in India

Naxal-affected Areas in India

Naxal-affected areas in India

  • Mass poverty
  • Expropriation of land, forest, river and other natural resources at the cost of poor peasants, and tribals in name of Industrial revolution

2 (c) Critically Examine the Feasibility of Development of a Comprehensive Network of Airways in India. (15 Marks)

  • Connectivity reflects the range, frequency or service, the economic importance of destinations and number of onward connections available through each country’s aviation network
  • Udae Desh ka Aaam Nagrik – UDAN – 5 airlines to operate on 128 routes connecting 70 airports (hilly terrain – airways is good option)
  • National Civil Aviation Policy 2016
  • Low-cost airlines hold the largest share of the aviation market in India.
  • Focus on regional connectivity
  • Focus on route dispersal – 3 categories (Cat I – more than 700 km)
  • According to DGCA, LCC Indigo had a market share of 38 % in India’s aviation market. Passenger load factor (PLF) was highest for LCCs (Low-Cost Carriers) like Spice Jet (91.1%), GoAir (86.3%), IndiGo (85.1%) and AirAsia (82.7%)
  • Improves economic performance – domestic and international
Improves economic performance – domestic and international

Improves Economic Performance – Domestic and International

Improves economic performance – domestic and international

3 (a) “An Effective Three-tier Panchayat Raj System Will Strengthen the Bottom-up Approach to Multilevel Planning in India. ” Explain. (20 Marks)

  • Micro-planning – 73rd Amendment Act
  • Participatory approach to planning
  • Niti Aayog
  • Capacity building
  • Accountability and transparency
  • Backward regions grant fund
  • Model panchayats
  • Information support systems
  • Yuva Shakti Kendras
  • Grassroot level monitoring

3 (b) “Linguistic Diversity is an Asset as Well as a Challenge in India. ” Explain the Statement Focussing on the Distribution of Languages and the Major Steps Taken to Address the Related Issues. (15 Marks)


  • National integration

  • Heritage and culture is preserved

  • Tourism and development

  • New thinking

  • New value systems


  • Social tension

  • Corruption

  • Illiteracy

  • Lack of urbanization

  • Diversity

3 (c) How May Tourism in Hilly Areas of India Be Developed as an Important Source of Economy? (15 Marks)

  • World Travel & Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated INR6.4 trillion or 6.6 % of the nation’s GDP in 2012. It supported 39.5 million jobs, 7.7 % of its total employment. The sector is predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 7.9 % from 2013 to 2023.
  • Hill stations – pilgrimage, resorts, AYUSH centers, wildlife, adventure, ecological, leisure and relaxation
  • Generate income, employment
  • Develop infrastructure
  • Source of foreign exchange

4 (a) Mention Various Methods of Functional Classification of Towns in India and Explain the Method Applied by Ashok Mitra.

Loading video

Functional Classification of Towns - Ashok Mitra, Shekhar Mukherjee and M. K. Jain

Dr. Manishika Jain explains the functional classification of towns given by Ashok Mitra, MK Jain and Shekhar Mukherjee

4 (b) Farmers’ Suicide is One of the Major Agrarian Problems in India. Bring Out Its Causes and Suggest the Remedial Measures with Special Reference to Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab.


  • High debt

  • Small and unfeasible economic state

  • Crop failure

  • Natural calamities

  • Lack of alternate income

  • Lack of institutionalized credit

  • Exploitation of small farmers (illiterate)

  • Groundwater depletion – lack of water to fields

  • Poor implementation of govt. policies


  • Crop diversification

  • Alternative income

  • Crop insurance

  • Professionalization of agriculture

  • Institutional credit

  • Market facilities

  • Contract farming

  • Skill based education

  • Awareness and simplifying needs and life

4 (c) Land Reform is a Key to Modern Agriculture in India. Describe Various Measures Take in this Direction After Independence. (15 Marks)

  • Aim to eliminate exploitation and social injustice, raise production from the agrarian land
  • Abolition of intermediaries
  • Tenancy regulation
  • Ceiling on landholdings
  • Consolidation of landholdings
  • Labour wage reforms
Loading video

IAS Mains Geography Optional 2017 Solutions: Paper 2 (In Hindi)

Dr. Manishika Jain explains how to write answers and what examiners expect in UPSC Mains Geography Optional. The solutions explained are for 2017 Paper 2.

👌 implies important for Objective Questions/MCQ

👌 implies important for Subjective Questions

👌 implies covered in Videos or Upcoming Videos

- Published/Last Modified on: December 14, 2017

IAS Upd.

Sail through IAS Mains and Prelims: Fully-explained Prelims (Both GS & Aptitude) problems with detailed solutions. Notes & detailed answers for Mains GS, Essay, and Complulsory (Hindi and English) papers and optionals.