IAS Mains Geography Optional 2017 – Paper 2 (Part 2)

⪻ On New Articles ⪼

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.

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


5 (a) Explain the role of ‘Hill Transport Subsidy Scheme’ in reducing regional imbalances in areas identified by the Government of India.

  • In hilly areas with no railways or poor roads
  • Open godowns at public distribution centers (snow bound areas - 25 km & for hilly areas - 50 km)
  • Mitigate heavy transport cost of food grains
  • Subsidy ranging between 50 % and 90 % of the transport cost for transportation of raw material and finished goods to and from the location of the unit and the designated rail-head

Applicable to the following States/UTs:

  1. Arunachal Pradesh
  2. Himachal Pradesh
  3. Jammu & Kashmir
  4. Manipur
  5. Meghalaya
  6. Nagaland
  7. Mizoram
  8. Sikkim
  9. Tripura
  10. Andaman & Nicobar Islands
  11. Lakshadweep

5 (b) Bring out the geopolitical implications of Doklam dispute in the context of Indo-China relations.

Indian China Standoff- Indo-Bhutan Ties-Included Map of Doklam- Important

5 (c) Bring out the significance of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) .

  • Real time positioning and timing services to users in India & upto 1500 km boundary
  • Independent regional navigation satellite system developed by India on par with US-based GPS.
  • NavIC provides two types of services:
  • Standard positioning service: For all users
  • Restricted service: Only to authorised users like military and security agencies

Applications of IRNSS:

  1. Terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation;
  2. Disaster management
  3. Vehicle tracking and fleet management
  4. Precise timing mapping and geodetic data capture
  5. Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers
  6. Visual and voice navigation for drivers
Geostationary Earth Orbit

In IRNSS, four satellites are always in geosynchronous orbits & each satellite is always visible to a receiver in a region 1,500 km around India

5 (d) Mini steel plants can act as an instrument of decentralization of iron and steel industry in India. Explain.

  • Idea of decentralization - regional growth theories of divergence
Regional Development Theories - Boudeville and Hirschman’S Trickle down and Polarization

5 (E) Goods and Services Tax (GST) Has Differential Impact on Developed and Backward States of the Country. How and Why?

GST (Goods and Service Tax): Yojana August 2017 Summary (Important)
  • Destination based tax system
  • Old tax system - Manufacturing states collect more tax & develop more infrastructure
  • GST will also lead to setting up manufacturing facility closer to consumption center

6 (a) Interlinking of rivers may serve as a major source of assured irrigation and all-weather inland navigation in India. Comment on its feasibility taking into account physical, economic and ecological implication. (20 Marks)

24 Major Government Schemes, Projects and Yojanas 2017: Summary (Current Affairs/GS)

Approval Grated for First Phase of Ken-Betwa Interlinking (Important)

Work on Three River Interlinking Projects to Begin

6 (b) Religious minorities are largely concentrated in Border States of India. Discuss its causes and consequences. (15 Marks)

Causes -

  • Parsis migrated (Udvada in Gujarat & neighboring Maharashtra)
  • Buddhist - Bhutan, Nepal (Sikkim, Arunachal, Ladakh)
  • Sikhs -
  • Christianity (Goa, coastal states)


  • Marginalized
  • Increases regionalism
  • Tendency to gravitate to neighbouring nations
  • Communal violence (extreme cases)
  • Power relationships
  • Social and educational deprivation

6 (c) What do you understand by soil pollution? Delineate the areas vulnerable to it in India and suggest remedial measures. (15 Marks)

  • Post green revolution - soil quality deteriorated
  • Fertilizers - NPK
  • Biocides
  • Municipal solid waste
  • Urban soil pollution, agrochemical soil pollution, industrial practices
  • Poor irrigation
  • Moratorium
  • Burning of fossil fuels

Preventive measures

  • Organic farming
  • Proper disposal
  • Proper farming
  • Prevent industrial waste
  • Community awareness
  • Reduce pesticides and heavy metals

7 (a) Integrated development of road and rail networks in a complementary framework is a prerequisite for regional development. Explain with reference to North-Eastern Region of India. (20 Marks)

  • Infrastructure like the longest Dhola-Sadia, Bhupen Hazarika, bridge - Connect Assam and Arunachal Pradesh on Lohit river - defence asset
  1. Construction of Foot Suspension Bridges (In Meghalaya, Sikkim, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh)
  2. Arunachal Pradesh
  3. Road from Pangchau Circle HQ to Longwa Village
  4. Multi-storied parking systems
  • Assam - Improvement of road in Karbi-Anglong, Tinsukia
  • Manipur - Chura- Sugnu Road
  • Emerging market for development & improving GDP
  • Links to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan & Nepal
  • Connectivity proposals floated by sub-regional or regional groupings, such as BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) , BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation)
  • Bangladesh consulate in Guwahati
  • Assam has “Act East” department
  • NHAI is building roads in Mynamar to create SE Asian highway. Ministry of External Affairs funded first ₹ 1177 crore is to be built by a private sector Indian joint venture; Punj Lloyd and Varaha Infrastructure

7 (b) Describe the salient features of Sagar Mala Project and highlight its role in port-led development of coastal regions in India. (15 Marks)

Sagar Mala Project - Closer to Success of Blue Revolution with Key MAP Locations

7 (c) Justify the inclusion of Meghalaya in Peninsular India and discuss its vegetation and soil types. (15 Marks)

  • Meghalaya plateau was once a part of the Deccan plateau and it is formed of hard ancient rocks.
  • Slopes down abruptly towards the south in Sylhet plain of Bangladesh.
  • Waterfalls such as, Beadon, Bishop, Elephant and Mawsmaiare found along Meghalaya plateau edge are seen
  • Karbi Anglong Plateau and Meghalaya plateau detached from mainland (structural - geology)
  • Vegetation
  • Rich timber such as teak and sal woods, plants with medicinal values such as Cinchona, Taxus Baccata etc.
  • High biodiversity
  • Amongst wettest areas
  • Small seasonal rivers for cultivation of crops
  • Meghalaya soils are rich in organic carbon, which is a measure of nitrogen supplying potential of the soil, deficient in available phosphorous and medium to low in available potassium.
  • Red loamy soil along foothills
  • Sandy soil in central uplands of Khasi-Jaintia hills
  • Silty soil in Ri-Jaintia hills
  • High humus & organic matter and devoid of base minerals
  • Hilly soils are acidic and good for fruits and vegetables
  • Hill slopes and terraces we have rice cultivation

8 (a) Name the major industrial regions of India indicating the bases of their identification. Highlight their basic problems. (20 Marks)

  • Mumbai-Pune Industrial Region
  • The Hugli Industrial Region
  • Bangalore-Tamil Nadu Industrial Region
  • Gujarat Industrial Region
  • Chotanagpur Industrial Region
  • Vishakhapatnam-Guntur Industrial Region
  • Gurgaon-Delhi-Meerut Industrial Region
  • Kollam-Thiruvananthapuram Industrial Region
Name the Major Industrial Regions of India

Developed near ports, cheap land, cheap labour, raw material, transport, historical advent (Bristiher)

Problems - silting of rivers, huge pressure on land, alternate sources, congestion, land reclamation, slum development

8 (b) Drainage pattern in Peninsular India is a result of its geological structure and topography. Elaborate. (15 Marks)

  • Drainage is outcome of the geological time period, nature and structure of rocks, topography, slope, amount of water flowing and the periodicity of the flow
  1. Older than Himalayan rivers
  2. Non-perennial
  3. No deep gorges
  • Subsidence of the western flank of the Peninsula leading to its submergence below the sea during the early tertiary period. It has disturbed the symmetrical plan of the river on either side of the original watershed.
  • Peninsular block - subsidence and trough faulting. Narmada and Tapi flow in trough faults and fill the original cracks with their detritus materials. Lack of alluvial and deltaic deposits in these rivers.
  • Slight tilting of the peninsular block from NW to SE direction gave orientation to entire drainage system towards the Bay of Bengal

8 (C) Why Has Solar Energy in India Not Been Developed to Desired Level in Spite of Its High Potential? (15 Marks)

  • International Solar Alliance
  • High cost in establishment
  • Low efficiency
  • Low intensity
  • Technology risk - cost decreasing at tremendous rate
  • Built and support technology
  • Fragile materials are used
  • Storage is expensive
  • Requires huge empty space
  • Unreliable & not 100 % predictable
IAS Mains Geography Optional 2017 Solutions: Paper 2 (in Hindi)

👌 implies important for Objective Questions/MCQ

👌 implies important for Subjective Questions

👌 implies covered in Videos or Upcoming Videos

Developed by: