IAS Mains Geography Optional Paper 1 Section B 2018 (Part -1)

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Q. 5 a) “Geography is a contested and multiparadigmic discipline with a strong eurocentricity that has only recently been challenged.” Comment. - Geography is multidimensional with sociology, anthropology, philosophy and more.

IAS Mains Geography Optional 2018 Solutions: Paper 1 Section B
  • Initially - Europe as the centre for knowledge expansion (Davis, Penck) , theories of origin of earth, geosyncline and mountain building, isostasy (mainly geomorphology - face of earth) , Ritter, Kant (geography classifies things according to place; history classifies things according to time - touched every facet of knowledge) , Humboldt
  • Humanistic geography
  • Radical geography - Peet
  • Marxist geography
  • Remote Sensing, GIS

Q. 5 b) Discuss the degree of important of transportation costs as a factor of industrial location with respect to “footloose industries” .

  • Least important
  • Alonso՚s definition - “Industries that have no strong locational preferences, and particularly industries that are not transport oriented are often called foot-loose, and there is a good reason to believe that technical developments are making more industries foot-loose” .
  • 3 mechanism
  • Decline in relative price of transport inputs
  • Decline in weight of raw material per unit output due to technological change
  • Complex processing of product making transport input very small in proportion to final product
  • These have high ratio of value added to assembly and distribution costs
  • Refers to a hypothetical person with a perfectly flexible foot. A shoe of any size fits such a person. Naturally, the person enjoys much greater degree of freedom to choose his shoe than a person whose foot is size specific

Q. 5 c) Explain the concepts of “megalopolis” and “exopolis” with regard to the growth of cities indicating whether the two can and do overlap.

  • Concept of exurbanity
  • Megalopolis - Gottman
  • Mega urban systems
  • Cities are expanding in some regions to an extent that they were coagulating in single agglomeration and physically and functionally integrated
  • Boswash - Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Maryland, Washington
  • Exopolis - outside city or city turned inside out - expansion of city beyond nation
  • Exopolis: We might say that the cities of the past were marked by the dominance of
  • An urban core was considered both functionally and symbolically over the rest of the conurbation. Today it is sprawling urban hinterlands and their various edges and suburbs, which organize metropolitan regions including former downtown cores. For Soja, the center of Los Angeles is as much in Orange County, the corridor from Malibu to Long Beach, the San Fernando Valley, or San Bernandino and Riverside counties as it is in the traditional downtown.

Six Discourses on Postmetropolis - 6 visions on city of Los Angeles

  • Flexicity - deindustrialization alongside reindustrialization
  • Cosmopolis - globalization of culture, labor and capital
  • Exopolis - City that no longer conveys a sense of citiness (Soja)
  • Metropolarities - increasing social inequalities
  • Carcereal Archipelago - fortified cities
  • Simcity - simulation of real world

Q. 5 d) Write a note on “forward and backward linkages” in Perroux՚s thesis of economic growth and regional development.

Perroux Growth Pole Theory: Fundamentals of Geography
  • Backward Linkages: If a growth in production in one industry stimulates production in the industries supplying it then that industry - like steel industry has backward linkages to the iron ore mining industry, the coke and coal industries
  • Forward Linkages - when the availability of the output of an industry make possible the production of industries using that output. For example, the plastic producing industry makes it feasible for businesses requiring plastic to begin operation.

Q. 5 e) Outline briefly the “age of mass consumption” as described by Rostow in his ‘multi-stage theory of growth’ .

Theories of Economic Development: Fundamentals of Geography
  • Subsistence concern is not important
  • Focus on comfort
  • Concentrate on durable goods
  • Higher output
  • Higher consumption expenditure
  • Shift to tertiary sector
  • Expansion of middle class customers
  • Mass production
  • Consumerism

Q. 6 a) “Areal differentiation has provided the theoretical justification for studying ‘regions’ and ‘regional geography’ .” Comment.

Areal Differentiation (Hartshorne) & Regional Synthesis (Berry)
  • Uniqueness of areas
  • Relation among phenomena

Q. 6 b) Citing examples from Asia and Europe, comment upon the contexts with which pronatalist population policies are advanced. What could be the implications of these policies on women՚s workforce participation?

  • Countries with negative population growth rate or ageing population - work for pronatalist population policies
  • Decreased taxpayers
  • Decreased workforce
  • Japan
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Sweden - In Sweden, parents are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave when a child is born or adopted.
  • Hungary - The longest a mother can go to maternity leave in Hungary is 3 years out of which for 168 days she is paid with 70 % of her original salary which is paid by the state
  • Czechoslovakia

Persuade people to have more children.

  • Incentives used includes
  • Social security benefits
  • Child support
  • Subsidized daycare
  • Paid parental leave
  • Incentives for women to work
  • Tax reductions
  • Equality bonus
  • Reentry training programs
  • Financial aid and support
  • Cheap transport and incentives for families to have larger family e. g. baby-bonus schemes.

Singapore (1965 - baby boom; fertility decline even after reaching replacement rate in 1975 - since last 15 years pronatalist policies)

Q. 6 c) Comment upon the contributions of D. M. Smith in outlining ‘welfare’ as a key focus in the geographies of social well-being.

Welfare Approach: Achieving Pareto Optimality
  • Smith - welfare is some function of the distribution of goods and bads among groups of the population defined by area of residence.
  • He abandoned homogeneity assumption which became popular during quantitative revolution
  • He was concerned with poverty in Bangladesh versus wealth in Britain
  • Apartheid in South Africa and social segregation in Europe and USA
  • Highly influenced by Marxist Ideas
  • Looked for fairer distribution of wealth
  • Explains who gets what, where and how

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