IAS Mains Geography Optional Paper 1 Section B 2018 (Part -2) (Download PDF)


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Q. 7 a) “Famine is a social phenomena rooted in institutional and political economic arrangements, which determine access to food by different classes and strata. ” Comment. - Food Security, Nutrition and Famine:

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IAS Mains Geography Optional 2018 Solutions: Paper 1 Section B

Dr. Manishika Jain explains how to write answers and what examiners expect in UPSC Mains Geography Optional. The solutions explained are for 2018 Paper 1 section B.

Food Security, Nutrition and Famine:

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Food Security, Nutrition and Famine

In this session on agricultural geography, the concept and need for food security, strategies to improve food security and causes and remedies of famine are explained by Dr. Manishika.

Difference between famine and drought

Shortage of water versus shortage of food and nutritional security

  • Hoarding of food

  • Economic conflicts

  • Political unrest

  • Movement of food due to natural hazards

  • Reduced purchasing power

  • Lack of aid

  • Reduced workforce

Irish Potato famine – potato disease

Russian famine – agricultural production during WW-I

China Famine due to Great Leap Forward movement

Ethiopia famine due to poor governance

Dutch winter famine of 1944 caused severe shortage of food

Q. 7 b) Provide a brief outline of ideas related to “sense of place” as propounded by Yi-Fu Tuan and Relph in the humanistic geography that emerged in the 1970’s.

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Humanistic Approach: 4 Key Elements

There are various perspectives in human geography like welfare approach, radical approach, humanistic approach, behavioral approach etc.

Humanistic – Buttimer, Relph and Tuan

Phenomenology – Relph and Tuan

There is no objective world independent of man’s existence

All knowledge comes from experience

Topophilia – emotional connections to place

Nature of knowledge

Role of territory

Influence of religion


  • To know world is to know oneself

  • Geography is mirror of man


Places and placelessness

Q. 7 c) Elaborate upon the influence of Marxist philosophy on geographical research, outlining key themes addressed by Marxist geographers since the 1970’s.

  • Marxist Geography
  • Reproduction of social formations
  • Against capitalism
  • Spatial organization of socio-environmental relations
  • Superstructure – understand economic processes by theory of religion

Q. 8 a) “Welfare geography emphasizes spatial inequality and territorial justice. ” Comment with reference to the main ideas and scope of the subfield

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Welfare Approach: Achieving Pareto Optimality

Various perspectives of human geography will be covered in the series of lectures, this is the first lecture on welfare approach.

  • Came with rise in radical geography
  • Welfare approach emerged as the response to quantitative revolution, spatial science, positivism, and model-building
  • Identify and explain the existence of crime, hunger, poverty, environmental degradation, malnutrition, deprivation, and other forms of discrimination and disadvantage
  • Understanding how the whole social, economic and political system functions, and teasing out universal tendencies
  • Details of particular social, economic and political systems; for example, how housing policy under capitalism advantages some people in some places and disadvantages other people in other places

Q. 8 b) Discuss critically the manner in which quantitative revolution provided the methodological foundation for models and modelling in geography

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Quantitative Revolution & Locational Analysis: Need for Numbers

There are various perspectives in human geography like welfare approach, radical approach, humanistic approach, behavioral approach etc.

  • Ackerman

  • Weaver

  • Christaller

  • Harvey

  • Ullman – urban structure

Allowed projections

Identify trends

Come up with estimate of error

Formulate structured ideas

Reduced observations to factors

Q. 8 c) Discuss in brief the main thesis in “Limits to growth” (1972) and also provided a critique of the same.

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Models of Economic Geography

In this session various world models like Limits to Growth, World Integrated Model (Derived from Mesarovic-Pestel) and Forrester Meadows World2 Model are explained by Dr. Manishika.

Relation between earth and human systems

Written by Meadows

Commissioned by Club of Rome

  • World population

  • Industrialization

  • Pollution

  • Food production

  • Resource depletion

Predictions were weak

Failed to recognize to flexibility and adoptability

Assumed that new source would not be found (incorrect)

Insufficient evidence of variables

- Published/Last Modified on: October 8, 2018

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