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


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Q. 1 a) Landscape is a function of structure, process and stage. Critique this statement: Trio Theory, Davis – Cycle of landform development, Stage (time) is same. ‘Complete cycle of river life’ in his essay on The Rivers and Valleys of Pennsylvania (1889).

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IAS Mains Geography Optional 2018 Solutions: Paper 1 Section A

Dr. Manishika Jain explains how to write answers and what examiners expect in UPSC

  • ‘Geographical cycle’ (1899) and ‘slope evolution’
  • Low featureless peneplain formation
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3 Geomorphic Models/Cycles of Slope Development - Davis, Penck and King

Dr. Manishika Jain in this video on slope evolution explains the three models of slope development.

Q. 1 b) Explain the role of evaporation in hydrological cycle

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Hydrological Cycle or Water Cycle - In 9 Simple Stages

Dr. Manishika Jain explains the Hydrological Cycle in 9 Simple Stages

  • Must for cloud formation
  • Bergeon process

Refer -

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Precipitation - 4 Categories, Mechanism, Bergeon Process & Measurement

This lecture by Dr. Manishika Jain focuses on types of precipitation viz.

Q. 1 c) Discuss the cause and consequences of sea level changes


  • Global warming

  • Greenhouse effect

  • Climate change

  • Melting of ice caps

  • Delay of winters


  • Submergence of coastal areas

  • People forced to abandon homes

  • Disappearance of large lands

  • Heavy rains

  • Strong winds

  • Soil erosion

  • Impact on coastal farming – (Kerala case study - Kuttanad)

Q. 1 d) Distinguish between intrazonal and azonal soils. Describe in brief the characteristics of azonal soils.

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Zonal Classification of Soil by USDA - 12 Soils Categorized

2 Types of Soils given under USDA Soil Classification - Zonal Classification of Soil are explained in this video by Dr. Manishika Jain.

  • Intrazonal – underdeveloped soil – hydromorphic, halomorphic and calcimorphic
  • Azonal – poorly developed soil (Lithosol, regosol and alluvial)
  • Fine grained weathered material constantly slides down

Q. 1 e) Explain the natural and anthropogenic causes and mitigation measures of frequent flooding in Mumbai.

Floods and Droughts:

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Floods & Droughts in India - Causes, Impact & Control Measures

In this video floods and droughts with special reference to India - causes, impact and control programs are explained by Dr. Manishika Jain

Urban Flooding:

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How to Write a Good Answer? Urban Flooding

Dr. Manishika Jain explains How to Write a Good Coherent Answer - for Urban Flooding


  • Faulty zoning regulations

  • Outdated building regulations

  • Extensive reclamation

  • Rising sea level

  • Faltering drainage system (Mithi River)

  • Direct discharges of the untreated sewage, wastewater, trash from the unauthorized settlements and industrial effluents flow into the river’s course and choke it up

  • Reduction in catchment area

  • Bandra-Worli sea link constricted the mouth of Mithi River

  • Path of Mithi river is changed due to runway for CSIA (Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport)


  • Increase capacity of storm water drains

  • Clean Mithi River

  • Bore along with storm water drains

  • Plant and preserve mangroves

  • Percolation tanks – Water comes from Nashik (divert wwater by means of gravity)

Q. 2 a) Evaluate how far Kober’s geosynclinals theory explains mountain building process.

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2 Major Theories in Mountain Building - Geosynclinal Orogen & Plate Tectonic Theory

2 most fundamental theories for mountain building process are discussed in this video by Dr. Manishika Jain

  • Based on contraction of earth
  • Orogens – weak zones
  • Kratogens – old rigid stable landmass
  • Gave 8 morpho-tectonic units
  • Part between two randkettens (foreland) is median mass (this disappears in string compressive forces)

Q. 2 b) Critically examine the basis and climatic classification proposed by G. T. Trewatha.

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3 Climatic Classification - Koppen, Trewartha, Thornthwaite

Dr. Manishika Jain explains the 3 climatic classification- Koppen, Thornthwaite and Trewartha summarized under empirical, genetic and applied classification.

  • Temperature and precipitation
  • Empirical and applicable
  • A (tropical humid), C (subtropical), D (temperate), E (boreal) and F (polar) along with B (dry)

Q. 2 c) Discuss the objectives and principles of environmental education. Describe basic concerns of formal and non-formal environmental education in India.

Goals of environmental education are:

  • to foster clear awareness of, and concern about, economic, social, political, and ecological interdependence in urban and rural areas;

  • to provide every person with opportunities to acquire the knowledge, values, attitudes, commitment, and skills needed to protect and improve the environment;

  • to create new patterns of behavior of individuals, groups, and society as a whole towards the environment.

Environmental education objectives:

  • Awareness

  • Knowledge

  • Attitudes

  • Skills

  • Participation

Formal Environmental Education

  • Schools, colleges – awareness programs, curriculum (NCERT),

  • Human ecology, sociology, psychology, counseling, cost-benefit aspects, environmental ethics

  • CSIR, ICAR and ICMR – degree and diploma courses

Non-Formal Environmental Education

  • Learning by doing – (Sri Lanka – greening of learning – beautify school gardens; Community Led Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) in India based on the “four R” concept: refuse, reduce, recycle and reuse)

  • Innovative methods (Japan – Junior eco club; Centre for Environment Education (CEE) in India - exhibition package called ‘Act Now’)

  • Outdoor acts – NGOs (Singapore – adopt a beach program; China Association for Science and Technology)

- Published/Last Modified on: October 8, 2018

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