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


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Q. 1 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:

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IAS Mains Geography Optional 2018 Solutions: Paper 2 Section A

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

(i) Shyok River – In Ladakh, Pratham-Shyok bridge in Leh inaugurated

(ii) Mawlynnong – 90 km ffrom Shillong in Meghalaya – Asia’s cleanest village

(iii) Shravasti – district of UP, ancient city – life of Gautama Buddha

(iv) Kori Creek – tidal creek in Kutch, part of Indus river delta, disputed area between India and Pakistan

(v) Amarkantak – pilgrimage town in MP, meeting point of Vindhyas and Satpuras. Rivers that emerge are Narmada, Son and Johila

(vi) Ghatshila – Town in Purbi Singhbhum in Jharkhand, in news for Naxalites

(vii) Tawang – most cleanest district of NE India in 2018 Swachh Survekshan Gramin, known for monastery

(viii) Neyyar – Tiruvanthapuram in Kerala – wildlife sanctuary, dam (in news due to Kerala floods) and river

(ix) Dandeli - City in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, India, in the Western Ghats region, wildlife sanctuary and limestone caves

(x) Mulshi Lake – as reservoir on Mulshi dam near Pune, tourist attraction

Q. 1 b) Explain the unusual intensity of dust storms and thunder storms across India in the pre-monsoon period of year 2018.

Down to Earth (Jan Edition)

  • Winters have become longer and more frigid in North America and Europe
  • Droughts have increased in several parts of Europe, Africa and Asia and precipitation has become extreme and increasingly uncertain
  • Convective storms have been seen
  • Squally weather over nine separate large-scale spells have been seen
  • Western Disturbances (WDs) - climatic flows that originate in the Mediterranean and make their way across west and central Asia before entering the Indian subcontinent via the Western Himalayan region
  • Low pressure over the Indo-Gangetic
  • Intense heating in west and northwest India
  • Weakening temperature gradient causes jet streams to meander rather than straighten
  • Low moisture content in the air – dust storms
  • Concoction – harmful
  • Delayed monsoon onset - reduces the strength of onrushing monsoonal winds which enter the subcontinent in the beginning of June.
  • Based on projections of humidity, heat and aerosol loading, occurrence of lightning is likely to increase in the future.

Q. 1 c) Why setting up of Water Management Boards is a controversial issue in India?

  • Kaveri water dispute
  • Conflict between the two states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The genesis of this conflict rests in two agreements in 1892 and 1924 between the Madras Presidency and Kingdom of Mysore. The 802 km Cauvery river has 44,000 km2 basin area in Tamil Nadu and 32,000 km2 basin area in Karnataka. The inflow from Karnataka is 425 TMCft whereas that from Tamil Nadu is 252 TMCft
  • Based on the inflow Karnataka is demanding its due share of water from the river. It states that the pre-independence agreements are invalid and are skewed heavily in the favor of the Madras Presidency

Q. 1 d) Keeping the recent developments in view, how can the energy crisis of India be circumvented by harnessing non-conventional energy resources?

Natural resources like wind, tides, solar, biomass, etc. generate energy which is known as “Non-conventional resources”. These are pollution free and hence we can use these to produce a clean form of energy without any wastage.

Refer -

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Renewable Energy in India - Targets 2022

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Q. 2 a) Distinguish the geographical aspects of North-Western lava plateau and Chotanagpur plateau of peninsular India.

Chotanagpur Plateau is a plateau in eastern India, which covers much of Jharkhand state as well as adjacent parts of Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

  • Pat region

  • Ranchi plateau

  • Hazaribagh plateau

  • Koderma plateau

  • Damodar trough

  • Palamu

  • Manbhum-Singhbhum

NW Lava Plateau

The northwestern part of Deccan plateau is made up of lava flows or igneous rocks known as the Deccan Traps.

Flood basalt

Beds of fossils that have been found between layers of lava

Sudden cooling due to sulfurous volcanic gases released by the formation of the traps and toxic gas emissions may have contributed significantly to the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction mass extinctions

Q. 2 b) Explain the contemporary agricultural scenario in the context of rapid urbanization in India.

  • The share of agriculture in GDP has registered a steady decline from 36.4 per cent in 1982 - 83 to 18.5 per cent in 2006 - 07.
  • Employs 52 % workforce
  • The rural population constitutes about 80 per cent of the total population in 1971 and the population has been continuously falling marginally since then to 76.7,74.3 and 72.2 per cent in 1981,1991 and 2001, respectively
  • Agriculture accounts for about 14.7 per cent of the total export earnings and provides raw material to a large number of industries
  • Horticulture
  • Market gardening

Grains for ethanol and biofuels -

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National Policy on Biofuels 2018: Key Highlights (Important) - 3 Types

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Q. 2 c) Assess the suitability of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for the sustainable economic development in India.

  • Develop export import

  • Bring foreign investment

  • Employment options

  • Better lifestyles

  • Develop industrial corridor

  • Transfer of technology

  • Development of deprived regions

From approval increased from 386 in 2006 - 07 to 588 in 2012 - 13

Export performance increased from Rs. 22840 crore in 2006 - 07 to more than Rs. 494077 crore in 2012 - 13

- Published/Last Modified on: October 24, 2018

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