A Must Read for Civil Services Geography Optional of UPSC
For the civil services mains examination, UPSC provides 41 optional subjects. Each aspirant should select one optional paper of their choice and appear in two papers (Paper-I and Paper-II). Among these options, for a long time, Geography has been one of the most popular optional subjects among civil services aspirants. Though the syllabus is vast, it is equally preferred by engineering, science, art, and humanities graduates.
The first step to prepare for the Geography Optional is thoroughly reading and understanding the NCERT Geography Books. Even before that understanding the contents of each of the 10 NCERT Geography Books. With that in mind, the key topics covered in each of these books are given below for a high-level understanding before you dive deep into the option.
CHAPTER 1 – POPULATION Distribution, Density, Growth and Composition
Distribution of Population; Density of Population; Growth of Population; Regional variation in population growth; Population Composition; Rural – Urban Composition; Linguistic Composition; Linguistic Classification; Religious Composition; Composition of Working Population; Promoting Gender Sensitivity through ‘Beti Bachao–Beti Padhao’ Social Campaign.
CHAPTER 2 – MIGRATION Types, Causes and Consequences
Migration; Streams of Migration; Spatial Variation in Migration; Causes of Migration; Consequences of Migration; Economic Consequences; Demographic Consequences; Social Consequences; Environmental Consequences; Others.
CHAPTER 3 – HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
Human Development in India; Indicators of Economic Attainments; Indicators of a Healthy Life; Indicators of Social Empowerment; Human Development Index in India; Population, Environment and Development.
CHAPTER 4 – HUMAN SETTLEMENTS
Types of Rural Settlement; Clustered Settlements; Semi-Clustered Settlements; Hamleted Settlements; Dispersed Settlements; Urban Settlements; Evolution of Towns in India; Urbanisation in India; Classification of Towns on the basis of Population Size; Functional Classification of Towns.
CHAPTER 5 – LAND RESOURCES AND AGRICULTURE
Land Use Categories; Land-use Changes in India; Common Property Resources; Agricultural Land Use in India; Cropping Seasons in India; Types of Farming; Foodgrains; Oilseeds; Fibre Crops; Other Crops; Agricultural Development in India; Growth of Agricultural Output and Technology; Problems of Indian Agricultur riculturriculture; Dependence on Erratic Monsoon; Low productivity; Constraints of Financial Resources and Indebtedness; Lack of Land Reforms; Small Farm Size and Fragmentation of Landholdings; Lack of Commercialisation; Vast Underemployment; Degradation of Cultivable Land.
CHAPTER 6 – WATER RESOURCES
Water Resources of India; Surface Water Resources; Groundwater Resources; Water Demand and Utilisation; Demand of Water for Irrigation; Emerging Water Problems; Deterioration of Water Quality; Water Conservation and Management; Prevention of Water Pollution; Recycle and Reuse of Water; Watershed Management; Rainwater Harvesting.
CHAPTER 7 – MINERAL AND ENERGY RESOURCE
Types of Mineral Resources; Distribution of Minerals in India; The North-Eastern Plateau Region; The South-Western Plateau Region; The North-Western Region; Ferrous Mineral; Non-Ferrous Minerals; Non-metallic Minerals; Energy Resources; Non-Conventional Energy Sources; Conservation of Mineral Resources
CHAPTER 8 – MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES
Types of Industries; Location of Industries; Raw Materials; Power; Market; Transport; Labour; Historical Factors; Industrial Policy; Major Industries; The Iron and Steel Industry; Integrated Steel Plants; The Cotton Textile Industry; Sugar Industry; Location of the Sugar Industry; Petrochemical Industries; Knowledge based Industries; Liberalisation, Privatisation, Globalisation (LPG) and Industrial Development in India; Industrial Regions in India.
CHAPTER 9 – PLANNING AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN INDIAN CONTEXT
Target Area Planning; Drought Prone Area Programme; Hill Area Development Programme; Sustainable Development; Case Study Indira Gandhi Canal (Nahar) Command Area; Measures for Promotion of Sustainable Development.
CHAPTER 10 – TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION
Land Transport; Road Transport; National Highways; Rail Transport; Water Transport; Oceanic Routes; Air Transportation; Oil and Gas Pipelines; Personal Communication System; Communication Networks; Mass Communication System.
CHAPTER 11 – INTERNATIONAL TRADE
Changing Patterns of the Composition of India’s Import; Direction of Trade; Airports.
CHAPTER 12 - GEOGRAPHICAL PERSPECTIVE ON SELECTED ISSUES AND PROBLEMS
Environmental Pollution; Air Pollution; Noise Pollution; Urban Waste Disposal; Problems of Slums; Land Degradation.