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 – INDIA – LOCATION
SIZE - INDIA AND ITS NEIGHBOURS
CHAPTER 2 – STRUCTURE AND PHYSIOGRAPHY
THE PENINSULAR BLOCK - THE HIMALAYAS AND OTHER PENINSULAR MOUNTAINS – PHYSIOGRAPHY - INDO-GANGA-BRAHMAPUTRA PLAIN - The North and Northeastern Mountains; The Northern Plains; The Peninsular Plateau; The Indian Desert; The Coastal Plains; The Islands.
CHAPTER 3 – DRAINAGE SYSTEM
DRAINAGE SYSTEMS OF INDIA - THE HIMALAYAN DRAINAGE - EVOLUTION OF THE HIMALAYAN DRAINAGE THE RIVER SYSTEMS OF THE HIMALAYAN DRAINAGE - The Indus System; The Ganga System; The Brahmaputra System.
THE PENINSULAR DRAINAGE SYSTEM - The Evolution of Peninsular Drainage System; River Systems of the Peninsular Drainage; Smaller Rivers Flowing Towards the West; Small Rivers Flowing towards the East.
RIVER REGIMES - EXTENT OF USABILITY OF RIVER WATER
CHAPTER 4 – CLIMATE
UNITY AND DIVERSITY IN THE MONSOON CLIMATE FACTORS DETERMINING THE CLIMATE OF INDIA - Factors related to Location and Relief; Factors Related
to Air Pressure and Wind; Mechanism of Weather in the Winter Season; Mechanism of Weather in the Summer Season.
THE NATURE OF INDIAN MONSOON - Onset of the Monsoon; Rain-bearing Systems and Rainfall Distribution; Break in the Monsoon.
THE RHYTHM OF SEASONS - The Cold Weather Season; The Hot Weather Season.
THE SOUTHWEST MONSOON SEASON - Monsoon Winds of the Arabian Sea; Monsoon Winds of the Bay of Bengal; Characteristics of Monsoonal Rainfall; Season of Retreating Monsoon.
TRADITIONAL INDIAN SEASONS - Distribution of Rainfall; Variability of Rainfall; Climatic Regions of India; Monsoons and the Economic Life in India.
CHAPTER 5 – NATURAL VEGETATION
TYPES OF FORESTS - Tropical Evergreen and Semi Evergreen Forests; Tropical Deciduous Forests; Tropical Thorn Forests; Montane Forests; Littoral and Swamp Forests.
FOREST COVER IN INDIA
FOREST CONSERVATION - Social Forestry; Farm Forestry.
WILDLIFE - WILDLIFE CONSERVATION IN INDIA
BIOSPHERE RESERVES - Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve; Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve; Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve; Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve.
CHAPTER 6 – SOILS
CLASSIFICATION OF SOILS - Alluvial Soils; Black Soil; Red and Yellow Soil; Laterite Soil; Arid Soils; Saline Soils; Peaty Soils; Forest Soils.
SOIL EROSION - Soil Conservation
CHAPTER 7 – NATURAL HAZARDS AND DISASTERS
CLASSIFICATIONS OF NATURAL DISASTERS – NATURAL DISASTERS AND HAZARDS IN INDIA – Earthquakes; Tsunami; Tropical cyclone; Floods; Droughts; Landslides.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT - CONCLUTION