UPSC Civil Services Mains Geography Paper-I of 2010


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.



Time Allowed: Three Hours Maximum Marks: 250


Each question is printed both in Hindi and in English.

Answers must be written in the medium specified in the Admission Certificate issued to you, which must be stated clearly on the cover of the answer-book in the space provided for the purpose. No marks will be given for the answers written in a medium other than that specified in the Admission Certificate.

Candidates should attempt Question Nos. 1 and 5 which are compulsory, and any three of the remaining questions selecting at least one question from each Section. Wherever a question is attempted, all its parts are to be attempted.

The number of marks carried by each question is indicated at the end of the question.

Illustrate your answers with suitable sketches, maps and diagrams.


1. Write short notes on the following in about 200 words each: 15x4-60

(a) Essential conditions for the development of karst topography

(d) Ocean deposits

(b) Inversion of temperature

(c) Floristic kingdoms, based on their global distribution

2. (a)Bring out the relevance of seismic study in determining the structure of the interior of the earth.[30]

(b) "Weathering is a complex phenomenon involving a number of processes and is influenced by various factors." Elaborate. [30]

3. (a) What is 'polar front? How does cyclone develop along this front? Describe the weather conditions associated with it. [30]

(b)Examine the various kinds of atmospheric humidity and their associated forms.[30]

4. (a) Explain the scientifically sound methods of bathymetry and give an account of the bottom topography of the Atlantic Ocean. [30]

(b) Give an account of the structure of ecosystem and describe its functional aspects.[30]


5.Write short explanatory notes on the following: 12×5=60

(a) Neo-determinism

(b) Occidental culture realm

(c) Optimum population

(d) Growth poles

(e) von Thünen's concept of economic rent

6. (a)Critically examine the method of deriving Human Development Index.[30]

(b) "Famine, to a considerable extent, is a man-made hazard." Elaborate.[30]

7. (a) Critically examine the changing perspectives on the concept of areal differentiation.[30]

(b) Bring out the sequential improvements in models of city structure by E. W. Burgess, Homer Hoyt, and Harris and Ullman.[30]

8. (a) Discuss the role of World Trade Organisation in determining the pattern of world trade.[30]

(b) "Huge populations of developing countries are not a curse. These may be and also are an asset, if situations are properly managed." Elaborate on this assertion.[30]

Written by Venkadesh Narayanan, IRAS

He is a Mechanical Engineer and an MBA with over 30 years of experience in Consulting and Coaching Civil Services aspirants. He is a former member of Indian Civil Services (IRAS 2000 Batch) who opted for Geography and Psychology papers during his CS Mains.

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