UPSC Civil Services Mains Geography Paper-I of 2013


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


Please read each of the following instructions carefully before attempting questions.
There are EIGHT questions divided in TWO SECTIONS and printed both in HINDI and in ENGLISH. The candidate has to attempt FIVE questions in all.

Question Nos. 1 and 5 are compulsory and out of the remaining, THREE are to be attempted Choosing at least ONE question from each Section.

The number of marks carried by a question/part is indicated against it. Answers must be written in the medium authorized in the Admission Certificate which must be stated clearly on the cover of this Question-cum-Answer (QCA) Booklet in the space provided. No marks will be given for answers written in a medium other than the authorized one.

Word limit in questions, wherever specified, should be adhered to.

Illustrate your answers with suitable sketches/maps and diagrams, wherever considered necessary. These shall be drawn in the space provided for answering the question itself. Attempts of questions shall. be counted in sequential order. Unless struck off, the attempt of a question shall be counted even if attempted partly. Any page or portion of the page left blank in the Question-cum-Answer Booklet must be clearly struck off.


Q1. Write short notes on the following in about 150 words each: 10 x 5 = 50

(a)Differences between Normal cycle and Arid cycle of Davis. [10]

(b)Differentiate Storm Surges and Seiches. [10]

(c)Uniqueness of fauna in the Notogean realm.[10]

(d) Impact of Pleistocene Ice Age on the crust of the Earth.[10]

(e) Types of endemic plants and their degree of vulnerability to extinction.[10]

Q2. Answer the following in about 250 words each:
(a) With suitable examples, bring out the impact of local winds on the climate of an area.[20]

(c) What are the characteristics that make CHC a serious threat to the ecosystem? Give examples.[15]

(b) What is 'Base level' ? Explain the types of base level.[15]

Q3. Answer the following in about 250 words each:
(a) "Offshore Acoustic Study helped the development of the concept of sea floor spreading." Explain.[20]

(b) Discuss Dew point and the various forms of condensation.[15]

(c) Bring out the relationship between climate and vegetation in the Mountain Biome.[15]

Q4. Answer the following in about 400 words each: 25 x 2 = 50

(a) Compare the Subsidence and Glacial control theories on the formation of coral reefs.[25]

(b) Explain the levels of Noise pollution and the legislative measures to control it. [25]


Q5. Write short notes on the following in about 150 words each: 10x5=50

(a) "Ellen Churchill Semple is an ardent supporter of Determinism." Explain.[10]

(b) Role of Venezuela in the production and export of oil. [10]

(c) Misra's theoretical stages of Rural - Urban Process.[10]

(d) Countries most affected in case of shut-down of nuclear power.[10]

(e) Relevance of Heartland theory in Contemporary world.[10]

Q6. Answer the following in about 250 words each:

(a) What is Geriatrics? What are the problems associated with Geriatric population? [20]

(b) Discuss the changing pattern of production and export of Coffee in the world. [10]

(c) What are the basic postulates in the Central Place Model of Chris taller? [20]

Q7. Answer the following in about 250 words each :

(a) "Urban Solid Waste Management poses the greatest challenge in Metropolitan planning."Elaborate.[20]

(b) Analyse the reasons for a comparatively poorer development of fishing grounds in tropical areas.[15]

(c) Explain the parameters for assessment and the spatial pattern of Human Development Index in the world.[15]

Q8. Write about the following in about 400 words each: 25 x 2 = 50

(a) “Urban Geography is nothing but city "in" area and city "as" area." Elaborate.[25]

(b) Analyse the causes for changes in the pattern of world trade.[25]

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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