UPSC Civil Services Mains Geography Paper-I of 2022


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.


Answer the following in about 150 words each: 10x5=50

1. (A) Define ‘speleothem’. Discuss the various forms and features of speleothems. 10

1. (B) What are the high-altitude environmental hazards? Explain with suitable examples.

1. (C) What is pollution dome? Discuss its formation and impacts. 10

1. (D) When corals are affected by stress it causes them to turn completely white. Explain the reasons of such an occurrence. 10

1. (E) Well-developed soils typically exhibit distinct layers in their soil profile. Elaborate. 10

2. (A) Sequential changes in land use and land cover have brought global and regional ecological changes and imbalances. Elucidate. 20

2.(B) Explain how various aspects of channel morphology are used in transportation,

settlement and land use planning, flood control, and flood management? 15

2. (C) What is the relationship between ocean currents and global surface wind systems? Explain with examples how the gyre in the Northern Hemisphere differ from the one in the Southern Hemisphere. 15

3. (A) Plants and animals that exist in a particular ecosystem are those that have been successful in adjusting to their habitat and environmental conditions. Elucidate with examples. 20

3. (B) With suitable examples describe the impacts of the movement of airmasses on weather and winds in different parts of the continents. 15

3. (C) Discuss the role of Slope, Altitude, and Relief (SAR) in landscape development. 15

4. (A) Rise of surface temperature brings severe consequences. Elaborate the potential
changes and threats associated with it in the world. 20

4. (B) Describe how short-term variations in temperature are related to the processes of receiving energy from the sun to the Earth’s surface and dissipating it to the atmosphere. 15

4. (C) With the help of suitable sketches describe the mountain genesis and mountain types.

Give suitable examples from various mountain systems of the world. 15


Answer the following in about 150 words each : 10x5=50

5. (A) Analyse the effects of Globalisation on languages. 10

5. (B) “Shifting global trade patterns create new opportunities”. Examine this statement.

5. (C) Examine the morphological factors that influence the origin and growth of towns.

5. (D) Discuss the role of transportation accessibility in regional development. 10

5. (E) Explain the geometrical boundaries with examples. 10

6. (A) “Culture is a dynamic concept”. Elucidate with examples. 20

6. (B) “Automation is rapidly changing the economies of labour and will affect trade
patterns in significant ways”. Clarify. 15

6. (C) “Over crowding leads to chronic problem of shortage of housing in Indian cities”.
Explain citing relevant examples. 15

7. (A) “Climate change is a serious problem to global food security and poverty eradication”. Critically examine. 20

7. (B) Critically examine the significance of the Quantitative Revolution and its influence in the development of Geography. 15

7. (C) Explain in detail the impact of regional disparities on economic development. 15

8. (A) How migration is affected by push and pull factors? Explain how these factors play a role in understanding new settlement patterns. 20

8. (B) Explain the relevance and applicability of Von Thunen theory of Agriculture-location in today’s world. 15

8. (C) Discuss the concept of ‘Rank-Size-Rule’ given by G. K. Zipf. Is this rule relevant in Indian context ? 15

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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