UPSC Civil Services Mains Geography Paper-II of 1999


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: 300

Civil Services Mains Geography Paper-I of 1999
Candidates should Questions 1 and 5 which are compulsory, and any three of the remaining questions selecting at least one question from each Section. All questions carry equal marks. Illustrate your answers with suitable sketch-maps and diagrams.


1. Answer any three of the following in about 200 words each
a. Evaluate the feasibility of the proposed Ganga-Cauveri drainage link.
b. Discuss the role of institutional factors in the efficiency and productivity of agriculture in
c. Examine the resources of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
d. Bring out the present-day position of exploitation and processing of nuclear minerals in India.

2. Critically examine the problems and prospects of tribal areas in India.

3. Discuss the cropping patterns in different agricultural regions of India.

4. Examine the pattern of distribution and mode of exploitation of bauxite in India.


1. Answer any three of the following in about 200 words each
a. Examine the importance of industrial estates in India.
b. Discuss the geographical control of rural settlement pattern in India.
c. Explain the role of railways as a unifying factor in Indian economy.
d. Discuss the geopolitical importance of Indian Ocean area.

2. Bring out the trands in the development of fertilizer industry in India.

3. Discuss the concept of city region and referring to Indian cities, examine critically functional indicators used for delimiting the city region.

4. Discuss the role of languages in regional consciousness and national integration in India.

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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