General Studies Geography For UPSC

Geography is one of the most important section of the General studies paper in UPSC CSE prelims as well as mains exam.The GS paper 1 of UPSC Mains has more than 50 % of questions from Geography.Also, In UPSC prelims about 10 - 15 questions are asked from Geography syllabus.So you can easily understand the importance of Geography in UPSC exam.

Geography - An overview

Geography is a practical subject. You can easily understand its day to day application in knowing about your surrounding environment or the weather phenomenon taking place in your area. As an administrator geography is very helpful to know the area that comes under your jurisdiction. The problems that are inherent in the area due to its geographical peculiarity and how you can address those problems without compromising the environmental balance.

Geography Syllabus

The scope of Geography is vast and it is a multi - dimensional subject.However, the syllabus of General Studies Geography is limited and can be covered in 1.5 to 2 months.The syllabus contains fundamental topics of general geography and then most of the topics are India specific as for an IAS officer India specific geographical knowledge is important in their day to day administration.


geomorph Geomorphology gives basic knowledge about the various Geophysical phenomenon on the surface of the earth.The knowledge about the formation of mountains, Volcanoes, earthquake, Hotspots etc.The knowledge about various types of landforms and the mechanism behind their formation.

Topics Covered Under Geomorphology
Interior of Earth Block Mountain
EarthquakesDivergent Boundary
Endogenetic Movements Volcanism
Exogenetic Earth Movements Volcanic Landforms – Extrusive, Intrusive
Continental Drift Theory Volcanism Types Based on Out Flow of Lava
See Floor Spreading – Paleomagnetism Pseudo Volcanic features
Plate Tectonics Hotspot Volcanism
Convergent BoundariesTsunami
Classification of MountainsRocks and types of Rock
Fold MountainLake – Classification of Lakes


climatology Climatology deals with the phenomenon in our atmosphere. The Mechanism behind the atmospheric events, the forces involved in accomplishing weather events such as cyclones, thunderstorm, drought etc. It helps us understand the reason behind the climatic condition of a place and the economic activity of the region.


OceanographyOceanography is the science of Ocean. It deals with the geographical features inside the ocean, the nature of ocean currents and its effect on the coastal climate and other atmospheric events in the coastal regions. The phenomenon of Tide, wave and its associated landforms etc.

Topics Covered Under Oceanography
Ocean Relief FeaturesTemperature Distribution of Oceans
Ocean currents - Factors And Impact on climateOcean's Salinity And salt Budget
Pacific Ocean CurrentsThe Ocean’s Tides – Causes And Types
Atlantic Ocean CurrentsCoral Reef : A Unique Marine Habitat
Indian Ocean Currents

Indian physiography

Land formsIndian Physiography deals with the Geophysical features in India and how these geophysical features have originated. It deals with the mountains, hills, plains and its characteristics features. How these features have developed over the years.

Topics Covered Under Indian Physiography
Indian Rock SystemImportant Hill Ranges of India
Himalayan Ranges And Its Regional DivisionsCoastal Plains of India
Divisions of Indo – Gangetic And Brahmaputra PlainsThe Islands of India
Peninsular Plateau and Its characteristics

Economic Geography

Economic Geography

Economic Geography deals with the natural resources which in turn generate economic benefit to the humankind. It deals with the location of minerals, crudes, coals etc and their reserves. It also deals with the locational advantages and disadvantages associated with the development of a region. In nut and Sheel it determines the economic prospect of a geographic region given its natural potential.

Topics Covered Under Economic Geography
Iron Ore Distribution: World And IndiaDistribution of Copper - Nickel And Chromite
Coal formation and distribution Non-Ferrous Minerals Distribution
Petroleum And Its distribution Distribution of Nuclear Minerals
Manganese ore And Its DistributionDistribution of Diamond And Graphite
Distribution of Gold And Silver: India & WorldNon-Metallic Minerals in India

Environmental Geography

deforestation Environmental Geography deals with the interaction of human and environment. It studies the impact human-environment interaction by assessing the human activity on landforms, natural resources, bio-geochemical cycles etc.

Topics Covered Under Economic Geography
Tropical Climate And Evergreen ForestMediterranean Climatic Regions
Monsoon Climate And ForestsWarm Temperate Eastern Margin Climate
Savanna Climate And VegetationBritish Type Climate
Hot And Mid-Latitude DesertsTaiga Climate – Coniferous forests
Steppe Climatic RegionsLaurentian Climate
Polar Climate – Tundra & Ice Caps


Land formsOn the surface of the earth, various agents of denudation are continuously involved in weathering, mass movement, erosion and deposition of the weathered material. These series of activity gives rise to various landforms depending upon the agent of gradation. In geographic landforms, we study these landforms and the process involved in their formation.

Different Types of Landforms
Fluvial Erosional LandformsMarine Landforms
Fluvial Depositional LandformsArid Landforms
Glacial LandformsKarst Landforms

Indian River System

Indian river In this section, we will study about the Indian rivers. Their classifications such as Himalayan rivers and Peninsular rivers, East flowing rivers, west flowing rivers. The tributaries and distributaries of the major river systems. The origin and the watershed of the major Indian rivers.

Topics Covered Under Indian River Systems
The Indus River SystemMajor Peninsular River
The Ganga river systemMinor Peninsular River
The Brahmaputra river systemWest Flowing Rivers
The Peninsular River System

Indian Monsoon

monsoonMonsoon is the most important atmospheric event in India. Indian Agriculture is heavily dependent on the monsoon rain which in turn impacts the economic activity in the nation. In this section, we will study the mechanism behind the formation of monsoon wind. Various features of monsoon, its distribution in the country and how El-Nino and La-Nina impact monsoon in India.

Soil of India

soil India is a country of sub-continental dimension as such there are a variety of soil types found in the country. The type of soil influence the economic activity in an area. In this section, we will study the different type of soil, their characteristic features, the distribution of soil types in India etc.


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