UPSC Geography Syllabus 2020 For Prelims & Mains Examination

Geography is an imperative subject concerning the UPSC civil services exam. It is a part of the UPSC prelims and mains exams.

Geography includes an optional subject presented by the commission.

It is an enormously general optional.

Its lucid nature and counting skill make it especially prevalent amongst applicants by means of science and arts backgrounds.

Those deciding on Geography optional, it is impossible to overlook Geography.

UPSC Prelims Geography Syllabus 


Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.

Indian Geography


  1. Basics of India
    1. Location, latitude, longitude, time zone, etc.
    2. Neighbours
    3. Important straits
    4. States and their position
    5. States with international boundaries
  2. Physical features
    1. The Himalayas – geological formation, climate, vegetation, soil, biodiversity, physiographic divisions, major passes, the significance
    2. The Great North Indian Plains – geological formation, physiographic divisions, climate, vegetation, soil, biodiversity, the significance
    3. Peninsular Plateau – geological formation, Central Highlands, Deccan Plateau, Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats
    4. Indian Desert
    5. Coastal plains and islands
  3. River systems
    1. Himalayan rivers
    2. Peninsular rivers
    3. River basins
    4. Regional development and planning
    5. Hydropower projects, major dams
    6. West-flowing and east-flowing rivers
    7. Interlinking of rivers
  4. Climate
    1. Monsoons – driving mechanism, El Nino, La Nina
    2. Seasons
    3. Cyclones
  5. Minerals and industries 
  • mineral distribution, industrial policies, location

Agriculture

  1. Land Utilisation
  2. Types of agricultural practices
  3. Green revolution
  4. Soils and crops
  5. Irrigation
  6. Land reforms
  7. Animal husbandry
  8. Government schemes
  1. Natural vegetation and fauna
    1. Classification of natural vegetation
    2. Rainfall distribution
    3. Biosphere reserves, national parks, etc.
    4. Red-listed species
  2. Economic infrastructure
    1. Transportation (highways, inland waterways, etc.)
    2. Power and energy sector
    3. Conventional and non-conventional sources of energy
    4. Energy conservation
  3. Human Geography
    1. Demographics
    2. Recent census

World Geography 


  1. Major natural regions
  2. Regional geography of developed countries
  3. Regional geography of developing countries
  4. Regional geography of South Asia

Physical Geography 


  1. Geomorphology
    1. Origin of the earth
    2. Interior of the earth
    3. Types and characteristics of rocks
    4. Folding and Faulting
    5. Volcanoes, earthquakes
    6. Interior of the earth
    7. Weathering
    8. Landforms formed by fluvial, aeolian and glacial actions
  2. Climatology
    1. Atmosphere – structure and composition
    2. Temperature
    3. Pressure belts
    4. Wind systems
    5. Clouds and types of rainfall
    6. Cyclones and anti-cyclones
    7. Major climatic types
  3. Oceanography
    1. Ocean relief
    2. Temperature, salinity
    3. Ocean deposits
    4. Ocean Currents
    5. El Nino and La Nina
    6. Waves and tides
  4. Biogeography
    1. Soil – origin and types
    2. Major biomes of the world
    3. Ecosystem, food chain
    4. Environmental degradation and conservation

Human Geography 


  1. Man & environment; relationship, growth and development of human geography; determinism and possibilism
  2. Population, tribes, migration
  3. Economic activities – agriculture, manufacturing, industries, tertiary activities
  4. Settlements, urbanisation, functional classification of towns, million-cities and megacities

Location-based questions pertaining to India and the world are also asked in the prelims.

UPSC Mains Geography Syllabus 

Geography is the portion of the GS paper 1 in the IAS mains exam. The syllabus for GS Geography is given below:

  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent; factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world including India
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes
  • Salient features of world’s physical geography (geomorphology, climatology, oceanography, biogeography and environmental geography)
    • Geomorphology – the interior of the earth, tectonics, physical phenomenon, mountain building, volcanoes, earthquakes, weathering & erosion, rocks, landforms
    • Climatology – atmosphere, temperature distribution, jet streams, pressure & wind systems, air masses, fronts, cyclones, humidity, precipitation, geographical phenomenon, climatic regions of the world
    • Oceanography – ocean relief, temperature distribution, ocean currents, salinity, coral bleaching, marine pollution, sea level change, UN laws, etc.
    • Biography – soil profile, degradation, conservation), biotic regions, deforestation and conservation of forests, changes in critical geographical features, environmental pollution