UPSC IAS Geography Syllabus


Physical Geography:

  1. Geomorphology: 
  • Factors controlling landform development;
  • endogenetic and exogenetic forces;
  • Origin and evolution of the earth’s crust;
  • Fundamentals of geomagnetism; Physical conditions of the earth’s interior;
  • Geosynclines;
  • Continental drift;
  • Isostasy;
  • Plate tectonics;
  • Recent views on mountain building;
  • Vulcanicity;
  • Earthquakes and Tsunamis;
  • Concepts of geomorphic cycles and Landscape development ;
  • Denudation chronology;
  • Channel morphology;
  • Erosion surfaces;
  • Slope development;
  • Applied Geomorphology : Geohydrology, economic geology and environment.
  1. Climatology: 
  • Temperature and pressure belts of the world;
  • Heat budget of the earth;
  • Atmospheric circulation; atmospheric stability and instability.
  • Planetary and local winds;
  • Monsoons and jet streams;
  • Air masses and frontogenesis, Temperate and tropical cyclones;
  • Types and distribution of precipitation;
  • Weather and Climate;
  • Koppen’s, Thornthwaite’s and Trewartha’s classification of world climates;
  • Hydrological cycle;
  • Global climatic change and role and response of man in climatic changes, Applied climatology and Urban climate. 
  1. Oceanography: 
  • ​​​​​​​Bottom topography of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans;
  • Temperature and salinity of the oceans;
  • Heat and salt budgets, Ocean deposits;
  • Waves, currents and tides;
  • Marine resources: biotic, mineral and energy resources;
  • Coral reefs, coral bleaching; sealevel changes;
  • law of the sea and marine pollution.
  1. Biogeography: 
  • ​​​​​​​Genesis of soils;
  • Classification and distribution of soils;
  • Soil profile; Soil erosion, degradation and conservation;
  • Factors influencing world distribution of plants and animals;
  • Problems of deforestation and conservation measures;
  • Social forestry; agro-forestry;
  • Wildlife; Major gene pool centres.
  1. Environmental Geography: 
  • ​​​​​​​Principle of ecology;
  • Human ecological adaptations; Influence of man on ecology and environment;
  • Global and regional ecological changes and imbalances;
  • Ecosystem their management and conservation;
  • Environmental degradation, management and conservation;
  • Biodiversity and sustainable development;
  • Environmental policy;
  • Environmental hazards and remedial measures;
  • Environmental education and legislation.


Human Geography:

  1. Perspectives in Human Geography: 
  • ​​​​​​​Areal differentiation;
  • regional synthesis;
  • Dichotomy and dualism;
  • Environmentalism;
  • Quantitative revolution and locational analysis;
  • radical, behavioural, human and welfare approaches;
  • Languages, religions and secularisation;
  • Cultural regions of the world;
  • Human development index.


2. Economic Geography: 

  • World economic development: measurement and problems;
  • World resources and their distribution;
  • Energy crisis; the limits to growth;
  • World agriculture:typology of agricultural regions;agricultural inputs and productivity;
  • Food and nutrition problems;
  • Food security;
  • Famine:causes, effects and remedies;
  • World industries: Location pattern and problems;
  • patterns of world trade.


3. Population and Settlement Geography: 

  • Growth and distribution of world population;
  • demographic attributes;
  • Causes and consequences of migration;
  • concepts of the over-under-and optimum population;
  • Population theories, world population problems and policies, Social well-being and quality of life;
  • Population as social capital. Types and patterns of rural settlements;
  • Environmental issues in rural settlements;
  • Hierarchy of urban settlements;
  • Urban morphology: Concepts of primate city and rank-size rule;
  • Functional classification of towns;
  • Sphere of urban influence;
  • Rural urban fringe;
  • Satellite towns;
  • Problems and remedies of urbanization;
  • Sustainable development of cities.


4. Regional Planning: 

  • Concept of a region;
  • Types of regions and methods of regionalisation;
  • Growth centres and growth poles;
  • Regional imbalances;
  • regional development strategies;
  • environmental issues in regional planning;
  • Planning for sustainable development.


5. Models, Theories and Laws in Human Geography: 

  • Systems analysis in Human geography;
  • Malthusian, Marxian and demographic transition models;
  • Central Place theories of Christaller and Losch;
  • Perroux and Boudeville;
  • Von Thunen’s model of agricultural location;
  • Weber’s model of industrial location;
  • Ostrov’s model of stages of growth. Heartland and Rimland theories;
  • Laws of international boundaries and frontiers.
Please login to post your comments.