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UPSC Geography Syllabus 2024 - Topic Wise UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus

UPSC Geography Syllabus 2024 - Topic Wise UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus

Edited By Vishnukumar | Updated on Feb 14, 2024 06:09 PM IST | #UPSC CSE

UPSC provided the UPSC Geography 2024 syllabus for the main exam in the UPSC CSE notification on the official website. Candidates can download the geography optional syllabus for IAS PDF at UPSC IAS 2024 Geography syllabus of Paper 1 & Paper 2 comprises 500 marks. Candidates preparing for the UPSC IAS exam must go through the detailed UPSC IAS Geography syllabus 2024 in order to qualify the exam.

Geography is an optional subject and aspirants can check the detailed Paper 1 and 2 geography optional syllabus for IAS pdf here. The UPSC IAS Geography Syllabus 2024 consists of all the important sections on where the question paper will be based like - Geomorphology, Climatology, Oceanography, etc. Aspirants can also know about the types of questions and difficulty level by going through UPSC CSE Geography question papers here. Geography is part of the UPSC IAS mains syllabus. Check all details related to the UPSC Geography syllabus 2024 here.

UPSC Geography Syllabus 2024 - Subject Wise

UPSC Geography Syllabus 2024 for Paper 1 - Physical Geography




Endogenetic and exogenetic forces, factors controlling landform development, Physical conditions of the earth’s interior; Geosynclines; Continental drift; Origin and evolution of the crust of earth’s crusts; Fundamentals of geomagnetism; Isostasy; Volcanicity, Earthquakes & Tsunamis; Plate tectonics; Recent views on mountain building, Concepts of geomorphic cycles and Landscape development; Denudation chronology; Channel morphology; Erosion surfaces; Slope development, Geomorphology; Geomorphology, economic geology and environment


Indian and Pacific Oceans; Temperature and salinity of the oceans; Heat and salt budgets, Marine resources; biotic, mineral and energy resources; Ocean deposits; Waves, currents and tides; Coral reefs coral bleaching; Sea-level changes; Law of the sea and marine pollution.


Genesis of various soil, Degradation and conservation; Factors which influence world distribution of plants and animals; Classification and distribution of soils; Soil profile; Soil erosion, Problems of deforestation and conservation measures; agroforestry; Social forestry, Wild life; Major gene pool centres.

Environmental Geography

Influence of man on ecology and environment; Principle ecology; Human ecological adaptations; Ecosystem their management and conservation; Global and regional ecological changes & imbalances; Environmental degradation, management and conservation; Environmental policy; Environmental hazards and remedial measures; Biodiversity and sustainable development; Environmental education and legislation.


Heat budget of the earth; Atmospheric circulation; Temperature and pressure belts of the world; Atmospheric stability & instability. Air masses and fronto; Planetary and local winds; Monsoons and jet streams; Temperate and tropical cyclones; Types and distribution of precipitation; Koppen’s Thornthwaite’s and Trewar Tha’s classification of world climate; Weather and Climate; Hydrological cycle; Global climatic change, and role and response of man in climatic changes Applied climatology and Urban climate.

Also read: Information about category-wise career exams

UPSC Geography Syllabus 2024 for Paper 1 - Human Geography



Models, Theories & Laws in Human Geography

Marxian and demographic transition models; Malthusian, System analysis in Human geography; Central Place theories of Christaller and Losch; Perroux and Boudeville; Weber’s model of industrial location; Von Thunen’s model of agricultural location; Ostov’s model of stages of growth. Heartland and Rimland theories; Laws of international boundaries and frontiers.

Population and Settlement Geography

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

Economic Geography

World agriculture: typology of agricultural regions; Agricultural inputs and productivity; Food and nutrition problems; World economic development: measurement and problems; World resources and their distribution; Energy crisis; the limits to growth; Food security; famine: causes, effects and remedies; World industries: location patterns and problems; Patterns of world trade

Perspectives in Human Geography

Areal differentiation; Regional synthesis; Dichotomy & dualism; Environmentalism; Radical, behavioural, Quantitative revolution and locational analysis; Languages, religions and secularisation; Cultural regions of the world; human and welfare approaches; Human development index (HDI)

Regional Planning

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

IAS Subject-wise Questions for various Subjects

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UPSC Geography Syllabus for Paper 2 - Geography of India




Institutional factors; land holdings, land tenure and land reforms; Infrastructure: irrigation, seeds, fertilizers, power; Cropping pattern, agricultural productivity, agricultural intensity, crop combination, land capability; Significance of dry farming; Livestock resources and white revolution; Agro and social-forestry; Green revolution and its socio-economic and ecological implications; Aqua-culture; Sericulture, Agriculture & poultry; Agro-climatic zones, Agro-ecological regions; Agricultural regionalisation;


Forest and wildlife resources and their conservation; Land, surface and groundwater, energy, minerals, biotic and marine resources, Energy crisis


Industrial regionalisation; Industrial houses and complexes including public sector undertakings; New industrial policy; Multinationals and liberalisation; Special Economic Zones; Tourism including ecotourism. Evolution of industries; Locational factors of cotton, jute, textile, iron and steel, aluminium, fertiliser, paper, automobile, chemical and pharmaceutical, cottage and agro-based industries;

Political Aspects

State reorganisation; Emergence of new states; Geographical basis of Indian federalism; International boundary of India and related issues; Regional consciousness and inter-state issues; Cross-border terrorism; India’s role in world affairs; Geopolitics of South Asia and Indian Ocean realm

Physical Setting

Structure and relief; Space relationship of India with its neighbouring countries; Physiographic regions; Drainage system and watersheds; Mechanism of Indian monsoons and rainfall patterns; Tropical cyclones and western disturbances; Floods & droughts; Natural vegetation, Climatic regions, Soil types and their distributions.

Cultural Setting

Racial linguistic & ethnic diversities; Historical Perspective of Indian Society; religious minorities; Major tribes, tribal areas & their problems; Growth, distribution and density of population; Cultural regions; Demographic attributes: sex-ratio, age structure, literacy rate, dependency ratio, work-force, longevity; migration (inter-regional, interaregional and international) and associated problems; Population problems and policies; Health indicators.

Contemporary Issues

Issues related to environmental pollution; Ecological issues: Environmental hazards: landslides, earthquakes, Tsunamis, floods and droughts, epidemics; Changes in patterns of land use; Principles of environmental impact assessment and environmental management; Environmental degradation; Deforestation, desertification and soil erosion; Population explosion and food security; Problems of agrarian and industrial unrest; Regional disparities in economic development; Concept of sustainable growth and development; Environmental awareness; Linkage of rivers; Globalisation and Indian economy.

Regional Development and Planning

Five Year Plans; Integrated rural development programmes; Experience of regional planning in India; Watershed management; Command area development; Panchayati Raj and decentralised planning; Planning for backward area, desert, drought-prone, hill tribal area development; Multi-level planning; Regional planning and development of island territories

Transport, Communication and Trade

Growing importance of ports on national and foreign trade; Road, railway, waterway, airway and pipeline networks and their complementary roles in regional development; Export processing zones; Trade balance; Trade Policy; Developments in communication and information technology and their impacts on economy and society; Indian space programme.


Urban developments; Types, patterns and morphology of rural settlements; Morphology of Indian cities; Functional classification of Indian cities; Slums and associated problems; Conurbations and metropolitan regions; Urban sprawl; Town planning; Problems of urbanisation and remedies

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UPSC Geography Syllabus - Preparation Tips

Candidates preparing for UPSC IAS, must prepare in such a way that they have an upper edge over the competition. Here we are sharing some UPSC IAS preparation tips that will help candidates to score well and qualify for UPSC exam. Check the tips here.

  • Refer to NCERT books to prepare for Geography only.

  • Make a perfect IAS study plan to study for Geography and stick with it.

  • UPSC CSE Geography requires a high-level preparation level as the difficulty level of the exam is of graduation level, hence candidates must start the preparations early.

  • Solve previous year questions papers of the Geography mains exam to know about the type of questions, difficulty level and question pattern. Also, look for UPSC IAS question papers for Geography and solve mock tests.

  • Do previous year UPSC IAS exam analysis, to know the cut off trends, sample questions etc and also to work on your weaker subjects.

Also read: UPSC Mock Tests Series for UPSC

Best Books to Cover UPSC Geography Syllabus

Aspirants planning to take Geography as their optional subject must also go through the best books of Geography. Check the UPSC Geography syllabus from the following table below-

UPSC Geography Books for Paper 1

UPSC Geography Books for Paper 2

Agricultural Geography – Majid Husain

A Geography of India -Gopal Singh

Environmental Geography – Savindra Singh

Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong

Human Geography -Majid Husain

Oxford School Atlas – Oxford

Physical Geography in Diagrams -Bunnett

Geography of Population- R.C.Chandna

Also read

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. Is Geography a good subject to be taken as optional for UPSC CSE?

Yes, only if you have interest in Geography as a subject, or else it can be difficult.

2. How to prepare for Geography?

The difficulty level of Geography is of graduation level. The preparation takes a lot of time, candidates must refer to only the best books of UPSC IAS for preparation.

3. Which is the easiest optional subject for UPSC CSE?

The difficulty and ease level of the subject depends on your interest and likeability. Many candidates pick Sociology, Geography and Public Administration as their optional subjects.

4. What is the minimum academic qualification required to apply for UPSC?

To apply for UPSC, aspirants must be a graduate.


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Questions related to UPSC CSE

Have a question related to UPSC CSE ?


I assume you want to know the eligibility criteria to becoming an IAS. First of all, to become an IAS,  one has to clear UPSC CSE examiner. There are certain eligibility criteria for applying in this examination and they are as follows:

  • Bachelor's degree from any recognised college.
  • Age between 21-32; with some relaxation for reserved categories.
  • Citizen of India ora subject of Nepal/ Bhutan or Tibetan refugee who came to India, to permanently settle here before January 1, 1962, or People of Indian origin who migrated from Uganda, Burma, Pakistan, Zambia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Sri Lanka, East African Countries of Kenya, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam to permanently settle in India.

For more information, please visit the website by clicking on the link given below:

And other government jobs, the eligibility test is different for different jobs. It would have been if you could mention the government job you are interested in.

Hope this answers your query. Thank you

Dear aspirant !!

Hope you are doing good !

Yes it will be considered because Bachelor in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (BASLP) is a 4-year degree course . It is a multi-disciplinary profession with core subjects including speech pathology, language pathology, and audiology.

Hope it helps you ;

Thank you

Dear Aspirant !

Hope you are fine!

The main subjects for the UPSC Exam are Indian Politics, Indian Economy, International Relations, Science and Technology, Geography, History, Environment and Ecology, and related Current Affairs . There are 25 subjects and 23 literature optional that one can choose from in addition to this..

Thank you

Hello aspirant,

With the help of the IAS Answer Key 2024, applicants can estimate their potential score for the IAS preliminary exam, learn about the various IAS question types, gauge the exam's difficulty, and much more.

To get the answer key, you can visit our website by clicking on the link given below.

Thank you

Hope this information helps you.

Dear aspirant !!

Hope you are doing good !!

The syllabus of these papers includes subjects like Modern Indian History, World Geography, International Relations, Indian Economic development, Disaster Management and Ethics, Aptitude and Integrity . To know all the subjects in detail, you can check UPSC syllabus 2024 for CSE in the given link below ;- .

Hope it helps you !

Thanking you

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