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UPSC Geography Syllabus 2022| Download IAS Prelims/Mains/Optional Subject PDF

UPSC Geography Syllabus

For the Civil Services Exam, Geography is an important subject. It is a part of the UPSC prelims and mains exams. The conducting body of UPSC Civil Services Exam, offered one optional subject that is known as Geography. So, download UPSC Geography Syllabus 2022 PDF from here. You can also get IAS Prelims/Mains Geography Syllabus along with Optional Subject syllabus from this page.

As far as the numbers proceed, Geography is an extremely famous optional subject. This optional subject especially popular among science students and arts candidates backgrounds due to its rational nature and scoring ability. You must study Geography; you cannot escape it, if you want to clear the IAS exam even if you don’t opt for Geography optional.


UPSC Geography Syllabus

Geography is one of the optional papers in UPSC IAS Mains Exam. Those who have opted it as IAS Mains Optional Subject, they may refer UPSC Geography Syllabus 2022. You may download UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus PDF.

UPSC Geography Syllabus For Prelims & Mains 2022:

  • Geography is an important subject & is part of UPSC Prelims And Mains Exams. Its rational nature and scoring ability make it among popular subject those with both science and arts backgrounds.
  • The geography section in the IAS Prelims Syllabus deals with insight of Indian Geography and World Geography. Questions in prelims are from physical, social and economic geography of India and the world.
  • UPSC Geography Syllabus For Prelims/Mains or UPSC Geography Syllabus In Hindi is well prescribed on this page. Go through detailed UPSC Civil Services Mains Geography Syllabus & plan your studies.

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UPSC Prelims Geography Syllabus

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

Indian Geography

Basics of India

  • Location, latitude, longitude, time zone, etc.
  • Neighbours
  • Important straits
  • States and their position
  • States with international boundaries

Physical features

  • The Himalayas – geological formation, climate, vegetation, soil, biodiversity, physiographic divisions, major passes, significance
  • The Great North Indian Plains – geological formation, physiographic divisions, climate, vegetation, soil, biodiversity, significance
  • Peninsular Plateau – geological formation, Central Highlands, Deccan Plateau, Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats
  • Indian Desert
  • Coastal plains and islands

River systems

  • Himalayan rivers
  • Peninsular rivers
  • River basins
  • Regional development and planning
  • Hydropower projects, major dams
  • West-flowing and east-flowing rivers
  • Interlinking of rivers


  • Monsoons – driving mechanism, El Nino, La Nina
  • Seasons
  • Cyclones

Minerals and industries –

Mineral distribution, industrial policies, location


  • Land utilization
  • Types of agricultural practices
  • Green revolution
  • Soils and crops
  • Irrigation
  • Land reforms
  • Animal husbandry
  • Government schemes

Natural vegetation and fauna

  • Classification of natural vegetation
  • Rainfall distribution
  • Biosphere reserves, national parks, etc.
  • Red-listed species

Economic infrastructure

  • Transportation (highways, inland waterways, etc.)
  • Power and energy sector
  • Conventional and non-conventional sources of energy
  • Energy conservation

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Human Geography

  • Demographics
  • Recent census

World Geography

  • Major natural regions
  • Regional geography of developed countries
  • Regional geography of developing countries
  • Regional geography of South Asia

Physical Geography


  • Origin of the earth
  • Interior of the earth
  • Types and characteristics of rocks
  • Folding and Faulting
  • Volcanoes, earthquakes
  • Interior of the earth
  • Weathering
  • Landforms formed by fluvial, aeolian and glacial actions


  • Atmosphere – structure and composition
  • Temperature
  • Pressure belts
  • Wind systems
  • Clouds and types of rainfall
  • Cyclones and anti-cyclones
  • Major climatic types


  • Ocean relief
  • Temperature, salinity
  • Ocean deposits
  • Ocean currents
  • El Nino and La Nina
  • Waves and tides


  • Soil – origin and types
  • Major biomes of the world
  • Ecosystem, food chain
  • Environmental degradation and conservation

Human Geography

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

UPSC Mains Geography Syllabus

Geography is part of the GS paper I 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 the 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, airmasses, 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.

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UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus:

Geography as one the optional subject comprise of 2 papers. Each paper is of 250 marks with a total of 500 marks. UPSC Geography Syllabus PDF 2022 comprises all topics as physical, economic and social geography of India & world.

UPSC Geography Exam Syllabus 2022 for Optional Subject:

In order to crack UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam, plan your studies by referring detailed UPSC Geography Optional Syllabus. Geomorphology, Climatology, Oceanography, Biogeography, Models, Theories and Laws are among the main topics of UPSC Mains Geography Syllabus (Paper 1). To gain more stuff for UPSC Geography Syllabus 2022, take a look of below page created by team of recruitmentresult.com

Geography Optional Syllabus – Paper – I

Principles of Geography Physical Geography:


  • 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.

UPSC IAS Geography Syllabus – 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 fronto genesis, 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.


  • 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 resoures: biotic, mineral and energy resources
  • Coral reefs, coral bleaching
  • sealevel changes; law of the sea and marine pollution.

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UPSC Geography Syllabus Optional –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
  • Wild life; Major gene pool centres

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:

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 secularization
  • Cultural regions of the world; Human development index

Geography Syllabus For UPSC – 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
  • locational patterns and problems; patterns of world trade

Population and Settlement Geography:

  • Growth and distribution of world population; demographic attributes; Causes and consequences of migration
  • concepts of 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

UPSC Mains Geography Syllabus – 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

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; Ostov’s model of stages of growth. Heartland and Rimland theories
  • Laws of international boundaries and frontiers.

UPSC Geography Syllabus Optional – Paper – 2

Geography of India:

  1. Physical Setting
  • Space relationship of India with neighboring countries; Structure and relief; Drainage system and watersheds
  • Physiographic regions; Mechanism of Indian monsoons and rainfall patterns, Tropical cyclones and western disturbances
  • Floods and droughts; Climatic regions; Natural vegetation; Soil types and their distributions.
  1. Geography Syllabus For UPSC –Resources:
  • Land, surface and ground water
  • Energy, minerals, biotic and marine resources
  • Forest and wild life resources and their conservation; Energy crisis.
  1. Agriculture:
  • Infrastructure: Irrigation, Seeds, Fertilizers, Power; Institutional Factors: Land Holdings, Land Tenure And Land Reforms
  • Cropping Pattern, Agricultural Productivity, Agricultural Intensity, Crop Combination
  • Land Capability; Agro And Socialforestry; Green Revolution And Its Socioeconomic And Ecological Implications
  • Significance Of Dry Farming
  • Livestock Resources And White Revolution; Aqua – Culture; Sericulture, Apiculture And Poultry; Agricultural Regionalisation;
  • Agro-Climatic Zones; Agro- Ecological Regions.
  1. UPSC Geography Syllabus Industry:
  • Evolution Of Industries; Locational Factors Of Cotton, Jute, Textile, Iron And Steel, Aluminium, Fertilizer, Paper added in UPSC Geography Syllabus
  • Chemical And Pharmaceutical, Automobile
  • Cottage And Agro-Based Industries; Industrial Houses And Complexes Including Public Sector Undertakings; Industrial Regionalization
  • New Industrial Policies
  • Multinationals And Liberalization; Special Economic Zones; Tourism including eco -tourism.
  1. Transport, Communication and Trade:
  • Road, railway, waterway, airway and pipeline networks and their complementary roles in regional development
  • Growing importance of ports on national and foreign trade; Trade balance; Trade Policy; Export processing zones added in UPSC Geography Syllabus
  • Developments in communication and information technology and their impacts on economy and society
  • Indian space programme.
  1. Cultural Setting:
  • Historical Perspective of Indian Society; Racial, linguistic and ethnic diversities; religious minorities; major tribes
  • Tribal areas and their problems; cultural regions; Growth, distribution and density of population
  • Demographic attributes: sex-ratio, age structure, literacy rate, work-force, dependency ratio added in UPSC Geography Syllabus
  • longevity; migration (inter-regional, intra- regional and international) and associated problems
  • Population problems and policies; Health indicators.
  1. Geography Optional Syllabus –Settlements:
  • Types, patterns and morphology of rural settlements; Urban developments; Morphology of Indian cities
  • Functional classification of Indian cities; Conurbations and metropolitan regions; urban sprawl
  • Slums and associated problems; town planning; Problems of urbanization and remedies. added in UPSC Geography Syllabus
  1. Regional Development and Planning:
  • Experience Of Regional Planning In India; Five Year Plans; Integrated Rural Development Programmes
  • Panchayati Raj And Decentralised Planning; Command Area Development; Watershed Management
  • Planning For Backward Area, Desert, Drought Prone, Hill, Tribal Area Development; Multi-Level Planning
  • Regional Planning And Development Of Island Territories
  1. UPSC IAS Geography Syllabus – Political Aspects:
  • Geographical Basis Of Indian Federalism; State Reorganisation; Emergence Of New States; Regional Consciousness And Inter State Issues
  • International Boundary Of India And Related Issues; Cross Border Terrorism; India’s Role In World Affairs added in UPSC Geography Syllabus
  • Geopolitics Of South Asia And Indian Ocean Realm.
  1. Contemporary Issues:
  • Ecological issues: Environmental hazards: landslides, earthquakes, Tsunamis, floods and droughts, epidemics
  • Issues relating to environmental pollution; Changes in patterns of land use; Principles of environmental impact assessment and environmental management
  • Population explosion and food security
  • Environmental degradation; Deforestation, desertification and soil erosion; 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.

Download: UPSC Geography Syllabus PDF

UPSC Geography Preparation Books

  • Geography of India by Majid Husain.
  • World Geography by Majid Husain.
  • Oxford School Atlas
  • Certificate Physical and Human Geography.
  • Physical, Human and Economic Geography for Civil Services Examination by D R Khuller
  • Objective Indian and World Geography
  • Geography of India by Surender Singh
  • India: A Comprehensive Geography by D.R Khuller

Best Books to Cover UPSC Geography Syllabus 2022

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

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UPSC Geography Syllabus contains all topics as well as sub topics. Aspirants are recommended to prepare well for exam. UPSC Mains Geography Syllabus will guide you in scoring good marks in exam. We have also provided some of the books which you may refer for best preparation.

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