Geography Syllabus For UPSC: All Required Details About The Syllabus

UPSC Prelims examination is the initial level of examination which is to be cleared included in the range of three levels in the UPSC Civil Services Examination, next to Civil Services Mains Examination and the Personality Test for becoming conscious of a dream to be a civil servant.

It is an examination conducted with the intention of the exclusion of aspirants and the marks will not be included for arriving at the final order of merit/rank list.

Applicants who make the grade in an individual paper of Preliminary examination will be participating in the Civil Services Mains.

Geography Syllabus for UPSC 


Geography Syllabus is consisting of two parts:

  • Indian Geography
  • World Geography

Before preparing for Geography syllabus, it is recommended to analyze the topics included in the syllabus. Availing previous years question pattern, it turns out that the more priority is assigned to the Indian Geography in the prelims examination. That’s why it is directed to applicants to organize their objective but there is an equal importance of World Geography. Environment partly covers some of the topics in geography.

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

The syllabus points out just one line. Study the unseen details now

Indian Geography


  1. Basics of India


    1. Location, latitude, longitude, time zone, etc.
    2. Neighbors
    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, a significance
    2. The Great North Indian Plains – geological formation, physiographic divisions, climate, vegetation, soil, biodiversity, a 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
  1. Agriculture


    1. Land utilization
    2. Types of agricultural practices
    3. Green revolution
    4. Soils and crops
    5. Irrigation
    6. Land reforms
    7. Animal husbandry
    8. Government schemes
  2. Natural vegetation and fauna


    1. Classification of natural vegetation
    2. Rainfall distribution
    3. Biosphere reserves, national parks, etc.
    4. Red-listed species
  3. Economic infrastructure


    1. Transportation (highways, inland waterways, etc.)
    2. Power and energy sector
    3. Conventional and non-conventional sources of energy
    4. Energy conservation
  4. 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, urbanization, 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 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 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