February 23rd, 2019       Civil Services Preparation

Geography has undoubtedly the largest syllabus amongst all the subjects that are included in the syllabus of UPSC CSE. Apart from its comprehensive nature and vastness, Geography also has overlapping topics which covers Environment and Ecology, Economics- Agriculture and allied sectors, human geography- census, demography and current events….Therefore, covering and retaining all these things becomes a humongous challenge for any aspirant. One may find themselves diverted from the right path. They may start studying something which is not required for the exam!! ALSO, NEARLY 20-50% OF THE PRELIMS PAPERS OF THE LAST 5 YEARS HAVE QUESTIONS RELATED TO THESE TOPICS.

Keeping the above in mind, an aspirant requires a coherent strategy to able to cover all these topics. The article aims to chart a roadmap for the aspirants so that they do not find themselves going off the tangent….

Trend Analysis:

A. Geography (Number of questions asked and difficulty level)

UPSC Geography Questions & Difficulty Level

B. Environment and Agriculture (Number of questions asked and difficulty level)

UPSC Environment & Agriculture Questions & Difficulty Level

**source: mrunal.org.

Decoding The Sources

Geography Sources Decoding

Environment & Agriculture Sources Decoding

Approach:

5 THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND…

1. GET YOUR BASICS AND FACTS RIGHT
2. MAKE YOUR OWN NOTES
3. PRIORTIZE YOUR PREPARATION BY IDENTIFYING IMPORTANT AREAS
4. LINK WITH CURRENT AFFAIRS AND ALWAYS KEEP ATLAS AT HAND
5. PRACTISE PREVIOUSLY ASKED QUESTIONS

UPSC Mediterranean Sea Question

The above question is linked to current affairs (the places were in news) and is based on maps as well.

FOCUS AREAS: Aspirant should prepare every topic by focusing on certain key ‘themes’ as mentioned below…

Basic Geography

Aspirant must have a strong conceptual clarity regarding broad themes like ‘EARTH AND UNIVERSE’, ‘LANDFORMS’, ‘HYDROSPHERE’, ‘ATMOSPHERE’, ‘WINDS/CLOUDS/PERCIPITATION’. The best source for these topics is already mentioned.

Indian/World Physiography

a. important characteristic features
b. location (includes atlas reading)
c. formation/evolution
d. comparison with similar features/related concepts
e. climate/rainfall/soil
f. biodiversity
g. use/benefit/environmental impact if any and how to overcome
h. link with current affairs

Aspirant should have a conceptual clarity regarding “WHY” part of any theme. For eg: Certain rivers have a characteristic feature that they are west flowing. So, why they are west flowing??

To bring clarity consider the topic Indian Monsoon…So the themes covered will be:

a. its characteristic features, significance and impact
b. location and types
c. formation/evolution-factors affecting climate of India
d. comparison with similar features-upwelling, el nino, la nina, ENSO, cyclones, jet streams etc
e. how does it affect vegetation, effect of climate change on monsoon

Question asked on above themes…This question tests your conceptual clarity and is also linked with current affairs.

UPSC 2011 Prelims Question

Indian/World Social And Economic Geography

a. important characteristic features
b. location (includes atlas reading)
c. past trends-comparison on regional, time basis
d. comparison with similar features/ concepts
e. climate/rainfall/soil
f. biodiversity
g. use/environmental impact /how to overcome
h. link with current affairs

Consider the topic of ‘Tribes’…the themes to be covered will be:

a. important characteristic features eg: their festivals
b. location (includes atlas reading)-where they are found?
c. past trends-comparison on regional basis, time basis eg: demographic dividend
d. comparison with similar features/related concepts
e. climate/rainfall/soil features of area where they are found
f. environmental impact if any and how to overcome
g. link with current affairs eg: sentinelese were in news

UPSC Question

The above question also tests your factual knowledge.

Environment And Related

A simple approach for environment related topics is a mix of static and dynamic portion. Focus areas:

1. General issues on environment and ecology-basic concepts i.e. the entire static part.
2. Important domestic and international:
a. Laws/ rules/ regulations/ policies
b. Treaties/ conventions/ protocols
c. Reports
d. Surveys/census
e. Projects
f. Organisations
3. List of National parks/WLS/ Biosphere reserves/heritage sites/ critical sites/hotspots etc
4. List of endangered/vulnerable/endemic/ critically endangered species
5. Current affairs

UPSC Sea Buckthorn Question

The source of this question is ‘Nothing but newspaper’. That year (in 2012) ‘sea buckthorn’ was in news because of National Mission on Sea buckthorn

THIS ARTICLE (ON GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT AND AGRICULTURE) HAS TRIED TO ANALYSE THE PAST TRENDS, SOURCES, APPROACH AND FOCUS AREAS FOR PREPARATION. ASPIRANTS ARE REQUESTED TO KEEP THE STRATEGY SIMPLE, HAVE CONCEPTUAL CLARITY, LEARN THE FACTS AND REVISE AND RE-REVISE TO ACE THIS PORTION OF THE EXAM!!!

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