Table of Contents
How to choose optional
- Senior Advice: If you once choose a subject as your optional, you will have to live with it for many months. So choose it wisely.
What to consider before choosing an optional?
- Very Important: Your interest in the subject (You should do what you love or you should love what you do).
- Complexity of the subject, availability of resources, time required: Geography is complex because of its technical nature. It requires some imagination. It takes 3 – 6 months to finish Geo Optional syllabus. Most of the toppers have said that it took them nothing less than 4-5 months to complete Geo Optional Syllabus.
- Resources: Books are easily available and might cost you somewhere around Rs 3000-4000.
- Guidance: This is the biggest problem with technical optional. You need guidance to save precious time. You should get help from Seniors with Geo Optional (so not me) and you should make groups among yourself and help out each other (Use http://discuss.forumias.com for this).
So what not to consider while choosing optional.
- Other person’s free biased advices: I have PSIR as my optional. It is very easy. You also take PSIR as optional. We will study together.
- Coaching walas free propaganda: This sir that sir etc.. If you have concrete review about a teacher, then you can consider him/her. Don’t fall to internet comments because they are either paid or self-written.
- Why didn’t this guy (pmfias.com) choose PSIR over Geography. May be geo is a tough one. (Everybody has their own comfort zone. So don’t make a decision based on other person’s decision)
Books for Geography Optional
- Refer pmfias.comand https://www.youtube.com/c/PoorMansFriend For basics only.
- My notes and Videos are meant for General Studies only. But they can be helpful for Optional as well. They will help you understand basics and if your basics are strong, understanding the core concepts will be a cake walk.
- My Climatology Videos are extremely important. Climatology is technical and is confusing so watch my videos on climatology which I have done in good detail.
- You can finish Geo Optional with selective study of these books. (All coaching notes are simplified versions of these books only)
- One big advice: Don’t read cover to cover. Relate with Syllabus. Read only important topics. Thoroughly analyze Geo Optional Question Papers before kick starting your preparation.
Paper I – Part 1 – Physical Geography
|PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY by Savindra singh – All your physical geography needs will be met from this book.||[Amazon and Flipkart]|
|Certificate Physical And Human Geography By Goh Cheng Leong – Indispensable. The highlight of this book is the way it explains the Climatic Regions. Geomorphology is also explained well.|
Drawbacks: Outdated, it doesn’t include lot of modern concepts of physical geography.
|[Amazon and Flipkart]|
|Spectrum Geography – This will help you understand the whole syllabus of geography optional.||[Amazon and Flipkart]|
Paper I – Part 2 – Human Geography
|Human Geography by Majid Hussain||[Amazon][Flipkart]|
|Evolution Of Geographical Thought by Majid Hussain||[Amazon][Flipkart]|
|Economic and Social Geography Made Simple – Rupa Publication||[Amazon][Flipkart]|
|Models In Geography Majid Husain||[Amazon][Flipkart]|
Paper 2 – Indian Geography
|India A Comprehensive Geography by Kullar – One stop solution for Indian Geography|
Indian Geography by Majid Husain – Buy after reading Kullar
Geography Optional Syllabus
Part I: Principles of 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;
- Continental drift;
- Plate tectonics;
- Recent views on mountain building (Sub topic under plate tectonics);
- Vulcanicity; Earthquakes and Tsunamis;
- Concepts of geomorphic cycles and Landscape development Denudation chronology; Channel morphology; Erosion surfaces; Slope development (In simple terms – erosional and depositional land forms);
- Applied Geomorphology : Geohydrology, economic geology and environment.
- 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 resources: biotic, mineral and energy resources;
- Coral reefs, coral bleaching;
- sea-level changes;
- law of the sea and marine pollution.
- 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; agroforestry;
- 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.
- Perspectives in Human Geography
- Areal differentiation;
- regional synthesis;
- Dichotomy and dualism;
- Quantitative revolution and locational analysis; radical, behavioural, human and welfare approaches;
- Languages, religions and secularisation;
- Cultural regions of the world;
- Human development index.
- 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.
- 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.
PART II: Geography Of India
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.
Land, surface and ground water, energy, minerals, biotic and marine resources; Forest and wild life resources and their conservation; Energy crisis.
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 social-forestry; Green revolution and its socio- economic and ecological implications; Significance of dry farming; Livestock resources and white revolution; aqua – culture; sericulture, apiculture and poultry; agricultural regionalisation; agro-climatic zones; agroecological regions.
Evolution of industries; Locational factors of cotton, jute, textile, iron and steel, aluminium, fertilizer, paper, chemical and pharmaceutical, automobile, cottage and agro-based industries; Industrial houses and complexes including public sector undertakings; Industrial regionali-sation; New industrial policies; Multinationals and liberalization; Special Economic Zones; Tourism including eco – tourism.
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; Developments in communication and information technology and their impacts on economy and society; Indian space programme.
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, longevity; migration (inter-regional, intra- regional and international) and associated problems; Population problems and policies; Health indicators.
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.
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.
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; Geopolitics of South Asia and Indian Ocean realm.
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.