The Geography Optional Paper 1 in the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) Mains 2021 is a crucial component for candidates opting for Geography as their optional subject. This paper delves into the intricate aspects of physical geography, covering topics such as geomorphology, climatology, oceanography, and biogeography. Geomorphology explores the landforms and processes shaping the Earth’s surface, providing candidates with a comprehensive understanding of the dynamic forces at play. Climatology delves into the study of climate patterns, weather systems, and global climatic phenomena, enabling aspirants to grasp the complexities of the Earth’s atmospheric dynamics. Oceanography, another significant component, focuses on the study of oceans, marine life, and oceanic processes. Additionally, biogeography examines the spatial distribution of flora and fauna, shedding light on the interplay between living organisms and their environments. The Geography Optional Paper 1, thus, serves as a platform for candidates to showcase their analytical and conceptual understanding of diverse geographical phenomena, fostering a holistic comprehension of the Earth’s physical features and processes.
Geography Optional Paper 1
Time: 3 Hrs
Maximum marks: 250
There are Eight questions divided into TWO SECTIONS. Candidates have to attempt FIVE questions in all.
Questions Nos. 1 and 5 are compulsory and out of the remaining, THREE are to be attempted by choosing at least ONE question from each section.
Section A – Answer the following in about 150 words each:
(a) Describe the concept of ‘Altiplantation’. (10)
(b) What are the important factors responsible for airmass modifications? (10)
(c) Discuss the hazards associated with the rise of sea-surface temperature. (10)
(d) Gene pool centers are ‘Good Hope’ for biodiversity conservation. Elucidate. (10)
(e) Describe how ecosystem services of the Himalayas are essential for Highland-Lowland sustainability in Asia. (10)
(a) The concept of plate tectonics has been derived from the isostasy and continental drift theory. Elaborate citing suitable examples. (20)
(b) Give a detailed account of the bottom topography of the Pacific Ocean. (15)
(c) Soil erosion and soil degradation are threats to the food supply. Discuss. (15)
(a) Examine major influencing factors for varied patterns of precipitations on the continents. (20)
(b) Maritime security is being neglected. Indicate the major challenges and suggest solutions in the context of the Law of the Sea.
(c) Explaining the concept of carbon neutrality, describe the measures taken by carbon positive and negative nations. (15)
(a) With suitable examples, elaborate human ecological adaptations. Explain its impacts on ecology and the environment in various parts of the world. (20)
(b) Stream basins and drainage divides are important components to delineate a watershed area. Explain. (15)
(c) Indicating the causes of lightning, describe the threats associated with it. (15)
SECTION ‘B’ – Answer the following in about 150 words each:
(a) The interrelationship between social and spatial structures is complex. Explain in the context of socio-spatial dialectic. (10)
(b) How is energy transition seen as an instrument of achieving zero carbon by 2050? (10)
(c) Protected cultivation assists in healthier and larger produce. Justify with examples. (10)
(d) Explain the process of contagion and hierarchical diffusion in addressing regional imbalances. (10)
(e) Examine the relevance of the Central Place Theory of Christaller in the present context. (10)
(a) development-induced displacements pose serious challenges. Mention its causes, consequences, and solutions. (20)
(b) Describe the role of accessibility and affordability in food security in the developing world. (15)
(c) The environmental issues are not adequately addressed in the regional planning. Comment. (15)
(a) Suggest criteria, indicators, and techniques for delimitations of formal regions. (20)
(b) Boundaries are important in geopolitics. Explain. What issues develop from the inclusionary and exclusionary aspects of borders? (15)
(c) a Small number of megacities are playing a key role in the organization of global economics and culture. Explain. (15)
(a) Why is radicalism seen as a major paradigm shift in geography? Explain its causes, approaches, and criticism. (20)
(b) Aging population has adverse social and economic consequences. Explain with examples. (15)
(c) Present a critical account of Alfred Weber’s Theory of industrial location. (15)
Q1: What is the significance of the Von Thünen model in agricultural geography, and how does it contribute to our understanding of land use patterns?
A1: The Von Thünen model, developed by Johann Heinrich Von Thünen, is a theoretical framework explaining agricultural land use patterns based on transportation costs. It helps analyze the spatial arrangement of different crops and activities around a central market, providing insights into agricultural economics and regional planning.
Q2: Explain the concept of plate tectonics and its role in shaping Earth’s surface features. Provide examples to illustrate the impact of plate movements on continental configurations and geological processes.
A2: Plate tectonics is a geological theory that describes the movement of Earth’s lithospheric plates. These movements result in various surface features such as earthquakes, volcanic activity, and the formation of mountain ranges. Understanding plate tectonics is crucial for comprehending the dynamic processes shaping the Earth’s landscape.
Q3: Discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with urbanization in the context of developing countries. How does urban planning contribute to sustainable urban development, and what are the key factors to consider in this process?
A3: Urbanization poses both challenges and opportunities, particularly in developing countries. Issues like rapid population growth, infrastructure development, and environmental sustainability need to be addressed through effective urban planning. Sustainable urban development involves balancing economic growth with social and environmental considerations.
Q4: Elaborate on the concept of regional disparities in economic development. Identify key factors contributing to regional imbalances and discuss potential strategies to promote inclusive development across different regions.
A4: Regional disparities in economic development refer to uneven growth and resource distribution within a country. Factors such as infrastructure, education, and government policies contribute to these disparities. Strategies to promote inclusive development include targeted investment, skill development programs, and policies aimed at reducing inequality.
Q5: Analyze the impact of climate change on global ecosystems and biodiversity. Highlight the role of geography in understanding and mitigating the effects of climate change, with specific reference to changes in precipitation patterns, rising temperatures, and sea-level rise.
A5: Climate change has profound implications for ecosystems and biodiversity worldwide. Geographical analysis is crucial in understanding the spatial dimensions of climate change, such as shifts in precipitation, temperature, and sea levels. Effective mitigation strategies involve international cooperation, sustainable resource management, and adaptation measures tailored to different geographical contexts.
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