24 Aug to 10 Sep, 2023

Table of contents

1   Feature Article



2   News in Brief





3   Key Terms


Terai Arc Landscape 


Pacific Decadal Oscillation ( PDO ) 


Keystone species


Ocean heat content 


Termination level transition

4   Case Study of The Week



5   Places in the News


Places in news

6   Fortnightly KOSMOS MCQ Practice


Fortnightly KOSMOS MCQ Practice

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Feature Article


Why in the news ?:

The vital question  faced by countries and cities today is how to prevent population decline in cities. 


Demographic growth  refers to an increase in the population of a specified geographic area over a specific period of time. Demographic growth can result from a number of factors including higher birth rates than death rates, immigration, or an influx of people for other reasons such as economic opportunities. This growth can lead to urbanization, increased economic activity, and shifts in social dynamics. 


Conversely, demographic decline indicates a decrease in the population of a particular region or country over a set period. This can be attributed to factors such as higher death rates than birth rates, mass emigration, policies influencing population control, or external events like natural disasters or pandemics. A sustained demographic decline can have profound socio-economic implications, including an aging population, potential economic downturns, and challenges in maintaining social services. 


  • Rural-Urban Migration: One of the most substantial forces behind urbanization. People move in search of better economic opportunities, educational facilities, and improved living standards. 
  • Aging Population in Developed Nations: Many European countries, Japan, and even China are experiencing aging populations. This aging trend presents significant challenges for urban planning and social welfare schemes. 
  • Declining Fertility Rates: Globally, fertility rates have been declining, especially in developed European nations, leading to natural population decreases. Urban lifestyles, educational opportunities for women, and economic considerations contribute to this trend. 
  • Increase in Single-Person Households: Urban areas, especially in the West and North Asia, are seeing a rise in single-person households due to changing social norms and economic factors. 

Noteworthy Cases of Demographic Growth and Decline in Various Cities: 

Cities with Demographic growth  

  • Surat, India: A textile and diamond polishing hub, it's among the fastest-growing cities. Factors include economic opportunities, rural distress in surrounding regions, and infrastructure development. 
  • Bamako, Mali: Representing African urbanization, Bamako's growth can be attributed to internal migration, high fertility rates, and its role as a regional trade and service hub. 

Cities with Demographic decline 

  • Detroit, USA: Once an industrial powerhouse, Detroit faced economic stagnation due to industrial restructuring and deindustrialization. This resulted in a significant population decrease, coupled with social and economic challenges. 
  • Rostov-on-Don, Russia: Reflecting the post-Soviet urban decline in many Russian cities, it faces challenges from economic transitions, declining birth rates, and aging demographics. 

Demographic trends in Europe are currently being shaped by an aging population, falling fertility rates and diverse migration flows. Fertility rates are lowest in Eastern and Southern Europe with Eastern Europe also experiencing the lowest net migration and an exodus of its working population. All regions in Europe are experiencing aging of their population with some countries having the added burden of high rates of unemployment among the working age population. Changes in age structure and ethnic composition will put further strain on health care and welfare systems and require careful planning.


  • Economic Factors: Cities with robust job markets attract populations. For instance, Bangalore in India has seen rapid growth due to its IT boom. 
  • Social Factors : Regions with renowned educational institutions attract younger populations. Cities like Boston, with its plethora of universities, exemplify this. 
  • Safety and Security: High crime rates can deter potential residents. Caracas in Venezuela, with one of the highest crime rates globally, has seen many of its residents emigrate. 
  • Migration Policies: Countries with welcoming migration policies see demographic growth. Canada's friendly immigration stance has led to its cities like Toronto and Vancouver being among the fastest-growing in North America. 
  • Conflict and Unrest: War and political instability can lead to significant population displacements. Syria's ongoing conflict has led millions to flee their homes. 
  • Natural Disasters: Areas prone to disasters may see reduced population growth or even decline. After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, parts of Fukushima, Japan, saw depopulation. 
  • Climate Change: Rising sea levels and changing weather patterns can make regions uninhabitable. The Maldives, facing submersion due to rising sea levels, might see future population displacements. 
  • Cultural Hubs: Cities rich in culture and heritage often attract people. Paris, with its vibrant art and music scene, is a magnet for artists and enthusiasts. 
  • Lifestyle and Amenities: Urban areas offering a higher quality of life, green spaces, and recreational facilities can be more attractive. Cities like Vienna, often ranked high in global liveability indexes, continue to attract residents due to these factors. 


CAUSES: Attraction to better job opportunities, healthcare, and education. CAUSES: Search for affordable housing, quality of life, and safer neighborhoods.  CAUSES: Limited opportunities, lack of infrastructure, and aspirations for a better lifestyle in cities. 
DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS: By 2050, 68% of the world's population is projected to be urban, up from 55% in 2018. Tokyo, the world's most populous city, has over 37 million inhabitants.  DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS: In the U.S., suburban areas accounted for 91% of the population growth in metropolitan areas from 2000 to 2015. Cities like Atlanta and Denver have seen suburban sprawl in recent decades.  DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS: The global rural population is now close to 3.4 billion but is expected to decrease to 3.1 billion by 2050. Rural areas in China have witnessed a decline due to urban migration and the government's urbanization drive. 



Causes:  Economic transitions lead to urban-centric jobs. 

Social dynamics: Lower fertility rates due to career aspirations, and higher education levels. 

Example: Canada's immigration policy focuses on skilled workers, influencing urban growth in cities like Toronto and Vancouver. 

Causes: Economic needs push rural populations to seek urban opportunities.

Social dynamics: Perception of better urban living, influenced by globalization.

Example: Nairobi, Kenya has Kibera, one of Africa's largest slums, as a result of rapid urban migration without adequate infrastructure.  

Demographic Trends:  Many European cities like Berlin and Stockholm have growth rates below 1% annually. 

Ageing: In Japan, 28% of the population is over 65, impacting urban demographics. 

Demographic trends:  Cities like Delhi and Lagos are witnessing rapid growth, with Delhi expected to become the most populous city by 2030. 

Youth: In Africa, over 60% of the population is under the age of 25. 


  • Urbanization & Overcrowding: Urban Master Plans should be implemented that account for projected growth over several decades.Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority plans the city's land use over 40-50 year cycles.Singapore has maintained 40% green cover despite urbanization pressures. 
  • Aging Populations in Developed Cities: Increase investments in geriatric care, retirement facilities, and encourage higher birth rates through incentives. Japan's "Angel Plan" was initiated to provide support for families, aiming to increase the birth rate. 
  • Youth Bulge in Developing Cities: Focus on quality education, skills training, and job creation for the youth to avoid potential social unrest. India's Skill development programme focuses on youth training and employment. 
  • Rural-to-Urban Migration: Develop rural areas, promote agro-based industries, and improve rural infrastructure to stem massive migration.China's "Go West" policy, aiming to develop western regions and reduce regional disparities.  


  • Urban Vertical Farming: Counter the loss of agricultural land to urbanization by introducing vertical farms in urban areas. Sky Greens in Singapore is the world's first commercial vertical farm. 
  • Digital Nomad Visas: Attract young professionals and address declining or aging populations in certain cities.Estonia's digital nomad visa program invites professionals to live and work in Estonia for up to 12 months.  Estonia's program has attracted professionals from over 100 countries. 
  • Smart Villages: Use technology to provide modern amenities in rural areas, thereby making them more appealing and countering the urban pull.  Maharashtra, India, is developing 1,000 smart villages with modern infrastructure and internet connectivity. 
  • Participatory Urban Planning: Engage citizens in the city planning process using technology to gather feedback and ensure inclusivity. Porto Alegre in Brazil has been using participatory budgeting since the late 1980s. 


The above policy implications and innovative approaches, coupled with real-world examples, facts, and data, can guide decision-makers in navigating the complex terrain of demographic shifts. Implementing these policies with foresight and agility is essential for sustainable urban and rural development.


PAPER 1( GEOGRAPHY OPTIONAL ) : Demographic Trends, Urbanisation 

PAPER 2( GEOGRAPHY OPTIONAL ) :  Population attributes  





News in Brief


Why in the news ?: In 2023, cool phases of Pacific Ocean's climate pattern La Nina ended its three-year run and warm phase El Nino announced its arrival. 


  • According to study published in Nature Journal, the world could see more multi-year El Nino and La Nina events due to human activities. 
  • El Nino and La Nina are the warm phase and cool phases of a recurring climate pattern across the tropical Pacific Ocean called the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). In 2023, La Nina ended its three-year run and El Nino announced its arrival. 
  • The climate patterns typically last nine to 12 months. In ENSO, the atmosphere and ocean influence each other. 


  •  Walker Circulation, the atmospheric component of ENSO driving weather patterns across the world, has changed its behavior since the industrial era. 
  • The overall strength of the Walker circulation has not changed but showing changes in year-to-year behaviour.The data regarding the change is collected from ice cores, trees, lakes, corals and caves, as they contain information about climate. 
  • The time it takes for the Walker circulation to go from El Nino to La Nino has slightly slowed, indicating that multi-year climate patterns are likely to increase, the researchers observed 
  • Studies revealed , In the future we could see more of these multi-year La Nina or El Nino events as the atmospheric flow above the Pacific Ocean switches more slowly between the two phases ( El Niño and La Niña )  . These changes would increase the risks of drought, fire, rain and floods. 
  • With high carbon dioxide levels, there is a chance for the Walker circulation to weaken. Climate models show that the Walker circulation could decrease by the turn of the century. 
  • Walker circulation also weakens in the aftermath of volcanic eruptions.“Following a volcanic eruption, we see a very consistent weakening of the Pacific Walker circulation.This causes El Nino-like conditions following eruptions. Weaker Walker circulation indicates El Nino and stronger circulation signals La Nina.
  • El Nino events followed three volcanic eruptions in the twentieth century. These include Mount Agung in 1963, El Chichón in 1982 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991. 
  • “Understanding how the Pacific Walker circulation is affected by climate change will enable communities across the Pacific and beyond to better prepare for the challenges they may face in the coming decades. 

Where to use ? 

Paper I ( Geography optional ) : Global climatic changes ,  El Niño  

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/pacific-ocean-weather-patterns-are-changing-and-multi-year-el-nino-and-la-nina-may-become-more-common-91343  


News in Brief


Why in the news ? Climate change continues to increase heat waves intensity; extreme heat ‘compounded’ measurably impacts air quality. 


  • Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of heatwaves, which, in turn, increase the risk and severity of wildfires. This, along with dust, is causing a spike in air pollutants including ozone. 
  • Heatwaves in both, the United States and Europe triggered wildfires, which along with desert dust, led to dangerous air quality in 2022. 
  • Smoke from wildfires contains a witch’s brew of chemicals that affects not only air quality and health, but also damages plants, ecosystems and crops — and leads to more carbon emissions and so more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. 
  • Short-lived reactive gases such as nitrogen oxides and biogenic volatile organic compounds lead to the production of ozone and particulate matter (PM). 
  • WMO report gave the example of the European summer of 2022, which it said was the hottest on record for the continent. The long-running heatwave led to increased concentrations of both PM and ground-level ozone.  
  • During the second half of August 2022, there was an unusually high intrusion of desert dust over the Mediterranean and Europe. “The coincidence of high temperature and high aerosol amounts, and therefore PM content, affected human health and well-being. 
  • The increase in ozone levels impacted agriculture globally, with ozone-induced crop losses averaging 4.4 per cent–12.4 per cent for staples. Losses for wheat and soybean were as high as 15 per cent-30 per cent in key agricultural areas of India and China. 
  • Climate change and air quality cannot be treated separately. They go hand-in-hand and must be tackled together to break this vicious cycle. 

Where to use ? 

Paper I ( Geography optional ) : Atmospheric circulation , Urban climate  

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/air/heatwaves-leading-to-ozone-pollution-says-wmo-report-91623#:~:text=Climate%20change%20is%20increasing%20the,Organization%20(WMO)%20has%20stated


Key Terms

Terai Arc Landscape 

It is a stretch between the river Yamuna in the west and river Bhagmati in the east, comprising Shivalik hills, adjoining Bhabhar areas and Terai flood plains. It spread across Uttarakhand, UP  and Bihar and low lying hills of Nepal.Recently , the poop of tigers has helped a team of scientist at the Wildlife Institute of India understand the prey selection patterns of the striped feline in Indian part of the Terai Arc landscape. 

Keywords: Terai Arc Landscape
Key Terms

Pacific Decadal Oscillation ( PDO ) 

It is a long term climate pattern affecting the temperatures of Pacific Ocean. PDO is a naturally occurring phenomenon shifting between warm and cool phases, with each lasting around 20-30 years. Recently it has been published in journal Nature communications  suggested that a combination of global warming and cyclical phenomenon called Pacific Decadal Oscillation could make equatorial origin tropical cyclone s’more frequent in the coming years. 

Keywords: Pacific Decadal Oscillation ( PDO )
Key Terms

Keystone species

It is a plant or animal species that plays a unique and crucial role in the way an ecosystem functions. Without them , the ecosystem would be completely different.  For example. In African Savanna’s, elephants are a keystone species. It controls the tree population which makes the grasses thrive and sustain grazing. 

Keywords: Keystone species
Key Terms

Ocean heat content 

It is the amount of energy absorbed by and stored in the oceans , measured in joules. An increase in the greenhouse gas emissions traps more energy from the sun in the atmosphere. OHC is an important indicator of climate change. It was observed that world’s oceans recorded an extreme heating in 2022 on account of anthropological activities like GHG emissions. 

Keywords: Ocean heat content
Key Terms

Termination level transition

It refers to a significant and abrupt shift in Earth’s climate from one state to another. These transitions are marked by rapid and substantial changes in various climatic factors, like weather patterns and overall environmental sustainability. It is assumed that as methane gains momentum in growth , Earth is undergoing a “ termination level transition “ similar to past climate shifts. 

Keywords: Termination level transition
Case Study of The Week


Among all nations, Israel shines as a pioneering model, demonstrating how desalination, combined with efficient water management and technology, can effectively address water scarcity concerns. 

Globally, only 1 per cent of the world’s drinking water undergoes desalination. In Israel around 25 per cent of its drinking water sourced from desalination plants.  

Once heavily reliant on freshwater from the Sea of Galilee, the nation has diversified its sources through desalination, even forging agreements to supply desalinated water to neighboring Jordan. 

Yet, the major obstacle for desalination remains is its energy-intensive nature. The process demands substantial energy inputs, accounting for a significant 10 per cent to Israel’s electricity consumption.  

Where to use? 

Paper II ( Geography optional) : Resources ,  Concept of Sustainable development. 

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/water/revolutionising-water-sustainability-israel-s-desalination-success-and-how-india-can-benefit-91187#:~:text=Beginning%20humbly%20in%202005%2C%20Israel's,related%20anxieties%20in%20the%20nation


Places in the News

Places in news

  1. Kulasekarapattinam: It is a town in Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu. It was an ancient port , contemporaneous to the existence of Kollam, Cheran , and Pandyan port.Recently it has been decided that new spaceport to be set up at this place for the launch of SSLVs developed by ISRO. ( Approx. Thoothukudi ) 
  2. Maguri Beel: It is a wetland and lake located near to Dibru Saikhowa National Park and Motapung village of Tinsukia district of Assam. Recently NGT has ordered the Assam government to provide interim compensation to victims in this place due to Baghjan oil and gas leak. ( Approx. Tinsukia ) 
  3. Nagarnar: It is located in Jagdalpur tehsil of Bastar district in Chhattisgarh. Recently, a steel plant in Nagarnar has started the production of Hot rolled coil. Iron ore supply to the plant comes form Bailadila mines. It is the only steel plant to be set up by a mining company in India. ( Approx. Bastar ) 
  4. Bhagmati river: It originates from Shivpuri range of hills in Nepal.  After crossing the Shivalik hills, the river flows into the North Bihar . It’s free flow has suffered due to excessive disposal of effluents . It is a part of Terai Arc landscape.  
  5. Rowta Reserve Forest: It is located in Mazbat circle of Udalguri district in the state of Assam. It falls under the Dhansiri Forest Division . Recently 25000 saplings were planted to secure and elephant habitat and mitigate human elephant conflict. ( Approx. Udalguri )  


Keywords: Places in news
Fortnightly KOSMOS MCQ Practice

Fortnightly KOSMOS MCQ Practice

Q1. Belem Declaration , sometimes in news is related to : 

  1. Provide an ethical framework for the global community. 
  2. Regulate international trade in wild animals and plants  
  3. Support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 on oceans  
  4. Recognises Indigenous knowledge as a condition for biodiversity conservation .

Q2. With reference to Indian elephants, consider the following statements:  

  1. All male Indian  elephants have tusks 
  2. During times of drought, elephants even use their tusks to dig holes to find water underground. 
  3. An elephant footprint can also enable a micro-ecosystem.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

(a) One statement  only  

(b) Two statements  only  

(c) Three statements     

(d) None of the statements  

Q3. Consider the following statements : 

  1. They are characterized as semi natural grasslands , occur under favourable conditions. 
  2. They are largely composed of native species with limited human intervention. 
  3. These are enveloped with seasonal alpine flowers 

Which among the following is correct in connection with the above mentioned statements : 

  1. Shola Forest 
  2. Chaparrals 
  3. Meadows 
  4. Tundras 

Q4. Which of the following Protected Areas are located in Cauvery basin?  

  1. Nagarhole National Park 
  2. Papikonda National Park 
  3. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve 
  4. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary 
  1. Select the correct answer using the code given below: 
  2. 1 and 2 only 
  3. 3 and 4 only 
  4. 1, 3 and 4 only 
  5. 1, 2, 3 and 4 

Q5. Consider the following pairs 

Wetland / lake.    State  
Maguri Beel.       Meghalaya 
Rudra sagar lake.   Madhya Pradesh 
Nanda Lake.   Uttar Pradesh

Which of the above mentioned are correctly matched ? 

  1. One pair 
  2. Two pairs  
  3. Three pairs 
  4. None pairs 

Q6. With reference to Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, consider the following statements: 

  1. It is a statutory body established under the Wildlife protection Act, 1972 
  2. The body is also an adviser to Custom authorities in inspection of consignments of flora & fauna. 
  3. State  environment minister is the vice chairperson while Union Environment Minister is the Chairperson . 

Which of the above mentioned statements is/ are correct ? 

  1. 1 only 
  2. 2 and 3 only 
  3. 1 and 3 only 
  4. 1 and 2 only 

Q7. Consider the following statements regarding Minimata convention : 

  1. The Convention creates legally binding obligations for the implementation of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure. 
  2. India is yet to ratify this convention and mercury is manufactured and traded in India. 

Which of the above mentioned statements is/ are correct ? 

  1. Only 1 
  2. Only 2 
  3. Both 1 and 2 
  4. Neither 1 nor 2 

Q8. In context of Hurricane Hilary, which among the following statements is incorrect ? 

  1. It is the first tropical storm to hit Southern California since 1939. 
  2. It is a major Category 4 hurricane  
  3. Warm waters over Eastern Pacific waters in lower latitudes is the cause behind it. 
  4. Its approach towards Mexico is unusual. 

Q9.Which among the following are the sources of methane ? 

  1. Termites  
  2. Ocean Clathrates 
  3. Abandoned mines 

Select the correct code: 

  1. 1 and 2 
  2. 2 and 3 
  3. 1 and 3 
  4. All of the above   

Q10. Which among the following can be the measures to ensure “ Species Resilience “ to prevent future mass extinctions :  

  1. Assisted Evolution  
  2. Biomimicry and Sustainable Design  
  3. Genetic Augmentation  
  4. Predictive Analysis 

Select the correct code: 

  1. 1, 2 and 3 
  2. 1 and 3 
  3. 2 and 4 
  4. 2, 3 and 4 

Q11. Which among the following industries are difficult to be decarbonised by using Green Hydrogen ? 

  1. Heavy Duty Shipping  
  2. Cement production 
  3. Fertiliser plants 

Select the correct code : 

  1. Only one 
  2. Only two 
  3. All three 
  4.  None 

Q12. Consider the following:  

  1. Antimony and copper  
  2. Erbium and Rhodium
  3. Potash and Barite  

Which of the above mentioned pairs are considered as Critical minerals in India ? 

  1. One pair 
  2. Two pairs 
  3. Three pairs 
  4. None  

Q13. With reference to Green Credit Programme , consider the following statements:  

  1. The ‘Green Credit’ means a singular unit of an incentive provided for a specified activity, delivering a positive impact on the environment. 
  2. It was first announced in the 2023 -24 Union Budget with a view to leverage a competitive market-based approach and incentivize voluntary environmental actions of various stakeholders. 

Which of the above mentioned statements is/ are correct ? 

  1. Only 1 
  2. Only 2 
  3. Both 1 and 2 
  4. Neither 1 nor 2 

Q14. Consider the following statements regarding Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary :  

  1. It is located in the Kandhamal district of Odisha. 
  2. It also forms the catchment area of the Jonk River.  
  3. The sanctuary is bordered on the east and north by the huge Hirakud reservoir. 

Which of the above mentioned statements are correct ? 

  1. Only one statement is correct 
  2. Only two statements are correct 
  3. Only the third statement is correct . 
  4. All three statements are correct. 

Q15. Why is there a great concern about the ‘ micro beads ‘ that are released into the environment? 

  1. They are considered harmful to marine ecosystems. 
  2. They are considered to cause skin cancer in children. 
  3. They are small enough to be absorbed by crop plants in irrigated fields. 
  4. They are often found to be used as food adulterants 

Keywords: Fortnightly KOSMOS MCQ PRACTICE
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Geography Current Affairs focuses on the contemporary issues, events, and developments in the field of geography. It covers recent geographical phenomena, environmental changes, geopolitical shifts, and related news. This differs from regular geography studies which may focus more on foundational concepts, historical contexts, and theoretical frameworks.

Updates are provided regularly to ensure that subscribers stay informed about the latest developments in geography. Typically, updates are provided on a fortnightly basis, depending on the frequency of significant events and changes in the field.

Absolutely. Geography Current Affairs serves as a valuable resource not only for Geography optional but also for GS papers, especially GS Paper 1 (covering Indian Heritage and Culture, History, and Geography of the World and Society) and GS Paper 3 (covering Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security, and Disaster Management). It aids in building a holistic understanding of various topics and strengthens answer-writing skills by incorporating contemporary examples and perspectives.

Geography Current Affairs holds immense importance for UPSC preparation, particularly for aspirants opting for Geography optional. It helps candidates stay updated with the latest developments, geographical phenomena, environmental issues, and geopolitical shifts worldwide, aligning them with the dynamic nature of the subject as tested in the UPSC examinations.

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