Syllabus of Geography

Prelims :- 

Physical Geography

i) Geomorphology

Origin of the earth; Geological Time Scale; Interior of the earth; Types and characteristics of rocks; Folding and Faulting; Volcanoes; Earthquakes; Weathering; Landforms caused by fluvial, aeolian and glacial actions.

ii) Climatology

Structure and composition of atmosphere; Temperature; Pressure belts and Wind systems; Clouds and rainfall types; Cyclones and anticyclones; Major climatic types.

iii) Oceanography

Ocean relief; Temperature; Salinity; Ocean deposits; Ocean currents, El Nino and La Nino; Waves and tides.

iv) Biogeography Geography

Origin and types of soils; Major biomes of the world; Ecosystem and food chain; Environmental degradation and conservation.

Human Geography

i) Man and Environment Relationship

Growth and development of Human Geography; Concepts of Determinism and Possibilism.

ii) Population

Races of mankind and tribes; growth and distribution of world population; migration; population problems of developed and developing countries.

iii) Economic Activities

Food gathering and hunting; pastoral herding; fishing and forestry; Types of agriculture-shifting, subsistence, commercial and plantation; Mining, Power; Manufacturing -locational factors of textile, iron and steel, sugar and fertilizer industries; Tertiary activities-trade, transport, communication and services.

iv) Settlements

Origin, types and patterns of rural settlements; Processes of urbanisation; morphology and functional classification of towns; million-cities and megacities.

Geography of the World

i) Major Natural Regions : Characteristics, economic base and human adaptation.

ii) Regional Geography of Developed Countries : Canada, U.S.A., Western Europe, Russia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

iii) Regional Geography of Developing Countries : S.E. Asia, S.W. Asia, China, Southern Africa and Brazil.

iv) Regional Geography of South Asia.

Geography of India

i) Physical Setting

Landforms, drainage, climate, soils and natural vegetation.

ii) Economic Base

Minerals & energy resources, aquatic resources, forest resources; irrigation, agriculture and industries; trade and commerce.

iii) Population

Growth, distribution and density; demographic characteristics.

iv) Environmental problems, developmental issues and regional planning.

Geographical Thought

i) Ancient Period : Contributions of Indians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs.

ii) Pre-Modern Period : Contribution of Verenius, Kant, Humboldt and Ritter.

iii) Modern Period : Dichotomy of determinism and possibilism; contributions of Ratzel, Semple, Huntington and La Blache.

iv) Recent Period : Quantitative Revolution; Radicalism, Behaviorism and Humanism.

Techniques of Geographical Analysis

i) Maps : Scale and types, uses.

ii) Diagrams : Types and uses

iii) Projections : Types, characteristics and uses.

iv) Remote sensing and geographical information system (GIS) : Aerial photographs and imagery, GIS.

Questions about the location of important places, landforms, and geographical features in India and the world appeared in the previous UPSC prelims exam papers.
Candidates are advised to refer previous years IAS prelims question prepare to understand the nature of questions asked and to prepare accordingly and questions are of easy to moderate level.


  • Salient features of world’s physical geography. 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 sec-tor 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 geo-graphical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes. (Reference: NCERT Class 11 & 12, Certificate in physical & Human geography – Goh Cheng Leong, Geography made simple – Economic and Human geography)


Netaji IAS recommends student community to download the outline  maps and take printouts of the below maps . Using these maps constantly  would help in better understanding of World Geography and Indian Geography.The MAP is published in both jpeg and PDF format. You can choose the apt one while downloading..

Political Outline Map

World Political Outline Map

Asia Political Outline Map

Europe Political Outline Map

Oceania Political Outline Map

Africa Political Outline Map

South America Political Outline Map

North America Political Outline Map

India Political Outline Map ( With State borders )

India Political Outline Map ( Without State borders )

Physical Outline Map

World Physical Outline Map

Asia Physical Outline Map

Europe Physical Outline Map

Oceania Physical Outline Map

Africa Physical Outline Map

South America Physical Outline Map

North America Physical Outline Map

India Physical Outline Map ( With State borders )

India Physical Outline Map ( Without State borders )





Tidal port

Why we only see one side of the moon : Animated Video Explanation


Study material for Geography (Prelims + Mains)