NCERT Notes: Geography Notes For UPSC 2019

Geography is a very important subject in the UPSC exam, covered by both IAS Prelims and Mains papers, Geography for UPSC covers Indian Geography as well as World geography. The following concepts in Geography are covered broadly by the UPSC Syllabus:

  • Physical Geography
  • Human Geography
  • Environmental Geography

The UPSC Syllabus covers Geography in prelims as one of the subjects in General Awareness, while the IAS mains syllabus for Geography is covered both in the General Studies and Geography Optional papers. The following major topics should be covered in Geography for IAS:

  • Geomorphology
  • Climatology
  • Oceanography
  • Biogeography
  • Environmental Geography
  • Perspectives in Human Geography
  • Economic Geography
  • Population and Settlement Geography
  • Regional Planning
  • Models, Theories and Laws in Human Geography
  • Physical and Cultural Setting of India
  • Resources, Agriculture, Transport, Communication and Trade in India
  • Contemporary Ecological Issues and Biodiversity

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NCERT Notes on Geography for UPSC

The most important source of Geography for UPSC is NCERT Books. Aspirants should read geography from NCERT Books for UPSC to prepare for the IAS Exam. Taking notes is an efficient way to organise the study material for revision. UPSC Candidates often find it difficult to find the right topics to focus on or may not have the time or resources at hand to take efficient notes. With this in mind, we at BYJU’S have developed a compilation of NCERT Notes for UPSC. This page compiles all the NCERT Notes on Geography for UPSC to help IAS aspirants prepare better and faster.

Geography as a Discipline The Origin and Evolution of the Earth-Theories
The Origin and Evolution of the Earth-Part 2 Structure of the Earth
Continental Drift Earthquake
Volcanoes Volcanic Landforms
Air Our Changing Earth
Inside our Earth Environment
Our Country – India India: Climate, Vegetation and Life
Major Landforms of the Earth Major Domains of the Earth
Motions of Earth Maps
Latitudes and Longitudes The Earth in the Solar System
Mass Movements Geomorphic Processes
Weathering Significance of Weathering
Biological Weathering Physical Weathering
Chemical Weathering Exogenic Processes
Endogenic Processes Factors Controlling Temperature Distribution
Composition of the Atmosphere Structure of Atmosphere
General circulation of the atmosphere Heating and Cooling of the Atmosphere
Atmospheric Pressure Tropical Cyclones
Extra Tropical Cyclones Rock Cycle
Forces Affecting Wind Rock Cycle
Nitrogen Cycle Oxygen Cycle
Carbon Cycle Biogeochemical Cycle
Salinity of Ocean Waters Horizontal and Vertical Distribution of Salinity
Biodiversity Importance of Biodiversity
Loss of Biodiversity Causes of the Loss of Biodiversity
Conservation of Biodiversity Koeppen’s Climate Classification
Koeppen’s Group-A Climates Koeppen’s Group-B Climates
Koeppen’s Group-C Climates Koeppen’s Group-D Climates
Koeppen’s Group-E and H Climates Climate Change
Hydrological Cycle Waves
Clouds Evaporation and Condensation
Erosional Landforms Glacial Depositional Landforms
Glacial Erosional Landforms Types of Rainfall
Physical Characteristics of Minerals Some Major Minerals and Their Characteristics
Minor Relief of the Ocean Floor Divisions of the Ocean Floors
Different Kinds of Rocks Physiographic Division of Great Plains of India
Longitudinal Division of the Himalayas West Flowing Rivers of Peninsular India
Highest Peaks in States of India Terms Related to Rivers
Important Lakes in India Rainfall Distribution in India
Major Ports in India Hydroelectric Power Plants in India
Marine Protected Areas in India Dams and Reservoirs in India
National Parks in India Thermal Power Plants in India
National Waterways in India Major National Highways in India
Important Cities and Rivers Major Crops in India
Major River Systems in India Natural Vegetation in India
Classification of Soil in India Biosphere Reserves in India
Important Mountain Passes in India 2016 IUCN Red List of India
IUCN Red List of Vulnerable Mammals IUCN Red List of Critically Endangered Birds
IUCN Red List of Critically Endangered and Endangered Fish IUCN Red List of Other Species
Major Straits in the World Major Local Winds Around the Globe

These notes cover all the major Geography Topics for IAS including Indian and World Geography. Candidates should use these notes in conjunction with the NCERT Books for UPSC to cover the complete UPSC Syllabus for Geography.

Read more on UPSC Geography Syllabus:

Studying Geography requires a thorough understanding of the structure of the earth and how natural processes interact with the Earth’s crust. Based on this knowledge, aspirants should build up knowledge on various aspects of geography such as location of geographical features, climate, flora and fauna and their interaction with humans along with related topics such as soil and resource distribution.

UPSC 2019 related queries

  • Which is the best book for geography for IAS?
  • Ans. The following are the best books recommended for Geography preparation for the IAS exam:
    • Certificate of Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Leong
    • Objective Indian and World Geography by Majid Husain
    • Geography of India by Majid Hussain
    • World Geography by Majid Hussain
    • NCERT Books on Geography


  • Is NCERT book enough for IAS?
  • Ans. NCERT Books are a must to prepare for the IAS exam. For some candidates with very good grasp of the subjects in the syllabus of UPSC, NCERT books are enough for clearing the UPSC exam. However to be able to clear the IAS exam with a very good rank, one must supplement their preparation with other books and study material such as Current Affairs Magazines.


  • Is GC Leong enough for prelims?
  • Ans. G.C Leong is a very good book on Geography and should be studied for both UPSC Prelims and Mains. However, aspirants should study NCERT Geography for IAS before starting with G.C Leong as the subject matter is covered in detail in this book.


  • What is physical, social and economic geography of India?
  • Ans. The Geography of India is divided into physical, social and economic geography of India for ease of study. The following topics constitute each subdivision:
    • Physical Geography of India: Climate, drainage and river systems, biodiversity, physiography and soils
    • Social Geography of India: Religion, language and demographic structure.
    • Economic Geography of India: Livestock and agriculture, power and mineral resources, industries, trade and transportation.


  • Can we clear IAS without coaching?
  • Ans. IAS can be cleared without coaching if discipline is maintained while preparing for the exam. Self study requires the candidate to structure their preparation and study diligently from a limited set of books as opposed to coaching where they will have structured study material provided.


  • What is the salary of an IAS officer?
  • Ans. Currently, the basic pay of an entry level IAS officer is Rs. 56100. The total salary goes up to Rs. 130000 per month but deductions for various reasons including tax and welfare funds as well as PF are deducted from this total. The in hand salary differs from cadre to cadre and place of posting.


  • Can I prepare for IAS in 3 months?
  • Ans. Yes, it is possible to prepare for IAS in 3 months and clear the exam. However, preparation levels should be extremely high and thus it would require a lot of intense studying and lot more time devoted to solving previous questions than a typical UPSC aspirant. A positive mind and can do attitude will go a long way.


  • Are IAS officers paid during training?
  • Ans. IAS officers are paid from the day they join LBSNAA. The Amount they get is similar to the stipend paid for other Grade A Gazetted officer trainees in other services.


  • How long is IAS training?
  • Ans. IAS Training at LBSNAA lasts for 75 weeks. Before 2014, IAS officers used to train for 103 weeks before moving to their respective cadres.


  • What is the highest post of IAS?
  • Ans. The highest post that an IAS officer can aspire to is the Chief Secretary of the Government of India. If the IAS officer is posted in a state, then the highest post they can reach is Chief Secretary of The State Government.

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