UPSC Toppers with Geography Optional

Selecting an optional subject for the UPSC civil services mains exam is a big decision for IAS aspirants. Many aspirants break their head trying to figure out ‘which is the best optional?’ This is indeed a big decision since the optional subject counts for 500 marks in the final tally. But, it needn’t be a head-scratching quandary. You should, in fact, spend more time studying! Actually, if you just follow a few steps, you can easily decide on your optional subject. A lot of candidates search for the optional subjects of toppers in a bid to ease their own decision-making process. Since the toppers each year showcase an eclectic mix of optional subjects, we are not sure how far this strategy (of going by the toppers’ optional) helps. In any case, we at BYJU’S have published for your benefit several articles featuring the optional subjects of the toppers. Now, a favourite among IAS aspirants is Geography. In this article, you will read about the UPSC toppers with Geography optional subject.

The UPSC 2018 result was declared a few days back and the all-India rank three holder Junaid Ahmed had Geography as his optional subject, even though he is an electronics engineer by training. Two people in the UPSC 2017 top ten had Geography as their optional and in 2016 UPSC civil services, Geography figured three times in the top 20 rank-list. The highest ranked with Geography optional was rank 4 holder Saumya Pandey. Pandey achieved this feat in her maiden attempt itself, and what’s more, she being an engineer by training doesn’t have a background in Geography. The following table gives you a list of all IAS toppers (AIR – 1) from 1998 onwards.

UPSC toppers (AIR 1) with Geography Optional

Year Name Optional Subject Home State Service Opted
1998 Devesh Kumar Chemistry & Geography Bihar IAS
2002 Alok Ranjan Jha Geography Bihar IFS
2005 S Nagarajan Geography & Sociology Tamil Nadu IAS
2014 Ira Singhal Geography Delhi IAS

The most recent case of an IAS topper (AIR 1) with Geography optional was in 2014 when Ira Singhal topped the UPSC civil services. Singhal also doesn’t have Geography as her background.

Geography Optional Toppers

Year Name Rank
2018 Junaid Ahmed 3
2017 Pratham Kaushik 5
2017 Ayush Sinha 7
2016 Saumya Pandey 4
2016 Shweta Chauhan 8
2016 Athul J 13
2014 Ira Singhal 1
2014 Suharsha Bhagat 5
2014 Charusree Thiagarajan 6
2014 Aditya Uppal 19
2013 Chanchal Rana 7
2012 Mangesh Kumar 4
2011 Abhiram G Sankar 4
2011 Pulkit Khare 5
2011 Amit Khatri 11
2011 Vinay Pratap Singh 14
2011 Rahul Ashok Rekhawar 15
2011 Hephsiba Rani Korlapati 20
2011 V S Choudary Kolasani 26
2011 Haulianlal Guite 33
2011 Shiv Sahay Awasthi 34
2010 Iva Sahay 3
2010 Tarun Rathi 19
2010 Kumar Prashant 26
2010 Anurag Chaudhary 34


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