Geography Previous Year Questions (PYQs) | UPSC Mains Examination

Geography Previous Year Questions (PYQs) | UPSC Mains Examination

On this page, you will find all the updates related to the previous year questions (PYQs) of subject Geography for UPSC IAS Mains examination.

Geography is part of UPSC Mains paper I. To effectively prepare for Geography questions in the UPSC Mains, it’s essential to grasp fundamental principles in both physical and human geography of India and the World, delve into geographical challenges, and relate them to contemporary developments. Geography questions encompass a wide array of subjects, including the natural and societal aspects of geography, environmental concerns, and beyond. Through dedicated learning, practical exercises, and a deep comprehension of key ideas, one can make these questions more manageable.

Q.1) Discuss the consequences of Climate Change on food security in tropical Countries. [150 words] [10 Marks][2023]

Q.2) Why is the world today confronted with a crisis of availability of and access to freshwater resources? [150 words] [10 Marks][2023]

Q.3) How are the fjords formed? Why do they constitute some of the most picturesque areas of the world? [150 words] [10 Marks][2023]

Q.4) Why is the South-West Monsoon called ‘Purvaiya” (easterly) in Bhojpur region? How has this directional seasonal wind system influenced the cultural ethos of the region? [150 words] [10 Marks][2023]

Q.5) Comment on the resource potentials of the long coastline of India and Highlight the status of natural hazard preparedness in these areas. [250 words][15 Marks][2023]

Q.6) Identify and discuss the factors responsible for diversity of Natural Vegetation in India. Assess the significance of wildlife sanctuaries in rainforest regions of India. [250 words][15 Marks][2023]

Q.7) Why did Human development fail to keep pace with economic development in India? [250 words][15 Marks][2023]

Q.8) From being a net food importer in the 1960s, India has emerged as a net food exporter to the world. Provide reasons. [250 words][15 Marks][2023]

Q.9) Describe the characteristics and types of primary rocks. [150 Words] [10 Marks][2022]

Q.10) What are the forces that influence ocean currents? Describe their role in fishing industry of the world. [250 Words] [15 Marks][2022]

Q.11) Troposphere is a very significant atmospheric layer that determines weather processes.How? [250 Words] [15 Marks][2022]

Q.12) Discuss the natural resource potentials of ‘Deccan trap’. [150 Words] [10 Marks][2022]

Q.13) Examine the potential of wind energy in India and explain the reasons for their limited spatial spread. [150 Words] [10 Marks][2022]

Q.14) Describing the distribution of rubber producing countries, indicate the major environmental issues faced by them. [250 Words] [15 Marks][2022]

Q.15) Mention the significance of straits and isthmus in international trade. [250 Words] [15 Marks][2022]

Q.16) Discuss the meaning of colour-coded weather warnings for cyclone prone areas given by India Meteorological department. [150 Words] [10 Marks][2022]

Q.17) Discuss the multi-dimensional implications of uneven distribution of mineral oil in the world. [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2021]

Q. 18) Despite India being one of the countries of the Gondwanaland, its mining industry contributes much less to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in percentage. Discuss. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2021]

Q.19) Briefly mention the alignment of major mountain ranges of the world and explain their impact on local weather conditions, with examples. [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2021]

Q.20) Differentiate the causes of landslides in the Himalayan region and Western Ghats. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2021]

Q.21) How do the melting of the Arctic ice and glaciers of the Antarctic differently affect the weather patterns and human activities on the Earth? Explain.[250 Words] [15 Marks] [2021]

Q.22) Mention the global occurrence of volcanic eruptions in 2021 and their impact on regional environment. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2021]

Q.23) What are the environmental implications of the reclamation of Water bodies into urban land use? Explain with examples. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2021]

Q.24) How will the melting of Himalayan glaciers have a far-reaching impact on the water resources of India?[150 Words] [10 Marks] [2021]

Q.24) Account for the present location of iron and steel industries away from the source of raw material, by giving examples. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2020]

Q.25) India has immense potential of solar energy through there are regional variations in its development. Elaborate. [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2020]

Q.26) Discuss the geophysical characteristics of the Circum-Pacific zone. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2020]

Q.27) The interlinking of rivers can provide viable solutions to the multi-dimensional inter-related problem of droughts, floods and interrupted navigation. Critically examine. [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2020]

Q.28) The process of desertification does not have climate boundaries. Justify with examples.[150 Words] [10 Marks] [2020]

Q.29) Account for the huge flooding of the million cities in India including the smart ones like Hyderabad and Pune. Suggest lasting remedial measures. [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2020]

Q.30) Examine the status of forest resources of India and its resultant impact on climate change. [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2020]

Q.31) How do ocean currents and water masses differ in their impacts on marine life and coastal environment? Give suitable examples. [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2019]

Q.32) Can the strategy of regional resource-based manufacturing help in promoting employment in India? [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2019]

Q.33) Discuss the factors for localisation of agro-based food processing industries of North-West India. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2019]

Q.34) How is efficient and affordable urban mass transport key to the rapid economic development in India?[250 Words] [15 Marks] [2019]

Q.35) Assess the impact of global warming on the coral life system with examples. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2019]

Q.36) Discuss the causes of depletion of mangroves and explain their importance in maintaining coastal ecology. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2019]

Q.37) What is water stress? How and why does it differ regionally in India? [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2019]

Q.38) How can the mountain ecosystem be restored from the negative impact of development initiatives and tourism? [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2019]

Q.39) Define mantle plume and explain its role in plate tectonics. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2018]

Q.40) Why is Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) needed? How does it help in navigation?[150 Words] [10 Marks] [2018]

Q.41) Why is India taking keen interest in the Arctic region? [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2018]

Q.42) “The ideal solution of depleting ground water resources in India is water harvesting system.” How can it be made effective in urban areas? [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2018]

Q.43) Defining blue revolution, explain the problems and strategies for pisciculture development in India. [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2018]

Q.44) What is the significance of Industrial Corridors in India? Identifying industrial corridors,explain their main characteristics. [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2018]

Q.45) Mention core strategies for the transformation of aspirational districts in India and explain the nature of convergence, collaboration and competition for its success. [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2018]

Q.46) What are the consequences of spreading of ‘Dead Zones’ on marine ecosystem? [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2018]

Q.47) How does the Juno Mission of NASA help to understand the origin and evolution of the Earth? [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2017]

Q.48) How does the cryosphere affect global climate? [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2017]

Q.49) Account for variations in oceanic salinity and discuss its multi-dimensional effects. [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2017]

Q.50) What characteristics can be assigned to monsoon climate that succeeds in feeding more than 50 percent of the world population residing in Monsoon Asia? [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2017]

Q.51) “Inspite of adverse environmental impact, coal mining is still inevitable for development”. Discuss. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2017]

Q.52) Mention the advantages of the cultivation of pulses because of which the year 2016 was declared as the International Year of Pulses by United Nations. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2017]

Q.53) Petroleum refineries are not necessarily located nearer to crude oil producing areas,particularly in many of the developing countries. Explain its implications. [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2017]

Q.54) In what way can floods be converted into a sustainable source of irrigation and all-weather inland navigation in India? [250 Words] [15 Marks] [2017]

Q.55) Discuss the concept of air mass and explain its role in macro-climatic changes.[200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2016]

Q.56)“The Himalayas are highly prone to landslides. “Discuss the causes and suggest suitable measures of mitigation. [200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2016]

Q.57) The effective management of land and water resources will drastically reduce the human miseries. Explain. [200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2016]

Q.58) South China Sea has assumed great geopolitical significance in the present context. Comment. [200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2016]

Q.59) Major cities of India are becoming vulnerable to flood conditions. Discuss. [200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2016]

Q.60) Present an account of the Indus Water Treaty and examine its ecological, economic and political implications in the context of changing bilateral relations. [200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2016]

Q.61) Enumerate the problems and prospects of inland water transport in India. [200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2016]

Q.62) In what way micro-watershed development projects help in water conservation in drought-prone and semi-arid regions of India? [200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2016]

Q.63) Explain the factors responsible for the origin of ocean currents. How do they influence regional climates, fishing and navigation? [200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2015]

Q.64) Smart cities in India cannot sustain without smart villages. Discuss this statement in the backdrop of rural urban integration.[200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2015]

Q.65) What are the economic significances of discovery of oil in Arctic Sea and its possible environmental consequences?[200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2015]

Q.66) Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata are the three Mega cities of the country but the air pollution is much more serious problem in Delhi as compared to the other two. Why is this so? [200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2015]

Q.67) India is well endowed with fresh water resources. Critically examine why it still suffers from water scarcity.[200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2015]

Q.68) The states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are reaching the limits of ecological carrying capacity due to tourism. Critically evaluate. [200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2015]

Q.69) How far do you agree that the behaviour of the Indian monsoon has been changing due to humanizing landscape? Discuss. [200 Words] [12.5 Marks] [2015]

Q.70) Why did the Green Revolution in India virtually by-pass the eastern region despite fertile soil and good availability of water? [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.71) Account for the change in the spatial pattern of the Iron and Steel industry in the world. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.72) Critically evaluate the various resources of the oceans which can be harnessed to meet the resource crisis in the world. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.73) How does India see its place in the economic space of rising natural resource rich Africa? [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.74) Most of the unusual climatic happenings are explained as an outcome of the El-Nino effect. Do you agree? [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.75) Why are the world’s fold mountain systems located along the margins of continents? Bringout the association between the global distribution of fold mountains and the earthquakes and volcanoes. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.76) Explain the formation of thousands of islands in Indonesian and Philippines archipelagos.[150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.77) Tropical cyclones are largely confined to South China Sea, Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mexico. Why? [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.78) Whereas the British planters had developed tea gardens all along the Shivaliks and Lesser Himalayas from Assam to Himachal Pradesh, in effect they did not succeed beyond the Darjeeling area. Explain. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.79) Bring out the relationship between the shrinking Himalayan glaciers and the symptoms of climate change in the Indian sub-continent. [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2014]

Q.80) What do you understand by the theory of continental drift? Discuss the prominent evidences in its support.[100 Words] [5 Marks] [2013]

Q.81) The recent cyclone on the east coast of India was called “Phailin”. How are the tropical cyclones named across the world? Elaborate. [100 Words] [5 Marks] [2013]

Q.82) What do you understand by the phenomenon of temperature inversion in meteorology?How does it affect the weather and the habitats of the place? [100 Words] [5 Marks] [2013]

Q.83) Major hot deserts in northern hemisphere are located between 20-30 degree north and on the western side of the continents. Why? [100 Words] [5 Marks] [2013]

Q.84) Bringout the causes for more frequent landslides in the Himalayas than in Western Ghats. [100 Words] [5 Marks] [2013]

Q.85) There is no formation of deltas by rivers of the Western Ghat. Why? [100 Words] [5 Marks] [2013]

Q.86) Do you agree that there is a growing trend of opening new sugar mills in the Southern states of India?Discuss with justification. [100 Words] [5 Marks] [2013]

Q.87) Analyse the factors for highly decentralized cotton textile industry in India. [100 Words] [5 Marks] [2013]

Q.88) With growing scarcity of fossil fuels, the atomic energy is gaining more and more significance in India. Discuss the availability of raw material required for the generation of atomic energy in India and in the world. [200 Words] [10 Marks] [2013]

Q.89) It is said the India has substantial reserves of shale oil and gas, which can feed the needs of country for quarter century. However, tapping of the resources doesn’t appear to be high on the agenda. Discuss critically the availability and issues involved. [200 Words] [10 Marks] [2013]

Q.90) Bring out the causes for the formation of heat islands in the urban habitat of the world. [100 Words] [5 Marks] [2013]

Trends of Geography PYQs For UPSC Mains

In recent years, the examination trend has shown that questions related to Geography carry a weightage of 10 -15 marks each. The questions on this subject demand a comprehensive observation and deep understanding of geographical events.

The mains questions for geography in recent years have covered a wide range of topics. In 2023, there were 8 questions from this topic which included topics like consequences of Climate Change on food security in tropical Countries, crisis of availability of and access to freshwater resources, fjords, directional seasonal wind system, resource potentials of the long coastline of India and the status of natural hazard preparedness in these areas, factors responsible for diversity of Natural Vegetation in India, significance of wildlife sanctuaries in rainforest regions of India, human development, India food production. In 2022, questions delved into topics like the characteristics and types of primary rocks, ocean currents, fishing industry of the world, atmospheric layer. The 2021 examination included a question regarding the alignment of major mountain ranges of the world and their impact on local weather conditions, the difference between the causes of landslides in the Himalayan region and Western Ghats. In 2020, there were questions from topics like geophysical characteristics of the Circum-Pacific zone, and the interlinking of rivers. 

YearTotal Marks  weightage


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