Geography Optional the study of is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world appreciating, the diversities, and in the end, it is about using all that knowledge to crack Optional and GS requirement.
‘Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future.’ As “Geography is Everything & Everything is Geography!!”
Technically the content matter of Geography has three approaches, viz.
Theoretical –Geographical Thought and Physical Geography build up the theoretical and ideological foundations of Geography.
Methodological – Methods applied for Geographic studies i.e. integration of content matter to strengthen the methodological and quantitative foundations of Geography.
Systematic Approach –Environment and Ecology, Human Geography address the contemporary issues in Geography
Geographers strive to understand Earth’s surface and the processes that shape it, the links between humans and the natural environment, and the spatial linkages among humans and their activities. The geographer is concerned with the how, why, and where of these reciprocal relationships.
It is this basic nature o this subject that makes it most overlapping optional with General Studies. Take note of this- General Studies Paper-I Syllabus (Prelims)
Indian & World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India & the World.
Economic & Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity & climate change – that do not require subject specialization.
Not to miss map based questions in Prelims
Paper-II: General Studies-I (Main)
Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.
Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
Effects of globalization on Indian society.
Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
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 sector 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 geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
Paper-IV: General Studies-III (Main) Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System-objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
Land reforms in India.
Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Disaster and disaster management.
Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
Near 350 Marks of overlap in Main General Studies, that no other optional match with
Geography as an Academic Discipline
The word geography originates with the Greek words geo, meaning Earth, and graphia, meaning to write about or describe. Literally, geography is the description of Earth. On the surface, this definition seems pretty straightforward, because “description of Earth” seems to indicate that geography is concerned with the “what of where”—the location of the world’s mountains, rivers, deserts, countries, cultures, and so on. But with any discipline, geography is not so simple. There multiple, and oftentimes complex, ways to describe the earth and the people who inhabit it.
Geography is a true liberal art in that it spans the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities.
Generally, the field breaks down into two main sub-areas: the examination of spatial patterns and processes in the natural world, and in the examination of spatial patterns and processes of people. Thus geographers oftentimes describe themselves either as “physical geographers” or “human geographers.”
Physical geographers examine Earth’s physical processes and how these processes not only transform Earth’s surface but also how they and affect the distribution of ecosystems. Human geographers focus on the patterns of human activity: our settlements, cultures, politics, economics, and countless manifestations of our existence and interaction.
Geography is also spatial. By spatial, it means that geographers study the connections between people and the environment in the context of physical space and through time Geography is concerned with places and regions. Geographers are keenly aware how our lives and identities are connected to individual places and to regions. Because the term “region” is used frequently, it is worth discussing its use in geography. In one sense, regions are a way for geographers to organize information. Regions are defined by spatial criteria. They occupy space and are defined by internal characteristics.
Geography is concerned both with environment and society. We study the reciprocal linkages that exist between humans and the environment. We study how physical systems affect humans, such as the impacts of Hurricane the earthquake/tsunami events .
Themes of Geography.
Location – specific location, where?
Place – unique properties of a place
Movement – diffusion, communications
Region – an area’s uniform characteristics
Human-Earth Relationships – human interaction with the environment
The first area of inquiry is how to understand and respond to environmental change.
How are we changing the physical environment of Earth’s surface?
How can we best preserve biological diversity and protect endangered ecosystems?
How are climate and other environmental changes affecting the vulnerabilities of human—environmental systems?
The second area of inquiry is how to promote sustainability.
How and where will 10 billion people live?
How will we sustainably feed everyone in the coming decade and beyond?
How does where people live affect their health? Added to this question is how the inter connectedness of people affects health—particularly in the context of regional and global health epidemics.
The third area of inquiry is how to recognize and cope with the spatial reorganization of economy and society.
How is the movement of people, goods, and ideas transforming the world?
How is economic globalization affecting inequality?
How are geopolitical shifts influencing peace and stability?
Each of these questions is broad and complex. In order to answer any of them, one not only needs a broad, strong background in the liberal arts, one needs geography. Geography is a bridge connecting the liberal arts, and geographic inquiry will be particularly relevant for researchers and policy makers grappling with these issues.