UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam: Geography Optional 2018 Paper-II
Baljit Dhaka
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UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam: Geography Optional 2018 Paper-II

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UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam: Geography Optional 2018 Paper-II

Marks-250                                                                                                                                        Time: Three Hours

Question Paper Specific Instructions:

Please read each of the following instructions carefully before attempting questions.

  • There are EIGHT questions divided into two sections.
  • A candidate has to attempt FIVE questions in all.
  • Questions no 1 and 5 are compulsory and out of the remaining, THREE are to be attempted choosing at least ONE from each section.
  • The number of marks carried by a question /part is indicated against it.
  • Word limit in questions, wherever specified should be adhered to.
  • Attempts of questions shall be counted in chronological order. Unless struck off, attempt of a question shall be counted even if attempted partly. Any page or portion of the page left blank in the answer book must be clearly struck off.


Q.1 (a) On the outline map of India provided to you, mark the location of all of the following. Write in your QCA Booklet the significance of these locations, whether physical/commercial/economic/ecological/environmental/cultural, in not more than 30 words for each entry:  2×10= 20 MARKS

1. Shyok River
2. Mawlynnong
3. Shravasti
4. Kori Creek
5. Amarkantak
6. Ghatshila
7. Tawang
8. Neyyar
9. Dandeli
10. Mulshi Lake

b) Explain the unusual intensity of dust storms and thunderstorms across India in the pre-monsoon period of year 2018.  10 MARKS

c) Why setting up of Water Management Boards is a controversial issue in India.  10 MARKS

d) Keeping the recent developments in view, how can the energy crisis of India be circumvented by harnessing nonconventional energy resources?  10 MARKS

Q.2 a) Distinguish the geographical aspects of North-Western lava plateau and Chotanagpur Plateau of Peninsular India.  20 MARKS

b) Explain the contemporary agricultural scenario in the context of rapid urbanizations in India.  15 MARKS

c) Assess the suitability of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for the sustainable economic development in India. 15 MARKS

Q.3 a) Examine the ongoing process of agricultural diversification and its implications for food security in India.  20 MARKS

b) Account for the persisting negative trade balance of India.  15 MARKS

c) Critically assess the vanishing ethnic linguistic plurality of India.  15 MARKS

Q.4 a) Examine the driving forces of changing urban morphology of million-plus cities of India with suitable examples.  20 MARKS

b) Discuss the emerging geopolitical scenario of Indian Ocean realm.  15 MARKS

c) Give a critical account of region-specific constraints of sustainable tourism in India.  15 MARKS


Q.5 Answer the following questions in about 150 words each:

a) Discuss the socio-economic problems associates with the left-behind families of international migrants from India.  10 MARKS

b) Explain the changing river courses and their impacts on the riparian population in India with suitable examples.  10 MARKS

c) Make a critical appraisal of the factors affecting river water quality in India.  10 MARKS

d) Examine the role of people’s participation in successful decentralized planning in India.  10 MARKS

e) Describe the socio-spatial consequences of the recent Nipah viral encephalitis in India.  10 MARKS

Q.6 a) Illustrate with suitable examples the endeavors undertaken in augmenting conservation of water and vegetation in India.  20 MARKS

b) Discuss the strategies of integrated development of island territories in India.  15 MARKS

c) Cross border terrorism has implications on border area development in India. Examine it with suitable examples.  15 MARKS

Q.7 a) Explain the pipeline network across India and its impact on regional development.  20 MARKS

b) Discuss the changing composition of international trade through major seaports of India.  15 MARKS

c) Peri-urbanization has created enormous environmental problems. Discuss their causes and consequences with reference to the National Capital Region (N.C.R) of India.  15 MARKS

Q.8 a) Describe the changing regional morphology of rural settlements in India.  20 MARKS

b) Startups may play important role in giving fillip to economic growth in India. Illustrate with examples.  15 MARKS

c) Is the land boundary of India with its neighbouring countries a cultural divide or divided culture? Explain with suitable examples.  15 MARKS