This was one subject which I feared during whole preparations, but ended up scoring very good marks both in MPSC and UPSC prelims!! All we need is again CONCEPTUAL CLARITY, with our basics absolutely rock solid.
Starting from the books which I am reading –
- 11th std. NCERTs both, FUNDAMENTALS OF PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY and INDIAN PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT.
- 10th std. NCERT named CONTEMPORARY INDIA PART 2, exclusively for RESOURCES part.
- G. C. Leonge, but I have read it very selectively, only for CLIMATE part.
- ATLAS, At this stage, I will suggest to peep into your atlas whenever you see a name of hill, place, river, country and what not. Understanding maps will ensure you at least 6 marks in prelims!!
Questions in Prelims for Geography hovers around some prominent themes which are:-
A. Basic Geographical concepts with cause and effect relationship. For eg. “what is the prominent reason of changes in day and night on the earth?” or 2018 pre. has a que. asking about magnetic field of earth, or you had a que. on INDIAN OCEAN DIAPOLE in 2017.
B. Agriculture with focus on SOILS:- UPSC is asking que. on various types of SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES, eg. “CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE” que. in Prelims 2018, or in 2014, a que. on SOIL EROSION was asked.
C. MAPS:- We will talk a bit detail on it below.
D. Climatic conditions and Vegetation:- UPSC gives us 2-3 conditions, for eg. Identify the region:- There is rain in winters, It generally in western parts of temperate regions, Region is famous for wine and citric fruits.. So we are talking about the Mediterranean!!
E. Resources, focus on India, but general info. for World also must be known.
In this piece, I am suggesting to do items for static part as well as some recently happened Geographical phenomenon which are worth to study for prelims.
1. POLAR VORTEX:– It is a low-pressure area on BOTH POLES, but predominantly on North Pole. Actually there are two, 1 vortex in Troposphere and one in Stratosphere. It has caused a COLD WAVE across the North American continent. The reason behind it was waving of the tropospheric vortex over the Arctic circle due to reduction in temperature difference of North Pole and Temperate America, the prime culprit being GLOBAL WARMING!!.
2. CYCLONE FANI:– This was very unique,as it had a speed of more than 200kmph, it was generated much closer to the Equator and it took a turn from TamilNadu coast towards Odisha which gave it more energy. Plus, the timing of Cyclone, in MAY was also something unusual. Hence, keep yourself prepared with basics of CYCLONES, condition required for them to form, differences in Tropical and Temperate cyclones, how cyclones are named, etc.
3. MADIAN JULIAN OSCILLATIONS:- It is a band of low pressure area moving from west to east around earth. It exerts influence on outbreak of Indian Monsoon! It has two phases, a. enhanced convective and suppressed convective. So please check in which phase it will bring more rains to India.
4. ANTHROPOCENE EPOCH:- This term is making news for quite some time. Geographers and Scientists have coined this term for the latest time period on the earth. International Commission of Stratigraphy has ratified it. So, our work will be to revise the GEOLOGICAL TIME SCALE chart given in 11th NCERT, to tackle any match the pair type que. of geographical period and event associated with it.
5. FLOODS:- This year, there were devastating floods in Maharashtra and Karnataka.These are being called as URBAN FLOODS. NDMA has a document on it. So know the difference between FLOODS, URBAN FLOODS and FLASH FLOODS. Also mark the places where it occured on your map.
6. Longest Salt Cave founded in Israel:- India’s longest is in MEGHALAYA. So, linking it to static, please be prepared with LANDFORMS MADE DURING FORMATION OF CAVES. Eg. Stalacites and Stalagmites.
7. For Agriculture, firstly cover Types of soil from the NCERT neatly, then focus on types of Sustainable agri. practices, for eg. ZERO BUDGET NATURAL FARMING, as Govt.isfocussing and investing in it. There are some variants of it such as Jaivik Krishi, Vedic Krishi etc. There is an expert named Subhash Palekar who demonstrated that he can farm without any monetary requirements. He has 3 important principles, please google them and read them. One of them is BEEJAMRUTA.
8. MAPS:– This is a very live topic. UPSC is asking que. randomly from some prominent areas.
As highlighted in map, UPSC asks que. mainly on HIMALAYAS, NORTH-EAST, and EASTERN+WESTERN GHATS.
eg;- 2015- que. on point where eastern and western ghats merge.
2017:- Chandikhole beach in Odisha
2016:- Tributaries of BRAHMAPUTRA river
2018:- que on TEESTA river, PAKKE-PAKHUI tiger reserve.
So, it is very much necessary for us to give 100% attention to these areas. We must know the North-south or East-west sequence of prominent hills. PLEASE REMEMBER THE TIGER RESERVES. Just go on Wikipedia and read 4-5lines about each of them. You should know some Catchy names. For eg. SILENT VALLEY is in South India, while PIN VALLEY is in Northern Himalayas. You must locate 18 BIOSPHERE RESERVES with a basic knowledge of climatic conditions, vegetation and endemic species for each of them.
Know the tributaries of major rivers of India. Recently KARTARPUR CORRIDOR was in news. So know on which river that shrine is located, also know about river and Sanctuary where SABARIMALA temple is located. As 370 is removed this year, you can be more watchful about lakes, rivers, mountain ranges and climatic conditions of J&K and Ladakh. Also pin the locations of some dams built on Sindhu river system (i.e. Sindhu river + Chneab Jhelum and others) as issue of diverting water going to Pakistan under Indus Treaty is very live
There is a KAMALESHWARAM lift project being built on river Godavari, locate it on the map.
10 new sites are added in the RAMSAR convention from India, so pin them on your map.
For WORLD MAP:- you must know important straits (do you know the difference between a strait and isthmus??) for eg. Bosphorous strait. You should be knowing countries passing through EQUATOR, TROPICS OF CANCER and CAPRICON, Countries through which GREENWICH MEAN LINE PASSES. Also keep and eye on INTERNATIONAL DATE LINE.
I am giving a detailed accounts of important current affairs to be covered on WORLD MAPS in INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS SECTION. For now, just remember that most of the questions in prelims come on following areas:
As you can see, these are MIDDLE EAST, SOUTH EAST ASIA, and CENTRAL ASIA.There are some important developments in African countries too, but we’ll do it in INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS.
9 CLIMATE AND VEGETATION:- PLEASE REFER G.C.LEONGE book for it.
You can make a short note with peculiar features for it. For eg. SAVANNAH type climate would have DISTINCT SEASONS, short grasses, you can locate the region on a small world map.
In India, know about climate required for various crops to grow. For eg. cotton requires 210 days frost free season, or there was a que. in Mains that why Britishers choose North East to grow tea plantations, the answer is in climatic conditions in Darjeeling or Assam were just very good for tea like proper rainfall over 200cm per year, well drained soil,timing of rainfall etc., so there can be a que. on such. RUBBER,SILK,JUTE,SUGARCANE,APPLES,COFFEE are other important crops to be done.
10. RESOURCES:– Look at the below given map:-
There are 4 main regions where minerals are found in India.
- PALAMAU- WEST BENGAL- ODISHA BELT.
- BAILADAILA HILL- BELT of CHATTISGARH and MAHARASHTRA.
- KUNDREMUKH- Karnataka belt.
- KHETRI Rajasthan Gujarat- Madhya Pradesh belt.
You will get almost all major minerals located in these 4 belts. So study them properly from the NCERT which I have mentioned above.
MINISTRY OF RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES have classified OCEAN ENERGY as renewable recently. So know the state with highest potential. Also learn the basics of OCEAN THERMAL ENERGY CONVERSION method.
POLYMETALLIC NODULES:- India has started its DEEP OCEAN MISSION under Min. of Earth Sceinces. These modules are said to be at the bottom of Central Indian ocean. It is being stipulated that if India can get even 10-20% of these, it will staisfy our energy needs for next 150-200 years.
Last year, India signed an agreement with UZBEKISTAN for URANIUM. So know about it. Also chalk out states with deposits of Thorium.
India has held talks with BOLIVIA for LITHIUM import, to give a boost for domesti production of LITHIUM ION BATTERIES. A team of KHANIJ BIDESH LTD. and NITI AAYOG have visited the place given below. There is also a 3-country LITHIUM TRIANGLE. Find it out!!
Once again, I have tried to link as much Current news of significant importance with the static part of NCERT keeping in mind the type of questions UPSC can ask.
Some good habits which you may follow till you clear your prelims:-
- LOCATE points on map with your hands, because without it, image won’t be created in your mind!!
- GLANCE YOUR ATLAS AT LEAST ONCE A DAY!!
With these, I pause here for now, we will meet again for ENVIRONMENT section..
Till then, don’t be nervous, keep solving mocks, do some refreshing activity daily to keep yourself fresh in this quarantine period. I am writing this to have myself fresh n fine.. You find your own solace!!