Geography Mains (GS I) Previous Year Questions

Distribution of key natural resources across the world including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent 

  1. India has immense potential of solar energy though there are regional variations in its development. Elaborate. 2020
  2. 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. 2013
  3. It is said that 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. 2013
  4. Critically evaluate the various resources of the oceans which can be harnessed to meet the resource crisis in the world. 2014
  5. How does India see its place in the economic space of rising natural resource-rich Africa? 2014
  6. Why is India taking keen interest in resources of Arctic Region? 2018
  7. The effective management of land and water resources will drastically reduce the human miseries. Explain 2016
  8. What are the economic significances of discovery of oil in Arctic Sea and its possible environmental consequences? 2015
  9. South China Sea has assumed great geopolitical significance in the present context. Comment. 2016
  10. In spite of adverse environmental impact, coal mining is still inevitable for development.” Discuss. 2017

Water resources 

  1. India is well endowed with freshwater resources. Critically examine why it still suffers from water scarcity. 2015
  2. In what way micro-watershed Development projects help in water conservation in drought-prone and semi-arid regions of India. 2016
  3. Present an account of the Indus Water Treaty and examine its ecological, economic and political implications in the context of changing bilateral relations. 2016
  4. Enumerate the problems and prospects of inland water transport in India. 2016
  5. The interlinking of rivers can provide viable solutions to the multi-dimensional inter-related problems of droughts, floods and interrupted navigation. Critically examine.

Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world including India

  1. Account for the present location of iron and steel industries away from the source of raw material, by giving examples. 2020
  2. Discuss the factors for localization of agro-based food processing industries of North-West India.  (10m,150 words) 2019
  3. Define blue revolution, explain the problems and strategies for pisciculture development in India. 2018
  4. What is the significance of Industrial Corridors in India? Identify industrial corridors, explain their main characteristics. 2018
  5. Petroleum refineries are not necessarily located nearer to crude oil producing areas, particularly in many of the developing countries. Explain its implications. 2017
  6. 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. 2014
  7. Account for the change in the spatial pattern of the Iron and Steel industry in the world. 2014
  8. Why did the Green Revolution in India virtually bypass the eastern region despite fertile soil and good availability of water? 2014
  9. Do you agree that there is a growing trend of opening new sugar mills in the Southern states of India? Discuss with justification 2013
  10. Analyze the factors for highly decentralized cotton textile industry in India 2013
  11. Can the strategy of regional-resource-based manufacturing help in promoting employment in India? 2019
  12. The states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand reaching the limits of their ecological carrying capacity due to tourism. Critically evaluate. 2015

Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclones, etc.

  1. Discuss the geophysical characteristics of Circum-Pacific Zone. 2020
  2. Tropical cyclones are largely confined to South China Sea, Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mexico. Why? 2014
  3. The recent cyclone on the east coast of India was called “Phailin”. How are the tropical cyclones named across the world? 2013
  4. Why are the world’s fold mountain systems located along the margins of continents? Bring out the association between the global distribution of Fold Mountains and the earthquakes and volcanoes. 2014

Geographical features and their location, changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and polar ice caps) and, in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

  1. Examine the status of forest resources of India and its resultant impact on climate change. 2020
  2. The process of desertification does not have climatic boundaries. Justify with examples. 2020
  3. How will the melting of Himalayan glaciers have a far-reaching impact on the water resources of India? 2020
  4. Assess the impact of global warming on coral life system with examples.  (10m,150 words) 2019
  5. How do ocean currents and water masses differ in their impacts on marine life and the coastal environment? Give suitable examples?  (15m,250 words) 2019
  6. Discuss the causes of depletion of mangroves and explain their importance in maintaining coastal ecology.  (10m,150 words) 2019
  7. How can the mountain ecosystem be restored from the negative impact of development initiatives and tourism? (15m,250 words) 2019
  8. What is water stress? How and why does it differ regionally in India?  (15m,250 words) 2019
  9. What are the consequences of spreading of ‘Dead Zones’ on marine ecosystem? 2018
  10. Mention the advantages of the cultivation of pulse because of which the year 2016 was declared as the International Year of Pulses by the United Nations. 2017
  11. How does the cryosphere affect global climate? 2017
  12. Account for variations in oceanic salinity and discuss its multi-dimensional effects. 2017
  13. In what way can flood be converted into a sustainable source of irrigation and all-weather inland navigation in India? 2017
  14. What characteristics can be assigned to monsoon climate that succeeds in feeding more than 50 percent of the won population residing in Monsoon Asia? 2017
  15. Discuss the concept of air mass and explain its role in macro-climatic changes. 2016
  16. Explain the factors responsible for the origin of ocean currents. How do they influence regional climates, fishing and navigation? 2015
  17. How far do you agree that the behavior of the Indian monsoon has been changing due to humanizing landscapes? Discuss. 2015
  18. Most of the unusual climatic happenings are explained as an outcome of the El-Nino effect. Do you agree? 2014
  19. Bring out the relationship between the shrinking Himalayan glaciers and the symptoms of climate change in the Indian sub-continent. 2014
  20. Bring out the causes for the formation of heat islands in the urban habitat of the world. 2013
  21. What do you understand by the phenomenon of temperature inversion in meteorology? How does it affect the weather and the inhabitants of the place? 2013

Salient features of world’s physical geography

  1. How does the Juno Mission of NASA help to understand the origin and evolution of the Earth? 2017
  2. Define mantle plume and explain its role in plate tectonics. 2018
  3. “The Himalayas are highly prone to landslides.” Discuss the causes and suggest suitable measures of mitigation. 2016
  4. Explain the formation of thousands of islands in Indonesian and Philippines archipelagos. 2014
  5. What do you understand by the theory of continental drift? Discuss the prominent evidences in its support. 2013
  6. There is no formation of deltas by rivers of the Western Ghat. Why? 2013
  7. Major hot deserts in northern hemisphere are located between 20-30 degrees north and on the western side of the continents. Why? 2013
  8. Bring out the causes for more frequent landslides in the Himalayas than in Western Ghats 2013

Urbanization: problems and remedies

  1. Account for the huge flooding of million cities in India including the smart ones like Hyderabad and Pune. Suggest Lasting remedial measures. 2020
  2. How is efficient and affordable urban mass transport key to the rapid economic development of India? (15m,250 words) 2019
  3. “The ideal solution of depleting groundwater resources in India is water harvesting system.” How can it be made effective in urban areas? 2018
  4. The growth of cities as I.T. hubs has opened up new avenues of employment but has also created new problems. Substantiate this statement with examples. Urbanization 2017
  5. With a brief background of quality of urban life in India, introduce the objectives and strategy of the ‘Smart City Programme’. 2016
  6. Major cities of India are becoming more vulnerable to flood conditions. Discuss. 2016
  7. Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata are the three megacities of the country but the air pollution is a much more serious problem in Delhi as compared to the other two. Why is this so? 2015
  8. Smart cities in India cannot sustain without smart villages. Discuss this statement in the backdrop of rural-urban integration. 2015
  9. Discuss the various social problems which originated out of the speedy process of urbanization in India. 2013


  1. Why is Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) needed? How does it help in navigation? 2018

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