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UPSC Mains Geography Previous Year Question Paper (1980)

UPSC Mains Geography Previous Year Question Paper (1980)

UPSC Mains Geography Previous Year Question Paper (1980)


Time Allowed: Three Hours
Maximum Marks: 300

Candidates should attempt Questions 1 and any four of the remaining questions, selecting two from Section A and any two from Section B. All questions carry equal marks.

Q.1. On the outline map of India supplied, mark and name the following:
(a) The regions with the highest variability of rainfall (more than 15%) from year to year;
(b) The regions of rubber and tea cultivation;
(c) Jog (Gersoppa), Ellora, Digboi, Neyveli, Kudremukh, Singareni;
(d) Mahabaleshwar, Pachmarhi, Darjeeling, Kodai-kanal, Nainital, Simla;
(e) Thalghat, Khandwa gap, Palghat, Banihal Pass, Aksai Chin and Bhorghat.


On the outline map of the World provided, mark and name the following:
(a) The zero degree Celsius (Centigrade) (32ºF) surface isotherm for the month of January.
(b) The mean annual thermal equator,
(c) The New England States,
(d) Zimbabwe
(e) Kuro Siwo
(f) St. Gotthard Pass,
(g) The Soo Canal,
(h) Bosporus,
(i) The Trans-Siberian rail-route, with three important stations, on route.
(j) The Wuhan conurbation,
(k) Murray-Darling Basin and
(l) Bogota.


Q.2. State, in detail, and appraise fully the arguments in favour of and against the theory of Continental Drift.

Q.3. Discuss the complete mechanism by means of which the atmosphere is able to maintain its heat-balance. Is the atmosphere getting progressively hotter, and if so, why?

Q.4. Describe and account for the surface currents of the Indian Ocean and explain how and why they differ from those of the Atlantic.

Q.5. Discuss the scope of human geography.

Q.6. Is it true to say that Machinder's "Citadel of land power" stands mightier than ever, even at the present day?


Q.7. What were the significant geographical ideas of the Arabs of the 10th and 12th centuries? How did they differ from those of their Christian contemporaries?

Q.8. Analyse the factors of localization of the Iron and Steel industry with special reference to India. Suggest an ideal location for this industry in India and make a comparative assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of Visakapatnam and Salem steel plants.

Q.9. "The gates of India have become water gates and the way to India, the way of the sea." (Sir Thomas Holdich). Analyse the role of geographical factors in controlling, through well defined gates, the entry into India of migrants, both in peace and in war, from the earliest times and assess their relative importance.

Q.10. Discuss the basic geographical conditions, under which the pre-historic civilization of Indus Valley flourished and describe the nature and structure of the pre-historic cities of the region.

Q.11. Assess the nature of the "food problem" of India, both qualitatively and quantitatively at the present time. What practical suggestions can you offer towards its solutions?



Q.1. "The economic development of a country depends as much on he stage of development of the people as on the able resources. Discuss this statement with examples.

Q.2. Discuss with examples the factors of origin and growth of towns and cities.

Q.3. What are the determinants of population growth? Discuss comparatively the trends population growth in the developed and the developing countries of the world, mentioning the socio-economic implications of these trends in each case.

Q.4. Compare the nature of the two given distributions on the basis of their mean, median and coefficient of variation:

Monthly Wet Bulb Temperature (ºF)
For Stations A and B

Stations  J F M A M J J A S O N D
A  53 55 57 58 70 76 79 80 77 66 60 55
B  65 56 64 60 55 51 50 51 55 57 61 64

Q.5. Compare the properties of Sinusoidal and Moll-weide's projections. Make calculations for a graticule on Sinusoidal projections for an area extending from 30ºN to 60ºS and 15ºW to 105ºW on a scale of 1:50,000,000. The interval between the parallels and between the meridians is 15º.


Q.6. Give a critical account of the recent changes in agriculture in India which have contributed to the agricultural development in general, and the green revolution in particular.

Q.7. Asses the comparative geographical importance of the power resources in the development of industrial landscape of India.

Q.8. "The density of population is, as it were, the synthesis of all geographical phenomena. "Examine this statement with reference to the spatial patterns of population distribution and density in India.

Q.9. Discuss the structure and evolution of the Himalayas.

Q.10. Give an ideal geographical regionalization of India.



22 Sep, 2020, 19:07:50 PM