Human Geography Syllabus

  • by Manoj K. Jha

IAS aspirants are always in dilemma regarding the selection of topics and detailing of micro topics of related subjects

By Manoj K. Jha

IAS aspirants are always in a dilemma regarding the selection of topics and detailing of micro topics of related subjects. It has been a challenge especially for the IAS Prelims paper, as range of information matters for prelims exam. Keeping in mind the concerns, we are presenting the list of important topics for prelims 2014. We will cover all the subjects one-by-one. Here we are presenting topics for human geography ….

Human Geography topics for PT 14

• General Demographic Scene
• Comparison of India’s population with world countries
• Characteristic of India’s demographic profile and related issues
• Population Growth – different periods & characteristics.
1. Period of Stagnant population
2. Period of Steady Growth
3. Period of Rapid High Growth
4. Period of High Growth with Definite Signs of slowing down.

The Demographic Transition – and related issues, challenges etc

National Population Policy & issues of population stabilization

Its long term, short term and medium term objective

States/UTs in descending or ascending order of Decadal Growth Rate

Rural – urban differences in population growth etc

Distribution and Density of Population : Major factors that affect it:-

Spatial Distribution of Population

States/UTs in descending/ascending order of population


Comparison with other world countries

State level patterns

Spatial distribution Areas –

Population composition
• It comprises physical, socio-cultural and economic attributes of population like ethnicity, tribes, languages, religion etc.

Ethnic composition
• Common racial groups
• The Negritos
• Proto Austral rids
• The Mongoloids
• The Mediterranean
• The Brachycephals
• The Nordics

Tribal population : Types- distribution

Tribal economy
• Hunting, Fishing and Gathering
• Shifting Cultivation and lumbering –different names
• Sedentary cultivation, and Animal Husbandry
• Contemporary issues and developments

Language and Dialect Groups
• Classification of Indian languages
• Indo European Family
• Dravidian Family
• Austric Family
• Sino Tibetan Family

Linguistic Regions

Religious Composition

Population and proportion by Religious communities

Sex composition
• Sex Ratio in India during different census
• UTs/state level patterns in India
• Contemporary issues related to sex ratio

Migration Pattern
• Components of migration
• Definition by census

Causes of Migration
• Marriage, Employment, Education, Lack of Security Push and Pull factors

Consequence of Migration
(Demographic, socio-economic consequence and recent examples)

Rural Settlements
• Classification of villages
• Settlement types
• Rural Settlement Pattern
• Common issues related to rural settlement

Trends in Urban Area
• Definition by census
• Urbanization in India
• Decennial growth of urbanization
• Compared with other countries of the world
• Spatial pattern of urbanization

Size-class composition of Urban Population
• Town, city, metros, mega cities
• Metropolitan or million plus cities in India
• Important terminology related to urban growth

Problems of urbanization in India
• Urban sprawl, Overcrowding, Housing, unemployment, slums and squatter settlements etc.
• Slums distribution, issues and policies

Human development
• UNDP’s HD Report
• Indicators of Human Development
• HDI of India comparison with other countries

Health Indicators
• Measured in terms of BR, DR, Nutrition life-expectancy
• Life Expectancy

• Census Definition
• Regional variation in Literacy Rate
• Literacy during different decades
• Literacy Programme in India

Economic geography
• Water Resources
• Inter linkage of Rivers
• Perennial and non perennial rivers
• Link canal scheme
• Interstate River Water Disputes in India
• International Cooperation
• Contemporary development with reference to water issues i.e. Indus water Treaty, India-Bangladesh Co-operation, Indo-China etc.

• Geographical factors favouring irrigation
• Sources of irrigation
• Depending on topography, soils, rainfall, availability of surface or ground water, nature of rivers, requirement of crops etc.
• Tank irrigation, wells and Tube wells, Canals – their distribution in India with highest percentage
• Issues related to irrigation and initiatives

Multipurpose Projects
• Dams on different rivers
• Purposes and problems

Livestock and animal husbandry
• Distribution
• Livestock Products
• Milk – Operation flood etc
• Issues related to animal husbandry

• Production rank of India with other countries

• Fish production in India – ranking in world
• Marine Fisheries and Freshwater Fisheries – their Distribution in India – largest producing states

Land utilization
• Depends on physical factors and human factors
• Different types of uses of land
• Net sown areas, Forest, Pasture, etc.

• Dependency of India population on agriculture and contribution of agriculture to GDP.
• Problems of Indian Agriculture
• Small and fragmented landholding, seeds, manures, Fertilizers, and Biocides etc.

Agriculture Regions
• Rice- Jute – Tea Region, wheat and sugarcane region etc.

Agricultural revolutions
Intercrop imbalances, regional disparities etc

Major Indian crops
• Food crops
• Cash corps
• Plantation crops
• Horticulture
• Different conditions required for growth of these crops
• Its distribution in different states, highest producer

Mineral Resources
• Different mineral belt of India
• North Eastern Peninsular belt
• Central Belt
• Southern Belt
• Northwestern Belt

Types of Minerals –
1) Metallic – iron –ore, Manganese, cooper, etc
2) Non Metallic – limestone, potash etc

Iron ore
• Types
• Distribution and Production, largest producing area in India.
• India’s status in world countries
• Likewise for different types of minerals in India

Energy Resources
• Conventional sources of energy
• Coal – varieties – distribution in India
• And status in world countries

Petroleum or Mineral Oil
• List oil producing area, distribution
• Pipeline
• Distribution, import etc

Hydro electricity
• Important hydroelectric plants in Different states of India
• Recent development related to hydro electricity

Thermal – NTPC
• Nuclear Energy
• Programme in India
• Producing area.

Non- Conventional Energy Sources
• Solar
• Wind – first wind farm
• Biogas
• Small hydropower
• Geothermal energy, Tidal Energy, wave energy – their largest producer and distribution in India

Manufacturing Industries
• Industrial development in the Planning Era –
• Rise of modern industry
• Factors that influences the location of industries
• Geographical factors – Raw materials, power, labours transport, water, market etc.
• Non geographical factors – Capital, Govt., policies etc.
• Classification of Industries based on different criteria – (i) labour (ii) Raw Material (iii) ownership
• Miscellaneous industries – village, cottage, Ancillary Industries, Basic Industries etc.

Industries – Growth and Development, their largest producer and distribution in India, their problems.

Silk Industry – India enjoys the distinction of being the only country producing all the

five known commercial varieties of silk.

Iron and steel… Etc.

Fertilizers – Growth and Distribution

Agro based, forest based industry.

Major Industrial Region in India
• Mumbai – Pune,

• Hugli,

• Gujarat Industrial Region

• Railways & Roadways
• Growth and Development
• Different plans associated with it
• Nagpur plan
• BoT
• Classification of Roads.
• National Highways – largest, smallest.
• (NHDP) National Highways Development Project.
• NHDP – consist of different components.
• Golden Quadrilateral, North South Corridor
• State Highways – state wise length of Roads
• Border Roads
• Geographical Distribution of Roads

Air Transport

Water transport and Ports
• Water Transport
• National water ways
• Shipping
• Coastal shipping
• Ports – major and minor