OPSC OAS Geography Syllabus


Principles of Geography


Physical Geography

i) Geomorphology : Origin of the earth, Physical conditions of the earth’s interior; continental drift; isostasy; plate tectonics; mountain building; volcanism and earthquakes; weathering and erosion, Concepts of geomorphic cycles (Davis and Penck), Landforms associated with fluvial, arid, glacial, coastal and karst region, Polycyclic landforms.

ii) Climatology : Temperature and pressure belts of the world; heat budget of the earth; atmospheric circulation; planetary and local winds; monsoons and jet streams; air masses and fronts; temperate and tropical cyclones; types and distribution of precipitation; Koppen’s and Thornthwaite’s classification of world climate; hydrological cycle; climatic change.

iii) Oceanography : Bottom topography of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans; temperature and salinity of the oceans; ocean deposits; ocean currents and tides; marine resources and their utilizations, Coral reefs;

iv) Biogeography : Genesis of soils; classification and distribution of soils; soil profile; soil erosion and conservation; factors influencing world distribution of plants and animals; problems of deforestation and conservation measures; social forestry, agroforestry.

v) Environmental Geography : Concept and types of environment, Environmental degradation and management. Ecosystems and their management; Energy flow and Biogeo- chemical cycles, Global ecological imbalances–problems of pollution, global warming, reduction in bio-diversity and depletion of forests.


Human Geography

i) Perspectives in Human Geography : Areal differentiation; regional synthesis; dichotomy and dualism; environmentalism; quantitative revolution and locational analysis; radical, behavioural, human and welfare approaches; Cultural regions of the world, Human development indicators.

ii) Economic Geography : World economic develpment–measurement and problems; world resources and their distribution; energy crisis; the limits to growth; World agriculture–typology of agricultural regions; Von-Thunen’s theory of agricultural location; World industries–locational patterns and locational theories of Weber; Hoover, Losch and Smith, Patterns of world trade.

iii) Population Geography : Growth and distribution of world population; demographic atrributes; causes and consequences of migration; concepts of over–, under– and optimum population; world population problems. Races of man kind.

iv) Settlement Geography: Types and patterns of rural settlements; hierarchy of urban settlements; Cristaller’s Central Place Theory, concept of primate city and rank-size rule; functional classification of towns; sphere of urban influence; rural-urban fringe; satellite town; problems of urbanisation.

v) Regional Planning : Concept of region; types of regions and methods of regionalisation; growth centres and growth poles; regional imbalances; multi-level planning; planning for sustainable development. Rostov Model of Stages of Growth.

Note : Candidates will be required to answer one compulsory map question pertinent to subjects covered by this paper.


Geography of India with special reference to Odisha


i) Physical Aspects : Structure and relief; drainage system and watersheds; physiographic regions; mechanism of Indian monsoons; tropical cyclones and western distrubances; floods and droughts; climatic regions; natural vegetation, soil types and their distributions.

ii) Resources : Concept and types of resources, land, water, energy, minerals, and biotic resources, their distribution, utilisation and conservation; energy crisis.

iii) Agriculture : Infrastructure–irrigation, seeds, fertilizers, power; Types of crops agricultural productivity, agricultural intensity, crop combination, land capability; agroand social forestry; Green Revolution – its socio-economic and ecological implications; significance of dry farming; livestock resources and White Revolution; Blue Revolution; agricultural regionalisation; agro-climatic zones.

iv) Industry : History of industrial development; locational factors of cotton, jute, iron and steel, fertilizer and paper, industries, industrial complexes and industrial regionalisaiton; new industrial policy; role of multinationals, liberalization and globalisation.

v) Transport, Communication and Trade : Road, railway, waterway, airway and pipeline networks and their complementary roles in regional development; growing importance of ports on national and foreign trade, trade balance; free trade and export promotion zones; developments in communication technology and its impact on economy and society.


i) Cultural Setting : Racial and ethnic diversities; major tribes, tribal areas and their problems; role of language, religion and tradition in the formation of cultural regions; growth, distribution and density of population; demographic attributes–sex-ratio, age structure, literacy rate, work-force, dependency ratio and longivity; migration (interregional, intra-regional and international) and associated problems, population problems and policies.

ii) Settlements : Types, patterns and morphology of rural settlements; urban development; Census definition of urban areas; morphology of Indian cities; functional classification of Indian cities; conurbations and metropolitan regions; urban sprawl; slums and associated problems; town planning; problems of urbanisaiton.

iii) Regional Development and Planning: Experience of regional planning in India; Five Year Plans; integrated rural development programmes; Panchayati Raj and decentralised planning; command area development; watershed management; planning for backward area, desert, drought-prone, hill and tribal area development; multi-level planning; geography and regional planning.

iv) Political Aspects : Geographical basis of Indian federalism; state reorganisation; regional consciousness and national integration; international boundary of India and related issues; disputes on sharing of water resources; India and geopolitics of the Indian Ocean.

v) Contemporary Issues : Environmental hazards–landslides, earthquakes, Tsunami, cyclones, floods and droughts, epidemics. Issues related to environmental pollution; changes in patterns of land use; principles of environmental impact assessment and environmental management; population explosion and food security; environmental degradation; Disasters in India and their management. Problems of agrarian and industrial unrest; regional disparities in economic development; concept of sustainable growth and development.

Note : Candidates will be required to answer one compulsory map question pertinent to subjects covered by this paper.

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