Geography Optional Syllabus for WBCS Exam

WBCS Geography Optional Syllabus




  • Nature and composition of earth’s crust; Structure of the earth’s interior;
  • Origin, distribution and permanency of Continents and Ocean Basins;
  • Theories of isostasy, continental drift, and plate tectonics;
  • Earth movements – types and effects; Fundamental concepts in geomorphology;
  • Gradational processes – weathering and mass wasting;
  • Landforms are due to fluvial. glacial. aeolian, coastal and karst processes;
  • Evolution of landscape – cyclic and non-cyclic models; Global hydrological cycle.


  • Atmosphere – nature, composition and structure;
  • Elements and factors of weather and climate;
  • Insolation and Heat-budget;
  • General circulation of winds, Jet Streams and Monsoons;
  • Condensation and Precipitation;
  • Airmass and fronts;
  • Tropical and Extra-tropical cyclones;
  • Thunderstorm and tornado;
  • Climatic classification – principles and application(Koppen, Thorntwaite, Trewartha); Global climatic changes.


  • Origin of continents and ocean basins;
  • Bottom topography of ocean basins: Indian, Pacific & Atlantic Oceans;
  • Nature, origin and characteristics of continental shelves and slopes, submarine canyons and coral reefs and atolls;
  • Ocean currents: Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans;
  • Physical and Chemical properties of ocean water: temperature, salinity and density;
  • TS Diagram and Watermass;
  • Ocean Deposits;
  • Marine Resources.

Environmental Geography

  • Nature and composition of Biosphere;
  • Concepts relating to Ecosystem – production and decomposition, homoeostasis, energy environment, productivity, food chain, food web, trophic structure, ecological niche, ecological pyramids, and ecological crisis;
  • Ecosystem – principles and components;
  • Components, Bio-energy Cycles and Biogeochemical cycles;
  • Major Ecosystems of the world;
  • Environmental degradation and conservation;
  • Environmental pollution – land, water, air and noise;
  • Natural hazards and natural disaster characteristics, mitigation and global efforts.


  • The Earth as a Cartographic Problem – size and shape;
  • co-ordinate system; scale and map projection;
  • Principles and properties of Polar Zenithal. Conical.
  • Cylindrical and Conventional projections (all normal case);
  • Thematic mapping – types and techniques;
  • Principles of Surveying and Levelling with Chain, Plane Table, Dumpy level and GPS;
  • Remote Sensing nature and principles;
  • Geographical Information System – evolution, components, and functionality.


Economic Geography

  • Concepts and theories of resources;
  • Locational analysis of agriculture (intensive subsistence in monsoon lands, extensive commercial farming in temperate lands, plantation farming in the tropics and dairy farming in the temperate grasslands), lumbering, fishing, mining (coal, petroleum and iron ore), power production (hydel and nuclear) and manufacturing (iron & steel, aluminium, and cotton textile);
  • Economic models – landuse (Von Thunen), industry (Weber, Hoover, Pred).
  • Economic systems and economic landscape – characteristics and evolution (Rostow, Myrdal, and Isard).
  • Global economic blocks – patterns and functions.

Population Geography

  • Factors and measures of population growth;
  • Malthus, Neo-Malthusianism, Optimum, Social and economic, Biological and natural and Demographic transition theories of population growth;
  • The pattern of World population growth; Migration – nature, theories and consequences on society;
  • Population distribution – density and global pattern;
  • Global patterns and trends of population composition (age-sex structure and occupational structure).

Social & Political Geography

  • The concept of space: absolute & relative;
  • Social structure: stratification and differentiation; Social Processes;
  • segregation, adaptation, assimilation and integration;
  • Heartland and Rimland theories;
  • Principles of boundaries and frontiers

Settlement Geography

  • Origin and Growth of Settlements;
  • Function, morphology, types and patterns of rural settlements;
  • Urban growth and urbanization;
  • Classification, functions, and morphology of towns and cities;
  • Models of urban growth – Burgess, Hoyt, Harris and Ullman, Mann.
  • Urban gradients and densities;
  • Residential areas – patterns and processes;
  • The Central Business District – characteristics, delimitation and changes;
  • The Central Place Theory and the Ranksize rule, The Urban field and inter-urban movement.

Regional Development and Planning

  • Regions – concepts, types and methods of regionalization;
  • Regional diversity and disparities in development;
  • Regional development – the role of the resource base, technology and information system, agriculture and industry, transport and communication, trade and commerce;
  • Regional development theory – Perroux and Isard;
  • Regional planning – basic principles and types;
  • Environmental issues in regional planning and planning for sustainable development;
  • Planning regions – concepts and delineation;
  • The state as a planning unit and micro-level planning with special reference to India.



Physical Geography

  • Location and space relationship with neighbouring countries;
  • structure and Relief;
  • Climate and Drainage;
  • Soil and Natural Vegetation

Resource Base

  • Distribution, utilization and Conservation of Land (soil), Water (freshwater),
  • Water Disputes interstate and neighbouring countries,
  • Mineral (iron ore, manganese, bauxite, mica),
  • Energy (coal, oil, natural gas, and Non – Conventional sources like wind, tidal and solar power) and Biotic Resources


  • Indian agriculture – nature and characteristics;
  • Development of Agriculture during the Plan periods;
  • Green Revolution; Distribution and characteristics of cultivation of rice, wheat, jute cotton, tea, and coffee;
  • Agricultural Regions, Industrial development and industrial policy during the Plan Period;
  • Locational Dynamics, Growth and Development of the Iron & Steel, Aluminum, Engineering, Oil Refining, Cotton Textile, Jute, Sugar, Paper, cement and automobile industries;
  • Growth and Development of Transport and Communication System (Road, Rail, Water, and Air);
  • Nature and Development of Trade – national and foreign specialists with the SARC and ASEAN countries;
  • Trade Balance.


  • The population as a Resource;
  • The relation between Population and Socioeconomic Development;
  • Population Growth – spatial and temporal variations;
  • Population Distribution and population – resource relationships;
  • Population Composition and social implications age, sex, literacy, religion, and caste;
  • Urban Growth and Urbanization – characteristics and patterns, factors and processes;
  • Population Problems and Population Policy during the Plan periods.


Physical Geography

  • Location with Geographical Personality;
  • Physiographic Divisions – structure and relief; Climate – seasonal weather conditions;
  • Agro-climatic regions;
  • Drainage systems and problems;
  • Soil – types and fertility, erosion and conservation;
  • Natural Vegetation – types and distribution, deforestation and afforestation.

Resource Base

  • Distribution, utilization and Conservation of Land, Water, Mineral, Energy (both Conventional and Non – Conventional) and Biotic Resources


  • Landuse – characteristics and correlates;
  • Irrigation and Agriculture – development during the Plan periods;
  • Rice, jute, and tea – cultivation, crop ecology, production and problems;
  • Crop Combination Regions;
  • Impact of Green Revolution;
  • Industrial Regions – growth, development and problems;
  • Trade and Transport – nature and status of development;
  • issues of development


  • The population as a Resource;
  • The relation between Population and Socioeconomic Development;
  • Growth and Distribution (absolute, and density – crude, physiological and habitational);
  • Population Composition – age, sex, literacy, occupation, religion, and caste;
  • Urban Growth and Urbanisation – characteristics, patterns and factors;
  • Population Problems and Population Policy during the Plan periods

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