Geology is an optional subject that can be chosen for the UPSC mains exam. Unlike popular subjects such as history or public administration, it is not typically the first choice for most candidates due to its highly specialized nature. However, Geology optional is considered to be a subject with high-scoring potential. Explore here to understand the pros and cons of Geology as an optional subject for the UPSC mains exam.
Why consider Geology optional for the UPSC Exam?
Geology can be an interesting option to consider as an optional subject for the UPSC mains exam. So, if you have a background in Geology and a keen interest in the subject, this could be an excellent opportunity for you to showcase your skills and knowledge in this field.
Pros of Geology Optional for IAS Exam: Geology is a highly-scoring subject. So, this means that candidates who excel in this subject can achieve good marks in the exam. Unlike humanities subjects, Geology is a scientific subject that is not left to interpretation. Therefore, it is a straightforward and easy-to-understand subject. Also, suitable for candidates who have an analytical mindset.
Cons of Geology Optional for IAS Exam: Geology is a highly specialized subject that requires prior knowledge. So, the syllabus for Geology is quite extensive. Hence candidates might need more time to cover the course material adequately. Therefore, it is essential to have a strong interest in the subject and a willingness to put in the necessary effort to succeed.
Approach for Geology Optional in UPSC Exam
The Geology optional for the UPSC mains exam is divided into two papers, each covering specific topics. Paper-I covers subjects such as geomorphology, paleontology, and geotectonic, among others. Paper II includes questions on igneous and metamorphic petrology, mineralogy, and geochemistry.
Environmental geology is also an important area to focus on, and candidates should pay special attention to mineral revelation, ore genesis, and Indian mineral silt. Questions related to mineral trading and lending, the geology of energies, designing topography, groundwater science, underground water examination, issues and administration, and incident and designation of water can also be expected.
It is recommended that candidates cover all the topics in detail, as no topic should be left uncovered. With a thorough understanding of the subject matter, candidates can perform well in the exam and achieve good scores in the Geology optional.
Geology study materials for UPSC Exam
To cover the UPSC IAS syllabus for Geology, the NCERT textbooks are an excellent source of information. However, since Geology is an optional subject, candidates will need to supplement their studies with additional reference books. So, they can gain a deeper understanding of the subject.
There are various reference books available in the market that cover the syllabus for Geology optional. Additionally, some of the popular ones include “An Introduction to Geology” by K.M. Bangar, “Physical Geology” by Plummer and McGeary, and “Textbook of Geology” by P.K. Mukherjee.
Apart from these books, candidates can also refer to scientific journals and magazines to stay updated with the latest developments in the field of Geology. Also, some of the popular magazines include “Journal of Geology” and “Geology Today.”
Overall, candidates should focus on studying from reliable and credible sources and aim to cover the entire syllabus in detail. Therefore, with dedication and hard work, candidates can perform well in the Geology optional. Hence achieve success in the UPSC IAS exam.
Books for the Geology optional subject in UPSC
- Advancing Frontiers in Geology and Geophysics: A Volume in Honour of M.S. Krishnan by A P Subramaniam and S. Balakrishnan
- Ananda K. Coomaraswamy Writings on Geology and Mineralogy: Scientific Papers and Comments by A. Ranganathan and K. Srinivasa Rao (Eds.)
- Concise Glossary of Geology by S.M. Mathur
- Deccan Traverses: The Making of Bangalore’s Terrain by Anuradha Mathur and Dilip Da Cunha
- Delta Sedimentation: East Coast of India by I.B. Singh and A.S.R. Swamy
- Dimensions of Himalayan Geology by A.K. Biyani
- Early Man in Eastern Himalayas: North-East India and Nepal by A.K. Sharma
- Earthquake Disaster Reduction: Masonry Buildings, Design and Construction by Anand S. Arya
- Encyclopaedia of Fish and Fisheries by Vishal Anand
- Encyclopaedia of Geo-Informatics: Incorporating GIS and Remote Sensing, 5 Vols. by Priya Ranjan Trivedi et al.
- Encyclopaedia of Geology by Washali Yadgiri
- Encyclopaedia of Paleontology by Vivek Sharma
- Foreland Sedimentation in Himalayan Tectonic Regime: A Relook at the Orogenic Process by V. Raiverman
- Geologic Settings and Petroleum Systems of India’s East Coast Offshore Basins: Concepts and Applications by Bastia Ravi
- Geological Maps by D.K. Awasthi
- Geology and Evolution of the Indian Plate (from Hadean to Holocene – 4Ga to 4 Ka) by S.M. Naqvi
- Glossary of Structural Geology and Tectonics by P.S. Saklani
Important books on Himalayan geology
- Himalaya: Geological Aspect, Vol. 5 by P.S. Saklani (Ed.)
- Himalaya: Geological Aspects, Vol. 1 & 2 by P.S. Saklani
- Himalaya: Geological Aspects, Vol. 3 by P.S. Saklani (Ed.)
- Himalaya: Geological Aspects, Vol. 4 by P.S. Saklani (Ed.)
- History and Culture of the Himalaya, 3 Vols by K. S. Gulia
Suggestions on hydrocarbon, fisheries, and marine geology
- Hydrocarbon Potential and Exploration Strategy of Cauvery Basin, India by J.N. Sahu
- Inland Fisheries: Ecology and Management by R. L. Welcomme
- Marine Geology: A Scenario Around Indian Coasts by T.K. Mallik
- Metallogenesis of Manganese Ores of Srikakulam-Visakhapatnam Belt by F.N. Siddiquie
- Mine Closure by Naresh Chandra Saxena
- Mineral Exploration: Recent Strategies by S. Rajendran et al.
- Poisonous Snakes by F. Wall
Remote sensing and soil chemistry
- Remote Sensing and GIS for Natural Resource Management by Bir Abhimanyu Kumar
- Remote Sensing in Geomorphology by S.M. Ramasamy
- Soil Chemistry: Basic Concepts by G. Bujy
- The Evolution and Classification of Soils by E. Ramanan and C.L. Whittles (Tr.)
- The Ice Age in the Indian Subcontinent and Associated Human Culture-Terra, H. De. & Paterson, T.T.
- Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy by Sam Boggs Jr.
- Principles of Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology by John D. Winter
- Structural Geology by Haakon Fossen
- Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering by C.V.R. Murty and R.K. Madhavi
- Geology of India by Ram Sharma
- Physical Geology by Arthur Holmes
- An Introduction to Seismology, Earthquakes and Earth Structure by Seth Stein and Michael Wysession
- A Textbook of Geology by P.K. Mukerjee
- Petroleum Geoscience by Knut Bjorlykke
It is important to note that candidates should not just rely on a single book for their Geology optional preparation. However, they should read widely and consult multiple sources. Also, Geology is a fascinating and highly specialized optional subject for the UPSC IAS exam. Therefore, with the right study materials and dedication, candidates can score well. Thus, enhancing their chances of success in the exam. Also, Geology may require prior knowledge and a good interest in the subject.
Consequently, the vast array of topics covered, ranging from mineralogy and petrology to geomorphology and environmental geology, make it a valuable subject to study for anyone with an interest in the earth and its processes. Therefore, by studying Geology, candidates can gain insights into the formation and history of our planet. Additionally, acquire a valuable skill set that can be applied in various fields, such as natural resource management, mining, and environmental conservation.