Strategy For Geology Optional – For IAS Mains Examination.
Geology is one of the optional subjects offered by the UPSC in the IAS mains exam. Though not a popular subject, it is considered a highly scoring one. Geology is especially beneficial for candidates taking both the civil services and the forest services (IFS) examinations.Continue Reading Strategy For Geology Optional – For IAS Mains Examination.
General Geology – It deals with very basic concepts like the formation of the universe, the age of the earth, the structure of the earth, etc. It also talks about volcanoes, earthquakes, plate tectonics and the like. All this is covered in Paper I of GS Mains and partly, in the prelims exam as well. Refer to Engineering And General Geology by Parbin Singh or Principles Of Engineering Geology by KM Bangar for this section.
Geomorphology & Remote Sensing – Geomorphology is basically a topic which explains how the various features that are seen on the earth were formed (rivers, mountains, soil formation, oceans, etc.) Geomorphology of India is also covered here. In remote sensing section, Indian satellites and other related technological topics are covered. If we talk about recent issues, drones are being developed now. You should focus on how remote sensing helps in improving life, or example, its use in controlling and preventing disasters, controlling pollution and so on. This topic has a linkage to current affairs and recent developments in this field should be focussed on. Refer to Engineering And General Geology by Parbin Singh or Principles Of Engineering Geology by KM Bangar for this section. For remote sensing topics, you can also refer to the official website of the National Remote Sensing Authority.
Indian Stratigraphy – This is also a factual section of the syllabus. This includes types of rocks in geological time scales, and where they are found. This can be studied in the form of set tables which are available and can be easily remembered. Refer to Engineering And General Geology by Parbin Singh or Principles Of Engineering Geology by KM Bangar for this section.
Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology – Hydrogeology is about groundwater and engineering geology is about how developmental projects like dams, roads, etc. affect the geology of the area, what are the hindrances in the geology of an area for dam projects, etc. It also talks about the kind of construction materials that can be used in an area. Refer to Groundwater Hydrology by David Todd for this section. This book covers the topic extensively.
Mineralogy – This talks about the minerals found in rocks and its details, particularly chemical bonds, etc. Here, optical properties are an important subsection. Off late, applied questions are being asked as well. You can refer to Rutley’s Elements of Mineralogy for this section.
Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology – Petrology is the branch of science concerned with the origin, structure, and composition of rocks. This section deals with the igneous and metamorphic rocks. You can read Principles of Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology by JD Winter for this section.
Sedimentary Petrology – Here, sedimentary rocks and its examples and details are studied. For this section, you can use the book by Bangar. Not all the subtopics are covered in this book, for which you will have to use online sources.
Economic Geology – This talks about the mineral deposits India has. The syllabus contains a list of minerals and you have to study all of them. Distribution of coal and petroleum is also important. Here, questions are mostly about industries and the kinds of minerals they use. For instance, the UPSC doesn’t ask directly about iron or zinc ores, but about glass industry, cement, industry, etc. and the kind of minerals which are required by them. Topics like National Mineral Policy, marine mineral resources and Law of Sea are important even for GS paper III. For this section, you can read Economic Geology: Economic Mineral Deposits by U Prasad.
Mining Geology – This section is about mining, kinds of mining, where to mine, etc. This is a scoring area, so do not leave this part.
Geochemistry and Environmental Geology – This talks about elements (like in chemistry) and why certain elements are found more, and why are rare, etc. Environmental geology deals with natural hazards, environmental impacts of urbanisation, pollution, fertilisers, etc. It also talks about environmental protection laws in India. You can refer to online sources for this part.
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