• Soils in India –Alluvial, Black, Red, Laterite
  • Its location (availability)
  • Characteristics
  • Crops grown.
  • Example: Laterite soil contains iron oxide which imparts red colour to the soil. Its poor in humus and nitrogen due to heavy leaching. It’s found in Western Coastal plain
  • Factors which control the formation of soil
  • Soil Erosion – Sheet erosion, gully erosion etc.- causes
  • Impact of salinization, alka , acidification of soil
  • Soil Conservation methods – crop rotation, Contour farming, Terracing, cover crops, conservation tillage and planted windbreaks

Example (2013 Prelims Questions Paper): ·

Contour bunding is a method of soil conservation used in:

(a) desert margins, liable to strong wind action

(b) low flat plains, close to stream courses, liable to flooding

(c) scrublands, liable to spread of weed growth

(d) None of the above




Which of the following statements regarding laterite soils of India are correct?

1. They are generally red in colour.

2. They are rich in nitrogen and potash.

3. They are well-developed in Rajasthan and UP.

4. Tapioca and cashew nuts grow well on these soils.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

(a) 1, 2 and 3

(b) 2, 3 and 4

(c) 1 and 4

(d) 2 and 3 only

Solution (c)




  • Cropping Pattern: Example: Rice, Wheat, Pulses, Sugarcane, Millets, Coffee, Tea etc.
  • Where(states) are they are grown?
  • Climatic conditions suitable for their growth
  • Classification of crops- Kharif crops, Rabi and Zaid crops with examples.
  • Irrigation – New irrigation methods like Micro-irrigation, Drip-irrigation their usage, advantages and disadvantages
  • Farming – Shifting cultivation, Terrace cultivation, Crop Rotation, Mixed and Multiple farming – where are these methods practiced; advantages and disadvantages.

Example (2011 Prelims Questions Paper):


A state in India has the following characteristics:

1. Its northern part is arid and semi-arid.

2. Its central part produces cotton.

3. Cultivation of cash crops is predominant over food crops.

Which one of the following states has all of the above characteristics?

(a.) Andhra Pradesh

(b.) Gujarat

(c.) Karnataka

(d.) Tamil Nadu

Solution (b)


With reference to micro-irrigation, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. Fertilizer/nutrient loss can be reduced.

2. It is the only means of irrigation in dry land farming.

3. In some areas of farming, receding of ground water table can be checked.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a.) 1 only

(b.) 2 and 3 only

(c.) 1 and 3 only

(d.) 1, 2 and 3

Solution (c)

Example (2013 Prelims Questions Paper):·

Consider the following crops


2. Groundnut

3. Rice


Which of these are Kharif crops?

(a) 1 and 4

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1, 2 and 3

(d) 2, 3 and 4

Solution (c)


Forests (or Natural Vegetation)


  • Tropical Evergreen forests, Deciduous, Hill forests Thorn, Littoral and Swamp forests
  • Temperature, Rainfall conducive for the growth of these Forests
  • Regions they occur/grow
  • Types of trees grown (general awareness)
  • Economic utilities of these forests

Example: Deciduous Forests found in areas of rainfall 150-200 cm;They are found majorly in Peninsular India; Trees like teak, sal, sandalwood, rosewood grow here. They are less dense unlike evergreen forests and are a source of good quality timber.

Example (2011 Prelims Questions Paper):·


Among the following States, which one has the most suitable climatic conditions for the cultivation of a large variety of orchids with minimum cost of production, and can develop an export oriented industry in this field?

(a.) Andhra Pradesh

(b.) Arunachal Pradesh

(c.) Madhya Pradesh

(d.)Uttar Pradesh

Solution (b)


Example (2013 Prelims Questions Paper):

Which of the following is/are unique characteristic/characteristics of equatorial forests?

1. Presence of tall, closely set trees with crowns forming a continuous canopy

2. Coexistence of a large number of species

3. Presence of numerous varieties of epiphytes

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d)1, 2 and 3

Solution (d)


Human Geography


  • Major Tribal groups and States they belong to; their Skills; Festivals they celebrate.
  • Demographic dividend

Example (2013 Prelims Questions Paper):

Consider the following pairs :

Tribe                                         State

1. Limboo (Limbu) :          Sikkim

2. Karbi :                                 Himachal Pradesh

3. Dongaria :                         Odisha

4. Bonda :                               Tamil Nadu

Which of the above pairs are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 4 only

(c) 1, 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Solution (a)

Example (2014 Prelims Questions Paper)

Every year, a month long ecologically important campaign/festival is held during which certain communities/ tribes plant saplings of fruit-bearing trees. Which of the following are such communities/tribes?

A.   Bhutia and Lepcha

B.    Gond and Korku

C.    lrula and Toda

D.    Sahariya and Agariya

Solution (b)


Wildlife and Conservation of flora and fauna

This topic overlaps with Environment


  • Bird Sanctuaries, National Park, Wildlife Sanctuary, Tiger Reserves, Biosphere Reserves, Wetlands
  • Be aware of their location, near-by important places on the map
  • Differences among the three Protected areas- National Park, Wildlife Sanctuary, Biosphere Reserves
  • Endangered Species, Vulnerable and Extinct species
  • Protected Areas and Important Species found

Example (2011 Prelims Questions Paper):

Two important rivers — one with its source in Jharkhand (and known by a different name in Odisha), and another, with its source in Odisha — merge at a place only a short distance from the coast of Bay of Bengal before flowing into the sea. This is an important site of wildlife and biodiversity and a protected area. Which one of the following could be this?

(a.) Bhitarkanika

(b.) Chandipur-on-sea

(c.) Gopalpur-on-sea

(d.) Simlipal

Solution (a)

Example (2014 Prelims Questions Paper):

Consider the following pairs

1. Dampa Tiger Reserve : Mizoram

2. Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary : Sikkim

3. Saramati Peak : Nagaland

Which of the above pairs is /are correctly matched?

A. 1 only

B. 2 and 3 only

C. 1 and 3 only

D. 1, 2 and 3

Solution (c)


Note: For better understanding and easier way to remember refer Page No. 35 ‘India- Forest and Wildlife’ in the ‘The Orient BlackSwan School Atlas’. The wildlife section is factual and difficult to remember, especially questions like –Which of the following belong to vulnerable category or where is this particular endangered species is found?

Luck too plays its part here. So, some of them skip this section. But you can definitely be smart here, by focusing on the important Conservation sites and important Species found and the States they are located; the three categories of Species like Critically- Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable.

                                                                                                                                                Continue to read

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