#8 Indian Geography
In chess game Knight; In competitive examinations Geography!
Geography is extremely important for competitive examinations. Preliminary examinations, main examinations, interviews, all contain questions from geography. For preliminary examinations, about 15-20 questions will be from this subject (without including questions on environment). Of these 80 to 85 percent will be from Indian Geography itself. Just as how learning to utilize the knight properly will give us a great advantage in Chess, same is the case with geography. If we learn and employ this subject properly, it will give us great successes in all competitive examinations. Let us start our journey in geography from India itself.
India is situated in the tropical region of the Northern Hemisphere between 8°44' to 37°6' north latitude and 68°7' to 97°25' east longitude. India measures 3,214 km from north to south and 2,933 km from east to west. India is the 7th largest country in the world, having 2.4 percentage of the world’s area, as well as 17.5 percent (121.06 crores) of its population. This includes a coastline of 7516.5 km and a land frontier of 15200 km. India shared boundaries with 7 countries namely, Bangladesh (longest), China, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Afghanistan. India has 10.6 percent mountains, 18.5% hills, 27.7 % plateaus, and 43.2% plains.
The current trend is to ask questions keeping the map of India as the focus or keeping it in memory. For example, here is a question from UPSC 2017 preliminary examination -
If we travel from Kohima to Kottayam by road, how many states shall you cross? (Including the starting and ending states)
If we check out the map of India or google maps, we can see that the journey starts from Nagaland, and passes through Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and ends in Kerala, giving us a total of 7 states. This type of questions cannot be directly learned from any textbook. Only by studying the map of India thoroughly can we close our eyes for ten seconds and recall the states, major cities, and rivers. Therefore to learn the map properly, we need to buy, or (even better) draw a map of India and hang it on the wall of our room. If we do this, then even without a conscious effort, the map will be seen every time we move around the house and it will immerse itself well into our consciousness. Therefore immediately get your own India map ready!
Another sample question (UPSC 2017)
In one place in India, if you stand on the shore and watch the sea, twice a day you can see the water receding for a few kilometers and then come back to the shore with waves. Where in India is this place which lets us walk on the sea floor when the sea recedes this way?
Similarly, there are many unique and special locations in India. First, make a table of such places in each state, and make notes on each. As far as TNPSC examination is concerned, list out and study the major locations in Tamil Nadu without missing a single one. When I wrote TNPSC Group I examination, for the question “Emerald dam is located where?”, I gave a wrong answer and thus missed out on scoring on a simple question. I give this extra advice so that this won’t happen to you! Major locations - of national importance as well those in each state - need to be noted down in a table. In the chess game of competitive examinations, this is one the key moves of the knight that is Geography! Always keep this on your side. We will see the next winning moves among locations in the upcoming topics in geography!
We shall win!