Best Geography Books for IAS Prelims and Mains

Last Updated On July 29th, 2016 at 10:21 pm

Geography of India by Majid Husain

Summary of the Book

Geography of India by Prof. Majid Husain is a book that deals specifically with the subject of Geography from an IAS point of view. This statement is supported by the fact that just after the acknowledgment page of the book, the author has inserted a section with describes the syllabus for civil services examinations in great detail. After that, the author has given a wide description of the geography syllabus for the mains exam. It explains the very basic concepts pertaining to the Indian Geography such as the formation of the Indian sub-continent the physiography of India and then takes on to throw some light on the contemporary issues arising in the field of geography such as the ecological issues, environmental hazards, landslides, earthquakes, Tsunamis, floods, epidemics etc.

The author has divided the book into a total of 17 chapters which broadly deal with: the structure of India, the physiology of the Indian sub-continent i.e. the Himalayas, the Great Plains, the Coastal Plains, Earthquakes and Vulcan city in India, the next chapter deals with the drainage system in which the author has dealt with the drainage system and the drainage patterns found in India, the river basins of India, the Multiple River Theory, the river systems of the Himalayas, the river regimes, the inter-state water disputes, the international agreements for surface water resources, the ground water resources of India and the national water policy of India.

The next chapter deals with the diverse climatic conditions present in India which are; the Indian monsoons, the Indian monsoons and the Tibet plateau, jet stream and the Indian monsoon, El-Nino and the Indian Monsoon, Burst of Monsoon, Breaks in the Monsoon, Seasons in India, rainfall distribution in India, variability of rainfall, climatic regions in India, Koppen;’s classification of Indian climate, climatic divisions by Stamp and Kendrew, Trewartha’s classification of Indian climate, climatic divisions of India by R.L. Singh, droughts and floods.

Chapter 5 deals with Natural Vegetation and National parks which entail the floral regions of India, the spatial distribution of forests in Indi, classification of forests and the important species of trees and their utility, forest products and their utility,problems of the Indian forestry etc. The remaining chapters deal with soils, resources: natural, mineral and biotic, energy sources, agriculture etc.

About the Author

Geography of India has been written by Professor (Retd.) Majid Husain. He had illustrated career as a professor in the esteemed Jamia Milia Islamia University of New Delhi. Husain has been an Alma Mater of the Aligarh Muslim University where his professor at that time, Professor Mohammad Shahi, invoked an interest in the subject of Geography. During his career, he has penned down several other books on the same subject: evolution of Geographical Thought, Models in Geography, World Geography, Systematic Geography of Jammu and Kashmir and Indian and World Geography for civil services examination.

Positives about the book

The book is filled with positive features that would interest a student to buy the book. All concepts, be it for general geography or for the geographic features exclusive to the Indian subcontinent. The language is simple, lucid and understandable and the content is at the same time relevant and interesting. Presently, there is no competition for Geography of India by Prof. Majid Husain in the market. Filled with a plethora of syllabus oriented information, the book is a gem. It is recommended for people looking for information on the geographic conditions prevailing in India.

Things that could have been better

Both the author of the book and the book itself are regarded to be an authority on the subject of geography. There is not much criticism available for the book apart from the fact that it is way similar to the NCERT book, but that sort of a critique is baseless since it is imperative for a book to start from the mere basics and the conclude at the final technicalities.

About the Publishers of the Book

Geography of India by Prof. Majid Husain has been published by McGraw-Hill Education publishing house in a paperback edition. The book is available for rs.509 on Flipkart, an online store. McGraw-Hill Education books are known for being well polished and scholarly written and are preferred by students who choose to perform par excellence. Some of the latest publications of McGraw-Hill Education include Handbook of Energy Audit by Sonal Desai, Signals and Systems and a book on Financial Accounting by MahamedHanif and Amitabha Mukherjee, Circuits, and Networks by N.A.Sudhakar and SP Shyammohan and the bestselling book: The Lean CEO.

McGraw-Hill publication has published some excellent academic books which including books on Medicine, Educational Books which include a few best reference books and other such books on General Studies for the Civil Services and many more books for the preparation for engineering and medical entrance examinations. . Other books published by McGraw-Hill Education include Indian History, General Studies for civil services preliminary examination and Indian Economy for Civil services examination by Ramesh Singh. McGraw Hill’s Education publishing house’s expertise in publication has made it one of the most trusted publishers in India and abroad.

Special note to IAS Aspirants

A special note to IAS Aspirants is that you can use this book as a reference book after creating a consolidated base from the NCERT geography books. The book has especially been formulated from a civil services examination point of view. That is because there is a comprehensive discussion on the UPSC syllabus right at the beginning of the book and a separate section comprising of multiple choice questions has been provided after the chapters end. Moreover, many references have been added just for the student to refer in case he wishes to gain an in-depth knowledge on any particular topic. However, there is no need to do so since the book is so comprehensive with regards to its topic that it has been designed to cover all that which is necessary to crack the Mains exam and not just the prelims.

Oxford School Atlas

Summary of the Book

Oxford School Atlas is a must-have for all students as well as aspirants for competitive exams. It contains detailed maps along with relevant explanations and is a trusted name worldwide.The amount of detailing and quality of content is par excellence. It meets the requirements of every child in terms of studies and beyond. Oxford School Atlas comes with a value added CD which has many more contents over and above the paperback Atlas contains and it also has a poster-size map of India printed on both the sides. The poster-sized map can be used for more detailed information on any particular state or district. The Oxford School Atlas is extremely informative, that even details regarding population, poverty, and environmental hazards have been touched upon. Users also find the Oxford School Atlas up to date, as recently updated provinces like Telangana and much more have already been updated and upgraded in the Atlas.

The CD that comes along with the book consists of detailed information about the map history and other civilizations depicted through a map.It has other features which make the package even more interesting for the reader. All this make Oxford School Atlas an ideal choice of Atlas. It fulfils the requirement of school level Geography with a touch of History.It is worth the penny spent as the quality of paper is the best they could offer as it would be used repeatedly by school going, children. The CD is quite interactive and answers all sorts of questions that might arise in the minds of the users.

Every school worth its salt boasts of storing a few copies of the Oxford School Atlas for the convenience of the students and teachers year after year. Cartophily’s(Map lovers) worldwide have very high opinion about the Oxford School Atlas of their respective regions and often use it for reference. Oxford School Atlas is rightfully priced at Rs. 315.00 per copy and is eligible to discount online depending on various offers and promotions. The data is simple and the language written therein is easy to understand. The subject matter of the book helps students to explore  global case studies, local issues and develop their geographical skills. If you wish to explore further, there is also an Oxford School Atlas Workbook and even an App.

About the Author

Oxford continues to remain the official author of the 34th edition of the Oxford School Atlas. Oxford University Press, New Delhi is a department of the University of Oxford and continues to deliver the best in the field of research, scholarship, and education by publishing high-quality books worldwide.Oxford School Atlas has been made as comprehensive as possible with data from reliable sources which has been verified and checked via different mediums. The users themselves have to say that with every passing year, the latest edition is only getting better and much more convenient for use. With their distinctive style of authoring a particular book, it keeps the reader or the user enthralled throughout.

Positives about the book

Oxford school Atlas is the top selling atlas book for children and adults alike. Anything you wish to know about the world or India alike, the Oxford Atlas will never fail you. Not just that, even candidates appearing for the Civil Service Examination can vouch for the quality of content and maps in the Oxford School Atlas. There is one problem with the book, though, although the Oxford Atlas is more than appropriate for information with respect to India but, people talk about inadequate information in the world map. The features in the world map are inadequate and often they have to refer to other Atlases of the same genre specialising in world maps.

Things that could have made the Book better

There are few information given in the Atlas which are either incomplete or not detailed. For example, the Harappan civilization doesn’t show the presence of the rivers, Saraswati, Ghaggar or Hakra. The Oxford School Atlas doesn’t have much information about some geographical features like the tectonic plates, trenches, volcanoes etc., thus forcing the students to refer to another Atlas for the mentioned details. With a little more information and nitty gritty, the Atlas would have been a one point reference material to every child going to school. The font size could have been a little bigger and better for the convenience of senior citizens and elderly teachers or users referring to the Atlas.

About the publisher

Oxford School Atlas has been published by the ever popular, Oxford University Press – New Delhi. An authority in publishing high-quality school reference books. This particular book is the 34th edition which was published in 2013.Most of the books published and authored by the Oxford University press have received commendable response worldwide. The Oxford University Press specializes in publishing books mainly on Bilingual dictionary, Atlas, Books on higher education, ELT for adults, reference materials, books on academics and titles of general interest. To meet the ever growing need of reference materials and information for students, scholars, teachers and likes, The Oxford University Press has now widened their horizon and is available in both print and digital. The Oxford University Press continues to publish 6000 books yearly out of which 400 books are re-published every year in India alone. The press has also come out with some path-breaking digital solutions to increase the awareness of reading and spreading knowledge globally.

Special Note for IAS aspirants

The Oxford School Atlas is a must have for all Civil Services Aspirants. The reason behind that is the fact that the candidate needs to have the geographies of India on his tips when he sits for the paper. It will be beneficial for him not only for his geography specific paper but also for his General Knowledge section. If he progresses further, it will also be necessary for his preparation pertaining to the interview rounds. The Oxford School Atlas will suffice all hu=is needs and answer all the questions that he may have since it includes well-researched reference material too. Apart from that, the student will be empowered to navigate the maps on his own as they find it an interesting and end up flipping the pages even in their spare times.

Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Leong

Summary of the Book

If you seek to know about the physiology of the earth, the geography of the earth as a whole and the elements that prevail in different areas throughout the world, Certificate Physical, and Human Geography is the perfect book for you. It explains about the geographic conditions, the weather conditions and the varied vegetative conditions throughout the world in lucid and simplified language.  Consisting of helpful and explanatory diagrams and maps by way of which the reader will get an additional help apart from the written material. The book is divided into two parts, Part 1 talks about the physical geography of the earth and Part 2 of the book talks about Weather, Climate and Vegetative.

About the Author

Certificate physical and human geography is written by a very well established writer Goh Cheng Leong. His books are preferred by geography students all over the world. He has interest for Geography and has penned down several books on the subject. His other works include Zz Elements of Geography, Human and Economic History and Resource Atlas in Physical Geography. All these books are treated as an authority on the subject by students and scholars alike world over. He interacts with his readers on various social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Positives about the Book

The best part about the book is the writing style adopted by the Author which is very simple, lucid and at the same time scholarly. The book is beneficial for students pursuing BA (Geography) and for students preparing for civil services exams. The book aims to explain the basic geographical structure of the earth and the various phenomenon that led to the formation of various landforms on the surface, right from the beginning. It is a complementary to NCERT geography books and must be read after finishing with the NCERT book. The Human Geography part of the book is also quite helpful for students as it provides a conceptual learning base. Case studies have also been provided for a better understanding. The book is not very lengthy but is still considered to be a bible for geography scholars. It helps to understand physical geography of the earth in a short span of time.

Things that could have been better in the book

The book only gets reprinted every year without proper revision. The first edition of the book was printed in the year 1974 and mentions concepts which are no longer relevant today. Some of the matters which need to be urgently looked into are the inclusion of Pluto in the class of Planets and the up gradation of the political maps which still contain countries like USSR whereas we live in the era of post-USSR disintegration. Other than that, it is a good book for developing basic and core physical geography concepts with explanatory diagrams, maps, and case studies.

Reasons to buy the book

One should buy the book for not only one but several reasons: Firstly, the book is short, lucid and very easy to comprehend, second, it consists of comprehensive literature on physical geography of the earth which, if you look otherwise, I very difficult to locate and even more difficult to understand and thirdly, even though some of the dates is outdated, it is still considered to be a gem as far as the conceptual knowledge is considered.

About the Publishers of the Book

Certificate Physical and Human Geography was published by Oxford University Press in the year 2014. Since then, it has blessed the lives of many geography students across the globe. Oxford University Press has established a name, over the world for publishing such books which are regarded to be of high academic relevance. They also have a name for publishing genuinely good books which had gone out of print for some reasons thereby distressing the academia of their area. Oxford University Press have a name for publishing books by scholarly authors all over the worlds and their books are circulated in wide numbers across the world.

Special Note to IAS Aspirants

Certificate Physical and Human Geography is a must have tool for all aspirants of IAS examinations. The book gives a clear idea of the concepts that it deals with and has all answers to questions that may arise while studying the topic. It is not available at all bookstores easily and goes out of stock on the online sites. So, as a suggestion: it must be ordered at the earliest. The book consists all relevant information regarding the various landforms that exist on earth, it adequately discusses the phenomena that led to their formations and subsequent transformation and then goes on to discuss the climatic conditions on these landforms and their developments over time. Moreover, there is no need to be reluctant about the book being outdated because it deals with physical geography and not political geography and thus such errors should be hardly bothered with. The book must be treated as a reference book after the basics of NCERT and the maps and diagrams in this book are hard to find anywhere else for sure. It is a very important book as per the Static part of the paper is concerned with, truly an indispensable book amongst the toppers and scholars on the subject.

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