ICSE (Class XII)
- To enable candidates to acquire knowledge (information) and to develop
an understanding of facts, terms, symbols concepts, principles,
generalizations, hypotheses, problems, trends, processes and methods of
Geography at the national and global level.
- To apply the knowledge of the principles of Physical Geography in
explaining the causes and consequences of natural hazards and suggest ways
of coping with them through sustainable development.
- To develop skills of drawing maps, surveying, and drawing statistical
diagrams and thematic maps.
- To develop an interest in Geography.
There will be two papers in the subject.
Paper I – Theory (3 hours) ….70 marks
Paper II – Practical and Project Work …30 marks
PAPER I: THEORY (70 Marks)
There will be one Theory paper of three hours duration divided into two parts
Part I (30 marks) will be compulsory and will consist of Section A and
Section A will include compulsory short answer questions testing knowledge,
application and skills related to elementary/fundamental aspects of the entire
Section B will consist of one question on mapwork.
Part II (40 marks) will consist of seven questions. Candidates will be
required to answer four out of seven questions. Each question in this part shall
carry 10 marks.
GEOGRAPHY AS A DISCIPLINE
1. Geography - its interdisciplinary approach and future prospects
Geography as an integrating discipline. Physical Geography and Natural
Sciences; Geography and Social Sciences.
Branches of Geography:
- Systematic approach: Physical Geography (Geomorphology, Climatology,
Hydrology); Human Geography (Historical, Social, Population and Settlement,
- Regional approach: Regional/ Area Studies, Regional Planning, Regional
- In the area of GPS, GIS, Remote Sensing for resource identification.
- Applied geography in town and country planning, environment management
and law, cartography and mapping, geography education, map analysis, travel
and tourism (to be taught only for the sake of awareness, not for testing).
PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
2. Earth’s Interior
(i) Composition and structure.
Age of the earth, theories of the formation of the earth – steady state, Big
Bang and the developments today. Materials of the earth and properties:
temperature, pressure, thickness; materials of the earth’s crust: mantle, core
and the intermediary layers.
Silicates, carbonates, sulphides, metals. Classification of rocks by origin.
Charactieristics and types and the distribution in India of igneous, metamorphic
and sedimentary rocks, based on texture and mineral composition. The rock cycle.
3. Changing Face of the Earth
Land forms and Processes of Gradation
(i) Endogenous processes: theory of plate tectonics and the role of drifting
continents and associated landforms – mountains, plateaus and plains and their
types as an outcome. Isostasy – definition, theories and concepts.
The distribution of mountains, plateaus and plains in the world; plate tectonics
and the role of the drifting continents. Processes inside the earth: nature of
the earth’s crust and the lithospheric plates. Folding and faulting. Isostasy –
definition, theories and concepts by Pratt and A. Holmes.
(ii) Vulcanicity – materials and processes. Major volcanic forms.
The concept of vulcanicity. Parts of a volcano, cone, shield and caldera. Types
of volcanoes according to nature of explosions and frequency of eruption.
Volcanic materials. Distribution of volcanoes related to plate tectonics.
Origin of earthquakes, waves and their behaviour, hypocentre (focus), epicentre;
their causes and distribution; effects; isoseismal and homoseismal lines, sea
quakes, tsunamis; measuring earthquakes and their intensity. Major earthquakes
during the last 25 years. Impact of earthquakes on environment: their
prevention, control and mitigation.
(iv) Exogenetic process and associated landforms.
Weathering and gradation - difference. Role of weathering in gradation.
Different types of weathering.
The factors affecting soil formation; soil profile; distribution and
characteristics of soils in the world - zonal, azonal and intrazonal– only broad
characteristics related to Indian soils to be done (detailed distribution not
(vi) Fluvial processes and associated landforms.
Work of rivers - concept of baselevel; processes of erosion, transportation and
deposition. Processes of erosion - mechanical, solution, decompositon; types of
erosion - headward, vertical, lateral; transportation mode and deposition;
tranport load depends on power of the river, the gradient of slope and nature of
material carried; deposition mostly in the lower course due to reduction in
slope, so also in river course. Landforms made by the river - gorges, rapids,
waterfalls, alluvial fans, levees, floodplains, meanders, braided channels,
oxbow lakes, deltas – delta plains. Development of river valleys, drainage
patterns. Diagrams and examples from India with photographs.
(vii) Aeolian processes and associated landforms.
Process of wind erosion – abrasion, attrition, deflation. Ideal conditions for
erosion in hot deserts; landforms resulting from erosion - deflation hollows,
pedestal rocks, yardangs, desert pavement, and depositional - sand dunes and
their types, sand shadows, loess. Diagrams and examples from India and Asia.
(viii) Glacial processes and associated landforms.
Continental and mountain or valley glaciers, processes of glacial erosion –
plucking, abrasion, attrition; erosional features, e.g. cirque and its
components, U shaped and hanging valleys, roche moutonnes, depositional
formations, moraines of various types. Some Indian glaciers - Siachen, Gangotri,
Baltoro. Diagrams and examples from India.
(ix) Work of ground water and associated landforms. Water Conservation.
Definiton of ground water, watertable, acquifers, springs. Process of erosion by
groundwater solution, corrasion. Features formed by underground water (karst
topography) – sink holes, dolines, caves, caverns, karst lakes, depositional
features – stalactites, stalagmites, cave pillars, dripstones: their formation.
Diagrams and examples from India and Australia.
(x) Marine processes and associated landforms.
Erosional process of sea waves – abrasion, attrition, solution and hydraulic
action; coastline and shoreline, erosional features; sea cliffs, sea caves,
stacks and depositional landforms, e.g. - bays, bars and lagoons; Coral reefs:
types – fringing, barrier and atolls; submerged and emergent coastlines.
Diagrams and examples from India, Australia and West Europe (wherever relevant).
Note: For topics (vi) to (x) only diagram or photograph based
questions will be asked. Photograph based information should be made use of to
emphasize the different processes of gradation.
(i) Compostion and structure of atmosphere.
Layers of the atmosphere: troposphere, stratosphere, ozonosphere, mesosphere,
ionosphere; its height; composition - dust and water vapour and its quantities;
special characteristics of each layer; ozone depletion.
(ii) Atmospheric temperature.
Heating and cooling of the atmosphere, radiation, conduction, convection.
Insolation and factors influencing it – angle of sun’s rays, duration of day,
transparency of atmosphere. Heat budget, i.e balance between insolation and
terrestrial radiation- areas of surplus and deficit heat in different latitudes
resulting in latitudinal heat balance.
Factors controlling its horizontal and vertical distribution, temperature
anomalies and their nature. Isotherms: their chracteristics; isotherm maps of
the world in July and January. Practical work on temperature measurement and
graphs to show temperature.
(iii) Atmospheric Pressure.
Its horizontal and vertical distribution, factors affecting the distribution,
characteristics of isobars on world maps for July and January. Pressure belts
and winds – types of winds, airmasses and atmospheric disturbances, cyclones of
temperate and tropical areas; anticyclones – their types and associated weather.
World map showing major paths of cyclones. Jet Streams – concepts to be
introduced with reference to India. Practical work on Pressure measurement.
(iv) Atmospheric Moisture.
Processes of evaporation, condensation and precipitation; relative and absolute
humidity; forms of condensation - cloud, fog, dew, frost; precipitaion – its
forms: snow, hail, rain; types of rainfall: orographic, cyclonic, convectional –
origin and factors that affect. Examples from different parts of the world.
Practical work on measuring rainfall and use of bar graphs to show rainfall.
5. The Realms of Water
(i) Submarine relief and deposits of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian
The depth and the features. The sea floor deposits and their characteristics,
the importance of marine resources.
(ii) Ocean water - salinity, temperature, density.
The composition of sea water and the factors that control the distribution of
(iii)Ocean water movements.
Direct and indirect tides – origin, time, spring and neap tides. Waves – parts,
characteristics, formation. Currents - factors affecting currents, currents of
Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Role of currents in modifying climates of
coastal areas. Introduction to El Nino concepts.
6. Biosphere – Life on the Earth
(i) Nature of Biosphere, concept of ecosystems, components of ecosystem.
Meaning, nature of interaction between the different components of the
biosphere. Understanding the concept of biodiversity. To appreciate various
reasons for valuing and conserving biodiversity (ethical, moral, economic,
(ii) Biodiversity for sustenance of mankind.
The various roles played by biodiversity in sustaining mankind - as a source of
food, medicine, pollution control, etc.
(iii) India as a mega diversity nation.
Appreciating that India with its varied climate and landscape is home to a
variety of unique ecosystems and endemic species e.g. the largest mangrove
forest in the world - the Sundarbans, vast mountain forests in the Himalayas,
tropical evergreen forests in the western ghats and the north east region,
desert vegetation in Rajasthan, thorn and scrub forests in the plateaus, etc.
(iv) Loss of biodiversity - threatened, endangered and extinct species.
Understanding the implications of loss of biodiversity.
Categorizing species in different groups like - threatened, endangered and
extinct. Examples of plants and animals.
(v) Strategies for conservation of biodiversity - insitu and exsitu.
Looking at various in-situ and ex-situ strategies for their efficacy and
viability. In-situ - protected areas (biosphere reserves, national parks,
Ex-situ - captive breeding, zoo, botanical garden, gene banks.
7. A. World Climatic types
Low Latitude / tropical climates (i) Equatorial (ii) Monsoon and tradewind
littoral (iii) Wet - dry tropical (iv) Dry tropical (desert).
Mid latitude/temperate climates - (i) Mediterranean (ii) Marine west coast (iii)
Dry sub tropical (iv) Moist subtropical (v) Moist continental (vi) Dry
midlatitude (cold deserts).
High latitude/polar climates - (i) Boreal (ii) Tundra (iii) Ice sheet.
Location, areas and climate in each of the areas; major human activities and
life of man are to be studied.
B. Climate Change – causes/factors of climatic changes in the recent
Natural and man made factors, with special reference to climatic changes in
India. Measures taken to adapt to these changes in urban and rural India.
MAN- ENVIRONMENT INTERACTION
8. Natural hazards, their causes and management
(i) Hazards of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
Major volcanic areas and their problems; major earthquake prone areas - effects
on land and human life. Seismic zones of India and measures to check the fury of
(ii) Identification of major drought prone areas.
Characteristics of drought prone areas. Causes, problems and remedial measures
(like rain harvesting) adopted with special reference to India.
(iii) Areas prone to floods / landslides - India.
Landslides - causes, effects and measures adopted to check (Himalayan region).
The causes of flooding and checking floods (like construction of dams and
afforestation) – with special reference to India
9. Map Work
On the outline map of the world: locating and labelling (for the examinations,
some aspects could be identified, others labelled and located) - physical
features, ocean currents, climatic regions from Principles of Physical Geography
and cities from Climatic Regions only.