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Explain how the major geological events of the past shaped the peninsular drainage system?

Topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent)

1. Explain how the major geological events of the past shaped the peninsular drainage system? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write major geological events of the past that impacted the peninsular drainage system and explain how these events affected the drainage system as in the characteristic features of Peninsular Drainage system.

Directive word: 

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:


Give a brief overview of peninsular drainage system.


First, List the major geological factors that impacted peninsular drainage system – Geologists believe that the Sahyadri-Aravali axis was the main water divide in the past; The western part of the Peninsula cracked and submerged in the Arabian Sea during the early Tertiary period ; upheaval of Himalayas; slight tilting of peninsular block from NW to SE direction.

Next, Discuss the impact that these events causes which manifest themselves in characteristic features of peninsular river system such as – one drainage was towards east flowing into Bay of Bengal and the other towards west draining into Arabian Sea; During the collision of the Indian plate, the Peninsular block was subjected to subsidence in few regions creating a series of rifts (trough, faults) through which these rivers flow, Straight coastline, steep western slope of the Western Ghats, and the absence of delta formations etc.


Conclude by writing about the importance of Peninsular drainage for India.