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Boundary and Frontier in Geography UPSC


It is the well-established line between two countries or states. For example, the boundary between North Korea & South Korea.
The following are the functions of boundaries:
  • The country's jurisdiction and sovereignty are marked by boundaries. 
  • The country enjoys law operability and defense right under national boundaries. 
  • The country enjoys collecting the tax under national boundaries.
The boundaries can be marked :
  • River, mountain, etc
  • Ocean
  • The fencing barriers
  • Man-made wall

Geographical areas between countries' boundary which do not have strong control over any nation is called frontier. Over the period, expansion of national boundaries is possible by encroachment in the frontier area.

So in one line, frontier and boundaries are the same and it represents a single geographical phenomenon with different time scales.

For examples
  • In the village, in childhood, we all must have noticed that there was an unused area between the two farmers' agriculture fields and the same unused area was being encroached on by both farmers from time to time. Now we will not see any unused area between the agriculture field, now it became a well-defined line. In this scenario, the unused area is called the frontier and the well-defined line is called the boundaries. 
  • In medieval times, The almighty Himalayans were the frontier between India and Tibet, now there are well-defined boundaries between India and China.
  •  In Africa, frontiers are still found between countries.
Try to solve the following questions
  • Distinguish between boundaries and frontiers. Identify different types of boundaries. ( UPSC 2011, 30 marks)
  • Discuss the nature of international conflicts in the context of frontiers, boundaries, and buffer zones. ( 63rd BPSC, 2019)
  • Define and differentiate between boundaries and frontiers. Describe the geometrical boundaries with suitable examples. ( UPSC 2016, 200 words, 15 marks)
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