For a UPSC CSE aspirant, the optional subject is also an important subject. In the UPSC mains exam, optional marks have two papers, Paper 1 and Paper 2. Each paper is of 250 marks which makes a total of 500 marks. The UPSC optional subject list contains 48 subjects in total, one of which is Agriculture.
- Paper-I is mainly related to animal nutrition, reproduction, physiology, livestock management & production, genetics & animal breeding.
- Paper-II has topics related to anatomy, hygiene, animal diseases, pharmacology, veterinary public health, milk products & technology related to this, meat hygiene & technology.
- Aspirants with a background in the dairy/meat business, medicine, and those who are veterinary doctors themselves which increase the overall score of the UPSC aspirant increasing their chances of selection.
- It is a high scoring subject.
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SYLLABUS OF PAPER 1
- ANIMAL NUTRITION
- Partitioning of food energy within the animals. Carbon-Nitrogen balance and comparative slaughter methods. Direct and Indirect Calorimetry. System for expressing the energy value of food in ruminants, pigs, and poultry. Energy requirements for growth, pregnancy, maintenance, egg, lactation, meet production, and wool.
- Energy protein relationship, Latest advances in protein nutrition. Usage of NPN compounds. Evaluation of protein compounds. Protein requirements for growth, pregnancy, maintenance, egg, lactation, meet production, and wool.
- Major and trace minerals- Their sources, deficiency symptoms, and physiological functions. Role of water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins in the body, their sources, and deficiency symptoms. Toxic minerals.
- Feed additives- inhibitors, methane, enzymes, probiotics, antibiotics, hormones, antioxidants, mould inhibitors, oligosaccharides, buffers, etc. Usage and abusage of growth promoters like hormones and antibiotics (prefer the latest concepts only).
- Storage of feeds and feed ingredients. Conservation of fodders. Anti-nutritional and toxic factors present in livestock feeds. Recent advancements in feed technology and feed processing. Feed quality control and analysis. Predicting feed intake in grazing animals. Digestibility trials- direct, indirect, and indicator methods.
- Poultry nutrition. Special features of poultry nutrition. Formation of rations for different classes of layers and broilers. The nutrient requirement for egg and meat production.
- Swine Nutrition, nutrient requirements. Creep, starter, grower, and finisher rations. Feeding of pigs for lean meat production. low-cost rations for swine.
- Advances in ruminant nutrition, nutrition requirements. Balanced rations. Feeding of calves, pregnant, work animals, and breeding bulls. Strategies for feeding milch animals during different stages of the lactation cycle. Effect of feeding milk composition. Feeding of goats for meat and milk production. Feeding of sheep for wool and meat production.
2. ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY
- Physiology of blood and its circulation, excretion, respiration. Endocrine glands in health and disease.
- Circulation- Physiology of heart, heart sounds, heartbeat, cardiac cycle, electrocardiograms. Work and efficiency of heart- effect of ions on heart function- metabolism of cardiac muscle, effect of temperature and stress on heart, nervous and chemical regulations on heart, blood pressure and hypertension, arterial pulse, osmotic regulations, vasomotor regulations of circulation, shock. Coronary and pulmonary circulation, Blood-Brain barrier. Cerebrospinal fluid-circulation in birds.
- Blood constituents- Properties, and functions-blood cell formation- Haemoglobin synthesis and chemical-plasma proteins production, coagulation of blood, classification and properties, Haemorrhagic disorders- anticoagulants-blood, groups-blood, volume-plasma, an expanders-buffer system in blood. Biochemical tests with its significance.
- Respiration. Mechanism of respiration, Exchange and transfer of gases-neutral control of respiration-Chemo-receptors-hypoxia-respiration in birds.
- Excretion- Function and structure of the kidney, methods of studying renal function, renal regulation of acid-base balance, the formation of urine, physiological constituents of urine-renal failure, passive venous congestion, Urinary secretion in chicken, sweat glands and their functions. Bio-chemical test for urinary dysfunction.
- Endocrine Glands- Functional disorders- their symptoms as well as diagnosis. Synthesis of hormones, mechanism and control of secretion, hormonal receptors- classification and functions.
- Animal production and Growth- Prenatal, prenatal and postnatal growth, growth curves, measures of growth, factors affecting growth, maturation, conformation, body composition, meat quality.
- Physiology of Milk Production, Reproduction and Digestion- Current status of hormonal control of mammary development, milk ejection and milk secretion. Male and female reproductive organs, their functions and components. Digestive organs and their functions.
- Environmental Physiology- Physiological relations and their regulations, mechanism of adaptation, environmental factors and regulatory mechanisms involved in animal behaviour, climatology- various parameters and their importance. Animal ecology.
3. ANIMAL REPRODUCTION
- Semen quality- Artificial Insemination and Preservation, components of semen, physical and chemical properties of ejaculated semen, factors affecting semen production, the composition of spermatozoa, factors affecting semen in vitro and Vivo. Factors affecting semen production and quality, the composition of diluents, preservation, sperm concentration, transfer of diluted sperm. Detection of oestrus and time of insemination, for better conception. Deep freezing techniques in cows, sheep, swine, poultry, and goats. Anoestrus and repeat breeding.
4. LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION AND MANAGEMENT
- Commercial Diary – Comparison of dairy farming in India with the developed and advanced countries. Dairying under mixed farming and as specialized farming, economic dairy farming. Opportunities in dairy farming, factors determining the efficiency of dairy animals. Starting of a dairy farm, Capital and land requirement, organization of the farm. Heard recording, pricing policy, budgeting the cost of milk production. Personnel management.
- Developing Practical and Economic rations for dairy cattle, the supply of greens throughout the year, requirements of Dairy farms, feed and fodder. Feeding regimes for young stock and bulls, new trends in feeding young and adult stock, heifers and breeding animals, Feeding records.
- Commercial egg, meat, and wool production- Development of economic and practical rations for pigs, sheep, poultry, goat, and rabbits. Supply of greens, fodder, feeding regimes for young and mature stock. New trends in enhancing management and production. Capital and land requirements and socio-economic concepts.
- Feeding and management of animals under flood, droughts and other natural calamities.
5. GENETIC AND ANIMAL BREEDING
- History of animal genetics. Meiosis and Mitosis. Mendelian inheritance, deviations to Mendelian genetics, Expression of genes, Sex determination, sex-limited characters and Sex determination, Linkages and crossing over, Blood groups and polymorphism, Chromosomes abbreviation, Gene and its structure, DNA as genetic material, genetic code and protein synthesis, Recombinant DNA technology, Cytoplasmatic inheritance. Mutations, types of mutations, methods for detecting mutations and mutation rates, Transgenesis.
- Population Genetics applied to Animal Breeding- Qualitative Vs Quantitative traits, Population Vs Individual, Hardy Weinberg Law, Gene and genotypic frequency, Random drift and small population, Forces changing gene frequency, Theory of path coefficient, Inbreeding, Breeding value, Effective population size, Partitioning of variation, dominance and epistatic deviation, Genotype X environment interaction and genotype X environment, Resemblance between relatives, the role of multiple measurements.
- Breeding Systems- Breeds of poultry and livestock, Heritability, repeatability and phenotype and genetic correlations, their methods of estimation and precision of estimates.
- Aids to selection and their relative merits, pedigree, family and within-family selection, Individual, Pregnancy test, Methods of selection, construction of selection indices and their uses, Indirect selection and correlated response, Comparative evaluation of genetic gains through various selection methods, Inbreeding, outbreeding, cross-breeding, upgrading, and synthesis of breeds, Crossing of inbred lines for commercial production, Breeding for threshold characters, Selection for general and specific combining ability. Sire index.
- Basic philosophy, concepts, objectives, and principles of extension. Different methods adopted to educate farmers under rural conditions, Problems and constraints in transfer of technology. Generation of technology, its transfer and feedback. Animal husbandry programmes for rural development.
SYLLABUS FOR PAPER II
- ANATOMY, PHARMACOLOGY, AND HYGIENE
- HISTORY AND HISTOLOGICAL TECHNIQUES: Paraffin embedding technique of tissue processing and H.E. staining- Freezing microtomy- Microscopy Bright field microscope and electron microscope. Cytology- the structure of a cell, organelles and inclusions, cell division- cell types- Tissues and their classification- embryonic and adult tissues- Comparative histology of organs- Vascular, Nervous digestive, respiratory, musculoskeletal and urogenital systems- Endocrine glands, -sense organs.
- EMBRYOLOGY- Embryology of vertebrates with special reference to aves and domestic mammals -fertilization-germ, layers-foetal membranes and plancentation types of the placenta in domestic mammals- Teratology-twins, and twinning organogenesis-germ layer derivatives-endodermal, ectodermal, and mesodermal derivatives.
- BOVINE ANATOMY- Regional Anatomy, Paranasal sinuses of OX- surface anatomy of salivary glands. Regional anatomy of the infraorbital, maxillary, mandi-buloalveolar, mental and coronal nerve block. Regional anatomy of paravertebral nerves, pudendal nerve, median, ulnar, and radial nerve tibial, fibular and digital nerves- Cranial nerves- structures involved in epidural – superficial lymph nodes- surface anatomy of visceral organs of thoracic, abdominal and pelvic cavities- comparative features of locomotor apparatus, and their applications in the bio mechanisms of the mammalian body.
- ANATOMY OF FOWL- Musculoskeletal system-functional anatomy in relation to respiration and flying, digestion and egg production.
- PHARMACOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS DRUGS- Cellular level of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Drugs acting on the Autonomic nervous system. Drugs acting on fluids and electrolyte balance. Modern concepts of anaesthesia and dissociative anaesthetics. Antimicrobials and principles of chemotherapy in microbial infections. Use of hormones in therapeutics- chemotherapy of parasitic infections. Autocoids. Drug and economic concerns in the Edible tissues of animals- chemotherapy of Neoplastic diseases. Toxicity due to insecticides, plants, non-metals, metals, zootoxins, and mycotoxins.
- VETERINARY HYGIENE WITH REFERENCE TO WATER, AIR AND HABITATION- Assessment of pollution of air, water, and soil- Importance of climate in animal health- effect of environment animal function and performance relationship between animal agriculture and industrialization- animal housing requirements for specific categories of domestic animals viz. pregnant cows and sows, milking cows, broiler birds- stress, strain and productivity in relation to animal habitation.
2. ANIMAL DISEASES
- Etiology, epidemiology pathogenesis, symptoms, diagnosis, post-moretem lesions, and control of infectious disease of cattle, sheep and horses, poultry, pigs and goats.
- Etiology, epidemiology, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment of production, diseases of the horse, cattle, poultry, and pig.
- Deficiency of diseases of domestic birds and animals]
- Treatment and diagnosis of non-specific conditions like bloat, impaction, Diarrhoea, dehydration, stroke, Indigestion, and poisoning.
- Treatment and diagnosis of neurological disorders.
- Principles and methods of immunisation of animals, against specific diseases- hard immunity- diseases free zones- ‘zero’ disease concepts- chemoprophylaxis.
- ANAESTHESIA- regional, local, and general pre-anaesthetic medication, Symptoms, and surgical interference in fractures and dislocation,l Hernia, choking abomasal displacement- Caesarian operations. Rumenotomy-Castrations.
- Disease investigation techniques- Materials for laboratory – Establishment. Animal Health Centres- Disease free zone.
3. VETERINARY PUBLIC HEALTH
- Zoonoses- Classification, definition, the role of birds and animals in prevalence and transmission of zoonotic diseases- occupational zoonotic diseases.
- Epidemiology- Principle, the definition of epidemiology terms, applications of epidemiological measures in the study of diseases and disease control. Epidemiology features of air, food, and water infections. OIE regulation, WTO, sanitary and phytosanitary measures.
- Veterinary Jurisprudence- Rules and regulations for the improvement of animal quality and prevention of animal diseases- Central and state rules for prevention of animal and animal product borne disease- S.P. C.A.- Veterolegal cases- Certificates- Materials and Methods of collection of samples for veterolegal investigations.
4. Milk and Milk Products Technology
- MARKET MILK- Testing, grading and quality of raw milk, Processing packaging, distribution, storing, marketing defects, and their control. Preparation of the following kinds of milk: pasteurized, toned, standardized, double toned, homogenized, sterilized, reconstituted, recombined, and flavoured milk. Preparation of cultured milk, cultures and their management, Dahi, yoghurt, Lasi, and Srikhand. Preparation of sterilized and flavoured milk. Legal standards. Sanitation requirements for clean and safe milk and for the milk plant equipment.
- Milk Products Technology- Selection of raw materials, storing, processing, distribution, and marketing milk products such as Butter, Cream, Khoa, Ghee, Cheese, Channa, condensed, evaporated, dried milk, and baby food, Ice cream and kulfi, whey-products, by-products, lactose, buttermilk, and casein. Grading, testing, and judging milk products- BIS and Agmark specifications, legal standards, quality control nutritive properties. Costing of dairy products. Packaging processing and operational control.
5. MEAT HYGIENE AND TECHNOLOGY
- MEAT HYGIENE- Ante mortem care and management of food animals, slaughter, stunning, and dressing operations, abattoir requirements and designs, Meat inspection processes, and judgment of carcass meat cuts- duties and functions of Veterinarians in wholesome meat production.
- HYGIENIC METHODS OF HANDLING PRODUCTION OF MEAT- Spoilage of meat and control measures- Post slaughter, physicochemical changes in meat and factors affecting them- Quality improvement methods- Adulteration of meat and detection- Regulatory provisions in Meat trade and industry.
- MEAT TECHNOLOGY- Chemical and physical characteristic of meat- Meat emulsion- Methods of preservation of meat- canning, curing, irradiation, packaging of meat and meat production, formulation, and processing.
- By-products- Slaughterhouse by-products and their use- Edible and inedible by-product- Social and economic implications of proper utilization of slaughterhouse by-products- Organ products for food and pharmaceuticals.
- POULTRY PRODUCTS TECHNOLOGY- Chemical composition and nutritive value of poultry meat, pre slaughter care, and management. Legal and BIS standards. Slaughtering techniques, inspection, and poultry meat and products.
- Structure composition and nutritive value of eggs, Microbial spoilage. Maintenance and preservation of poultry meat and products.
- RABBIT/ FUR ANIMAL FARMING- Rabbit meat production. Utilization and disposal of fur, and wool, and recycling waste by-products. Grading of wool.