IAS AGRICULTURE OPTIONAL SYLLABUS

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. The UPSC Agriculture syllabus mainly focuses on the candidates’ ability to understand the subject as science and apply the knowledge to problems faced by the people.

  • The syllabus is quite interesting and relevant to the issues faced by farmers in the country.
  • The subject is relatively easier to prepare for candidates who are coming from remote areas.
  • They have access to traditional knowledge and can understand farmers’ issues better.
  • In this article, naukripakad.com provides you with the detailed UPSC syllabus for Agriculture optional.

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SYLLABUS FOR PAPER 1

UPSC Agriculture syllabus 2020 - IAS Mains Optional Subjects
  1. Ecology and its relevance to man, sustainable management, natural resources, and conservation. Physical and social environment as factors of crop production and distribution. Agroecology, cropping pattern as indicators of environments. Environmental pollution and associated hazards to crops, animals, and humans. Climate change – international conventions and global initiatives. Greenhouse effect and global warming. Advance tools for ecosystem analysis – Remote sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  1. Cropping patterns in different agro-climatic zones of the country. Impact of high-yielding and short-duration varieties on shifts in cropping patterns. Concepts of various cropping and farming systems. Organic and Precision farming. Package of practices for production of important cereals, pulses, oilseeds, fibres, sugar, commercial and fodder crops.
  2. Important features and scope of various types of forestry plantations such as social forestry, agroforestry, and natural forests. Propagation of forest plants. Forest products. Agroforestry and value addition. Conservation of forest flora and fauna.
  3. Weeds, their characteristics, dissemination and association with various crops; their multiplications; cultural, biological, and chemical control of weeds.
  4. Soil- physical, chemical and biological properties. Processes and factors of soil formation. Soils of India, Mineral and organic constituents of soils and their role in maintaining soil productivity. Essential plant nutrients and other beneficial elements in soils and plants. Principles of soil fertility, soil testing and fertilizer recommendations, integrated nutrient management. Biofertilizers. Losses of nitrogen in the soil, nitrogen-use efficiency in submerged rice soils, nitrogen fixation in soils. Efficient phosphorus and potassium use. Problem soils and their reclamation. Soil factors affecting greenhouse gas emission.
  5. Soil conservation, integrated watershed management. Soil erosion and its management. Dryland agriculture and its problems. Technology for stabilizing agriculture production in rainfed areas. Water-use efficiency in relation to crop production, criteria for scheduling irrigations, ways and means of reducing runoff losses of irrigation water. Rainwater harvesting. Drip and sprinkler irrigation. Drainage of waterlogged soils, quality of irrigation water, the effect of industrial effluents on soil and water pollution. Irrigation projects in India.
  6. Farm management, scope, importance and characteristics, farm planning. Optimum resource use and budgeting. Economics of different types of farming systems. Marketing management – strategies for development, market intelligence. Price fluctuations and their cost; the role of cooperatives in agricultural economy; types and systems of farming and factors affecting them. Agricultural price policy. Crop Insurance.
  7. Agricultural extension, its importance and role, methods of evaluation of extension programmes, socio-economic survey and status of big, small and marginal farmers and landless agricultural labourers. Training programmes for extension workers. Role of Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s (KVK) in the dissemination of Agricultural technologies. Non-Government Organization (NGO) and self-help group approach for rural development.

SYLLABUS FOR PAPER II

UPSC Agriculture Optional Syllabus For IAS Mains | PDF Download
  1. Cell Theory, cell structure, cell organelles and their function, cell division, nucleic acids-structure and function, gene structure, and function. Laws of heredity, their significance in plant breeding.
  2. Chromosome structure, chromosomal aberrations, linkage and cross-over, and their significance in recombination breeding. Polyploidy, euploid, and euploids. Mutation-micro and macro-and their role in crop improvement. Variation, components of variation. Heritability, sterility and incompatibility, classification, and their application in crop improvement. Cytoplasmic inheritance, sex-linked, sex-influenced and sex-limited characters.
  3. History of plant breeding. Modes of reproduction, selling, and crossing techniques. Origin and evolution of crop plants, centre of origin, the law of homologous series, crop genetic resources-conservation and utilization. Application of principles of plant breeding to the improvement of major field crops. Pure-line selection, pedigree, mass, and recurrent selections, combining ability, its significance in plant breeding. Hybrid vigor and its exploitation, backcross method of breeding, breeding for disease and pest resistance, the role of interspecific and intergeneric hybridization. Role of biotechnology in plant breeding. Improved varieties, hybrids, composites of various crop plants. Seed technology, its importance. Different kinds of seeds and their seed production and processing techniques. Role of public and private sectors in seed production, processing, and marketing in India.
  4. Physiology and its significance in agriculture. Imbibition, surface tension, diffusion, and osmosis.Absorption and translocation of water, transpiration, and water economy.
  5. Enzymes and plant pigments;photosynthesis-modern concepts and factors affecting the process, aerobic and nonaerobic respiration; C3, C4, and CAM mechanisms. Carbohydrates, protein, and fat metabolism.
  6. Growth and development; photoperiodism and vernalization. Auxins, hormones, and other plant regulators and their mechanism of action and importance in agriculture. Physiology of seed development and germination; dormancy.
  7. Climatic requirements and cultivation of major fruits, plants, vegetable crops, and flower plants; the package of practices and their scientific basis. Handling and marketing problems of fruit and vegetables. Principal methods of preservation of important fruits and vegetable products, processing techniques, and equipment. Role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition. Raising of ornamental plants, and design and layout of lawns and gardens.
  8. Diseases and pests of field vegetables, orchard and plantation crops of India. Causes and classification of plant pests and diseases. Principles of control of plant pests and diseases Biological control of pests and diseases. Integrated pest and disease management. Epidemiology and forecasting. Pesticides, their formulations, and modes of action. Compatibility with rhizobial inoculants. Microbial toxins. Storage pests and diseases of cereals and pulses, and their control. Food production and consumption trends in India. National and international food policies. Production, procurement, distribution, and processing constraints. Relation of food production to the national dietary pattern, major deficiencies of calorie and protein.
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