UPSC Mains Exam Syllabus - Agriculture Optional
PAPER - I:
Ecology and its relevance to man, natural resources, their
sustainable management and conservation. Physical and social environment as
factors of crop distribution and production. Agro ecology; cropping pattern as
indicators of environments. Environmental pollution and associated hazards to
crops, animals and humans. Climate change – International conventions and global
initiatives. Green house effect and global warming. Advance tools for ecosystem
analysis – Remote sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
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, oil seeds, fibres, sugar, commercial and fodder crops.
Important features and scope of various types of forestry
plantations such as social forestry, agro-forestry, and natural forests.
Propagation of forest plants. Forest products. Agro forestry and value addition.
Conservation of forest flora and fauna. Weeds, their characteristics,
dissemination and association with various crops; their multiplications;
cultural, biological, and chemical control of weeds. 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 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. Soil conservation, integrated watershed
management. Soil erosion and its management. Dry land agriculture and its
problems. Technology for stabilizing agriculture production in rain fed areas.
Water-use efficiency in relation to crop production, criteria
for scheduling irrigations, ways and means of reducing run-off losses of
irrigation water. Rainwater harvesting. Drip and sprinkler irrigation. Drainage
of waterlogged soils, quality of irrigation water, effect of industrial
effluents on soil and water pollution. Irrigation projects in India. 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; role of co-operatives in agricultural economy;
types and systems of farming and factors affecting them. Agricultural price
policy. Crop Insurance. 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
dissemination of Agricultural technologies. Non Government Organization (NGO)
and self-help group approach for rural development.
PAPER - II:
Cell structure, function and cell cycle. Synthesis, structure
and function of genetic material. Laws of heredity. Chromosome structure,
chromosomal aberrations, linkage and cross-over, and their significance in
recombination breeding. Polyploidy, euploids and aneuploids. Mutations - and
their role in crop improvement. Heritability, sterility and incompatibility,
classification and their application in crop improvement. Cytoplasmic
inheritance, sex-linked, sexinfluenced and sex-limited characters. History of
plant breeding. Modes of reproduction, selfing and crossing techniques. Origin,
evolution and domestication of crop plants, center of origin, law of homologous
series, crop genetic resources- conservation and utilization. Application of
principles of plant breeding, improvement of crop plants. Molecular markers and
their application in plant improvement. Pure-line selection, pedigree, mass and
recurrent selections, combining ability, its significance in plant breeding.
Heterosis and its exploitation.
Somatic hybridization. Breeding for disease and pest
resistance. Role of interspecific and intergeneric hybridization. Role of
genetic engineering and biotechnology in crop improvement. Genetically modified
crop plants. Seed production and processing technologies. Seed certification,
seed testing and storage. DNA finger printing and seed registration. Role of
public and private sectors in seed production and marketing. Intellectual
Property Rights (IPR) issues, WTO issues and its impact on Agriculture.
Principles of Plant Physiology with reference to plant nutrition, absorption,
translocation and metabolism of nutrients. Soil - water- plant relationship.
Enzymes and plant pigments; photosynthesis- modern concepts and factors
affecting the process, aerobic and anaerobic respiration; C3, C4 and CAM
Carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism.
Growth and development; photoperiodism
and vernalilzation. Plant growth substances
and their role in crop production.
Physiology of seed development and germination;
dormancy. Stress physiology –
draught, salt and water stress.
Major fruits, plantation crops, vegetables,
spices and flower crops. Package practices
of major horticultural crops. Protected
cultivation and high tech horticulture. Post
harvest technology and value addition of
fruits and vegetables. Landscaping and
commercial floriculture. Medicinal and aromatic
plants. Role of fruits and vegetables
in human nutrition.
Diagnosis of pests and diseases of field
crops, vegetables, orchard and plantation
crops and their economic importance. Classification
of pests and diseases and their
management. Integrated pest and disease
management. Storage pests and their
management. Biological control of pests
and diseases. Epidemiology and forecasting
of major crop pests and diseases. Plant
quarantine measures. Pesticides, their formulation
and modes of action.
Food production and consumption trends
in India. Food security and growing population
– vision 2020. Reasons for grain
surplus. National and international food
policies. Production, procurement, distribution onstraints. Availability of food
grains, per capita expenditure on food.
Trends in poverty, Public Distribution System
and Below Poverty Line population,
Targeted Public Distribution System (PDS),
policy implementation in context to globalization.
Processing constraints. Relation of food production to National Dietary Guidelines
and food consumption pattern. Food
based dietary approaches to eliminate
hunger. Nutrient deficiency – Micro nutrient
deficiency : Protein Energy Malnutrition
or Protein Calorie Malnutrition (PEM
or PCM), Micro nutrient deficiency and
HRD in context of work capacity of women
and children. Food grain productivity and