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UPSC Agriculture Syllabus 2024, Optional Paper I and II for Mains Exam

UPSC Agriculture Syllabus 2024:  The UPSC offers a range of optional subjects, including Agriculture among its 48 subjects. The Agriculture syllabus emphasizes candidates’ scientific understanding and their ability to apply that knowledge to real-world challenges. The IAS Agriculture Optional papers carry 250 marks each, totaling 500 marks. In the IAS Exam’s Mains stage, there are a total of nine papers to be attempted.

UPSC Agriculture Syllabus 2024

UPSC Agriculture Syllabus is a part of UPSC Syllabus 2024 The UPSC Agriculture Optional Paper I syllabus focuses on various aspects of agriculture, including its role in the national economy, cropping patterns, farm management, agricultural production economics, marketing and pricing, finance and credit, and agricultural extension. It covers topics like the contribution of agriculture to economic development, farm planning and efficiency, marketing systems, and rural banking. This syllabus provides candidates with a deep understanding of agricultural practices and their economic implications, enabling them to analyze and address the challenges faced by the agricultural sector.

UPSC Agriculture Syllabus 2024 For Optional Paper I

The UPSC Agriculture Optional Paper I syllabus covers a wide range of topics essential to understanding the dynamics of agriculture and its interplay with the environment and socio-economic factors. It includes subjects such as ecology, crop distribution, climate change, farming systems, soil conservation, irrigation techniques, farm management, agricultural economics, and rural development. This comprehensive syllabus equips candidates with the knowledge and skills necessary to address the challenges faced by farmers and contributes to sustainable agricultural practices and rural upliftment.

  • Ecology and its relevance to man, natural resources, their sustainable management, and conservation. Physical and social environment as factors of crop distribution and production. 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. Advanced tools for ecosystem analysis – Remote sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Agricultural extension, its importance, and role, methods of evaluation of extension programs, socio-economic survey, and status of big, small, and marginal farmers and landless agricultural laborers. Training programs for extension workers. Role of Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s (KVK) in the dissemination of Agricultural technologies. Non-Government Organizations (NGO) and self-help group approach for rural development.
  • 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.
  • 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, fibers, sugar, commercial and fodder crops.
  • 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.
  • 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 the soil, nitrogen-use efficiency in submerged rice soils, and nitrogen fixation in soils. Efficient phosphorus and potassium use. Problem soils and their reclamation. Soil factors affecting greenhouse gas emission.
  • 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 the agricultural economy; types and systems of farming and factors affecting them. Agricultural price policy. Crop Insurance.

UPSC Agriculture Syllabus 2024 for Optional Paper II

The UPSC Agriculture Optional Paper II syllabus delves into the scientific aspects of agriculture, covering subjects such as crop physiology, plant breeding and genetics, seed science and technology, agronomy, soil science, horticulture, entomology, plant pathology, animal husbandry and veterinary science, and environmental interactions. It encompasses topics like plant growth and development, breeding techniques, seed production, crop production principles, soil fertility management, horticultural practices, pest and disease management, livestock production, and environmental conservation.

  • 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, sex-influenced, and sex-limited characters.
  • 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, and distribution constraints. 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 – Micronutrient deficiency: Protein Energy Malnutrition or Protein Calorie Malnutrition (PEM or PCM), Micro nutrient deficiency and HRD in the context of work capacity of women and children. Food grain productivity and food security.
  • Seed production and processing technologies. Seed certification, seed testing, and storage. DNA fingerprinting 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.
  • History of plant breeding. Modes of reproduction, selfing, and crossing techniques. Origin, evolution, and domestication of crop plants, the center of origin, the 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, and 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.
  • 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 mechanisms. Carbohydrates, protein, and fat metabolism. Growth and development; photoperiodism and vernalization. Plant growth substances and their role in crop production. Physiology of seed development and germination; dormancy. Stress physiology – drought, salt, and water stress.
  • Diagnosis of pests and diseases of field crops, vegetables, orchards, 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.
  • 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.
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UPSC Agriculture Syllabus 2024, Optional Paper I and II for Mains Exam_3.1

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Is agriculture a good subject for UPSC?

It's not as popular as many subjects but it has a high chance of scoring good marks in exams. According to many candidates, it's a safe subject to score well.

Is agriculture a subject in UPSC?

The UPSC Agriculture syllabus focuses on the candidates' ability to understand the subject as science and apply the knowledge to problems faced by the people. The IAS Agriculture Optional papers are of 250 marks each with a total of 500 marks. Mains in IAS Exam has nine papers.

What is the syllabus of UPSC Agriculture?

The UPSC Agriculture Paper I syllabus covers topics like Ecology, Cropping patterns in different agro-climatic zones, the scope of various types of forestry plantations, Weeds, Soil, Soil conservation, Water-use efficiency in relation to crop production, Farm Management, Agricultural extension, etc.

How to prepare for UPSC agriculture exam at home?

To prepare Agriculture UPSC Syllabus at home, aspirants must first organize a precise daily, weekly, and monthly study plan to focus on understanding the syllabus well.

Students must refer to the best books like Fundamentals of Agricultural Extension Education, Genetics, Agronomy, Introduction To Horticulture, etc. to cover the major subjects.
After conceptual learning of the topics, candidates should solve last year’s question papers to analyze their strengths and weaknesses.

What is agriculture optional subject in UPSC?

UPSC Agriculture Optional consists of two papers (paper I and paper II) in UPSC Mains Exam. Each paper is of 250 marks with a total of 500 marks. The agriculture optional syllabus covers the topics such as sustainable management of agriculture, cropping patterns, soils and their features, plant breeding and much more.

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