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UPSC Botany Syllabus 2024, Exam Preparation Strategy

The Botany Syllabus for UPSC is designed to assess candidates’ understanding of the subject and their ability to apply valuable knowledge in solving ecological problems. It is a highly specialized syllabus and is recommended for those who have prior familiarity with the subject or have studied botany in their curriculum.

UPSC Botany Syllabus 2024 Highlights

The UPSC Botany Optional Syllabus is divided into two papers, each carrying 250 marks, resulting in a total of 500 marks. The UPSC Botany Optional Syllabus consists of 11 primary topics, each containing several sub-topics. To ensure comprehensive coverage of the botany syllabus for UPSC, candidates should devise a strategic plan that addresses every topic.

This approach will enhance their chances of scoring well and clearing the second stage of the UPSC Exam. Candidates can check the table for the UPSC Botany Syllabus 2024.

UPSC Botany Syllabus 2024 Highlights
Name of Conducting Body UPSC
Mode Of Exam paper pen (offline mode) based examination
Botany Optional Subject Paper I & II
Total Questions 5 (for both Paper)
Total Marks 250 Marks for Each (Paper I & II)
Total Time 3 Hours Each
Language of Question Paper English and Hindi only
Official Website upsc.gov.in

UPSC Botany Syllabus 2024

Before commencing their preparation, candidates are advised to carefully check the UPSC Botany Syllabus 2024. This will provide aspirants with a clear understanding of the topics they need to cover and the weightage assigned to each topic. The following topics are included in the UPSC Botany Optional syllabus.

UPSC Botany Mains Paper 1 Syllabus 2024

The first paper of the UPSC Botany Syllabus covers various topics including Microbiology and Plant Pathology, Cryptogams, Phanerogams, Plant Utility and Exploitation, and Morphogenesis. The complete syllabus for Paper I is provided in the table below for a detailed syllabus.

UPSC Botany Syllabus for Mains (Paper 1)
1. Microbiology and Plant Pathology Viruses, bacteria, and plasmids-structure and reproduction. A general account of infection, Phytoimmunology. Applications of microbiology in agriculture, industry, medicine, and pollution control in air, soil, and water. Important plant diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, mycoplasma, fungi, and nematodes. Mode of infection and dissemination. Molecular basis of infection and disease resistance/defense. Physiology of parasitism and control measures. Fungal toxins.
2. Cryptogams Algae, Fungi, Bryophytes, Pteridophytes-structure and reproduction from an evolutionary viewpoint. Distribution of Cryptogams in India and their economic potential.
3. Phanerogams
  • Gymnosperms: Concept of Progymonosperms. Classification and distribution of Gymnosperms. Salient features of Cycadales, Coniferrals, and Gnetales, their structures, and reproduction. General account of Cycadofilicales, Bennettitales and Cordaitales.
  • Angiosperms: Systematics, anatomy, embryology, palynology, and phylogeny. A comparative account of various systems of Angiosperm Classification. Study of angiosperms families–Magnoliaceae, Ranunculaceae, Brassicaceae (Cruci-ferae), Rosaceae, Leguminosae, Euphorbiaceae, Malvaceaie, Dipterocar-paceae, Apiaceae (Umbelliferae), Asclepiadaceae, Verbenaceae, Solana-ceae, Rubiaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Asteraceae (Composite), Poaceae (Gramineae), Arecaceae (Palmae), Liliaceae, Musaceae, Orchidaceae. Stomata and their types. Anomalous secondary growth, Anatomy of C 3 and C4 plants. Development of male and female gametophytes, pollination, fertilization. Endosperm–its development and function. Patterns of embryo development. Polyembryony, apomixis, Applications of palynology.
4. Plant Utility and Exploitation Origin of cultivated plants, Vavilov’s centers of origin. Plants as sources of food, fodder, fibers, spices, beverages, drugs, narcotics, insecticides, timber, gums, resins, and dyes. Latex, cellulose Starch, and their products. Perfumery. Importance of Ethnobotany in the Indian Context. Energy plantation. Botanical Gardens and Herbaria.
 5. Morphogenesis Totipotency, polarity, symmetry, and differentiation. Cell, tissue, organ, and protoplast culture. Somatic hybrids and Cybrids.

Download PDF: UPSC Botany Syllabus 2024

UPSC Botany Mains Paper 2 Syllabus 2024

The UPSC Botany Syllabus for Paper II is categorized into six topics, each of which consists of several subtopics. The detailed list of subtopics for each topic is provided in the table below for a detailed syllabus.

UPSC Botany Syllabus for Mains (Paper 2)
1. Cell Biology Techniques of Cell Biology. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells -structural and ultrastructural details. Structure and function of extracellular matrix or ECM (cell wall) and membranes-cell adhesion, membrane transport, and vesicular transport. Structure and function of cell organelles (chloroplasts, mitochondria, ER, ribosomes, endosomes, lysosomes, peroxisomes, hydrogenosome). Nucleus, nucleolus, nuclear pore complex. Chromatin and nucleosome. Cell signaling and cell receptors. Signal transduction (G-1 proteins, etc.). Mitosis and meiosis; molecular basis of the cell cycle. Numerical and structural variations in chromosomes and their significance. Study of polytene, lampbrush, and B-chromosomes–structure, behaviour, and significance.
2. Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Evolution:  Development of genetics, and gene versus allele concepts (Pseudoalleles). Quantitative genetics and multiple factors. Linkage and crossing over–methods of gene mapping including molecular maps (the idea of mapping function). Sex chromosomes and sexlinked inheritance, sex determination and molecular basis of sex differentiation. Mutation (biochemical and molecular basis). Cytoplasmic inheritance and cytoplasmic genes (including genetics of male sterility). Prions and prion hypothesis. Structure and synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins. Genetic code and regulation of gene expression. Multigene families. Organic evolution-evidences, mechanisms, and theories. Role of RNA in origin and evolution.
3. Plant Breeding, Biotechnology and Biostatistics  Methods of plant breeding — introduction, selection, and hybridization (pedigree, backcross, mass selection, bulk method). Male sterility and heterosis breeding. Use of apomixis in plant breeding. Micropropagation and genetic engineering–methods of transfer of genes and transgenic crops; development and use of molecular markers in plant breeding. Standard deviation and coefficient of variation (CV). Tests of significance (Z-test, t-test, and chi-square Test). Probability and distributions (normal, binomial, and Poisson distributions). Correlation and regression.
4. Physiology and Biochemistry  Water relations, Mineral nutrition, ion transport, mineral deficiencies. Photosynthesis–photochemical reactions, photophosphorylation, and carbon pathways including C pathway (photorespiration), C, C, and CAM pathways. Respiration (anaerobic and aerobic, including fermentation-electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation. Chemiosmotic theory and ATP synthesis. Nitrogen fixation and nitrogen metabolism. Enzymes, coenzymes, energy transfer, and energy conservation. Importance of secondary metabolites. Pigments as photoreceptors (plastidial pigments and phytochrome). Photoperiodism and flowering, vernalization, senescence. Growth substances-their chemical nature, role, and applications in agri-horticulture, growth indices, growth movements. Stress physiology (heat, water, salinity, metal). Fruit and seed physiology. Dormancy, storage, and germination of seed. Fruit ripening — its molecular basis and manipulation.
5. Ecology and Plant Geography Ecological factors. Concepts and dynamics of the community. Plant succession. Concepts of the biosphere. Ecosystems and their conservation. Pollution and its control (including phytoremediation).
6. Forest types of India  Afforestation, deforestation, and social forestry. Endangered plants, endemism, and Red Data Books.Biodiversity. Convention of Biological Diversity, Sovereign Rights and Intellectual Property Rights. Biogeochemical cycles. Global warming

UPSC Botany Exam Pattern 2024

UPSC Botany Syllabus 2024: According to the table, the exam pattern of each paper of the UPSC Botany Syllabus is assigned 250 marks, a total of 500 marks. Candidates must aim for a high score to significantly impact their overall performance in the UPSC Exam. Understanding the UPSC Botany Syllabus is the initial step towards excelling in this subject.

Candidates who have a background in Botany during their graduation or master’s degree may find the UPSC Botany Optional Syllabus relevant. The syllabus consists of two papers, namely Paper 1 and Paper 2. The time duration for both exams is 3 Hours.

UPSC Botany Exam Pattern 2024
Topic Marks Duration
UPSC Botany Optional Syllabus Paper 1 250 3 Hours
UPSC Botany Optional Syllabus Paper 2 250

UPSC Botany Preparation Strategy 2024

For candidates aiming to effectively complete the UPSC Botany Optional Syllabus, following a robust preparation strategy is crucial. Botany is known to be a highly-scoring optional subject in the UPSC mains exam, with only a few candidates opting for it. Here is a solid strategy to prepare for the Botany Syllabus for UPSC:

  1. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire UPSC Botany Syllabus. Focus on charts and diagrams in Paper 1, while giving importance to cellular science and the atomic viewpoint in Paper 2.
  2. Develop a well-structured study plan and diligently follow it. This will ensure timely coverage of the UPSC Botany Optional Syllabus.
  3. Practice extensively, attempt UPSC mock tests, and review previous year’s questions to identify crucial topics that should be covered from the Botany syllabus.
  4. Select the best reference books available and execute your study plans effectively to maximize your preparation efforts.

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Is UPSC botany optional syllabus part of UPSC mains syllabus?

Yes, the botany optional syllabus is included in the optional subjects of UPSC mains syllabus.

What is UPSC botany optional syllabus?

The botany optional syllabus for UPSC includes two papers namely Paper 1, and Paper 2. Paper 1 includes topics like Cryptogams, Phanergams, Plant Utility, and Exploitation, whereas Paper 2 contains cell biology, biochemistry, atomic viewpoint etc. You must go through the detailed UPSC syllabus to have a better understanding of the entire exam.

Is botany good optional for UPSC?

This subject is also one of those offered by UPSC as an optional.


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