AGRICULTURE SYLLABUS FOR UPSC CIVIL SERVICES MAINS EXAMINATION

AGRICULTURE SYLLABUS FOR UPSC CIVIL SERVICES MAINS EXAMINATION

                           PAPER-FIRST
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 fertiliser recommendations, integrated nutrient
management Biofertilizers. Losses of nitrogen in soil, nitrogen-
use efficiency in submerged rice soils, nitrogen fixation in
soils. Efficient phosphoruse and potassium use. Problem soils
and their reclamation. Soil factors affecting green house gas
emission.
Soil conservation, integrated watershed management.
Soil erosion and its management. Dry land agriculture and its
problems. Technology for stabilising agriculture production
in rainfed 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 water-logged 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
Organisation (NGO) and self-help group approach for rural
development.

                      PAPER-SECOND

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. Mutation—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.
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 Gernetically 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 mechanisms.
Carbohydrate, 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—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. Intergrated pest and diseases 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 constraints. Availability
of foodgtrains, 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 food security.