Agriculture Optional Syllabus – UPSC Agriculture Syllabus PDF for Mains 2023

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Agriculture Optional Syllabus covers the topics that would help the candidates to understand the basic concepts of Ecology, Agronomy, Weed Science, Cell Biology, and many more. If the candidate has an educational background in Agriculture, he or she will be able to learn the Agriculture syllabus for UPSC accurately, and the topics would be simpler to cover.

This article will elaborate on the UPSC Agriculture Syllabus along with the best preparation strategy and recommended booklist needed to study the syllabus. Candidates opting for this subject should know the complete structure of the Agriculture Optional syllabus that would assist them to score well in exams.

Agriculture Optional Syllabus

A candidate should have an idea of the questions asked from the UPSC Agriculture Optional Syllabus. The two sets of papers (Paper 1 and Paper 2) in UPSC Mains are of 250 marks each. Have a look at the few major topics asked in both Agriculture question papers.

UPSC Agriculture Optional Syllabus Topics
Agriculture Optional Syllabus Paper 1 Ecology, Agronomy, Weed Science, Forestry, Soil science and nutrient management, Soil and water conservation, Agricultural economics, Agricultural extension
Agriculture UPSC Optional Syllabus Paper 2 Cell biology, Plant breeding, Seed production and technology, Plant physiology, Horticulture and landscape gardening, Plant protection techniques, Food production and nutrition management

UPSC Agriculture Optional Syllabus PDF

One can easily download the UPSC Agriculture Syllabus in both Hindi and English by just clicking on the links provided. Besides this, you should be familiar with the Mains syllabus in a comprehensive way.

Aspirants residing in remote areas prepare for the subject more efficiently. They have access to traditional learning and are better capable to apprehend the problems faced by farmers.

Agriculture Optional Syllabus for Paper 1

The Agriculture Syllabus for UPSC is very effortless to complete and it has 6 topics in paper 1 which are further split into many subtopics. A complete UPSC Agriculture Optional Paper I Syllabus is illustrated below and some of the important topics asked in Paper 1 are:

upsc agriculture optional syllabus

upsc agriculture optional syllabus

UPSC Agriculture Optional Syllabus for Paper 2

There are 6 topics total in the Paper 2 of the Agriculture Optional Syllabus which are further divided into subtopics. The entire UPSC Agriculture Optional Paper II Syllabus is demonstrated below and a few crucial topics you must cover are as follows:

  • Role of Biotechnology and genetic engineering in crop improvement;
  • Food security and growing population – vision 2020;
  • Nutrient deficiency – Micronutrient deficiency: Protein Energy Malnutrition or Protein Calorie Malnutrition (PEM or PCM).

upsc agriculture optional syllabus

upsc agriculture optional syllabus

How to Prepare Agriculture Optional Syllabus?

UPSC Agriculture Optional syllabus strongly analyzes students’ ability to proceed towards the topic of Science and utilize what they understand in real-world problems. Follow the below-given preparation tips for covering the entire Agriculture syllabus for UPSC.

Understand the Syllabus Very Well: It is mandatory to understand and analyze your entire Agriculture UPSC syllabus. If you want to excel in your exam, you must be thorough with the complete syllabus.

Select the Good Books for Exam Preparation: A candidate must choose the best books for their exam preparation. The good books for the exam preparation are Fundamentals Of Agricultural Extension Education, Genetics, Agronomy, Introduction To Horticulture, Plant Breeding and many more.

Design a Study Plan for the Exam: The study plan plays an important role in exam preparation. Every candidate must make a study plan for themselves so that they can score good marks in their exams. You should make a strategic plan (monthly, weekly, and daily) and follow it rigorously.

Separate the Important Topics From the Syllabus: Always keep the important topics aside and make small notes on them, and revise them regularly. You can solve the last 10 years question papers to find out the weightage of various topics that come under the Agriculture optional UPSC syllabus.

Be Ready to Solve Previous Years’ Papers: After completing your entire syllabus, you should go for solving the UPSC question papers by which you will get to know your weak and strong parts and then you can prepare accordingly.

Booklist for Agriculture Optional Syllabus

Candidates who choose agriculture as an optional subject for the civil services exam will find that the course material is engaging and relevant to the issues that the nation’s agriculturalists are now encountering. Have a look at the best-recommended books from which you can prepare for the UPSC optional agriculture syllabus.

Books for preparing Agriculture Optional UPSC Publisher Name
Fundamentals of Agricultural Extension Education U Barman
A Textbook of Agricultural Statistics R. Rangaswamy
Agronomy Yellamanda Reddy
Entomology Vasantha Raj & David
Genetics B.D.Singh
Handbook of Agriculture ICAR
Introduction To Horticulture Kumar
Physiology Pandey & Singha
Plant Breeding B.D. Singh

Success Rate of Agriculture Optional in IAS Mains

Though lesser of candidates opt for Agriculture as their optional subject, it is seen that the success rate of the subject has been increasing over the years. The table represents the number of candidates who appeared for Agriculture optional along with its success rate for 4 subsequent years (2017-2014).

Year Total Aspirants Appeared Number of Aspirants Recommended this optional Success Rate (Percentage) of Agriculture Optional UPSC
2017 89 11 12.4
2016 220 41 18.6
2015 122 20 16.4
2014 77 7 9.1

Reasons to Choose Agriculture Optional for UPSC

It is observed that the UPSC Agriculture optional syllabus is neither complicated nor lengthy. Therefore, many aspiring candidates complete it effortlessly.

  • The Paper II Agriculture optional syllabus is similar to that of Paper II of Botany. So, it is suggested that Botany students should pick this optional subject as they are having satisfactory knowledge about the subject and understand it well.
  • A bunch of Agriculture topics have a direct resemblance with the UPSC GS papers on Economy and Geography.
  • The syllabus of Agriculture optional is easier to finish.
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