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Important Books For Agriculture Optional For UPSC IAS Mains

Agriculture is one of the most interesting and relevant subjects for Agriculture Books & Syllabus UPSC aspirants. This optional subject is predominantly chosen by those candidates who have roots attached with agriculture as background. This is one of the esteemed subjects that test your knowledge in a practical sense. It deals with your caliber and how you can deal with real-life scenarios when you are face to face with the one.

You can opt for this subject if you are the one who wants to get in-depth knowledge about the issues faced by farmers in the real world. The aspirants who have traditional knowledge about the core of this subject find it very easy to prepare. But, the question lies in how to start with the preparation when the syllabus is so wholesome? The answer to this question lies with this article.

Books are one of the greatest friends of any aspirant and if you arrange some good books and a detailed Agriculture optional syllabus, then you can get started with your preparation. You just need to understand your Agriculture optional UPSC syllabus well. Everything will happen in a stepwise fashion. You just need to go on with the flow of preparation. Mind that, getting well-versed with the Agriculture optional syllabus is very important and you can’t neglect its importance.

We have discussed the entire IAS optional syllabus for Agriculture so that you need no search here and there to get the syllabus in place. We have also provided you with references so that you can select an abundance of good Agriculture optional books for yourself. So, let’s get started.

Books for Agriculture Optional for UPSC

Agriculture optional UPSC books are a good source of information to provide you with high-quality education. This list of Agriculture optional books will help you get familiar with the various topics of the syllabus in detail so that you can have a better understanding about the subject. Let’s have a look at some of the prominent Agriculture optional books.

Agricultural Economics and Farm Management

  • Soil Science – D.K Das Or Brady
  • Agronomy By Yellamananda Reddy
  • Plant Breeding By B.D. Singh
  • Genetics By B.D.Singh
  • Physiology By Pandey & Singha
  • Introduction To Horticulture – Kumar
  • Handbook Of Agriculture By ICAR
  • Agricultural Extension Education in India
  1. Pathology – Singh
  1. Entomology – Vasantha Raj & David
  1. The Hindu – Survey Of Indian Agriculture
  1. Agriculture Statistics
  1. Special Issue of Agriculture by The Hindu

Agriculture Optional Books & Syllabus for UPSC

Agriculture Syllabus for Paper-I

  • Ecology and its relevance to man, natural resources, 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. 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, 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, 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. 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 run-off 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. 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 co-operatives in the 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 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 Organization (NGO) and self-help group approach for rural development.

Agriculture Syllabus for 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, sex-influenced, and sex-limited characters.
  • 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, 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 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. 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 – drought, 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 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.

Bottom Line

Opting for Agriculture as an optional subject is one of the wisest decisions you could make. Not only is it interesting and relevant to the nation and services but it also has a high scope to fetch good marks. If you want to remain grounded with your roots and serve the best even to the agriculture sector then other optional tends to beat it. You just need to stay focused and be aware of the syllabus and books of the subject. Once you are done with this, you can make a meritorious plan and strategize your preparation.

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