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Strategic Guidelines for UPSC Agriculture Optional Subject | UPSC 2018

Opting for Agriculture optional subject has an added advantage for the aspirants from the academic background in Agriculture, Botany, Zoology, Life Sciences and Biomedical Sciences.

Aspirants with no prior knowledge of Agriculture and Biology should not opt for this subject as it would be difficult to understand the Biological concepts and might not score well on it.

The paper I of Agriculture Optional Paper is like general studies focusing on farm practices and basic foundation of agriculture. Paper II of Agriculture Optional comprises of technical aspects of cell the biology, genetics, biotechnology, plant breed.

Benefits of choosing Agriculture Optional


   Agriculture optional paper is scoring if and only if you have the prerequisite knowledge and if followed the right approach.



    Paper II of Agriculture Optional is similar to Botany Optional Paper II. So one can spare time if opted for both.

Preparation time

   12-15 hrs per week and 4-5 months are required to solely cover up the entire syllabus for Agriculture Mains Optional.

Recommended Book sets for Agriculture Optional

  •    Plant Breeding Principles and Methods B.D. Singh
  •    Fundamentals of Genetics by B.D. Singh
  •    Plant Physiology by V.K. Jain
  •    Introductory Soil Science by D.K. Das
  •    Economics of Farm Production and Management by Raju and Rao
  •    Principles of Agronomy by T.Y. Reddy and G.H.S. Reddi
  •    Plant Pathology by P.D. Sharma
  •    Introduction to Horticulture by N Kumar

Key Strategies for Agriculture Mains Optional

  •    Prepare short notes and flowcharts during preparation hours. These will help the aspirants during revision hours.
  •    Government annual reports of the ministry of agriculture and the economic survey should be read thoroughly, and one should be updated with the new introductions.
  •    Solving previous year Agriculture Mains Paper I & II will help the aspirants in understanding the exam pattern, FAQs, and trends.

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