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In the current trend of UPSC optional is playing a major role in being in the selection list and missing marginally. Agriculture optional has been a good scoring optional. Those who prepare strategically will be getting at least 250+ assured. Being a technical subject the questions in the exam tends to repeat every year. With good guidance and thorough writing practice one can score above 300. The key here is good writing practice, reading material is no constraint for Agriculture optional. The following tables convey that compared to other optional agriculture has good role in getting into selection list.
Why to choose Agriculture optional?
For Agriculture graduates:
- Familiarity with subject. Being studied for at least 4 years gives confidence on the subject matter.
- Can cover more syllabus in less time compared to other optional.
- Less chances of panicking about unknown questions in the exam hall, as most of the questions will be known.
- Even when questions come out of ordinary, will have knowledge base to manage them in the exam hall.
- Can address the demand of questions with the practical knowledge gained in the field during graduation, especially for the questions on Agriculture extension. While writing answers from experience content feels genuine.
- Less to describe in words more to express in diagrams.
- Since Agriculture optional syllabus for IFS and Civil service is almost same and paper 2 of botany is as similar as Agriculture paper 2, it will be like preparing for both exams simultaneously.
- Rank 106 (2018, score 311), next could be you.
For non-Agriculture graduates:
- People with science background, graduates in biotech, chemistry, botany etc. can opt for Agriculture optional. As it would be easy for completion of syllabus and there will be natural ease in writing answers.
- Even engineering graduates have cleared IFS by having Agriculture as optional like rank 63 (IFoS, 2019), graduates form science subjects like rank 95 (IAS, 2017 with score of 310+).
- One can cover overlapping topics of GS III in the optionallike, Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers. Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security.
- There have been at least 4 questions on agriculture in UPSC GS 3 from last 4 years, so Agriculture optional helps to tackle at least 20% of questions in GS3. Over years at least 2 to 3 questions are coming from agriculture in UPSC GS paper 3. With the current focus agriculture getting in policy accepts, questions are only expected to increase.
- What is water-use efficiency? Describe the role of micro-irrigation in increasing the water-use efficiency.
- What is allelopathy? Discuss its role in major cropping systems of irrigated agriculture.
- Discuss the role of land reforms in agricultural development. Identify the factors that were responsible for the success of land reforms in India.
- Given the vulnerability of Indian agriculture to vagaries of nature, discuss the need for crop insurance and bring out the salient features of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
- Easy availability of reading materials.
Trend of the questions being asked over years is such that to evaluate the aspirants understanding of basic concepts in the subject and ability to present good content in limited time and space. But off lately, few questions are appearing to test depth of the knowledge.
For example, question of gene pyramiding and introgression was asked in 2016 for 12.5 marks same was asked for 15 marks in 2020. Since two terms has less difference, it demands depth of knowledge to answer.
* A detailed analysis of the trend of questions will be provided later.
Agriculture optional success rate (as per UPSC annual report)
|Year||No. of candidates appeared||No. of candidates cleared||Success rate (%)|
How test series address the demands:
- Main intention of the test series is to guide you to complete optional syllabus within 7 months by managing your GS classes. It enables you to complete optional with more than 4 months to prepare for prelims.
- There is adequate time between two tests, which helps you to complete notes making as well as answer writing.
- Test series will be focused to improve writing skills, especially structuring and presentation of concepts.
- It will help you to tackle questions which tend to understand your depth of knowledge.
- Each aspirant will have unique problem. Individual mentoring will give personalized solutions to aspirants.
- Total of 16 quality tests, which are aligned with demand and trends of UPSC.
12 short tests (150 marks each)
2 paper 1 full length papers
2 paper 2 full length papers.
- Comprehensive coverage of the syllabus.
- One on one discussion of answers will help you rectify issues in writing skills.
- It will be helpful for aspirants planning to appear Next (2023) year’s CSE and IFS. Aspirants at this stage will need a strategic one-year plan. This test series will help you in this regard.
Last year we were able to predict many questions in UPSC.
Find the Questions from Insights IAS Agriculture Test Series 2021 which were on the same lines of UPSC CSE 2021 :
(Course Valid till January 2023)
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