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Free Guidance for Agriculture Optional - IFoS

Friends, I am an Agriculture graduate and since my attempts are over , i am willing to help anyone who is preparing for IFoS with this optional. My plan is to daily give 1-2 questions subject wise systematically so that subject is prepared well before time and it would be meaningful for the exam.

My Overall way of Plan:

Paper 1 - March - June
Paper 2 - August - October

Strategy for Paper 1: I am going to follow the order given as below
Envt Science - 7 days
Forestry - 7 days
Dryland - 7 days
Irrigation - 7 days
Weed Mgmt - 7 days
Crop Science - 7 days ............ with this Agronomy is completed.

Soil Science - 15 days
Agriculture Economics - 15 days
Agriculture Extension - 15 days


Paper 2 will be done similarly after prelims examination.

Though sometimes i may be irregular due to some other occupation, but one can definitely prepare all alone by following the above given order and come out with flying colurs. Wish you All the Best and Good Luck. Thanks.

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Comments

  • edited March 2016
    1. Why are Agroecosystems losing diversity? Give characteristics of cropland ecosystem.
    2. Modernisation of Agriculture and Environmental Pollution.

    Source : Internet or ICAR Handbook of Agriculture
  • Why don't you start a personal blog as well. That would be better and would help coming batches too for years.
    Here mods are often pain in a$$ and your valuable informations might get lost.
    you can keep posting the same blog posts here as well meanwhile it gets famous.
  • Some of the reasons for agroecosystems losing diversity are

    A. Increasing mono-cropping systems like wheat and rice without any judicious crop rotation, as compared tpo earlier when cereals were separated by cultivation of leguminous crops
    B. Heavy use of insecticides, herbicides and pesticides are eliminating even the flora and fauna which keeps a check on the harmful pests for crops.
    C. Use of Genetically modified crops , results in suppression of natural variation.
    D. Wrong selection of crops, like sugarcane, rice and wheat in areas of low rainfall where millet, maize may be a right crop combination.


    Am i on right path ?
  • @fairytale bhai tu ias ban gaya..yahi answer chahiye tha upsc ko...
  • @Aravalli bhai kam dhandha khoj.. help kar ke kuch na mile hai iss duniya me..
  • @fairytale Yes , you are right and it is a very good answer. .......Just add few more terms like overexploitation, habitat destruction , excessive use of agrochemicals, indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers, declining crop rotation , growing uniform varieties in large areas, use of HYV Seeds, mechanization, chemical pesticides killing both targeted pests as well as beneficial insects like pollinators,honey bees etc ...... and of course effect of Climate Change.

    But you will also get good marks!!
  • Envt. Science - 24 - 31 March , 2016

    1. Bring out the possible impacts of climate change on Indian agriculture. What are the possible mitigation options?
    2. Enlist important greenhouse gases. How can agriculture affect Climate change ? Describe the importance of carbon sequestration.

    Source : Internet or ICAR Handbook of Agriculture
  • @lalsalaam12 Brother if you have tnau & ICAR notes, that is enough to clear this exam. Just bookmark or tick all relevant areas according to syllabus and previous year paper and revise it well. About subject completion it all depends upon your speed and interest. For the time being ,you focus upon ese, later go for ifos mains and do it as you have desired. Wish you All the Best and Good Luck !!
  • @lalsalaam12 for few areas ICAR Handbook is very good like environment, climate change topics, irrigation, farm management, agri extension , little bit soil science, IPM , entomology, seed technology etc. So ,you can refer it when need arises and that too for selective topics.....But the biggest merit of handbook is that it explains agriculture science in a very layman language which is very easy, lucid, precise and easy to understand.
  • I have attended IFS interview this time...Agri score is 79+45...studied only for a week..I could somewhat manage paper 1 with my civils optional geography but paper 2 seems to be very tough..your guidance would be much appreciated..
  • @rembrandt Brother Paper 2 is challenging even for agri graduates also .....but what is needed is very selective preparation and cover other areas holistically in a comprehensive manner. Try to increase little bit understanding regarding Plant pathology, entomology, about why any disease or insect attack occurs,what are the conditions favourable for them, how to manage them ......in all these take care of general principles and how can you manage them without even resorting to scientific names or chemicals ...... just replace them with proper words like applying appropriate dosage of chemicals , timely preventive measures , proper seed and variety selection which are resistant , seed treatment etc.....Also, try to increase your understanding regarding IPM, what are their basic principles, their merits and demerits etc... Be thorough with Biological control methods where a natural parasite or predator is used to kill target pest etc and thus is eco-friendly and cost effective ......

    In addition to above, make sure that you get a thorough background in Genetics, Plant Breeding, Biotechnology, Seed Technology and Plant Physiology and the last part of syllabus like food mgmt, policy, PDS etc....Just revise them well before exam and hope you will get through it easily. Go for easier and simpler books which makes you at ease and comfortable. The key is it should make you more confident and energetic in the whole process..Thanks a lot.
  • Envt. Science - 24 - 31 March , 2016

    1. Conservation of Natural Resources.
    2. Soil Pollution
    3. Importance of agro-ecological factors in Land-use planning.

    Source : Internet or ICAR Handbook of Agriculture
  • Aravalli said:

    Envt. Science - 24 - 31 March , 2016

    1. Bring out the possible impacts of climate change on Indian agriculture. What are the possible mitigation options?

    Insufficient infrastructure, lack of resources with farmers and unscientific agricultural practices leaves Indian agriculture highly vulnerable to the vagaries of nature. This has been further exacerbated by the rapid global climate change. Some of the impacts are:
    A. Drought: India has been witnessing a spell of back to back droughts currently. With about 62%of the agriculture rainfed, this has resulted in widespread crop faliure
    B. Extreme weather events: Droughts have been accompanied with extreme weather events like flash floods, hailstorms and rainfall, at the time of harvest of crops.Most of the rabi crop of 2015 FY was destroyed due to these events
    C. Increased pest infestation: Pest infestation has also risen along with the rise in temperature. The destruction of cotton crop by whitefly infestation in Punjab is one such example of increasing virulence of pests in agriculture.


    The possible mitigating options would be:
    A. To develop drought resistant strains of crops eg by NICRA, ICRISAT etc. using bio-tech interventions.
    B. Sensitizing farmers about techniques of on-farm moisture preservation eg. by mulching, check dams, micro-irrigation techniques etc.
    C. Including livestock in the farming mix particularly in regions having high variation in annual rainfall.



    Source : Internet or ICAR Handbook of Agriculture

  • Aravalli said:

    Envt. Science - 24 - 31 March , 2016

    2. Enlist important greenhouse gases. How can agriculture affect Climate change ? Describe the importance of carbon sequestration.

    Important greenhouse gases, as mentioned under UNFCCC are:
    1. Carbon dioxide
    2. methane
    3. O3
    4. No2
    5. Water Vapour

    Impact on agriculture on climate change:
    A. The practices of paddy cultivation by submerging land with water are a great source of methane emission.
    B. Clearing of trees and forests for agricultural land, depletes the carbon stock and hampers sequestration.
    C. Practices of burning crop residue , flooding irrigation etc increase the emission of Green house gases.

    Carbon sequestration is the technique of capturing Co2 from atmossphere, and keeping it stored and locked in a manner to prevent its leakage into environment. It has been looked upon as an alternative to mitigate climate change and global warming. Trees and plants act as natural hosts of carbon sequestration. Other techniques are terrestrial storage, and storage in oceans by ion fertilization. A scientifically sound carbon sequestration technique is vital to reverse the momentum of climate change currently going on.



    Source : Internet or ICAR Handbook of Agriculture

  • Aravalli said:

    Friends, I am an Agriculture graduate and since my attempts are over , i am willing to help anyone who is preparing for IFoS with this optional. My plan is to daily give 1-2 questions subject wise systematically so that subject is prepared well before time and it would be meaningful for the exam.

    My Overall way of Plan:

    Paper 1 - March - June
    Paper 2 - August - October

    Strategy for Paper 1: I am going to follow the order given as below
    Envt Science - 7 days
    Forestry - 7 days
    Dryland - 7 days
    Irrigation - 7 days
    Weed Mgmt - 7 days
    Crop Science - 7 days ............ with this Agronomy is completed.

    Soil Science - 15 days
    Agriculture Economics - 15 days
    Agriculture Extension - 15 days


    Paper 2 will be done similarly after prelims examination.

    Though sometimes i may be irregular due to some other occupation, but one can definitely prepare all alone by following the above given order and come out with flying colurs. Wish you All the Best and Good Luck. Thanks.

    @Aravalli First of all thanks for taking such initiative to guide few takers of agri like us.Just one request ,it would be great if you can point out sources for each corresponding topic in the preparation schedule ,so that one can arrange material beforehand.
  • @fairytale very good answer

    Also add these points under Impact of agriculture on climate change:
    1. Emission of methane from rice fields due to activity of methanogenic bacteria under anaerobic condition ...... as rice fields are submerged under water
    2. Enteric fermentation in the rumen of ruminants like cattle, livestock etc
    3. Nitrous oxide emission from soil due to application of chemical nitrogenous fertilizers etc


    Impact of climate change on agriculture :
    1. Increased phosynthesic efficiency in C3 plants ....therfore increase in their yields for some time
    2. Yield of wheat crop affected due to reduced grain filling duration, increased respiration
    3. Extreme weather events like drought ,flood, cyclone, hailstorms etc
    4. irrigation supply affected due to vagaries of monsoon
    5. more pest and disease attack, their rapid development and transmission especially of vectors
    6. quality of agri and horticultural products will be affected etc

    Mitigation option :
    1. improve feed efficiency in case of livestock so that feed passes speedily through rumen
    2. mid season aeration and alternate wetting and drying in case of rice fields
    3. better crop mgmt practices which increases nitrogen use efficiency like timely application of fertilizer, site specific nutrient mgmt, properfertlizer placement and applying appropriate fertilzer etc
    4. more r&d agri dev to develop new varieties of seed which are drought and disease tolerant, give better yield etc...


    i have added all these just to give an agricultural touch to it, otherwise what you wrote is also correct.
  • edited March 2016
    I want to prepare for IFoS.My optional for CSE is sociology.So presently I'm in optional choosing phase for IFoS.
    I'm in a dilemma about my first optional.Should I take forestry or agriculture?
    Forestry is good because it takes less time to prepare and we can use commonsensical answers.
    Agriculture is also good for me because I want to give NABARD as well (which has significant agriculture portion)+I have rural background and hence I have personal inclination towards it.But I guess it has larger syllabus and study is more specialized. @Aravalli can you suggest something?

    My second optional is not yet decided.Maybe Geology or something else.

    P.S.- @Aravalli ,why don't you start a separate blog for your initiative.It's not easy to find daily questions and review others' answers.A separate blog would make things more organized.

  • For agriculture,from where should I start?
    Can anyone elaborate on TNAU and ICAR BSC agriculture notes?From where can I get it?
  • Booklist Paper 2 :

    Genetics - Phundan Singh
    Plant Breeding - Phundan Singh
    Biotechnology - Two books given above and few portions from ICAR Handbook of Agriculture
    Seed Technology - ICAR Handbook of Agriculture
    Plant Physiology - Any 11/12th class biology book
    Plant Pathology -
    Entomology -
    Horticulture -
    General Agriculture, Food Policy - GS preparation is sufficient

    I have deliberately left path, ento and horti books as it has to be done very selectively otherwise it will lead to wastage of time. One can start from above books and if one have enough energy and passion then go to higher level books. But this gives you a good base to start with in my view.
  • 1. Comment on the use of Remote Sensing and GIS in agricultural planning.
    2. Elaborate the Environmental pollutions along with the role of afforestation in minimizing their effects.
  • @Aravalli please suggest sources for agriculture economics?
  • edited March 2016
    @lalsalaam12 very good answer, you can also add little bit about rural development and also how it helps in proper site selection for watershed projects , weather forecasting , mapping of groundwater status, forest cover, landuse pattern , reclaimation of wasteland etc..

    @snow princess
    Agricultural Economics - Subba Reddy, Raghu Ram , Neelakanta Sastry ( Oxford & IBH Pub)
  • @Aravalli I am new to IFOS exam. I am planning to choose agriculture as one of the optional. Can you please suggest detailed strategy and list of books required for the optional.
  • What is sustainable agriculture ? Give its limitations and strategies to achieve food security for the 21st century ?
  • Is e-copy of ICAR's Handbook of agriculture available on its website (or any legit source)?
    It's costly and I wanted to study it to analyze whether I can take agriculture as optional or not.
  • @satya255 Sorry brother i dont have any idea about ecopy , but just google it if you can get one there.
  • @Aravalli Yes I googled but couldn't find it.So as a last resort asked you all.Anyways,thanks for reply.
    At present I am gauging agriculture engineering as well.It's syllabus appears short and simple (compared to agriculture)
  • Sorry, I am not an aspirant with agriculture optional...
    Actually I need a help about how to prepare agriculture for CS Prelims as
    Agriculture based questions on prelims has also been increased:
    CSAT 2013 CSAT 2014
    5 questions 9 questions
    So, please tell me how to prepare for it....
    Thank you
  • Is A.K vyas a must read?
    Sisyphus is happy.
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