UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam: Agriculture Optional 2018 paper-II
Baljit Dhaka
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UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam: Agriculture Optional 2018 paper-II

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UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam: Agriculture Optional 2018 paper-II

Marks-250                                                                                                                                   Time: Three Hours

Question Paper Specific Instructions:

Please read each of the following instructions carefully before attempting questions.

  • There are EIGHT questions divided into two sections.
  • A candidate has to attempt FIVE questions in all.
  • Questions no 1 and 5 are compulsory and out of the remaining, THREE are to be attempted choosing at least ONE from each section.
  • The number of marks carried by a question /part is indicated against it.
  • Word limit in questions, wherever specified should be adhered to.
  • Attempts of questions shall be counted in chronological order. Unless struck off, attempt of a question shall be counted even if attempted partly. Any page or portion of the page left blank in the answer book must be clearly struck off.


Q1. Answer the following questions in about 150 words each: 10x5=50 marks

(a) What is protoplasm? Briefly discuss its chemical composition and physical properties. 10 marks

(b) Define mass selection. Explain its applications in self-pollinated crops. 10  marks

(c) What do you mean by heterosis? Describe the physiological bases of heterosis. 10 marks

(d) Explain seed enhancement with its merits. Describe in brief about the various practices used for seed enhancement. 10 marks

(e) Define enzyme. Give a note on the factors affecting the rate of enzymic activities in plants. 10 marks

Q2. (a) What do you mean by hybrid seed production? Describe the different types of sterility systems to facilitate hybrid seed production. 20 marks

(b) What do you understand by chromosomal aberration? Discuss in brief, the major types of chromosomal aberrations. 15 marks

(c) Enlist Mendel's different laws. Describe in detail about the law of segregation with suitable examples. 15 marks

Q3. (a) Enumerate the various types of seeds. Give a stepwise account of techniques associated with seed production. 20 marks

(b) What do you mean by self-incompatibility? Discuss ways and means to overcome self-incompatibility. 15 marks

(c) Define Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). Discuss IPRs" relevance to agriculture. 15 marks

 Q4. (a) Differentiate between aneuploid, euploid and polyploid. Explain in detail the applications of allopolyploidy in crop improvement. 20 marks

(b) Give justification that "DNA fingerprinting is a vital tool for identification of the cultivars". 15 marks

(c) What do you mean by Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Continuum (SPAC)? Describe the different soil moisture constants. 15 marks


Q5. Answer the following questions in about 150 words each: 10x5=50 marks

(a) What are the different methods of diagnosis of mineral nutrient deficiency? Describe the role and deficiency symptoms of zinc in rice and sulfur in oilseed crops. 10 marks

(b) Explain C3, C4 and CAM mechanism in plants and their importance in changing climatic conditions. 10 marks

(c) Enlist factors affecting the post-harvest life of flowers. How can it be controlled by growth regulators? 10 marks

(d) Describe symptoms and management of leaf curl and mosaic diseases in tomato. 10 marks

(e) Give a brief account of food security in India before and after the green revolution. Suggest sustainable solutions to strengthen food security in the country. 10 marks

Q6. (a) Define auxins and explain their role in crop life cycles. Also, discuss the uses of auxins in agriculture. 20 marks

(b) Discuss the effects of water stress on plant growth and development. Describe plant borne mechanisms to escape from drought and stress situation. 15 marks

(c) What do you understand by seed dormancy? Discuss the reasons for seed dormancy. Also, describe the various methods for breaking seed dormancy. 15 marks

Q7. (a) Give package of cultivation of pomegranate with reference to planting materials and methods, irrigation, nutrition, plant protection, and post-harvest management. 20 marks

(b) Enlist different vegetative propagation methods for fruit plants. Describe the different layering techniques employed for fruit plant propagation. 15 marks

(c) Describe the post-harvest management and value-added products of black pepper. 15 marks

Q8.(a) What do you mean by Integrated Pest Management (IPM)? Discuss the constraints in the successful implementation of IPM. 20 marks

(b) Describe the importance of micronutrients in human health, Justify with suitable examples. 15 marks

(c) What do you understand by the e-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM)? Discuss the prospects and constraints of e-NAM in the context of Indian farmers. 15 marks