Ecology and ecological niche, their relevance to man, Natural resources, their management and conservation. Physical and social environment as factors of crop distribution and production. Climatic elements as factors of crop growth, global warming, its impact on agricultural production, as indicators of environments. Environmental pollution and associated effect on crops, animals and humans.
Cropping patterns in different agro-climatic zones of the country, Impact of high yielding and short duration varieties on shifts in cropping pattern. Principles of multiple cropping. Multi-storey, relay intercropping – their importance in relation to food production and resource use. Resource conservation technologies. Package of practices for production of important cereals, pulses, oil seeds, fibre, sugar and commercial crops grown in different regions of the country.
Weeds, their characteristics, association with various crops, their multiplication, cultural, biological, chemical and integrated management, herbicide selectivity and resistance.
Processes and factors of soil formation. Taxonomic classification of Indian soils, mineral and organic constituents of soil and their role in maintaining soil health. Problem soils, extent and distribution in India and their reclamation. Essential plant nutrients and other beneficial elements in soils, their forms and factors affecting their availability, functions and deficiency symptoms, nutrient recycling, symbiotic and non-symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Soil fertility evaluation techniques. Application of remote sensing in soil and water resource studies.
Soil and water conservation techniques. Types of wind and water erosion. Erosion and run off processes and factors affecting them. Dry land and rain fed agriculture.
Water use efficiency, conjunctive use of water, quality of irrigation water, criteria for scheduling irrigations.
Farm management, importance and principles, farm planning and budgeting. Integrated farming system, its role in sustainable production system.
Extension and communication methods. Role of traditional and modern communication media in agricultural development. Procedure for development of agricultural extension programme. Factors affecting adoption of farm innovations. Role of Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s and extension agents in agricultural development in India.
Heredity and variation, Mendel’s Laws of Inheritance, Cytoplasmic inheritance, Quantitative characters, Plant tissue culture – somaclonal variation, micropropagation and producing cell cultures. Nucleic acid – its structure and types, restriction enzymes, cloning vectors and transformation. Polymerase chain reaction, DNA finger printing and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues.
Origin and domestication of field crops. Morphology and patterns of variations in varieties and related species of important field crops, Causes and utilization of variations in crop improvement.
Application of the principles of plant breeding, methods of breeding of self and cross pollinated crops. Heterosis and its exploitation. Male sterility and self incompatibility, utilization of mutation and polyploidy in breeding.
Seed and seed technology, important types of seeds and their production, processing and testing of seeds of crops and seed certification regulation.
Climatic requirements and cultivation of major fruits plants, vegetable crops and flowers and their package of practices. Horticultural nursery management. Propagation of commercial fruits, vegetables and flowers through different methods. Protected cultivation of horticultural crops. Hi-tech horticulture, handling, post harvest marketing problems of fruits and vegetables, methods of preservation of important fruits and vegetable products, processing techniques and equipments, Role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, landscape and commercial floriculture, including design and lay out of lawns and gardens. Medicinal and aromatic plants.
Diseases and pests of fields, vegetable, orchard and plantation crops of India and stored grains; and their management. Classification of plant diseases and pests. Principles of plant disease/pest control and factors affecting their outbreaks. Biological control of pests and diseases. Integrated management of pests and diseases. Pesticides and their formulations plant protection equipment, their care and maintenance. Pesticide pollution in the environment. Development of pesticide resistance in pests and diseases and its management.
Growth and Development of Vegetable Crops – physiology of dormancy and germination of vegetable seeds and tubers.
Post–harvest technology – Maturity and ripening process and factors affecting them. Quality evaluation for fresh market and processing. Factors responsible in deterioration of harvested fruits and vegetables, role of growth substances and irradiation on decay control, respiration and transpiration, storage of fresh fruits and vegetables.