There are many subjects in UPSC. For the optional paper, you will have many choices. You can select from 48 subjects. The subjects are wide-ranging. Hence, people from all fields can opt for the exam. Paper V and Paper VI define your final marks. They also define your final rank. They carry half of the marks in UPSC mains. Hence, you have to wisely opt for an optional subject. You must also consider the limited time in hand during your prep. Among other popular subjects, there is botany. This is a science-based subject. Hence, it is suitable for people from the science field. Come read the UPSC Botany Optional Syllabus for the IAS exam with us. Today’s article will cover the syllabus in depth. Thus, you will get a clear picture in your head about Botany.
Many of us are already science major students. However, you might still have doubts about how botany subject looks like in UPSC optional paper. Thus, we will first start by talking about the syllabus for paper one. We will discuss the topics in detail. Further, we will move ahead and talk about the botany paper two syllabi for UPSC/IAS. Let us now start talking about UPSC Botany Optional Syllabus for IAS paper one. Then, we will discuss the botany toppers list. We will also talk about the subject’s success rate later.
The first topic in the paper one syllabus is quite wide. It talks about Microbiology. It also talks about Plant pathology. Under this, you will read about viruses. That is virus structure and growth. You will study viroids, bacteria, fungi, mycoplasma, etc. Hence, we can see that the subject is about core science. It is around scientific concepts. Thus, you need some history with this subject. This chapter also talks about the uses of microbiology. It also covers the prion and prion hypothesis. Further, this chapter talks about crop diseases, parasitism, plant quarantine, etc. Hence, the first chap is about viruses, bacteria, fungi, crop health, and diseases. Moreover, it is also about the uses of this science in other fields.
Botany Optional Paper One Syllabus for UPSC/IAS
Now let us talk about the second chap in UPSC Botany Optional Paper One Syllabus for the IAS exam. This chapter is about cryptogams. It covers concepts like algae, fungi, lichens, bryophytes, etc. It also talks about pteridophytes. In short, you will read about the structure of all these biotic elements. This chapter also covers their evolutionary reproduction. Further, you will study the distribution of cryptogams in India. Moreover, you will also read about their importance. The third chapter in the syllabus is about phanerogams. Within this, you will study gymnosperms. Then you will come across topics on angiosperms. This is a very detailed topic in the syllabus. Hence. you must fetch more time to study it in detail.
Further, you will also read about endosperm, plant anatomy, palynology, etc. Now let us read about the 4th chapter in Botany Optional Paper One Syllabus for UPSC/IAS. The fourth chapter talks about plant resource development. It talks about the origin of cultivated plants. Then, you will also read about plants are sources of food, fodder, spices, etc. The fifth chapter talks about morphogenesis. Here you will study totipotency, symmetry, cell, tissue, organ, hybrids, etc. This is all about the first paper.
UPSC Botany Optional Paper Two Syllabus for IAS Exam
Now let us talk about the second paper’s syllabus. The first chapter is about cell biology. It talks about the techniques. You will also read about the 2 types of cells. It also talks about chromosomes, ribosomes, genomes, etc. The second chapter is about genetics. It also covers molecular bio & evolution. The third chapter of the syllabus is for plant breeding. You will study biotech and bio stats here. The fourth chapter is about physiology and biochemistry. Finally, the fifth chapter contains ecology and plant geography topics.
These are the main topics/chapters from paper two. Hence, we can see that UPSC Botany Optional Syllabus for IAS is quite wide. You def need a science background. Otherwise, the concepts are technically very scientific. Without science, you will not be able to grasp topics quickly. Hence, the subject needs specific knowledge. If you are an art or commerce major student, you must avoid selecting this optional subject. We saw that the Botany Optional Syllabus for UPSC/IAS exam is very detailed. Hence, you need to give it the right time.
When to decide your optional subject?
Normally, it takes 3 to 4 months to cover the syllabus. It is advisable to start your optional paper prep at the very start of your prep. This will save time for your last-minute revision session before exams. Often aspirants make a very common mistake. They start preparing for the GS papers first. Then, they start with their prelims prep before the exam. After writing the prelims, they try to decide their UPSC optional subject. If the subject is already in the head, they try to start the prep after prelims for the subject. This sequence is one of the most followed among aspirants. However, it is suitable for subjects with a limited syllabus. When you have a limited syllabus to study, it takes less time.
Along with a limited syllabus, you must have some idea about the subject. That is a good background in the optional subject. Hence, you will have a good base to start your prep in the subject. If you do not have a base in the subject, you will need extra time for the prep. Hence, for example, normally you cover the syllabus within 3 months. But because you are new to the subject completely, it will take around 4 months or more. As a UPSC aspirant, you have 200 other things to revise before your paper. Hence, it is not possible to extend the time allotted to a particular subject. Thus, we always try to minimize our prep time. Along with the subject prep you need time for answer writing practice. Moreover, you need time to attempt test series or for paper solving along with revision.
Strategy to Ace Your Botany Optional Paper
But how will you achieve this goal? Let us see the strategy for this. This is a one-year strategy. Moreover, we are keeping the Botany Optional Syllabus for UPSC/IAS in mind for this strategy. When you start your GS Mains paper prep, start deciding your optional subject. Take a detailed look at all the subjects. Shortlist the subjects of your interest. Then, read their syllabus. Check the number of topics, the depth of topics, etc. Moreover, you can also read the previous year’s papers. This will give you an idea about the level of questions for the optional. Further, you can watch topper’s videos on optional strategies. You can also take help from their tips for your prep. Then select your final optional subject for mains.
Meanwhile, you must continue studying your static subjects and current affairs. After selecting the optional, check if the right notes are available for the same. Often dispersed notes are trouble. You will not be able to cover the entire syllabus if the notes are scattered. Hence, try to compile them or choose a subject whose notes are easily available. You can grab online notes or offline notes. Topper’s notes are also widely available for reference. Botany is very popular among students. Hence, the notes are easily available. To download the previous year’s papers: click here.
Botany Books for UPSC
Let us look at some static books to cover the Botany Syllabus for UPSC/IAS.
- Cryptograms- B.R. Vasista.
- Economic botany in the tropics- S. L. Kochhar.
- Genetics- Strickberger.
- Microbiology- Powars.
- Plant Anatomy- Esau.
You will cover the syllabus in 4 months. Then, you can continue with your main exam prep for other subjects. Furthermore, when you write the prelims exam, you will have time to revise the optional again before the main exam. Hence, you can get plenty of time for two readings of the subject as per this strategy. For more such articles: click here.
No. Select botany optionally subject only if you are from the science major. Commerce major students have to start from scratch to learn the subject.
In 2017, the botany success rate was 11.7 percent. Nikhil Thawal secured the 799th rank with botany optional in 2017.
If you have a clear understanding of the subject, one reading before the exam works. However, if you aim to top the exam, make sure you read the subject at least twice.
Editor’s Note : Botany Syllabus for UPSC
Here we will conclude our article. In today’s article, we talked about the Botany Optional Syllabus for UPSC/IAS. We first listed the topics from paper one. Then, we listed the topics from paper two. Further, we gave a one-year strategy on how to prepare for the optional subject. We also listed some imp notes and books for botany. If you have 2 years, you can also give 3 readings for your optional subject. This will help you learn better and score even higher. We hope that this article highly helps you in your optional paper prep.