[Answerkey] CSAT-2014: Agriculture Questions with explanation for all booklets & Studyplan for next year

Mrunalanswerkey178 Comments

Mrunal’s UPSC GSM3-2020 Model Answer lecture: Science Technology, Internal Security Border Management Questions from last Mains Exam Solved!
  1. Prologue
  2. .vs CSAT 2013
  3. .vs other exams
  4. Difficulty level of Agriculture MCQs in CSAT 2014?
  5. How to approach agriculture for 2015?
  6. [Act 1] Cropping methods
    1. Q1: Transgenic Crops
    2. Q2: Vegetative propagation
  7. [Act 2] Plants/Crops- regions and uses
    1. Q1: Region vs Produce
    2. Q2: Maize utility
    3. Q3: Neem tree uses of:
  8. [Act 3] Agro Schemes and Policies
    1. Q1: Seed replacement rate
    2. Q2: IWDP
    3. Q3: Sustainable Sugarcane
    4. Q4: Program vs ministry


  • First, apologies for the delay. Stupid server broke down, company staff was unhelpful. Ended up spending wasting two days to fix the glitch myself. Joker was right, can’t rely on anyone these days. You’ve to do everything yourself.
  • Anyways, I took the opportunity to fix the theme as well.
  • also check the blue (+) icon on top right side. IT allows you to move to other important sites in a hassle free manner.

.vs CSAT 2013

chart CSAT 2014 Answerkey Agriculture analysis

Agriculture Questions in UPSC prelims
CSAT 2013 CSAT 2014
5 questions 9 questions
There was a “trend” of asking Algae and fungi bio fertilizer type questions. Thankfully that lunacy is over. Who has time to mugup such large list?
Soil conservation, partially available in standard geography books. Nope. This time not a single MCQ is partially available in any standard reference books.
Uses of Sugar byproducts- easy question.
  • sustainable sugarcane initiative: tough
  • Although Usage of neem and corn: relatively easy.
  • Sidenote: This article contains only agriculture specific questions.
  • Questions like photosynthesis, carbon cycle etc- I’ve classified them under science, geography and environment. Their answer keys will be uploaded soon.

.vs other exams

Agriculture in (CDS, CAPF) vs CSAT (CSE | IFoS)
CDS 2014: 2 easy Questions on soil conservation and shifting cultivation. You can see the continuity of ‘soil conservation’ topic from CSAT’13 to CDS’14 nope
CAPF 2013: 3 MCQs on agriculture, 1 of them could be solved directly from NCERT. No question could be solved fully from NCERT.
CAPF 2014: Pesticide treadmill, bio fortification agents etc. As such very few questions from Agriculture but difficulty level higher than CDS.
  • Difficulty higher
  • No. of questions increased.

Difficulty level of Agriculture MCQs in CSAT 2014?

Easy level
1.IWDP feature can be solve easily through elimination.


Medium Difficulty level
1.neem use Serious player would think twice before ticking it on gutfeeling, unless he is absolutely sure about “biofuel” Usage.
2.maize use
  • easy: if solved through elimination
  • Medium: it says “oil” extracted from maize, can be used for biodiesel.  So, again, serious player would think twice before ticking.


High-Difficult questions
1. Transgenic crop
  • NCERT class12 Biology ch12 on biotechnology. It talks about transgenic but doesn’t dwell into such minute details.
  • Statements from other academic books, subject to multiple interpretation.
2.vegetative propagation
  • only 1/3rd part can be solved from NCERT
  • Plus, it’s a trap question because v.propagation doesn’t eliminate virus transfer.
3.region vs crop Who has to time to mug up all such minor data? And here, gut-feeling may lead to wrong answer.
4.seed replacement rate Difficult to solve through elimination. Supply-demand gap concept was given way back in June 2013 frontline. Hard to locate any other sources.
5.schemes vs ministries
  • Trap question because as such watershed comes under Rural Development ministry but watershed program for rain-fed area is under agriculture ministry.
  • UPSC had stopped asking ministry vs jurisdiction question in recent times therefore, players would have ignored it in preparation- or at most confined to the major schemes like MNREGA, JNNURM, IAY etc.
6.sugarcane initiative Trap question because by ‘gut-feeling’, sustainable = should not be using inorganic fertilizers. But this method uses it!

How to approach agriculture for 2015?

  • Last year, 1061 were selected for IFoS mains but out them only 515 bothered to write the actual mains. Meaning, remaining candidates were focused on Civil service mains.
  • Consequently, the hardcore “only-IFoS” type candidates suffered since they couldn’t get tickets to mains because of those “CSE+IfoS” types who did not appear in IFoS mains.
  • So perhaps, UPSC adopted this technique of “increased the number & difficulty level of agriculture-environment questions in 2014”, to give them better chance to stand in the competition.
  • Thus, 2014’s agro questions were designed as a “Back Strengthening moveTM” for the hardcore “IFoS only” candidates, therefore Civil service exam (CSE) candidates need not worry much.
CSAT 2014 Pralaynath Gendaswami Analysis on Agriculture

Ever since Brigedier Suryadev Singh destroyed his missile-bunker, Pralaynath Gendaswami has became an arm-chair expert on UPSC!

Long story cut short

For normal “only CSE” aspirants:

  • You couldn’t have solved all of these agro question himself- even with all the standard reference books at your disposal.
  • For the mains exam, the agriculture topics in GS1 (under geography) and GS3 (under food processing, APMC etc.) – those topics don’t involve such in-depth theory of transgenic crops etc.
  • Therefore, cost: benefit is bad, if you begin heavy preparation for these type of MCQs for CSAT-2015.
  • You should limit Agriculture preparation to following areas:


NCERT first
class Subject chapters
7 Science 3 & 9
8 Geography 4
Science 1
9 Science 15
11 Geography (India) 6
12 Geography (Human) 5
Geography (India Land & People) 5
12 Biology=> Biotechnology 11,12

Anyways, let’s start:

[Act 1] Cropping methods

Q1: Transgenic Crops

Consider the following techniques/phenomena:

  1. Budding and grafting in fruit plants
  2. Cytoplasmic male sterility
  3. Gene silencing

Which of the above is/are used to create transgenic crops?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1 and 3
  4. None

First of all, what exactly is transgenic crops?

Crops that have genes from other crop species inserted into their genome are called transgenic crops.(Britannica). So what’re the methods to accomplish transgenic crops?

#3 is correct because

Transgenic Crop Plants: Volume 1: Principles and Development  By Chittaranjan Kole,Page 188

  • …..In this chapter, we’ll focus on RNAi-mediated gene-silencing method available for development of transgenic crop plants…..
  • Means Gene silencing can be used to create transgenic crops, otherwise Mr.Chittaranjan wouldn’t bother writing a chapter about it!

This eliminates A and D.

Now leads to two viewpoints:
#1 is correct: #2 is correct:
 Transgenic plants: Leandro Pena, Page 182He has described the procedure for creating transgenic “oranges”:

  • Graft the in-vitro grown plants onto lemonroot stocks for rapid development of the plan.
  • Monitor plant growth and Development…..(these) Transgenic sweet orange plants show morphology of an adult plant.

Therefore, yes, Budding-grafting can be used for making transgenic fruit crops.

  • Cytoplasmic male sterility technique is used to prevent the pollens of transgenic crops from fertilizing the other non-transgenic crops. (Google Book#1)
  • Cytoplasmic male sterility is used extensively in production of hybrids in species that’d undergo self-sterilization otherwise. CMS is used for improving maize, rice, cotton, canola and various vegetable crops.Book#2
Answer C: 1 and 3 only. answer B: 2 and 3 correct

Final answer: I’ve my leanings towards “C” but UPSC’s official answerkey will be the judge..

Q2: Vegetative propagation

Which of the following statements is / are correct regarding vegetative propagation of plants?

  1. Vegetative propagation produces clonal population.
  2. Vegetative propagation helps in eliminating the virus.
  3. Vegetative propagation can be practiced most of the year.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Statement 1 is right because:

  • NCERT Class7 Science, ch12, page 135: plants produced by vegetative propagation are exact copies of the parent plant, as they’re produced from a single parent.
  • For more scientific explanation: Biology of the Grapevine  By Michael G. Mullins Page 205
  • Vegetative propagation involves only mitosis, this ensures that the genetic information in DNA of vegetative progeny (child) is same as in the mother plant.
  • And by definition, a clone is a population of plants -all members of which are the descendants by vegetative propagation of a single individual.

Statement 2 is wrong because

  • Vegetative propagation is an important horticulture practice, but it is also, unfortunately, a very effective method for perpetuating and spreading viruses.
  • A plant once systematically infected with a virus, usually remains infected for its lifetime. Thus any vegetative parts taken for propagation, such as tubers, bulbs, corms, runners and cuttings, will normally be infected.
  • Ref: Comparative Plant Virology  By Roger Hull Page 225
  • Plant Pathology by George Agrios page 419 says the same story
  • Seed-borne plant virus diseases, K Subramanya Sastry page 286 says the same story

Counterview: NCERT class12 biotech chapter says it immunizes against common infection.

Mrunal: as such I give NCERT source first preference over others but in this case, I still go with those academic books’ version because it seems these years’ agro MCQ is set by “hardcore” academic professor.
Therefore statement#2 is wrong, this eliminates option B and D.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

So, final answer boils down to whether statement 3 is right or wrong?

Statement 3 is right because

Vebatim statement given in ‘Fruits for the Future, RK Arora, Page6

Therefore, answer C only 1 and 3.

OR (D) 1,2 and 3. Depending on which version UPSC accepts for this one-NCERT’s or those agro college books.

[Act 2] Plants/Crops- regions and uses

Q1: Region vs Produce

Region Well-known for the production of
1. Kinnaur (Himachal) Areca nut
2. Mewat (Haryana) Mango
3. Coromandel (TN-Andhra) Soya bean

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. None

In the question table, I’ve added the states in bracket for better mental picture. Now let’s begin…

#1: Kinnaur (Himachal): Arecanut is Wrong because

  • In India it is grown in Karnataka, Kerala, Assam, Maharashtra, West Bengal and parts of Tripura. (Ref: Hindu 2012)
  • Areca nut mostly confined to Karnataka, Kerala and Assam. (Ref: IOSR Journal of Agriculture 2013)

This eliminates A and C.

#3: Coromandel- Soybean wrong because

This eliminates B and C. Thus we get answer (D)


  • Some websites say Soybean also cultivated in Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu. It’s not asking about “largest area” but “famous area” So, #3 is right, Coromandel also part of it.
  • Mrunal: I’m leaned towards (D) but again, UPSC’s official answerkey

Q2: Maize utility

Consider the following statements :

  1. Maize can be used for the production of starch.
  2. Oil extracted from maize can be a feedstock for biodiesel.
  3. Alcoholic beverages can be produced by using maize.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only.
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

by common knowledge, all three are right but for the sake of proof:

Maize used in Right because
Alcoholic beverages
  • Yes.  In Central America, the alcoholic beverage brewed from malted maize is known as chica fueste. Google Book#1
  • This eliminates A and B because they don’t contain 3.
Starch production
  • Corn starch has wide variety of industrial application….Gook book#2
  • This eliminates C. because it doesn’t contain 1

Therefore, answer is D: 1, 2 and 3 correct.

Q3: Neem tree uses of:

With reference to Neem tree, consider the following statements:

  1. Neem oil can be used as a pesticide to control the proliferation of some species of insects and mites.
  2. Neem seeds are used in the manufacture of biofuels and hospital detergents.
  3. Neem oil has applications in pharmaceutical industry.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3


Let’s check
Neem used in Right / wrong
pesticide Yes, Times of India
Biofuel, hospital detergents
  • Biofuel true as per this google book#1
  • Hospital detergent, seems true. Can’t locate any direct source to validate OR refute this statement.
Pharmaceutical yes, same Times of India

Therefore, answer (d) 1, 2, 3

[Act 3] Agro Schemes and Policies

Q1: Seed replacement rate

In the context of food and nutritional security of India, enhancing the ‘Seed Replacement Rates’ of various crops helps in achieving the food production targets of the future. But what is/are the constraint/ constraints in its wider / greater implementation?

  1. There is no National Seeds Policy in place.
  2. There is no participation of private sector seed companies in the supply of quality seeds of vegetables and planting materials of horticultural crops.
  3. There is a demand-supply gap regarding quality seeds in case of low value and high volume crops.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3
  4. None

Let’s check

  • We do have a National Seed policy made in 2002.
  • So #1 is not a constrain, This eliminates A.
  • There is a lot of pvt sector participation. Ref2:
  • Therefore #2 doesn’t pose constrain. This eliminates C

Now all depends on whether #3 is right or wrong?

Frontline article from 2013

Public sector A highlight of seed production by the public sector, which enjoys a 51 per cent market share of the organised sector in terms of value, is that it produces a high volume of low-cost seeds.
Private sector The private sector, on the other hand, produces high-priced seeds but in lower volume. It supplies nearly the entire hybrid seeds required for vegetables.
  • Despite all this, there is a huge gap between the requirement and supply of seeds. Seed firms are unable to take advantage of the situation since marginal farmers, who own 60 per cent of the land, go in for cheaper seeds supplied by unorganized sector.
  • In the case of field crops such as wheat and rice, farmers tend to use their own preserved seeds.
  • Their reluctance to go in for hybrid seeds is because of the fact that they cannot reuse them.

Since, wheat and rice = low value, high value crops. Therefore, we can see third statement is correct “There is a demand-supply gap regarding quality seeds in case of low value and high volume crops.” Therefore, answer B: only 2 correct.


What are the benefits of implementing the ‘Integrated Watershed Development Programme’?

  1. Prevention of soil runoff
  2. Linking the country’s perennial rivers with seasonal rivers
  3. Rainwater harvesting and recharge of groundwater table
  4. Regeneration of natural vegetation

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2, 3 and 4 only
  3. 1, 3 and 4 only  
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Linking rivers = not an objective of IWDP program. Therefore #2 is wrong, this eliminates A, B, D. The remaining statements are right as per Department of land resources webpage. Therefore, answer(c) 1,3,4 only

Q3: Sustainable Sugarcane

What are the significances of a practical approach to sugarcane production known as ‘Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative’?

  1. Seed cost is very low in this compared to the conventional method of cultivation.
  2. Drip irrigation can be practiced very effectively in this.
  3. There is no application of chemical/ inorganic fertilizers at all in this.
  4. The scope for intercropping is more in this compared to the conventional method of cultivation.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 1, 2 and 4 only
  3. 2, 3 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

As per TN Agro university webpage: NPK (fertilizers) can be applied at the rate of 112 kg, 25 kg and 48 kg per acre, respectively through inorganic or organic methods. Hence statement #3 is wrong, this eliminates A, C and D. therefore, answer (B) 1,2,4 only

Q4: Program vs ministry

consider following pairs:
Programme/ Project Ministry
1. Drought-Prone Area Programme of Agriculture
2. Desert Development Programme of Environment and Forests
3. National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas of Rural Development

Which of the above pairs are correctly matched?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. None

Ans: None of the above

  • 1 and 2 are wrong. Both are under Min. of Rural Dev.
  • 3 is wrong: Rainfed area is under Min. of Agri. (Integrated watershed is under Rural Development).
  • Therefore answer is D none are correctly matched.

For more answerkeys, visit Mrunal.org/answerkeys.

Indian History Freedom Struggle Pratik Nayak

178 Comments on “[Answerkey] CSAT-2014: Agriculture Questions with explanation for all booklets & Studyplan for next year”

  1. Neem ques
    Mrunal the logic u applied for areca nut, mango,soya bean ques is the same logic i applied to neem-biofuel. Possibilty and actual use are two diff things. We can extract minerals from asteroids but we donot. A neem tree to be called a neem tree takes a hell lot of time. One can count no of neem trees in a country.

  2. Got all correct in this section….but disheaertedly jus getting only 80 in paper-1…

    Sorry mrunal its against your Philisophy..but can anyone tell if i can start my prep for mains or to jus sit idle for 2015..m getting 80+140=220 from d पीड़ित society ie unreserved..

    1. even m getting 101+120=221.frm general. nd i think its safe score.paper ws not easy,tht is 4 sure.plus it ws highly suceptible 4 losing marks in negative mrking,mny hv lost 10-16 mrks in neg. mrking in ppr-1 itself.strt preparing,all 200 plus hv a fair chance.i know its difficult 2 concentrate bt we cnt do anythng more.pls m in a terrible situatn.strtd 4 pre 2 months before nd dnt know how 2 stdy 4 mains.

        1. Abe dong is trh k swal krk kya milega..tu to in hi in h..itne ache no la kr to gen.bhi in ho jayega..mere sher Khan…dnt worry.. u should start mains…

      1. Keep the things simple by first finishing of your subject asap, and then take up specific items as per syllabus. Assuming u will mug up hindu on daily basis, ur gs part will be taken care of….. atb

    2. Start Preparing for mains,what are you waiting for? You are through brother. Even i am in range of 220-225 and Sriram sir said 99.999% you are in. He said 0.001% i am deducting because of uncertainity.

      1. Aspirant…. bro I am getting 92+132 any chance ???? any word on Vajiram”s prediction? I heard last last year their director got the the no. exactly(241) correct

  3. differnt answer keys difrnt answers….even much variation occurs….donno wat to do!!!realy afraid

  4. Well the point is, even after week long research by experts of all kind and coaching institutes, there is no unanimity of answers to certain questions….. Then why the heck such questions are asked in the first place….. Upsc shall ask such ques answers to which atleast available when searched for on net….. Otherwise they dont qualify to be called general knowledge questions…………….

  5. Mrunal,

    Doesn’t that call for a more stricter approach towards asking UPSC to provide some list of standard references to follow ?
    It seems they’re playing with aspirants here, asking questions which are extremely difficult to answer even for a guy who has spent a good year with books.

    What’s your take on that? Should we petition them?

  6. I donno ppl keep on asking will I clear I m getting 230 220 …
    It is known fact tht paper 1 is typical n unexpected
    Paper 2 also surprises lik mising sec and more RC
    Which wil definitely impact to bring cutoff down
    Even mrunal sir in his last 3 analysis he is telling the difficulty level of qns
    Inspite of all these, some ppl r simply thretening lik I got 230 240 260 …

    Atleast UPSC hav to publish asap

  7. Guys all the decisions regarding age relaxation, no of attempts are taken by GOI.
    Upsc have no say on this matter.But according to navbharata times upsc will issue notification.

  8. sir dangererous confused …how should I start preparing mains plz tell me sirwith book s and with which gs paper

  9. Q. 1 transgenic crops answer is ‘D’ None. definition of transgenic crops, ” transfer of genetic material from one organism to another” so the given options rather than transfer of gene just modification is takes place.

  10. Sir,
    I want to start Upsc mains study for 2015 mains how start and from where how to do plan for next year Upsc I am doing full time study.

  11. I do think that vegetative propagation can not be carried throughout the year.. Plantlets need appropriate temperature and humidity before being transferred to field else they may die…it can not be done in cold areas…somebody from botany plz throw light on this…

    1. that time it is done in controlled conditions.in vegetative propagation,u can use any part of plant,thn let thm grow in nutrient rich media in controlled conditions.,whn they r ready,thn transferred 2 fields.all 3 are right in this question.

      1. Exactly carrying it out in controlled environment means it is dependent on weather conditions…moreever once plantlets grow in controlled environment ,they are transferred to field when appropriate temperature and humidity conditions are prevalent

  12. sir i want to know which book is best for science for upsc exam ? next year i will appear for upsc exam….so which book should i prefer for science

  13. Sir, plz suggest cut off marks for upsc pre 2014 in general category.
    I know , it is difficult to know but I want only your view.

  14. Lets sue the newspaper……………..pushing lakhs of aspirants into confusion & chaos just to increase their circulation,this is no less than hate speech.

  15. I was eagerly waiting for Mrunal sir’s answer keys for Agri and Environment section, now again two questions become wrong ( 4 out of 7 correct), now my score is only 216 (86+ 130) from SC category, is this score is enough to cross cutoff…plz somebody tell me…because of this tension unable to read anything since from monday…

  16. Hi everyone. .. hope k aap jo iss blog ko folow krr rhe hai unka exm clr ho… bt m tlng seriously that I nevr study ny ncert ..never any gk book…bt only follow mrunal from last 7 mnths +rs agarwal nly…. n I got 246 in PPSC.. n nw hope 235 frm ias prelims… bt still in doubt

    1. Harry mere dost..u r in..dnt worry.. Ho jayega…bs mains m lg jao..mere bhi yahi total ho rha h..mene bhi mains k liye start kr diya h..or m to general hu.. Aaj kl to general hona bhi ek gunah h..hahaha…

  17. Donot worry about rumors of reducing age . This is totally non sense .Govt. gave 2 more attemts to all category students . Govt. can never DARE to reduce age to 26 for general. So chill and focus on goal. IAS Exam is turning out to be difficult day by day . doing this childish activity can trouble any govt. and MODI GOVT. will not do ONE ………….. MORE……………. BLUNDER ………………AS THEY……………. DID BY ……………SCRAPPING …………..EASY ENG. COMP . IN CSAT

  18. Sab afwah h……inka vastavikta se koi lena dena nhi h so guys just chill and study hard for mains
    Karam karo….fal jarur milega….
    All d best…..

  19. Mrunal sir , here is a request to you. We are 5 member group in mumbai trying hard for our preparation we all are working in symbiosis actually we need your help in many sense and need a Instant communication channel with.can you arrange a group on whatsapp.

    1. Hi..am working as well. Would you all be willing/comfortable if I join in as well. I gave CSE this year but paper 1 was bad for me. So I am not sure if I will clear the cut off. So started preparing for next year. Do let me know. Thanx.

      1. me too working & started preparation this year only. i dont have a study group. iwould seriously love to join one.

      2. i m also working……,we ll study in agroup and we shall share our views and strategies regularly….,

      3. Dear friends all those seriously aspiring to crack civil services 2015, do get in touch with me, I am Dr.Naresh Rathod MBBS, LLB. Looking forward for like minded aspirants to get in touch and let our hard lead to the right path.
        My contact no: 09032880640
        email: nareshthecancerian@gmail.com

    2. hii…i am from mumbai aswell preparing for upsc…. itll b gr8 if v all got together for good discussions and preparation.

    3. Hello Ajit,

      Myself Owais , i am also one of CS aspirant like you and a working professional. We can get in touch and discuss our plans and preparation methods for next year.
      Let me know if you are interested.


    4. Hi,

      I am a working professional as well and would certainly be interested in touching base with you guys for CSE 2015 prep. Let me know.


    5. I’m also interested in forming/joining study group. Lets us all figure out how should we proceed further. Whether using Fb/Google+ or likewise. Fb page would be a good idea, I think. If everyone is fine, we can share our Fb profile name/link.

    6. hi ajit me too navi mumbai based working hopefully targeting upsc 15 or 16 it will be nice if we too communicate regarding preparation

  20. I was really worried after reading that nbt report..bt as usual mrunal sir rescue me from tht situation (I m writing this ‘as usual’ bcz whenever I encounter any doubt,I just open this portal nd I get atleast something on that)…today again..

    thankyou sir,you are a great mentor,motivator

    really man

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *