NABARD Grade A 2017 - Agriculture & Rural Development - Phase I & Phase II - Important Topics | Strategy | Free Mock Test

NABARD Grade ‘A’ & ‘B’ Phase 1 exams are going to be conducted in August 2017. The official notification was released by NABARD recently and there’s been a change in the exam pattern of the Phase 1 exam.

The weightage given to the ARD and the ESI sections have increased from 25 marks to 40 marks. Whereas the weightage of Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude sections have been reduced from 40 marks to 20 marks and 30 marks to 20 marks, respectively. However, rest of it remains the same.

This following article contains preparation strategy for ARD in Phase 1 and 2 of the upcoming NABARD Exams 2017.

Why study ARD?

Your work at NABARD will primarily be related to the Agriculture and Rural Development sector. Therefore, knowledge about the current happenings in this sector is important. We suggest you follow news on various Government schemes, sub-schemes, policies and statistical data related to Agriculture and Rural Development. Questions in the Agriculture and Rural Development section are broadly based on the schemes and policies implemented for the benefit of Agriculture and for development of the Rural areas of the country.


The syllabus is provided with the official notification which is available for access on the NABARD website. However, to make it easier for you to do selective studying, we have divided the topics into categories based on the analysis of the NABARD 2016 Exam.

Topics to study for ARD in Phase 1

In the Agriculture & Rural Development section of the Phase 1 of NABARD 2016 Paper, more marks were allotted to the Agriculture part – 18 marks and less marks to the Rural Development part – 7 marks.

A whopping 16 marks, out of the total 25 marks were allotted to questions based on current affairs, while only 9 marks were allotted to the Static or theoretical part of the Agriculture & Rural Development section of Phase 1 NABARD 2016 Exam.

Following are broadly the topics covered in the Agriculture part of Phase 1:
  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Ecology & Climate
  • Water Resource
  • Farm and Agriculture engineering
  • Plantation and Horticulture
  • Fisheries
  • Forestry
  • Agriculture extension
  • Soil and water
  • Miscellaneous

9 marks out of 18 marks were allotted to Agriculture were static questions and remaining 9 marks were allotted to questions based on current affairs. The static questions were easier compared to questions based on current affairs and the questions were from every unit (almost) of Phase 2 Agriculture Syllabus.

Following are broadly the topics covered in the Rural Development part of Phase 1:
  • Rural Development Programs
  • Rural Housing
  • Swachh Bharat
  • Tribes - Rural Development
  • Rural Occupation Structure

From Rural Development section, there were 7 questions, and all 7 of them were based on the current affairs.

Topics to study for ARD Phase 2

The ARD Phase 2 syllabus can be divide into 12 categories as follows:

1. Present scenario of Indian Agriculture, Present scenario of allied activities, Factors of production in agriculture, Agriculture finance and marketing, Impact of globalization on agriculture, Issues of food security, Concept and types of farm management.
2. Branches of agriculture, Agronomy - definition, meaning and scope, Classification of rops, Factors affecting crop production and Agricultural climatic zones, Cropping systems, Crops and weather, Seeds, Precision farming, Organic farming.
3. Types of soil, Soil fertility, Soil erosion and conservation, watershed management.
4. Sources of irrigation, Types of irrigation, Crops water requirement, Command area development, Water conservation techniques.
5. Sources of power on farm, Water harvesting structures, Agro processing. Storage - godowns, bins, silos, etc.
6. Plantation & Horticulture - Definition, meaning and branches, Post-harvest management, supply chain management of P & H crops.
7. Role of animals in Indian economy, Animal Husbandry methods, Classification of breeds of cattle, Feeds and fodder classification, Poultry industry in India, Mixed farming, Linkages between livestock/poultry and farming.
8. Importance of fisheries in India, Aquaculture, Post-harvest technology, Freshwater, brackish water and marine fisheries.
9. Silviculture, Social forestry, Agro forestry, Join forest management, Forest policy and legislation in India, State of Forest Report, Recent Development under MOEFCC.
10. Agricultural extension- importance, role and methods, Role of KVKs - Krishi Vigyan Kendra
11. Ecology & Environment, GHGs - concept & countries, Adaptation vs Mitigation, Impact of climate change on agriculture and rural livelihood, Carbon credit, IPCC, UNFCCC, COP meetings. Funding mechanisms, Initiatives by GOI-NAPCC, SAPCC, INDC.
12. Rural areas - concept and importance for India, Rural population - composition and trends, Problems of rural labor, Issues in handlooms, PRIs - functions and working, MGNREGA, NRLM, Ajeevika, Rural Drinking Water Programs, Swatch Bharat, Rural housing, PURA, Other programs, Rural Credit System - Evolution and growth, Role and functions of RBI, NABARD, SIDBI, etc.

Preparation Strategy

Does the change in exam pattern impact your strategy?

In short, yes. The ESI, ARD, GK and Computer section together constitute 120 marks and Quantitative Aptitude, English Language and Reasoning 80 marks. While the former topics are mostly static and current affairs in nature and require less time, the latter topics are based on mental ability, decision making and problem-solving skills. Therefore, you should be aiming to secure maximum marks in the theory section in less time and use the remaining time for the practical sections (Quant, Reasoning, English).

Strategy for Agriculture & Rural Development (ARD) section Phase 1
  • Focus on Schemes, Sub-schemes and policies launched by the Government for the welfare of Rural areas and Agriculture. A whopping 8 questions were based on Schemes and sub-schemes on Agricultural & Rural Development alone; 4 from Rural development and 4 from Agriculture.
  • Know the full-form of schemes such as PMFBY, PMKSY, PMKKKY, etc. The questions in exam will have the abbreviations and not full-forms.
  • Agriculture & Rural Development Section of both Phase 1 and 2 of NABARD include questions that are based on figures, data and facts. They’re more in number in the Phase 2 exam specifically.
  • The Agriculture part of ARD has more static questions and not much in Rural part. This however doesn’t mean you should ignore the theoretical part of Rural Development. But you don’t need to spend too much time on theory part of Rural Development. The topics in Rural Development are more generic and topics in Agriculture are specific.
  • Total number of questions that were based on current affairs were more compared to total number of questions based on static knowledge. Current affairs: 16 marks, Static: 9 marks.
  • Therefore, we suggest you focus more on current affairs. The questions are pretty straight forward and are based on the data, facts and figures of programs, policies and schemes.
  • The questions (both current affairs based and theory based) were asked from the topics from Phase 2 syllabus of ARD. Therefore, one must cover the syllabus of Phase 2 for the Phase 1 exam.

Strategy for Agriculture & Rural Development (ARD) section Phase 2

In phase 2, there were very few questions based on core agriculture in ARD section. The maximum questions were from current affairs. Therefore, we suggest you cover current affairs on topics in ARD from the following sources:
  • Kurukshetra
  • The Hindu Newspaper
  • The Economic Survey
  • The Union Budget
  • News on Schemes & Sub-schemes

Annual Reports of:
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Ministry of Rural Development
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Cover all current affairs related to ARD of 1 year. If your exam is in August 2017, cover ARD current affairs from August 2016 to July 2017. While you should focus more on the current affairs, do not ignore the static part.

Mock Tests

Since the exam is nearing, there is not much time left to study books cover to cover to NABARD Exam 2017 preparation. Therefore, to prepare for the exam in lesser, time we recommend you use preparation material prepared by experts and top rankers after thorough research and analysis.

The Mock tests for instance, are created by experts and top rankers keeping in mind the latest exam pattern and syllabus. They help you:
Determine your speed and accuracy
Identify your strengths and weaknesses
Analyze your performance
Know your all-India Ranking

We hope the above helps you kick-start your Agriculture & Rural Development section preparation for the upcoming NABARD exam. Save this guide as a pdf to refer whenever required.
We wish you all the very best for your exam.