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Getting selected for a government job is a very huge thing in the world and especially in India. Millions of people give government exams every year and a few thousand get selected. 


I don’t think that it is any kid’s dream to be a government officer. It becomes your dream as you become an adult. When my parents used to ask me about my dream at the age of 5, it was either an astronaut or an artist. Who knew that I will be helping millions of people around the country to fulfill their dream. NABARD Grade A officer post is one such post which is a dream of a lot of people. You get to make policies for the backbone of the country “agriculture”. You can look at the job profile of a NABARD Grade A officer here. It is really interesting. 

The salary of a NABARD Grade A officer is good and its syllabus is similar to that of RBI & SEBI. You can go through NABARD Grade A salary here.  


In this blog, I’m essentially going to talk about five things: 

  • NABARD Grade A Books 


Let us start with the first thing and the most important part of the blog, the selection criteria of the NABARD Grade A Exam. This will help you to know different levels, the number of questions asked and many more things. 


NABARD Grade A (3 Stages) 


NABARD Grade A is one of the most renowned jobs in the country and it is equally difficult to get in. I don’t want to scare you but it is not like any other exam in the country. Most of the exams in the country have 2 stages to clear the exam with a similar syllabus in both stages.  


Well, guess what? 


This is not the case with the NABARD Grade A exam. NABARD Grade A has three different stages with the different syllabus in every stage. Here are the stages: 


1.Phase I – Preliminary Exam: Online Objective Test 

2.Phase II – Mains Exam: Online Objective & Descriptive Test 

3.Phase III – Interview 


Let us talk about each and every stage individually. This will let you know the amount of effort and time you need to give to each and every stage. 


NABARD Grade A Selection Criteria – Preliminary Examination (Phase 1) 



Both Phase 1 and 2 are online exams so you do not get the satisfaction of scribbling on paper. You will be assigned a center near your house. You will get a computer at that center and everything will stay online.  


The important thing to know about the phase 1 exam is that it’s qualifying in nature and is meant to serve as a screening test.  


This is good news as you shouldn’t focus on scoring very high marks. You should only be focused on clearing this exam.  


But why? 


This is because you have limited time and you don’t want to over-prepare a qualifying paper and give less time to Phase 2 which is more important.  


Candidates who clear the cut off in the Preliminary Exam get a chance to give the phase 2 exam. So, the marks secured in Phase I – Online preliminary examination will not be counted for final selection. This is one of the main reasons why you should be focusing more on just clearing this stage and not scoring very high.  


Before moving to the Phase 2 exam, we should understand the number of questions asked in the NABARD Grade A Phase 1 exam. 2 hours will be given to you to complete the exam so distribute your time accordingly between different sections.  This will help you to understand the structure of the exam.  


Let’s jump in. 


NABARD Grade A Exam Pattern (Phase I) is as follows – 

S. No. Name of Test Number of Questions Maximum Marks 
1. Reasoning Ability 20 20 
2. English Language 40 40 
3. Computer Knowledge 20 20 
4. General Awareness 20 20 
5. Quantitative Aptitude 20 20 
6. Economic & Social Issues (with focus on Rural India) 40 40 
7. Agriculture & Rural Development (with focus on Rural India) 40 40 
 Total 200 200 


NABARD Grade A Selection Process (Phase II) is as follows – 


What are we waiting for?  


Let’s move to the most important part of the whole exam.  

Yes, you heard it right. It is the most important and difficult part of the examination. 


If you will qualify and rank sufficiently high in Mains Exam, well above the cutoff, you will be called for appearing in the Interview. The important thing to remember here is that the marks secured in Phase 2 – Online Mains examination will be counted for final selection. So Prepare very hard for this exam. 


This is one of the main reasons why students focus on scoring high marks in this stage as this is taken into consideration while making the final list after the interview stage.  


Before moving to the final phase of the exam, let’s understand the number of questions asked in different sections. This will help you to understand the amount of time that should be given to each question of every section. 


S. No. Exam Post Name of Test Maximum Marks Total Time 
1. Phase I (Descriptive Test) Common to all General English
Essay writing: 40 Marks
Precis: 20 Marks
Questions on the Precis Para: 20 Marks
Report/ Letter Writing: 20 Marks 
100 90 minutes 


Phase II For ‘General’ post Economic & Social Issues and Agriculture & Rural Development (with focus on Rural India) 100 90 minutes 
For posts including following – Economics, Agriculture, Agriculture Engineering, Plantation and Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Food Processing, Forestry, Environmental Engineering, Water Resource Development & Management, Social Work, Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary Paper on related discipline 



NABARD Grade A Selection Criteria: (Interviews) is as follows – 


You are at the final stage of the selection and I am so excited to tell you about this stage. This is a very interesting stage. NABARD tests your IQ and knowledge in the first two stages but they will test your personality in this stage.  


They will try to analyze your decision making power throughout the interview round.  

After Clearing the Mains Examination and securing a sufficiently high rank in the exam, you will be short-listed for an interview.  

The final selection for the post of NABARD Grade A officer will be based on their performance in the Mains Examination and Interview, taken together and this is the most important aspect of the Selection procedure for the NABARD Grade A Exam.  


Just imagine that you clear the Phase 2 exam and enter the interview level. Let’s understand different scenarios.  


  1. If you and some other student has equal marks in total (Phase 2 examination + interview taken together), the candidate with higher marks in Phase 2 Examination will be ranked higher and be selected as a NABARD Grade A officer. That is why Phase 2 is said to be the most important phase.


  1. In case you and the other candidate are having equal marks in the Mains Examination. Then the candidate with higher qualifications will be selected. Let’simagine that both of you have a similar qualification, the candidate with higher marks in graduation will be ranked higher and be selected as a NABARD Grade A officer. In case of a further tie-up, the candidate senior in age will be ranked higher.


I hope that this blog helped you a lot to understand about the selection criteria but it’s not enough. We have to understand the syllabus of the exam too. Knowing about the subjects, time and marks is not enough.  




You can also go through the NABARD Grade A syllabus from the notification but it’s very confusing. They use difficult words and it’s all messy. 


I have sorted it out and lined up the topics to make it easier to read.  

Before jumping into the syllabus of the NABARD Grade A exam directly, let’s go back in time a little bit. Do you remember the time when we didn’t have a lot of tuitions during our school time? Well I am not talking to those people who had rich parents. I am talking to people like me. 


My mother used to teach me till 7-8th class. She used to sit me with hours. It was her task to find the syllabus for me. Go through that syllabus first and help me out with my studies. 

Well, whom am I kidding here. 


My mother not just helped me, she did all the work. Well, I am not saying that I can take your mother’s place to help you analyze the syllabus and study. But I will definitely try to help you in every way possible.  


So let’s start with the syllabus and we will talk about other topics after that. 


NABARD Grade A Phase 1 Syllabus 


Quantitative Aptitude 
WEEK 1- 
HCF and LCM 
Ratio and Proportion 
Averages, Mixtures and Alligations 
Profit and Loss 
Time, Speed and Distance 
Time and Work 
Pipes and Cisterns 
Simple Interest and Compound Interest 
Data interpretation 
Number Series 
WEEK 2- 
Blood Relations 
Venn Diagram- syllogism 
Number Series (can also be covered in quant) 
Input Output 
Coding Decoding 
Data Sufficiency 
Statement and Assumptions 
Statement and Conclusions 
Decision Making 
Arrangements and Puzzles 
Clocks and Calendars 


Reading Comprehension 
Sentence Correction 
cloze test 
combining sentences 
sentence rearrangement 
Fill in the blanks 
phrase replacement 
common errors 



The syllabus of Phase 1 & 2 Agriculture & rural development is exactly the same. The only difference between these two areas is the level of difficulty. It is better that you attempt mocks on a daily basis to see the difference in the level and prepare in a better way. 


I will be covering the Phase 1 & 2 syllabus of agriculture and rural development in the Phase 2 part. 


NABARD Grade A Phase 2 Syllabus 


Introduction: Agriculture 
         Meaning, scope and importance  
         Revolutions in Agriculture  
         Branches of agriculture 
         History and Milestones of events in Agriculture 
Agronomy – Meaning and definition  
         Scope of Agronomy  
         Relation of Agronomy to other sciences 
         Role of Agronomist  
         Important points on Agronomy  
Classification of Field Crops 
Factors affecting Crop production 
         Biotic factors 
         Abiotic factors 
Agro-climatic zones  
Cropping Systems: Definition, Objectives and types of cropping systems 
Problems of dry land agriculture 
Seed production 
         Seed Germination  
         Seed Processing  
           Seed Production Organizations  
         Seed Village 
Precision Farming 
Organic Farming 
      Advantage and disadvantage of organic farming 
System of Crop intensification 
Soil and Water Conservation 
        Types of Soil; major types of Indian Soil 
        Soil Fertility And Soil Productivity  
        Problematic soils 
       Fertilizers; classification of Fertilizers 
       Soil Erosion: Factors affecting soil erosion; Types soil erosion  
       Soil conservation  
     Watershed Management  
       Dryland Farming-Introduction and Definition & Importance  
       Dryland vs. Rain Fed Farming  
Plantation and Horticulture: definition, meaning and its branches  
       Importance of Horticulture  
     Agronomic and production technology of horticulture and plantation crops  
      Scenario of Horticulture; post-harvest technology 
       Value and supply chain management 
     Important points 
Animal Husbandry: 
       Farm animals and their role in Indian economy 
       Animal husbandry methods in India 
       Common terms pertaining to different species of livestock 
       Utility classification of breeds of cattle 
       Common feeds and fodders: classification and utility 
       Complimentary and obligatory nature of livestock and poultry production 
        Introduction to poultry industry in India (past, present and future status) 
Concept of mixed farming; 
Relevance to socio-economic conditions of farmers in India. 
Fisheries resources 
management and exploitation – freshwater, brackish water and marine 
Aquaculture- Inland and marine; biotechnology 
post-harvest technology  
Importance of fisheries in India. 
Important points and terminologies in fisheries 
Forestry :  
Basic concepts of Forest and Forestry. 
Principles of silviculture, forest mensuration, forest management and forest economics 
Concepts of social forestry, agroforestry, joint forest management. 
Forest policy and legislation in India, 
Recent developments under Ministry of Environment 
Forest and Climate Change 
Farm and Agri Engineering : 
Farm Power and Machinery  
Sources of power on the farm 
water harvesting structures 
watershed management 
Agro Processing : Basic concepts; organisations and industries of agro processing  
Controlled and modified storage, 
storage structures  
Water Resource: 
Irrigation Management: types of irrigation, sources of irrigation 
crop-water requirement, command area development 
water conservation techniques 
Micro-irrigation, irrigation pumps, major, medium and minor irrigation 
Ecology and Climate Change: 
Ecology and its relevance 
Natural resource conservation and management  
Climate change  
Climate change impact to Agriculture and Rural livelihood; carbon credit 
Different Organisations and initiatives by Government  of India 
Agricultural Meterology : Basic concepts and scope  
weather parameters; crop-weather advisory 
Agriculture extension : 
Importance and role 
Methods of evaluation of extension programmes 
Role of Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s (KVK) 
Present Scenario of Indian Agriculture: 
recent trends, major challenges in agriculture  
measures to enhance viability of agriculture 
Factors of Production in agriculture 
Agricultural Finance and Marketing;  concept; Sources and Its Importance 
Agriculture Marketing  
Differences between Financing of Agricultural and Other Sectors  
Impact of Globalization on Indian Agriculture and issues of Food Security 
Indian Government programmes and Initiatives  
Concept and Types of Farm Management 
Agriculture census 
National Research Institutes in India and Headquarter  
International Research Institutes in India and Headquarter  



Economics and social issues 


economic terms 
Economic concepts and terminologies  
growth, development, sustainable development 
Growth and development 
Measurement of growth 
National income and per capita income  
Fiscal policy  
Bop and foreign exchange  
international and regional organizations 
International and regional organizations  
Indian economic history before 1991 
Role of economic planning 
Industrial and labour policy since 1947 
Export import policy since 1947 
Agriculture policy since 1947 
Indian economic history after 1991  
Economic reforms in India since 1991 
Opening up of Indian economy 
social sectors and social movements 
Social structure in India 
Gender issues 
Positive discrimination 
Social movements 
Human development 
Poverty and employment  
indices, census, forest, GDP forecast 
Indices and reports pdf (1), video (#) 
Census, seccnfhs pdf (1), video (#) 
State of forest report video (1), pdf (1) 
Gdp forecasts video (1), pdf (1) 
Government Schemes 
Census, SECC, NFHS, Surveys 
State of Forest Report 
Economic Survey 
State of Forest Report 
Rural Banking, Financial Institutions and reforms 



Now you know the time you will get during your exam, the pattern of the exam and the syllabus too. Let’s talk about how much you need to score to clear this exam.  


I know you are thinking, “Anuj is covering everything here”. Yes, I’m covering the important things. I am here to help you guys and I will provide you with each and every part. I will even cover the books you need to cover the syllabus that I mentioned above. So let’s start the last year cut off and the marks you need in the future exam to clear the exam.  


Before starting, let me continue my mom’s story. She used to sit with me all night and help me cover my syllabus. She was the one who made sure that I get the highest marks in the class in my exam. I bet that your mom was the same. She never prepared me to just pass the exam, and never told me that I need to get 40% marks. But, She always taught me so that I can get 100% marks in my exams.  


I will say the same thing to you. Even if we have a cut off. Never aim to score near that cut off. Aim to score the highest marks. That is the best tactic to clear the exam. Targeting cut offs will only let you score less than cut off. Targeting the maximum will help you score above cut off. 


So let’s dive in. 


I will cover the last 2 years’ cut off. It is not very smart to cover older cut offs. So don’t compare your mock test marks with 2015 cut off. Compare it with 2019 cut off. 


NABARD Grade A Pre Cut Off 2019 


Table showing test-wise & category-wise NABARD Grade A cut off 2019 applied for all disciplines. 


 Marks SC, ST, OBC, PWBD EWS, Unreserved 
Reasoning (20) 1 3 
English (40) 5.75 10.75 
Computer awareness (20) 2.5 4 
General awareness (20) 1 2.5 
Economics & Social Issues (40) 1 3 
Agriculture (40) 1 3.25 
Quantitative Aptitude (20) 1.25 4.25 



Table showing NABARD Grade A cut off 2019 Discipline-Wise and Category-Wise 


GENERAL  109.5  100.5  117.0  111.0  129.0  65.25  92.25  43.75  
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY/ DAIRY TECHNOLOGY  —  31.50  60.25  —  62.75  
ECONOMICS & AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS  66.00  66.50  75.00  74.25  101.25  
ENVIRONMENT  48.50  33.50  70.25  —  94.00  
FOOD PROCESSING  41.25  —  67.75  —  88.50  
FORESTRY  —  47.25  55.25  —  79.25  
FINANCE  53.00  24.00  35.25  62.00  94.50  
LAND DEVELOPMENT – SOIL SCIENCE  —  —  93.00  —  102.5  
PLANTATION & HORTICULTURE  —  —  59.00  —  69.25  



Keep in mind that these marks are the lowest you need to get. You should be aiming for the highest but this subject is just qualifying. So don’t give too much time to this phase. Start preparing more and more for Phase 2 as the of that phase will be counted in the final selection. 


NABARD Grade A Phase 2 2019 paper has been postponed due to  COVID-19. Let’s talk about the 2018 Phase 1 and 2 cut off.  


NABARD Grade A Cut off 2018 Preliminary Examination 

Table showing Discipline-Wise and Category-Wise NABARD Grade A Cut off 2018 applied on total 

Discipline Category 
General 99.75 94.75 105.25 116.50 51.50 88.50 34.00 90.75 
Animal Husbandry 19.25  55.00 64.75     
Chartered Accountant 53.75  34.50 74.50     
Economics  61.75 67.50 90.50     
Environmental Engineering   68.75 90.75     
Food Processing/Food Tech  25.50 69.25 86.00     
Forestry 28.75  57.00 77.75     
Land Development (Soil Science)/Agriculture 76.00 62.25 79.25 91.50     
Minor Irrigation (Water Resources) 35.25 29.25 46.25 59.75     
Social Work 23.50  39.25 70.75     

– No Vacancy  


Table showing NABARD Grade A cut off 2018 Discipline-Wise and Category-Wise 

Discipline Category Test 
RE (20) EL (40) CK (20) GA (20) ES (40) AR (40) QA (20) 
General SC, ST, OBC, PWBD (HI, LD, MD, VI) 1.75 8.75 2.50 1.25 2.50 2.00 1.75 
Unreserved 4.50 13.25 4.00 3.00 5.75 4.00 4.00 
All other Disciplines SC, ST, OBC, PWBD (HI, LD, MD, VI) 1.00 3.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 
Unreserved 1.00 7.25 2.00 1.00 2.50 3.00 1.00 

NABARD Grade A Cut off 2018 Mains Examination 

Table showing NABARD Grade A Cut off 2018 Discipline-Wise and Category-Wise applied on total 

Discipline Category 
General 113.75 114.25 117.75 124.00 104.75 106.75 # 106.75 
Animal Husbandry 128.25  130.50 134.00     
Chartered Accountant 108.00  131.25 142.25     
Economics  102.00 113.75 128.00     
Environmental Engineering   120.25 127.00     
Food Processing/Food Tech  98.50 111.50 121.75     
Forestry 141.50  139.75 145.25     
Land Development (Soil Science)/Agriculture 124.25 121.75 132.50 136.75     
Minor Irrigation (Water Resources) 93.00 85.75 103.25 111.50     
Social Work 121.25  128.50 137.75     

– No Vacancy 

# No Candidate Qualified 


Table showing Cut off NABARD Grade A Discipline-Wise and Category-Wise applied on Select List and Wait List 



Discipline Category 
General 140.75 139.00 148.75 153.00 131.00 146.00 137.25 
Animal Husbandry 154.50  162.00 170.75    
Chartered Accountant 154.50  168.50 170.50    
Economics  159.00 155.75 161.75    
Environmental Engineering   153.50 169.25    
Food Processing/Food Tech  130.50 143.75 159.00    
Forestry 168.50  176.25 179.75    
Land Development (Soil Science)/Agriculture 162.00 159.25 162.00 163.25    
Minor Irrigation (Water Resources) 138.50 117.25 151.50 148.50    
Social Work 145.75  155.50 178.75    

WAIT LIST – Cut off NABARD Grade A 

Discipline Category 
General 139.50 137.25 146.25 150.25 118.50 140.25 135.50 
Animal Husbandry 149.75  161.25 163.25    
Chartered Accountant 147.50  164.50 164.75    
Economics  151.25 153.00 156.25    
Environmental Engineering   152.75 153.00    
Food Processing/Food Tech  128.50 140.50 157.25    
Forestry 161.50  166.50 176.50    
Land Development (Soil Science)/Agriculture 153.25 150.50 158.25 161.25    
Minor Irrigation (Water Resources) 126.50 112.25 144.25 148.25    
Social Work 144.50  152.50 161.75    



It’s great to see that you are still sticking around. I know that this is a huge blog but keep on reading it. It will help you to understand each and every part of the exam. Now it’s time to find out a way to cover this huge syllabus and clear the cut off too. I will be helping you out with the various books out there that you can use to cover the syllabus. 


There are hundreds of books out there but I have handpicked some for you to cover the syllabus. There is no single book to cover the syllabus. Each subject has different books and it is most likely that you need to read 2-3 books for each subject. I know it is a lot but you get to clear the exam. Right? 


Before going forward, I would like to tell another story about my mom. After clearing each class in school, we used to get new books. My mom used to get stickers to put my name on those books.  


Do you remember those stickers?  


What was your sticker about? My sticker used to have cars on them. My whole summer vacation used to go by covering those books with the paper cover and putting a name sticker over it. Now, you don’t need to put your name on your books but I just wanted to share this little story.  


So let’s talk about NABARD Grade A Books. 


Best Books for NABARD Grade A – Reasoning Ability, Quantitative Aptitude, and English Language 

There are no specific NABARD Grade A Exam Books for Reasoning Ability, Quantitative Aptitude, and English Language. So, I used to recommend Arun Sharma, Banking Services Chronicles (BSC) books and TIME or Career Launcher material for CAT as NABARD Grade A Phase 1  Preparation Books. But the level of NABARD Grade A Examination is different from CAT and other examinations. So, I myself wrote a book. This Book caters to the needs of the candidates aspiring for NABARD Grade A Examination & helps them for Phase 1 Preparation.   

The book involves 850 Pages containing 2000+ MCQs covering a far-reaching and comprehensive inclusion of the complete syllabus of Phase 1 and Past Year Papers.   

Answers with an explanation of every question have been given toward the finish of each question to help you understand the topic simultaneously.   

Another advancement in the book is that every chapter is partitioned into 3 portions, for example, Simple, Medium and Difficult to invigorate movement in the learning. 


Best Books for NABARD Grade A – General Awareness 


  • Spotlight  
  • Financial Express or Livemint 
  • Monthly Magazines like Banking Services Chronicles  


NABARD Grade A Preparation Books – Computer Knowledge 


Computer Awareness – Arihant Publication  

Objective Computer Knowledge and Literacy – Kiran Publication  


Best NABARD Grade A Books – Economic and Social Issues (ESI) 

  • Indian Economy NCERT 11th  
  • Macroeconomics NCERT 12th  
  • Ramesh Singh- Indian economy  
  • Indian Economy- Uma Kapila (Performance and policies)  
  • Social problems in India- Ram Ahuja 
  • Indian Polity- Laxmikanth 
  • Economic survey for the year 
  • Union Budget 
  • Pratiyogita Darpan Indian Economy yearly version discharged after Union Budget 
  • NITI Aayog recent reports – selective  


The NABARD Grade A Preparation Books I have mentioned above for ESI comprise of sources for both Phase 1 as well as Phase 2.  


Best NABARD Grade A Books 2020 – Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) 

  • Objective Agriculture – S.R. Kantwa – New Vishal Publications  
  • For Agricultural Field Officer IBPS-SO Book – Jain Brothers 
  • Agriculture Current Affairs – New Vishal Publications 
  • General Agriculture – Muniraj Singh Rathore – Jain Brothers 
  • A Competitive Book of Agriculture – Nem Raj Sundra   

These were the Best NABARD Grade A Books 2020 for ARD Preparation (Both Phase 1 and Phase 2). Apart from these NABARD Grade A Exam Books for ARD, there are few other sources as well which students must cover in order to score maximum in the ARD Section.  

  • Agricultural Census provided by the Ministry of Agriculture. 
  • PIB Releases, i.e., Press Releases by Agriculture and Rural Department. 
  • Geographical knowledge of States and Soils present in those areas. 
  • Cover the Report provided by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. 
  • Kurukshetra and Yojana Magazines with a focus on the Agriculture part in these Magazines. 
  • Cover the basics of ARD from the book by R.K. Sharma – Agriculture at a Glance. 
  • Go through the Reports provided by 
  • Ministry of Agriculture 
  • Ministry of Rural Development 
  • NABARD Website 
  • State of Forest Report which is provided Bi-annually by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.  


The NABARD Grade A Preparation Books I have mentioned above for agriculture & rural development comprise of sources for both Phase 1 as well as Phase 2.  


These books will definitely help you out and you can easily find all of them on amazon. I didn’t mention the links here as sellers keep on changing. So it’s today’s task. Go online and find these books. I can’t spoon-feed you everything.  


Let’s move to the final part of the preparation. Practice. I know everyone says that you should practice daily to accomplish anything in life.  


Want to cook? Practice daily.  

Want to ride a bike? Practice daily. 

Want to clear NABARD Grade A Exam? Practice Daily. 


I have helped you out here. I post mock tests on a daily basis right here. I also take regular tests on my telegram channel and a link to take these mocks is also posted every day on that channel.  


I have also made some free comprehensive mocks that you should take before starting your preparation to analyze where you stand right now.  


These mocks not only help you practice but they will give you an experience of the real exam. The panel of these mocks is made exactly like the real exam. You have the access to view all questions at once, see color difference of the questions you skipped, questions you haven’t opened and the questions you have attempted. But I don’t want to just give you the exact panel. I want to give you more. So my technical team has made a specialized analysis page for you. You will get that after you complete each mock test.  


You will be able to see your rank, marks, solutions, time spent on each section compared to the topper, heat graph, etc. There are so many things that I can’t even list all of them here. So let’s not wait anymore. Here is the link to the daily mock test and here the link of the comprehensive mock tests. 



So this was all about the Selection Procedure, Syllabus, Cut off and Books of NABARD Grade A Examination. I hope this blog has cleared all your doubts related to the above topics. 


Keep learning!!
All the Best!!