Soil Science And Technology

By Prof. Somsubhra Chakraborty   |   IIT Kharagpur
Learners enrolled: 206

This core course is aimed to provide a basic understanding of various aspects of soil science along with some state-of-the-art technologies. The objective is to provide knowledge of different physical and chemical properties of soil. Most importantly this course will impart different preparatory and exploratory data analysis approaches for unconventional digital soil mapping, modeling and mapping of continuous and categorical soil attributes, hyperspectral and proximal soil sensors and their applications for modeling of soil properties, soil pollution and remediation which are not covered in the traditional courses of soil science.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Agriculture, Environmental science, Agricultural engineering


INDUSTRY SUPPORT: Fertilizer companies; Soil testing services; Soil and environmental pollution consulting companies; Soil remote sensing solution services
Course Status : Upcoming
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 23 Jan 2023
End Date : 14 Apr 2023
Exam Date : 30 Apr 2023 IST
Enrollment Ends : 30 Jan 2023
Category :
  • Agricultural and Food Engineering
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Basic Overview Of Soil; Ecosystem Services Of Soils; Weathering; Soil Formation; Soil Profile
Week 2: Soil Taxonomy; Soil Orders-1; Soil Orders-2; Soil Colour And Soil Texture; Soil Structure
Week 3: Soil Tillage And Soil Density; Soil Porosity And Consistency; Soil Water Energy Concepts; Measurement Of Soil Water; Tutorial
Week 4: The Flow Of Liquid Water Into Soil; Qualitative Description Of Soil Wetness; Soil Air; Soil Temprature; Tutorial
Week 5: Silicate Clays-1; Silicate Clays -2; Sources Of Charges On Soil Colloids; Cation Exchange Capacity; Sorption Of Pesticides In Soil
Week 6: Diffuse Double Layer Theories; Adsorption Isotherms; Soil Acidity; Soil Alkalinity And Salinity; Submerged Soils
Week 7: Essential Plant Nutrients; Soil Nitrogen; Biological Nitrogen Fixation; Soil Phosphorus And Potassium; Fertilizers
Week 8: Soil Testing-1; Soil Testing-2; Soil Organic Matter And Climate Change; Soil Organisms; Compost
Week 9: Soil Erosion And Land Degradation; The Universal Soil-loss Equation; Conservation Tillage; Wind And Tillage Erosion; Toxic Organic Chemicals In Soils
Week 10: Remediation Of Soil Organic Pollution; Soil Contamination With Toxic Inorganic Substances; Remediation Of Soil Inorganic Pollution; Soil Survey; Remote Sensing In Soil Survey
Week 11: Gis And Gps; Geostatistics; Basics Of Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy; Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy For Soils; Pxrf Soil Applications
Overview Of Digital Soil Mapping; Modeling And Mapping Of Continuouos Variables; Modeling And Mapping Of Categorical 
Week 12: Variables; Pedotrasnfer Functions; Accuracy And Uncertainity Of Dsm

Books and references

1. The Nature and Properties of Soils by Nyle C. Brady and Ray R. Weil
2. Fundamentals of soil physics by Daniel Hillel
3. Soil Fertility And Fertilizers by Havlin, Tisdale, Nelson and Beaton
4. Digital Soil Mapping: An Introductory Perspective by Lagacherie, McBratney and Voltz

Instructor bio

Prof. Somsubhra Chakraborty

IIT Kharagpur
I am currently serving as an Assistant Professor (Soil Science) at the Agricultural and Food Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. I was awarded various prestigious fellowships including the Australia Awards Fellowship from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. I did my undergraduate and M.Sc degrees from BCKV and PAU in India and PhD degree in Agronomy (Soil Science emphasis) from Louisiana State University, USA. I started my career as a post-doctoral researcher at West Virginia University, USA. I joined IITKgp as faculty in 2016. I am passionate about the use of proximal and non-invasive sensors for soil management. I have around 50 international journal publications. I am currently serving as the member of the editorial board of Geoderma, the global journal of soil science.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 
30 April 2023 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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