The regulation of oxyradicals and PSII activity by UV-B (280–315 nm) and UV-A (315–400 nm) components were investigated in the leaves of maize [Zea mays L. var: HQPM.1]. The impact of ambient UV radiation on the production of superoxide (O2˙−) and hydroxyl (˙OH) radicals were analysed in the leaves of 20-day-old plants. The amount of O2˙− and ˙OH radicals and the radical scavenging activity were significantly higher in the leaves exposed to ambient UV radiation as compared to the leaves of the plants grown under UV exclusion filters. Smaller amount of oxyradicals in the leaves of UV excluded plants was accompanied by a substantial increase in quantum yield of electron transport (𝜑Eo), rate of electron transport (𝜓o) and performance index (PIABS), as indicated by chlorophyll 𝑎 fluorescence transient. Although higher amounts of oxyradicals invoked higher activity of antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase and peroxidase under ambient UV, they also imposed limitation on the photosynthetic efficiency of PSII. Exclusion of UV components (UV-B 280–315 nm; UV-A 315–400 nm) translated to enhanced photosynthesis, growth and biomass. Thus, solar UV components, especially in the tropical region, could be a major limiting factor in the photosynthetic efficiency of the crop plants.