- Nano fertilizers
The issue in news
IFFCO’s Nano experiment.
What are Nano Fertilizers?
- Nano fertilizers are synthesized or modified form of traditional fertilizers, fertilizers bulk materials or extracted from different vegetative or reproductive parts of the plant by different chemical, physical, mechanical or biological methods with the help of nanotechnology used to improve soil fertility, productivity and quality of agricultural produce.
- The term ‘nano fertilizer’ is used for both materials of a physical diameter between 1 and 100 nm in at least one dimension (e.g., ZnO nanoparticles)
- and those existing at the bulk scale with more than 100 nm in size but that have been modified with nanoscale materials (e.g., bulk fertilizer coated with nanoparticles).
- Nanoscience and Nanotechnology research in agriculture and horticulture are still at an elementary stage but developing rapidly.
- Conventional bulk fertilizer or traditional fertilizers are not only expensive for the producer, but may be harmful to humans and the environment.
- This has led to the search for environmentally friendly fertilizers or smart fertilizer, mainly those with high nutrient-use efficiency, and nanotechnology is rising as a promising alternative.
- The exceptional properties of nanoparticles, such as high surface area/volume size ratio and enhanced optoelectronic and physicochemical properties, compared to their bulk counterparts, are now emerging as a promising strategy to promote plant growth and productivity.
Advantages of Nano Fertilizers:
- Farmers or growers mainly apply conventional fertilizers through the soil by either surface broadcasting, subsurface placement, or as fertigation or with irrigation water.
- However, a large portion of applied fertilizers is lost to the atmosphere or enters water bodies, finally polluting our ecosystems.
- Nano fertilizers are required in a small amount which reduces the cost of transportation and field application.
- Their nutrient delivery system is slow or through a control release mechanism, this is associated with the covering or cementing of nutrients.
- By taking advantage of this slow nutrient delivery, growers can increase their crop growth because of consistently long-term delivery of nutrients to plants:
- The accumulation of salt in soil can be minimized as it is required in a small amount.
- They can be synthesized according to the nutrient requirements of planned crops.
- The miniature size, high specific surface area and high reactivity of nano fertilizers increase the bioavailability of nutrients.
- Providing balanced nutrition, nano fertilizers facilitate the crop plants to fight various biotic and abiotic stresses.
- However, there could be concerns associated with nano fertilizers as well.
- The properties of many nanoparticles are considered to be of potential risk to human health, viz., size, shape, solubility, crystal phase, type of material, and exposure and dosage concentrations.
- However, expert opinions indicate that food products containing nanoparticles available in the market are probably safe to eat, but this is an area that needs to be more actively investigated.
- Hindi Diwas
The issue in news
Hindi Diwas is observed every year on 14th September to mark the occasion of the adoption of Hindi as the official language of India in 1949.
On the 14th of September 1949, Hindi was adopted as the official language of the Union of India. This day is celebrated as ‘Hindi Diwas’ in India.
Hindi Diwas – Background
- Hindi was adopted as the official language of the Union of India on the 14thof September 1949.
- Subsequently, in 1950, Hindi in the Devanagari script was declared as the official language of India.
- The states of India identify their own official languages through the process of legislation. However, English is also considered as the official language of India.
- About 45% of the Indian population speaks in Hindi. In 1950, it was decided that the use of English was to be ended by 26thJanuary 1965, 15 years from the date of adoption of the Constitution of India.
- Due to strong opposition to the decision of adopting Hindi as the national language, the constitutional makers accepted all the major languages spoken in India as the “Languages of India”.
- Besides, there was a huge resistance from the South Indian states to accept only Hindi as the official language of India. Keeping this concern in mind, the Indian parliament passed the Official Languages Act in 1963.
- The act allowed the usage of English along with Hindi, even after 1965.
- Certain states in the North-eastern part of India, like Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland still make use of English as their official language.
- Part 17 of the Indian Constitution has in it, elaborate provisions with respect to the official languages of the Republic of India.
- Article 343 and 344 of the Constitution embody the major provisions dealing with the official languages of the Union of India.
- 8thschedule has a list of 22 officially recognized Indian languages. Of these 22 Indian languages, 14 were initially added by the Constitution makers.
Subsequently, in 1967 Sindhi was added by the 21st Amendment Act; Konkani, Manipuri, Nepali were in 1992 by the 71st Amendment Act. Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, Santhali in 2003 by 92nd Amendment Act
- Sessions of Parliament
The issue in news
Monsoon session 2020 of Parliament begins.
Sessions of Parliament
- A session of the Indian Parliament is the period during which a House meets almost every day uninterruptedly to manage the business. There are typically three sessions in a year. A session contains many meetings.
- The process of calling all members of the Parliament to meet is called Summoning of Parliament. It is the President who summons Parliament.
- In general, the sessions are as follows:
- Budget session (February to May)
- Monsoon session (July to September)
- Winter session (November to December)
- Budget Session
- The budget session is held in February to May every year. It is considered to be a highly crucial session of the Parliament.
- The Budget is usually presented on the last working day of the month of February.Here, the members discuss the various provisions of the budget and matters concerning taxation, after the Finance Minister presents the budget.
- The budget session is generally split into two periods with a gap of one month between them.
- This session every year starts with the President’s Address to both Houses.
· The monsoon session is held in July to September every year.This is after a break of two months after the budget session.
· In this session, matters of public interest are discussed.
- The winter session of Parliament is held in mid-November to mid-December every year. It is the shortest session of all.
- It takes up the matters that could not be considered upon earlier and makes up for the absence of legislative business during the second session of the Parliament.
Joint Session of Parliament
- The Constitution of India provides for the joint sitting of the Parliament’s two Houses, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, in order to break any deadlock between the two.
- The joint sitting of the Parliament is called by the country’s President.
- Such a session is presided over by the Speaker, and in his/her absence, by the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha. In the absence of both, it is presided over by the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
- If any of the above are not present, any other member of the Parliament can preside by consensus of both the Houses.
- Article 108 of the Constitution talks about a joint Parliament session.
- Genomic sequences of SARS-CoV-2
The issue in news
Scientists around the world including in India are working on genomic sequences of SARS-CoV-2.
- Scientists are aiming to identify the genetic variability and potential molecular targets in virus and humans to find the best possible answer to combat the COVID-19
- A team of researchers at the National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research, Kolkata have developed a web-based COVID Predictor to predict the sequence of viruses online on the basis of machine learning and analysed 566 Indian SARS-CoV-2 genomes to find the genetic variability in terms of point mutation and Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP).
- The study is sponsored by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
- They have mainly found that 57 out of 64 SNPs are present in 6 coding regions of Indian SARS-CoV-2 genomes, and all are non-synonymous in nature.
- The scientists are on the track to identify the genetic variability in SARS-CoV-2 genomes around the globe including India, find the number of virus strains using Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
- (SNP), spot the potential target proteins of the virus and human host based on Protein-Protein Interactions.