Daily Prelims Notes 29 May 2022
- May 29, 2022
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
29 May 2022
Table of Contents
- Fertilizer subsidy
- Nano Urea
- Inquilab Zindabad slogan will stay relevant till people continue their struggle against diverse inequalities
- A bacteria which can tolerate disinfectants
Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the central government’s subsidy Bill for fertilisers will cross an estimated Rs 2 lakh crore this financial year — 25 per cent more than the fertiliser subsidy of the last financial year.
- Farmers buy fertilisers at MRPs (maximum retail price) below their normal supply-and-demand-based market rates or what it costs to produce/import them.
- The difference between the retail price and production cost/domestic price is given as subsidy to manufacturers.
Present regime of fertilizer subsidy – Partial DBT (Since April 2018)
- The subsidy goes to fertiliser companies, although its ultimate beneficiary is the farmer who pays MRPs less than the market-determined rates.
- Manufacturers of fertilizers (urea) receive 100% of subsidy after fertiliser is delivered to the farmer, and the latter’s identity viz. Aadhaar is captured on the point of sale (PoS) machine at the dealer’s shop.
- Therefore, the subsidy continues to be routed through manufacturers even though the sale of fertilizer is being verified using Aadhar ecosystem
- The manufacturers sell urea at the maximum retail price (MRP) controlled by the Centre, which is kept at a low level. They also get subsidy reimbursement on unit-specific basis under the new pricing scheme (NPS).
- The MRPs of non-urea fertilisers are decontrolled or fixed by the companies. The Centre, however, pays a flat per-tonne subsidy on these nutrients to ensure they are priced at “reasonable levels (based on Nutrient based Subsidy scheme)
How much subsidy does a farmer really get per acre?
For three bags urea, one bag DAP and half-a-bag MOP per acre, the farmer would spend a total of Rs 2,437 at existing MRPs. The corresponding subsidy value – at an average of Rs 13,000 per tonne (Rs 585/bag) for urea, Rs 511.55/bag for DAP and Rs 303.5/bag for MOP – will add up to Rs 2,418.3 per acre.
But then, farmers are also taxed on other inputs. Take diesel, where the incidence of excise and value added tax is Rs 42.19 on a litre retailing at Rs 70.46 in Delhi. On 30 litres of average per-acre consumption for paddy or wheat, that will be nearly Rs 1,266. So, for every Re 1 spent on fertiliser subsidy, more than half is recovered as diesel tax.
In addition, farmers pay goods and service tax (GST) on inputs, ranging from 12% on tractors, agricultural implements, pumps and drip/sprinkler irrigation systems to 18% on crop protection chemicals. Fertiliser itself is taxed at 5%. And since there’s no GST on farm produce, they cannot claim any input tax credit on their sales, unlike other businessmen.
Urea is being provided to the farmers at a statutorily notified Maximum Retail Price (MRP). The MRP of 45 kg bag of Urea is Rs. 242 per bag (exclusive of charges towards neem coating and taxes as applicable) and the MRP of 50 kg bag of Urea is Rs. 268 per bag (exclusive of charges towards neem coating and taxes as applicable). The difference between the delivered cost of fertilizers at farm gate and net market realization by the urea units is given as subsidy to the urea manufacturer / importer by the Government of India.
As far as Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers are concerned, Government is implementing Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Scheme w.e.f 1.4.2010. Under the said scheme, a fixed amount of subsidy decided on annual basis, is provided on each grade of subsidized Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers depending upon its nutrient content. This subsidy is given by Goverment of India to the P&K fertilizer companies which are therefore able to provide P&K fertilizers to the farmers at a subsidized MRP, which is lower than it would have been. Accordingly, farmers across the country who are procuring fertilizers at MRP, is availing the benefit of subsidy.
The Prime Minister virtually inaugurated the “country’s first Nano Urea Liquid” plant of IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited) during a “Sahakar Se Samriddhi” event – a gathering of all cooperative institutions of Gujarat– at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar. The Rs 175-crore IFFCO unit at Kalol has a capacity to produce 1.5 lakh 500 ml bottles of Nano Urea.
Urea: Urea also forms 82 per cent of the total nitrogenous fertilisers consumed in India, with an annual consumption of 33.6 million tonnes in 2019-20.
- Nano Urea (Liquid) is a source of nitrogen which is a major essential nutrient required for proper growth and development of a plant. Nitrogen is a key constituent of amino acids, enzymes, genetic materials, photosynthetic pigments and energy transfer compounds in a plant. Typically, nitrogen content in a healthy plant is in the range of 1.5 to 4%.
- Foliar application of Nano Urea (Liquid) at critical crop growth stages of a plant effectively fulfils its nitrogen requirement and leads to higher crop productivity and quality in comparison to conventional urea.
- Nano Urea (Liquid) contains nanoscale nitrogen particles which have more surface area (10,000 times over 1 mm Urea prill) and number of particles (55,000 nitrogen particles over 1 mm Urea prill).which makes it more impactful.
- In comparison to Urea the uptake efficiency of Nano Urea is more than 80 %. It is thus, required in lesser measure compared to the conventional urea fertiliser to fulfil plant’s nitrogen requirement.
- Nano Urea (liquid) has been tested for biosafety and toxicity as per the guidelines of Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India and OECD international guidelines.
- Nano Urea (liquid) is completely safe for human, animals, birds, rhizosphere organisms and environment at the recommended levels of application.
- Nano Urea (Liquid) does not involve any government subsidy and will be made available to farmers at a 10% lower price than a bag of subsidised Urea.
- Transportation would be easier and economical, as one 500 ml bottle would be equivalent to one bag of regular urea fertiliser.
Benefits of IFFCO Nano Urea
- increase the nutrient usage efficiency Efficacy of one bottle of Nano Urea (500 mL) is equivalent to one bag of urea.
- minimize nutrient losses
- Reduces the requirement of conventional Urea by 50% or more
- Environment friendly product, can improve Soil, Air & Water quality thus, helps in addressing the concerns of Global Warming and in meeting the UN SDGs.
- increase the crop yield by an average of 8 per cent along with improving the quality of farm produce by providing better nutrition to crops, according to the coorperative.
- Cheaper than conventional urea.
- Reduce input cost to farmers, leads to increase in farmers’ income.
- Improves crop productivity, soil health and nutritional quality of produce.
- Nano Urea (liquid) increases crop productivity and can reduce the requirement of conventional Urea by 50%.
- Application of nano urea (liquid) improves yield, biomass, soil health and nutritional quality of the produce.
Mechanism of assimilation by plants
The size of one nano urea liquid particle is 30 nanometre and compared to the conventional granular urea it has about 10,000 times more surface area to volume size. Due to the ultra-small size and surface properties, the nano urea liquid gets absorbed by plants more effectively when sprayed on their leaves.
Upon penetration, these nanoparticles reach plant parts where nitrogen is required and release nutrients in a controlled manner, thereby reducing usage while also reducing wastage into the environment.
- When sprayed on leaves Nano Urea easily enters through stomata and other openings and is assimilated by the plant cells.
- It is easily distributed through phloem from source to sink inside the plant as per its need. Unutilised nitrogen is stored in the plant vacuole and is slowly released for proper growth and development of plant.
There are some iconic words or expressions that become immortal and stay with us forever. Inquilab (Revolution) is one of them. It was used for the first time in a slogan Inquilab Zindabad (Long Live Revolution) by Maulana Hasrat Mohani in 1921 and soon became a rallying cry of our freedom struggle.
Maulana Hasrat Mohani (1875-1951) was born as Syed Fazlul Hasan in a town called Mohanin Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh. Hasrat was his pen name (takhallus) as a revolutionary Urdu Poet, that also became his identity as a political leader. Hasrat Mohani was a labour leader, a scholar, a well-known Urdu poet and also one of the founders of the Communist Party of India in 1925.
Along with Swami Kumar anand—another important name in the Indian Communist movement — Hasrat Mohani was the first person to raise the demand for ‘Complete Independence’ or ‘Poorna Swaraj’ for India at the Ahmedabad session of the Indian National Congress in 1921. This session was also attended by Ramprasad Bismil and Ashfaqullah Khan (both played an important role in passing the resolution in the general body of the Indian National Congress).
Hasrat Mohani was elected member of the Constituent Assembly after Independence and was also a member of the drafting committee of the Constitution along with Dr B R Ambedkar. His stress on Inquilab and the slogan Inquilab Zindabad was inspired by his urge to fight against social and economic inequality and of course in his struggle for freedom from colonial oppression. Before Hasrat Mohani coined this slogan, the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia made revolution symbolic of struggle for oppressed nationalities globally.
It was from the mid 1920s onwards that this slogan became a war cry of Bhagat Singh and his Naujawan Bharat Sabha as well as his Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). Bhagat Singh was committed to Inquilab or revolution but it was not merely apolitical revolution he aimed at. He wanted a social revolution to break age-old discriminatory practices. This Inquilab Zindabad was not merely an emotional war cry for the revolutionaries but had a lofty ideal, which was explained by the Bhagat Singh and his Naujawan Bharat Sabha regarded communal amity as central to their political agenda. They raised just two slogans, Inquilab Zindabad and Hindustan Zindabad, hailing the revolution and the country. All those who revel in the name of Bhagat Singh should care to understand the vision he left behind for us as his intellectual legacy. This slogan got major traction when Bhagat Singh and BK Dutt dropped bombs in the Delhi Assembly on April 8, 1929,and shouted Long Live Revolution (Inquilab Zindabad).
- Monkeypox was first reported in 1958 in laboratory monkeys and the ﬁrst human case was reported in 1970 in a nine month old baby in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Nigeria reported its ﬁrst case of monkeypox in humans in 1970 when one case was detected; there were two human cases of monkeypox in Nigeria in 1978.
- And after nearly four decades of not reporting any cases, monkeypox (West African clade) made a re-emergence in Nigeria in September 2017 with a total of 558 cases reported till now.
- Based on epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 122 confirmed or probable cases of human monkeypox cases in Nigeria, researchers found both primary zoonotic and human to human transmission.
- Like all diseases that are endemic only to Africa, while eﬀorts were made to prevent an outbreak in the non-endemic countries outside Africa, no serious international attempts were made to stop the outbreak in Nigeria nor study the virus characteristics.
- The current outbreak in Europe and North America is the ﬁrst instance when large scale human to human transmission has been reported outside Africa.
- There are no clear answers to how humans are infected as the host animal that behaves as a reservoir for the virus has not been identified in the wild. And how the virus spreads from animals to humans is not known.
- The current outbreak appears to have spread primarily among men who have sex with men.
- The virus is not transmitted through semen or vaginal ﬂuids but the skin to skin contact during sex can result in virus spread.
Low mutation rate
- Till date over 15 monkeypox genomes have been sequenced. But the monkeypox virus has a lower mutation rate (about two mutations a year) compared to nearly 25 mutations in a year in the case of SARS CoV2 virus.
- This is because monkeypox is a DNA virus unlike the SARSCoV2, which is an RNA virus.
- It is yet unclear if the virus has acquired the ability of sustained transmission among humans.
- A bacteria have been discovered in Antarctica with genes that give them natural antibiotic and antimicrobial resistance and have the potential to spread out of the polar regions, according to scientists in Chile.
- They found that the Pseudomonas bacteria, one of the predominant bacteria groups in the Antarctic Peninsula, are not pathogenic but can be a source of ‘resistance genes’, which are not stopped by common disinfectants such as copper, chlorine or quaternary ammonium.