Current Affairs July 28

Nano Urea Liquid fertiliser


  • National Fertilisers Limited (NFL) and Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers Ltd (RCF) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) for ‘transfer of technology’ of a revolutionary and game changer fertiliser Nano Urea Liquid
  • This technology transfer will ramp up the production leading towards consistent supply resulting in faster adoption and would also result in more savings to farmers and government subsidies.

Need for Nano urea

  • There is an imbalanced use of fertilizers in India. This is deteriorating the health of soil. Imbalanced use is also causing water pollution and air pollution.
  • Nano urea is a revolutionary product which will help in solving these problems by reducing the use of urea by upto 50 percent.
  • Nano Urea being an eco-friendly product will protect the health of the soil.

About Nano 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.

Benefits of Nano Urea

  • Reduces the requirement of conventional Urea by 50% or more
  • Required less and produces more: Efficacy of one bottle of Nano Urea (500 mL) is equivalent to one bag of urea.
  • Environment friendly product, can improve Soil, Air & Water quality thus, helps in addressing the concerns of Global Warming and in meeting the UN SDGs.

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.




Pandemic impact on tourism


  • With the tourism industry among the hardest hit due to the pandemic, it is estimated that about 21.5 million people working in the sector lost their jobs during the nine month period from April 2020-December 2020.
  • “Due to significant drop in tourist arrivals and hence tourism expenditure.





Afghanistan and Central Asia


  • India’s efforts to build on trade with Afghanistan, shore up development projects and increase educational and training opportunities for Afghan youth have been appreciated, but these cannot grow bigger due to a number of factors.
  • New Delhi’s original hesitation in opening talks with the Taliban, which even Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani had suggested, has cut India out of the current reconciliation process.
  • The end of any formal dialogue between India and Pakistan since 2016 and trade since 2019, have resulted in Pakistan blocking India’s over-land access to Afghanistan.
  • India’s alternative route through Chabahar, though operational, cannot be viable or cost-effective also long as U.S. sanctions on Iran are in place.
  • India’s boycott of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2017, and now tensions at the Line of Actual Control after the Chinese aggression in 2020, make another route to Afghanistan off-limits
  • The U.S. has announced a new, surprise formation of a “Quad” on regional connectivity — U.S.-Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan that does not include India, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is conducting trial runs of truck convoys from Tashkent to Karachi and back.

Central Asia Concern

  • Uzbekistan’s calculations, and by extension, those of its other Central Asian neighbours, are three-fold:
  • the first is that prosperity for these land-locked countries can only flow from access through Afghanistan to the closest ocean, i.e. the Indian Ocean.
  • Second, that all transit through Afghanistan depends on guarantees of safe passage from the Taliban, backed by the group’s mentors in Pakistan.
  • Third, each of the “Stans” are now a part of China’s BRI, and tying their connectivity initiatives with Beijing’s will bring the double promise of investment and some modicum of control over Pakistan.

Common points

  • India and the Central Asian States share common concerns about an Afghanistan overrun by the Taliban and under Pakistan’s thumb: the worries of battles at their borders, safe havens for jihadist terror groups inside Afghanistan and the spill-over of radicalism into their own countries.
  • As part of the SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), India must also step up its engagement with the Central Asian countries on fighting terror.




Mizoram and Assam conflict


  • The 164.6 km long border that runs between the two states has again become a flashpoint in the recent years, with several instances of violence being reported in the region.
  • The conflict-ridden history of this tenuous border, lined by the Barak Valley – Cachar, Hailakandi, and Karimganj on the Assam side, and Kolasib, Aizawl, and Mamit on the Mizoram side, dates back to the Colonial era.
  • A notification issued by the British administration in 1875 had, for the first time, stipulated a clear demarcation between the Cachar plains (which lie in present-day Assam) and Lushai Hills, which later came to be known as Mizoram.
  • In 1933, another notification released by the British government, marked the separation between the Lushai Hills and Manipur, which indicated that the Manipur border began from the tripoint of Lushai Hills, Assam’s Cachar district and Manipur.
  • Mizoram, which broke off from Assam in 1972 to become a Union Territory and went on to attain full statehood in 1987, follows the 1875 notification, claiming that it is the only prescription that took into account the position of the Mizo community.
  • “Significant developments have taken place since Mizoram attained statehood in 1987 in the implementation of Land Reforms Programme and Land Revenue Administration.
  • The absence of correct and up-to-date land records of villages and towns has injured the interests of numerous land owners, the bulk of whom are led to unavoidable land disputes and thwarted the implementation of Land Reform Programmes.”
  • According to an agreement between the two states, status quo has to be maintained on the no man’s land in the border area,
  • However, a breach of this pact has been observed on various occasions in the past few years – leading to turbulence



Room for River


Flood in Europe

  • A month’s rain poured in just 24 hours in the worst-affected areas of Germany and Belgium.
  • This caused multiple rivers to burst their banks and flood parts of the two countries as well as the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
  • It is believed that these areas of Europe have not witnessed such heavy rainfall for more than a century.
  • The floods showed that climate change spares none. Even if a country has adequate resources and advanced infrastructure (physical as well as organisational), it can find no escape from extreme climatic events
  • Experts say the more CO2 the world emits into the atmosphere, the warmer will be the air temperature. Warmer air holds more moisture and results in excess rainfall, which leads to flooding
  • The floods in Europe call attention to the global need for countries to implement ecologically sensitive flood protection measures

Dutch model

  • The Dutch have gone beyond their conventional dependence on dikes, dams, walls and gates to protect themselves from floods. Their current disaster resilience mantra is to live with water, build with nature and make room for the river.
  • They champion creating adequate space for rivers to overflow by protecting floodplains from human interference, deepening riverbeds and creating alternate channels for excess water





  • We must recognise that we will have to learn to live with water in the long term.
  • Flood prone areas should be identified, and projects initiated on an urgent basis to create room for rivers.
  • Low-risk areas such as playgrounds, maidans, or agricultural fields should be earmarked to store excess rainwater
  • Drains must be built for diverting water into these storage units.
  • The United Nations Development Programme World Bank-European Union Post Disaster Needs Assessment report prepared for Kerala after the 2018 floods pointed out that the drainage capacity of the rivers and canals of the State must be increased by creating more room for the water to flow.
  • It called for removing obstructions and encroachments from existing water channels, the proper maintenance of such channels and creating additional channels for water to flow






Dholavira as world heritage site


  • The Harappan city of Dholavira, in present-day Gujarat, was on Tuesday named the 40th Indian site on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. UNESCO’s announcement came just days after another site, Ramappa Temple in Telangana, was admitted to the list
  • A range of artefacts of copper, shell, stone, jewellery, terracotta and ivory had been found at the site
  • “The ancient city of Dholavira is one of the most remarkable and well-preserved urban settlements in South Asia dating from the 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BCE (Before Common Era).
  • Discovered in 1968, the site is set apart by its unique characteristics, such as its water management system, multilayered defensive mechanisms, extensive use of stone in construction and special burial structures
  • Located in the Kutch district, Dholavira is the larger of the two most remarkable excavations of the Indus Valley Civilisation dating back to about 4,500 years ago.