Gujarat drives India’s french fries export
Though Gujarat harvests merely 7.42% of the country’s potato production, the state has singularly catapulted India to becoming a french fries exporter from being an importer in just over a decade.
India used to import 6,000 metric tonnes of french fries in 2007. However, the country managed to export around 30,000 metric tonnes (MT) of frozen potatoes in 2019 with fries accounting for 95% of the total exports.
The three firms, which are leading exporters, are also major suppliers to prominent burger quick serve restaurant (QSR) chains within India.
Gujarat produced 40 lakh MT of potatoes in 2018-19 as against India’s potato output of 520 lakh MT. The state accounted for 1 lakh MT of India’s total potato exports of 3.80 MT.
Market experts predict that India can also emerge as a leader for frozen potato snacks to Asian countries – which are currently dependent on Europe and the US for import of french fries.
International Mother Language Day: 21 February
International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is a worldwide annual observance held on 21 February.
The day is observed every year to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.
The day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999.
The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh. In Bangladesh 21 February is the anniversary of the day when Bangladeshis fought for recognition for the Bangla language.
Researchers develop the first 3D map of novel coronavirus, leading way to vaccine
Researchers from the University of Texas have developed the first 3D atomic-scale map of the part of the virus, called the spike protein, that attaches to and infects human cells. This will lead to developing a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Mapping the spike protein is an essential step that can lead to developing vaccines and antiviral drugs to combat the virus. The scientists are working on a related viable vaccine candidate stemming from the research.
The research revealed that coronaviruses invade cells through spike proteins.
These proteins take on different shapes in different coronaviruses.
The coronavirus uses many different proteins to invade cells. But Spike protein is the major surface protein that it uses to bind to a receptor.
Once the surface protein binds with the human cell receptor, it fuses with the human cell membrane. It will allow the genome of the virus to enter human cells and begin infection. By preventing fusion, the entry of the virus into the human body can be prevented.
India to switch to world’s cleanest petrol, diesel from April 1
India will switch to the world’s cleanest petrol and diesel from April 1 as it leapfrogs straight to Euro-VI emission compliant fuels from Euro-IV grades now.
This has been achieved in just three years and not seen in any of the large economies around the globe.
India will join the select league of nations using petrol and diesel containing just 10 parts per million of sulphur as it looks to cut vehicular emissions that are said to be one of the reasons for the choking pollution in major cities.
State-owned oil refineries spent about 35,000 crore rupees to upgrade plants that could produce ultra-low sulphur fuel.
BS-VI has a sulphur content of just 10 ppm and emission standards are as good as CNG.
Centre releases 19,950 crore rupees as GST compensation to states and Uts
The Central Government has released 19,950 crore rupees as GST compensation to states.
With this release of GST compensation, the Central Government has released a total of over 1.20 lakh crore rupees towards GST compensation to the states during the current fiscal.
In the financial year 2018-19, an amount of over 95 thousand crore rupees was collected as GST compensation cess of which over 69 thousand crore rupees was released to the States and Union Territories as GST compensation.
Indias first private gold mine to be set up in Jonnagiri, Andhra Pradesh
India’s first private gold mine operation will begin in the last quarter of 2021 at Jonnagiri in Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh. The land acquisition for the mining project is expected to be completed in the next six months. Geomysore Services India Pvt Ltd is in the process of acquiring the land by negotiating with farmers and completing exploratory mining.
The company has agreed to pay Rs.10 lakh (will be paid upfront) plus Rs.2 lakh (will be paid in the first year of production as a bonus) for each acre to the farmers.
So far, the company has invested Rs.160 crore into the exploration. It is expecting investments of Rs.300 crore more.
CSIR tops the 2020 Nature Ranking Index
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) topped the Nature Ranking Index 2020. The rankings are based on the output of the total research that was carried out from 1 December 2018 to 30 November 2019 in all the institutions.
The top subjects associated with the research work include Chemistry, Physical Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Life Sciences.
♦ CSIR, New Delhi scored 142 counts and a share of 87.74%.
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