[Sci-Tech]TheHindu Sep-Oct-Nov(Part 2of4): Agriculture, Public Health, Medical research relatedDevendra Vishwakarma
- Foodcrops related
- #1: Trombay Crop varieties
- #2: Navara Rice
- #3: Rice-Fish-Poultry Integrated Model
- Milk/Meat/Fish related:
- #1: Poultry Meat to Biodiesel
- #2: Sea Ranching
- #3: TMR (Total mixed ration)
- #4: FMD outbreak in South India
- Public Health/Policy related
- #1: B.Sc (Community Health)
- #2: Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013
- #3: Brainmapping, Lie Detection and Narco Analysis
- #4: Eye Donation
- Disease/Anatomy related
- #1: Wifi Pacemaker
- #2: Rabies
- #3: Kala Azar
- #4: Goose bumps
- #5: Pediatric TB
- Medical research related
- Nano capsule vaccine
- Regenerative Medicine
- 4D printing
- In-vivo iPS cell
- 3 parent baby
- DNA’s half life
- Mock Questions
- In the previous article (part 1 or 3) we saw the environment and biodiversity (EnB) related topics from Sep-Oct-Nov months of TheHindu click me
- Now (part 2 of 3): time for agriculture and public health related topics.
- part (3 of 3): dealing with IT, Space and other misc. topics coming soon.
#1: Trombay Crop varieties
- by BARC scientists.
- Using radiation induced mutation and cross-breeding.
- Agro. Ministry has permitted their commercial cultivation.
- In the 70s, BARC started with Trombay Groundnut (TG-1) for Guj-Maharashtra region
|Crop||No. of Trombay varieties|
|Groundnut||15- large seeds, drought resistant, no sprouts/germination during storage|
|Soya||2-more resistant to bacteria|
|Mooong||8- can survive salinity, disease-resistant, early maturing|
Benefits: individual crop variety’s feature may vary but by and large…
- takes less time to mature
- drought/ pest tolerant
- longer shelf life
#2: Navara Rice
- Navara is a medicinal rice variety.
- Red colored.
- Grown in Kerala.
- used in Ayurveda remedies for rheumatisms, neuro muscular disorders and body rejuvenation.
- enjoys geographical indication (GI) status. (Pokkali rice=another Kerala rice that enjoys GI status=Pokkali rice)
- but Navara rice cultivation is almost extinct. Why?
- pure seeds not available
- low yield, high production cost
- Now farmers trying to revive this via concept of Navara Eco Farm- with organic farming
- Pesticides not used. Instead, they plant Tulsi and marigold to repel the insects.
#3: Rice-Fish-Poultry Integrated Model
In this model, farmer uses
|% of his land||To grow|
|5%||Fishes – carp, roghu, cutla etc.|
|5%||Poultry cage. Erected in such a way that one part is over the fishes and one part over the paddy crop. This way, bird dropping help as fish-feed + farm-manure.|
- Recycling waste products-using them as fish feed and manure
- Additional income from poultry and fishes
- bio-control of pests: fish feed on the pests and insects attacking the rice plant
- Similar triple-income model can also be constructed with silkworm rearing, or apiary.
- Flower in TN
- Enjoys GI status (click me for earlier article)
- Why in news? Because they’re looking for exprort potential in Malaysia
- Problem: rainfall scarcity, Labor shortage because of MNREGA,
(Although not really a sci-tech topic)
- Currently, duty-free cotton exports are permitted (after registering contracts with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
- Textile minister wants to impose 10% duty on overseas sale of cotton.
- But Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said “not a good idea sir-ji”
- India’s cotton production has been increasing every year.
- In such a situation, there should be no restrictions on export of raw cotton and no duty on export.
- any quantitative restriction or export duty would penalise farmers
#1: Poultry Meat to Biodiesel
- Namakkal district of TN= leading producer of poultry. (for more on [food processing] click me)
- Avg. 4000 birds die here every day and discarded in the open=>foul smell, contamination of ground water, health hazards, house flies and diseases.
- Now a TN researcher designed method to extract bio-diesel out of dead poultry.
- Each dead chicken weighs about 1.5 kg and ~15% of its body has fat.
- Using solvent extraction method, we can extract this fat and turn it into body diesel. This way six birds=1 litre of bio-diesel. This bio-diesel can be blended with regular diesel in 20:80 ratio and can be used in regular vehicles.
#2: Sea Ranching
- Sea ranching is a process of releasing artificially cultured juvenile fishes into the sea or estuarine waters=> let them mature=>fishing.
- can be used for shrimps, sea cucumber, sea urchin, variety of fishes.
- New sea ranching project in Kozikode- 4 lakh larvae of tiger prawns released.
- This would help inland fishermen of the district- who are negatively affected by overfishing practices and climatic changes
- “Economies” of sea ranching=> 4 lakh larvae = only 20% survive= 1,600 kg of prawn, and at an average Rs.250 a kg, this will amount to Rs.3 lakh to Rs.4 lakh in returns.
#3: TMR (Total mixed ration)
- New type of cheap cattle feed being tested in Kerala.
- Uses mixture of ground nuts, sesame, red gram, molasses, toxin binder, salt and vitamin mineral mixtures.
- Cheaper than commercial feeds
- Can also be given to goats, sheep etc.
- Reduces the green fodder requirement
- Increases milk output.
#4: FMD outbreak in South India
- In [Food Processing] Milk sector article, we’ve already seen “theory” Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) and how it affects the supply line of milk/meat industry. click me
- FMD is in news because of outbreak reported in Andhra.
- There are four type of FMD virus: A, C, O and Asia1.
- Indian cattle is given vaccines against all these FMD viruses- twice a year.
- Sheep and goats (cloven hoofed animals) are also susceptible to the FMD viral disease.
- FMD is not a public health hazard. It doesn’t spread to humans.
Public Health/Policy related
#1: B.Sc (Community Health)
- Union cabinet approved this new degree course.
- 3 years course in state university => Community health officer under health ministry.
- Syllabus designed by National Board of Examinations (NBE). (and not the medical council of India MCI)
- Will help in: diarrhea, pneumonia, vaccination, TB, fever, skin infection, normal delivery etc.
- will act as a bridge between village midwife/ASHA work vs a doctor
|parliamentary standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare||
#2: Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013
- By Department of Pharmaceutics under ministry of Chemical and fertilizer. (and not health ministry).
- To fix ceiling price of essential medicines on the basis of market-based pricing.
- DPCO 2013 empowers the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (“NPPA”) to regulate prices of 348 essential drugs.
- Make a list of all pharma companies – with marketshare of atleast 1% or more.
- observe their prices for given drug-
- take simple average of those prices
- +local taxes and 16% profit margin for retail chemist.
- Decide ceiling price based on that.
Sounds well and good, what’s the problem?
- Patented drugs not covered. So most of the MNC pharma brands are out of the scope.
- AYUSH drugs are not covered.
- Only applies to 348 drugs. There are total ~900 allopathic drugs in India.
- Companies can still evade price ceiling by adding / changing a few ingredients in their drug formulation.
- Doesn’t not apply to newly patented within India (for first five years). =companies might file frivolous patents by slightly modifying existing mixtures-to evade price ceiling.
- Even within ceiling, Doctors can still prescribe most expensive variety of drug and patient will buy it. (and doctor mints commission from pharma company.)
Anyways, but why in News?
- become Some NGO filed court case- alleging that
- DPCO encourages profiteering. Government prince regime guided by market-driven forces= bad idea.
- National List of Essential Drugs consists of only 348 drugs and left out many essential medicines from price control.