The Gist of Kurukshetra: October - 2016


The Gist of Kurukshetra: October 2016


Content:

Farmer’s Friendly Nuclear Energy based Technologies

Energy is essential for the survival and growth of modern human civilisation. All available sources of energy, therefore, must be optimally developed and deployed to meet the short as well as long term energy needs of our country. Nuclear energy and related technologies are the safest options that can be used in diversified fields of agriculture and health for peaceful purposes. Many misconceptions and rumours are associated with the nuclear energy based technologies, like nuclear energy fosters nuclear weapons, nuclear radiation is deadly and nuclear reactors are not safe for human- beings and environment etc. This technological awareness gap of understanding nuclear energy and its applications is the most challenging area in India today. India faces formidable challenges in meeting its energy needs and providing adequate energy of desired quality to consumers in a sustainable manner at a reasonable cost.

Nuclear energy based technologies can play a bigger role offering sustainable solution to not only global energy problems, but also food safety and better farming practices. Agriculture is one of the important sectors under the peaceful uses of nuclear energy having major societal impact. Nuclear technologies are applied to minimize wastage of agricultural produces and at the same time it helps in increasing crop yield and thus adds to food security.

India’s nuclear scientists are involved in a broad based research programme of agriculture and biotechnology for food safety through nuclear radiation (known as radiation processing of food or food irradiation), developing high yielding and early maturing crop varieties with better nutritional quality and wider ecological adaptability using mutation breeding. As many as forty crop varieties have been developed and released so far for commercial cultivation in different agro-climatic zone of India. The other important applications of nuclear technology in agriculture are studies on fertilizer use efficiency, control of insect pests through sterile insect technique, monitoring of pesticide residues and preservation of agricultural produce. Farmer friendly soil organic carbon detection kit for the analysis of soil organic carbon on field has been developed with nuclear radiation technology.

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