fertilizer Current Affairs - 2020

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What is Modified New Pricing Scheme-III?

The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi recently gave its nod to remove ambiguities in Modified New Pricing Scheme-III. This was done to determine the costs of urea units.

Modified New Pricing Scheme

The Modified NPS scheme-III was launched in 2014. So far, there have been four NPS schemes. The latest NPS-3 scheme was modified in April 2014 and has been extended for a year. The scheme was modified to give boost to PM’s Make in India Campaign

The Modified scheme provided incentives to the domestic urea manufacturers, encouraged investment in urea production sector, reduced urea imports. It mainly aimed to achieve self-sufficiency in urea production.

However, the scheme could not be implemented due to its ambiguous language. The new notification is to facilitate smooth implementation of the scheme with an additional grant of Rs 350 per metric tonne.

The GoI has restricted import of Urea greatly

Import of Urea

The import of Urea was restricted for a certain period in 2018-19. However, in 2019, the ban was lifted with Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, a GoI undertaking operating under Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers completely undertaking the import of urea. The PSU was established in 1978. It manufactures fertilizers, urea and chemicals. It is the fourth largest manufacturer of chemicals in India.

The manufacturing unit of the PSU is located in Trombay and Thal (100 km from south Mumbai).

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Facts Box: Methanotrophic Bacteria Culture first time in India

The Agharkar Research Institute of Pune has isolated 45 strains of methanotrophic bacteria. These bacteria are capable of reducing methane emissions in rice plants.


Apart from isolating the strains, the scientists have also created methanotrophic culture. The isolated bacteria were from southern and western India.

What are Methanotrophs?

Methanotrophs are environmental organisms that have a major role in cycling of methane. They oxidize methane in the environment. The methanotrophic bacteria oxidize methane through anaerobic metabolism. The methanotrophs are used as bio-inoculants.

What are Bio-Inoculants?

Bio-Inoculant are strains of bacteria, algae or fungi. They take in nitrogen from atmosphere and prepare nitrates required for plants. By this, use of fertilizers are reduced. They also increase zinc and phosphorous availability for plants.


After carbon-dioxide, methane is the second largest green house gas contributor. With the use of methanotrophic bacteria in agriculture, emission of methane shall be greatly reduced. Methane traps 84 times of heat trapped by carbon-dioxide.

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