Indian Express Explained 3rd April, 2020

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1. How coal gasification can help India reduce its energy import


  • Government has initiated to revive closed fertiliser plants belonging to the Fertiliser Corporation of India Limited (FCIL) and the Hindustan Fertilisers Corporation Ltd (HFCL).
  • Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers’ decision is geared towards reducing India’s reliance on imports and helping the country meet its CoP-21 Paris Agreement commitments.
  • What is coal gasification, the project at Talcher?
    Coal gasification is the process of converting coal into synthesis gas (also called syngas), which is a mixture of hydrogen (H2), carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The syngas can be used in a variety of applications such as in the production of electricity and making chemical products, such as fertilisers.
  • Coal gasification process holds good potential in the future, with coal being the most abundantly available fossil fuel across the world, and that even low-grade coal can be used in the process.
  • According to the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, urea is currently produced using pooled natural gas, which comprises of both domestic natural gas and imported LNG. The usage of locally available coal for making fertilisers would help reduce the import of LNG

2. What is PGS, the heart of the organic food production industry?

  • PGS is a process of certifying organic products, which ensures that their production takes place in accordance with laid-down quality standards. The certification is in the form of a documented logo or a statement.
  • According to ‘Participatory Guarantee System for India [PGS-India]’, an ‘Operational Manual for Domestic Organic Certification’ published in 2015 by the National Centre of Organic Farming, Ghaziabad, under the Ministry of Agriculture’s Department of Agriculture and Co-operation, PGS is a “quality assurance initiative that is locally relevant, emphasize[s] the participation of stakeholders, including producers and consumers, and (which) operate[s] outside the framework of third-party certification”.
  • The government’s 2015 PGS manual underlines that the system in India is based on “participatory approach, a shared vision, transparency and trust”.
  • According to a 2008 definition formulated by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the Bonn-based global umbrella organisation for the organic agriculture movement, PGSs are “locally focused quality assurance systems” that “certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange”.

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