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A three-way industry-institute-Tamil Nadu government organisation-collaborative effort to increase the value-added products from the banana plantation is expected to make the banana farmers in the country go bananas.
The faculty and the students of the Kancheepuram-based Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing (IIITDM) have come out with an integrated machine that can process the banana trunk or pseudo-stem to make fibre yarn, sap water and other products.
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The Mumbai-based company Gencrest part of the Samta group will be putting up a mini-plant with such machines. Curiously the initiative is not spearheaded by any agriculture scientist or technocrat but by M. Annadurai, a former space scientist who headed India’s first Moon and Mars space mission.
Annadurai is now the Vice President, Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology, Chennai and Chairman, National Design and Research Forum, Bangalore. “Banana crops can become like sugarcane in terms of byproducts-fibre yarn for textiles, sap for nutraceuticals and fertiliser, balance waste for acoustic panels and bio-fertiliser,” Annadurai told IANS.
Nothing goes waste in the case of sugarcane as its juice is used for making sugar/jaggery, ethanol, the bagasse is used for making paper or fired in a boiler to generate power. Presently, the banana growers are having disposal problems with the pseudo-stem and incurring heavy expenditure on the disposal without getting any income.
“One of the stumbling blocks to utilise the full potential of the banana plantation is the absence of an automatic plant to process the trunk. There are small manually operated machines that extract banana fibre to make products like textiles and other handicrafts,” Annadurai said.
To solve the problem, the faculty and students of IIITDM have designed and built an integrated machine that can peel, press and extract banana fibre from the pseudo-stem. In the process the machine also separates the core stem that can be processed as ingredients for making biscuits, ice cream and others.
“The concept to realisation of the integrated machine took just three months and three days for our team,” Dr. M. Raguraman, Assistant Professor at IIITDM told IANS. The IIITDM team that developed the machine consisted of Assistant Professors Dr. P. Kalpana and Dr. A.V.S. Sivaprasad, students Manonmani, Mohammed Yusuf and 12 others and two project engineers were also hired, he said.
“We have also developed technology for banana tree cutting and loading them on to a vehicle at the farm,” Raguraman added. The trunk peels are pressed to extract the excess water or sap. The water-rich in potassium can be used for making nutraceuticals, bio-fertiliser or bio-ethanol. The core stem can be pressed to get the stem juice and the remaining fibre can be dried and powdered to be used in making biscuits and ice cream, he said.
According to him, a manually operated banana fibre extractor can give only 15 kg raw fibre per day but the IIITDM designed machine can give an output of about three ton per day. The first prototype of the IIITDM built machine was recently tested and the second prototype which will be for industry use is getting ready incorporating minor suggestions, Raguraman said.
“The banana fibre yarn is eco friendly and can replace 70 per cent of the synthetic fibre in the textiles. For one kg of cotton fibre about 60,000 litres of water is spent whereas the water usage in the case of banana fibre is far less,” Annadurai said.
After extracting the raw fibre yarn, sap, the balance waste or pith can also be used for making acoustic panels. Lab-scale testing of the acoustic panel made with banana pith has been made. The panels can also be used in high-end car interiors, Raguraman said.
According to Annadurai, the Mumbai based Gencrest has developed a process using enzymes to convert raw banana fibre yarn into textile grade yarn. Banana fabric is a sustainable green apparel of the future and an alternative solution to synthetic and other resource intensive fabrics like cotton.
“Our project envisages scaling up the entire process as a national effort,” he added. Annadurai also pointed out Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami talking about the government’s interest in increasing the income of banana farmers by encouraging production of value-added products.
According to officials, India is the largest banana producer producing about 25 million ton out of about 8.30 lakh hectares under cultivation. The major banana producer states are Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
“In Tamil Nadu alone about five lakh ton of banana stems are cut and thrown away as waste,” Annadurai said. The IIITDM developed integrated banana trunk processing machine will be first put to use at the small plant to be set up by Gencrest.
“We are planning to set up a 300 ton per annum (tpa) banana fibre yarn plant in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district. The venture is challenging as what is seen as a viable venture at lab level may not be so commercially at industrial scale,” Vinay Gupta Chief Executive Officer, Gencrest told IANS.
Queried about the market potential for the various byproducts Gupta said it has to be studied and seen. He said Samta group has five business verticals viz mining, solar power, bio-technology, information technology and foundation.
Barring the solar power, all other verticals are in the start-up stage and the group’s focus is on sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint. The group’s 25MW solar power project located in Gujarat has been generating power since 2012 onwards. (IANS)
Divorce is a hard fact in someone's life because it can affect all aspects of life like social, economic, and living status. Conditions become tougher if you have children. Recovering from divorce is also a painful process but good thing is that it is possible to get through it and place better in terms of both finances and emotions. The impact of divorce on finances can be life-lasting but taking precautions and thorough investigations of options can help a lot not only to save unnecessary costs but also some other hidden areas where you weren't aware. Following are some tips to save money during a divorce.
1.Avoid advice from everyone
People like your friends, family members, colleagues, neighbors, etc. will start giving unsolicited advice during the divorce process when you discuss it with them. They will share their own experiences and horror stories and advice on how to handle financial issues during the divorce process. Get advice only from those you trust. In this regard, attorneys or financial experts are the best options to save money during the divorce process.
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2.Consider your spouse
It can be challenging for someone who has started the divorce process to think about the soon-to-be ex-spouse's best interests and financial wellbeing. While making decisions about assets and finances, considering not only your interests but also your spouse's interests can help you to reduce divorce process time. You can save your own and your spouse's money if you spend less time in such negotiations because times spend with the attorney will also be shortened.
3.Goodbye to the joint bank account
You should close all joint bank accounts which were in use of you and your spouse especially credit base account. Block major and supplementary credit and debit cards. Your spouse can use it and you can suffer heavy financial loss. Closing of all joint accounts should be the first step to cut down financial loss during divorce proceedings.
4.Open a new checking account
In continuation of the previous point, open your new checking account. This will help you in terms of not only building up of financial history but also your credit record. Credit history will be helpful if you apply for a loan or any other credit facility. This financial history will let you control your money during the divorce process. If your bank account is not a joint account but you own it, then make sure that your spouse was not using supplementary debit or credit cards. If the spouse was using then block it immediately.
Divorce can include many additional and sometimes hidden costs along with routine costs. This can bring more stress and worries to your life. Saving money can help you to fight such financial status. Force savings every month in this regard can help a lot. You can do this by opening a savings account and setting up a debit order from your checking account.
Recovering from divorce is also a painful process but good thing is that it is possible to get through it and place better in terms of both finances and emotions.Getty pictures
6.Keeping track record of the expense
You may not be interested in maintaining a record sheet of your expenses during your married life. If so, then you should start now. Analyze your bank statement critically because expenses can be out of control now. Review your daily cost of things and make critical decisions to cut down unnecessary costs.
7.Chalk out budget
Ideally, a proper budget should be chalked out to control expenses and save money during the divorce process. Select important segments/areas of your lifestyle and allocate a budget to each of them. After allocation of budget, stick to it strictly every month. This can be problematic in the beginning but become easy when you become used to it. By doing this, you will also be able to manage your savings account by allocating money.
8.Own health insurance
Medical emergencies and different health issues can be sudden or without any notice. So, it is necessary to have a health insurance plan in order to not only pay bills of medicines and lab tests but also an unexpected expensive hospital stay. If your health insurance has previously been covering your spouse then it is advisable to set up your own health insurance plan. This can help you to save money.
9.Amendments in your will and beneficiaries
If you have already decided about your will beneficiaries then it is the right time to update it. Now your divorce is under process, so, the content of your will and beneficiaries should also be significantly changed. This is much needed because it is possible that now you have children and who you like to allocate your property and saving especially if the children were not present when you drew up the will.
10.Change power of attorney
Many people assign power of attorney to their spouses during the marriage. Now it is essential to update and end the power of attorney and signing authority given to the spouse. This will help you in terms of legal and financial matters.
11.Apply for online divorce
Advancement in technology has made it easy for everyone to save time and money. Now in the United States, it is easy to apply for a divorce online. You can save time and attorney fees by downloading all the required divorce documents online. You should not worry about which document and how downloaded because many local court websites can give detailed information about how to file divorce online and which documents are needed.
12.Make use of the mediator
It is extremely helpful to use the mediator to decide terms and conditions between you and your spouse. Although an attorney is needed in certain matters of divorce use of a mediator will help you in saving attorney fee
Many spouses are very conscious about expensive assets and luxuries that are going to be distributed among spouses after the divorce. So, they make decisions to splurge on these luxuries. It is advisable not to splurge as the cost of divorce proves may be past your expectation.
14.Do it yourself (DIY) divorce
Many people are unable to afford the cost of attorney and mediator, so, they now try to handle things by themselves as much as possible. The rate of divorce and its cost is increasing day by day. This factor making "do it yourself (DIY) divorce" popular. DIY spouses are using information given by some attorneys who are offering free consultation on their first meeting.
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Gone are those days when people, sports enthusiasts, and governments lined up to host the Olympics. Hosting the Olympics, once seemed to be an immensely prideful event, but it has now transformed into an economic burden. Host cities grapple with a plethora of problems which mainly include construction delays, cost overruns, security issues, and environmental concerns.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has more or less aggravated the problems. The Winter Olympic Games are scheduled for 2022 in Bejing, China. Furthermore, Paris and Los Angeles have been recently nominated as the hosts for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics Games respectively. Both cities have held the Games on two occasions previously, with Los Angeles hosting as recently as 1984. Simply submitting a bid to the International Olympics Committee (IOC) costs up to millions of dollars. Host cities typically have to spend $50 million to $100 million in fees to a slew of consultancy agencies, event management companies, etc.
Hosting the Olympics is more costly than the bidding process. For instance, London spent $14.6 billion for hosting the Games in 2012. On the other side, Beijing spent a lavish $42 billion for the Games in 2008. Meanwhile, the Russians spent $51 billion dollars on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Making, it the costliest Olympic Games in the history of the Olympics.
Governments of host cities and bid teams love to brag about the legacy of hosting the Games. But the hidden costs of such a massive project is too evident to hide. Such megaprojects require additional employment, as well as subsequent improvement of the pre-existing facilities and public infrastructure. Most of these projects are fraught with costs overruns, shoddy work and a lack of long term vision.
According to a study conducted at the prestigious Oxford University In England, by Danish geographer Bent Flyvbjerg and American journalist Allison Stewart, which looked into the individual economic parameters of hosting the Summer Olympic Games between 1960 and 2012. The findings were astonishing, they found out that the Olympic Games overrun the initial cost estimate with 100 per cent consistency. No other megaproject is this consistent regarding cost overruns.
Athens, in particular, seems to have been the tipping point. The city pridefully hosted the Games in 2004, which ended up costing them €9 billion (a whopping $11 billion at today's exchange rate). The offset of the Games was in disguise the onset of Greece's tumultuous years. The country now is in total disarray, with sky-high unemployment rates, failing economic apparatus, record levels of homelessness, all among the grandiose venues built for the Games.
The conclusion is simple, hosting the Olympics is an extravagant affair. If not planned properly, it tends to result in a severe economic crisis for the host city. If the host city lacks facilities and public infrastructure to support the excess crowds pouring in, not hosting the Olympics may be the best option.
Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.
On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.
Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.
Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).
Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.
India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.
He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.
Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.
The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.
Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.