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Republic Day 2020: Did you get a Chance to Join the Greatest Constitution Party?

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Republic Day 2020! Today, India displayed cultural diversity and military prowess during a parade at Rajpath – New Delhi. The newly acquired Apache helicopters and Flypast by India Air force fighter jets thrilled the thousands of attendees during the 71st, Republic Day 2020 Parade.

Additionally, daredevil acts displayed by women bikers, a contingent of the CRPF made its debut during the parade. They garnered exciting applause from thousands of attendees seated on both sides of the Rajpath. Indians took the news to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms to share their unwavering loyalty to their constitution and democratic nation.

India is one of the world’s largest democratic countries and is always serious about its constitution. The nation goes out to celebrate the remarkable achievement in self-government – the Republic Day annually, every January 26th.

Every year, the most significant focus is on New Delhi’s impressive cultural and military parade, but the event is usually celebrated in most cities and towns across the country.

Republic Day 2020 in New Delhi
Image Credit: The Indian Express

Today’s event began with President Ram Nath Kovind unfurling the Tricolour, and then the national anthem followed. Later 21-gun salute blasted the sky. And the Chief Guest for Republic Day 2020 was the Brazil President Jair Messias Bolsonaro.

What’s Republic Day?

January 1950 was a defining moment in India’s history and the entire world. It is the day India’s high-commissioner in Europe (London) signed the Oath of Allegiance to a constitution at a great ceremony at India House. This marked India’s status as a republic. For decades, the nation has celebrated Republic Day on Jan 26th.

India gained its independence from centuries of British rule in 1947. The leaders began working on an important governing document for this sprawling country. This document was adopted in Nov 1949, but it wasn’t until Jan 26th, 1950 that India’s new constitution was signed and went into effect.

The famous Delhi Parade and Celebrations

New Delhi is the country’s capital and hosts the biggest and most significant parade in the history of our nation. It’s quite a spectacle.

The event is usually broadcasted live across the nation and even beyond its borders. It displays the nation’s military prowess with weaponry, tanks, and precision marching by the members of the armed forces in their finest uniform.

And it’s not just the military display.

Elaborate floats and groups of people represent the country’s unfathomable religious diversity, climates, and cultures – Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and more. Indeed, it’s a happy, free-for-all event with dancers swirling their beautiful costumes and professional acrobats on motorcycles.

The Rest of the Nation

Republic Day 2020 wasn’t just a New Delhi affair. Across the country, celebrations and parades were held all over the nation. Bangalore, the high-tech hub in South-central, the parade was held at the Field Marshal Manekshaw Ground. In Kolkata, the parade wound along the famous Red Road – near the Maidan.

In Mumbai, the country’s financial and entertainment powerhouse, the Republic Day 2020 was held at Shivaji Park. Other remarkable cities that held today’s events include Chennai and nearly any other city or town where Indians raised the national flag to celebrate the defining moment of the country’s history.

Lastly, Indians living in the UAE and other countries also celebrated this important event. For instance, Hundreds of Indian nationals across the United Arab Emirates gathered in Dubai at the Consulate General of India in the early hours of Sunday morning to celebrate their country’s 71st Republic Day.

India’s national flag was hoisted by CGI at 7:40 am as visitors and residents sang patriotic songs. Some of them took pictures alongside the mother country’s national flag.

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An Apple Tree: Caring For An Apple Tree And Benefits Of Eating Apples

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Apple tree
Image credit : Pixabay

An apple tree is among the most popular trees in the world because of its nutritious fruit. Spring flowers, delicious fruits, and summer shade are only a few of the wonderful advantages of planting an apple tree.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Usually consumed raw, people also use apples in several recipes, drinks, and juices. They are available in various sizes and colors.

Some basic facts about an apple tree:

  • Etymology- The word ‘apple’ has a Proto-Germanic origin.
  • Production- China is the largest producer of apple in the world. Other suppliers of delicious apples include Poland, the United States, Iran, Italy, Turkey, and India.

How to care for an apple tree?

Through proper control of diseases and insects, pruning, and fertilizing, you can enjoy the fruit and beauty of an apple tree for years. If you have an apple tree or plan to plant one, here are some facts that you need to know:

  1. Location and time- Early spring or late fall is an ideal season for planting apple trees. The preferred location is one with wind block to keep the apples from falling off before they are ripe.
  2. Size- These trees can be as tall as 40 feet, but the dwarf varieties are easy to maintain.
  3. Pruning- Pruning increases fruit production and should be done in winter.
  4. Symptoms of pest infection and diseases- Look for symptoms like stunted growth, yellowing of foliage, white layer on leaves, spots on fruits and leaves, and branch dieback.
  5. Fruits- Fruits usually appear after three or four years.

Nutritional value of apples:

  • Carbs- Apples are primarily composed of water and carbs. So, they are replete with simple sugars like sucrose, glucose, and fructose.
  • Vitamins and minerals- Apple contains multiple minerals and vitamins, Vitamin C being present in high amounts. Potassium, the main mineral present in apples is good for the heart.
  • Fiber- Apples are also high in fiber, thus boosting digestion.
  • Other plant compounds- Apples are also a source of several antioxidant compounds such as quercetin (anti-depressant), chlorogenic acid (improves muscle and brain function), and catechin (aids weight loss and lowers blood pressure).

Check out more information: Scientists Discover that Cutting Trees Can Save the Earth’s Forest From Excessive Drought and Heat.

Health benefits of eating apples:

Apples are not just juicy and tasty but also have excellent health benefits.

  1. Fights against diabetes- People who eat apples regularly have fewer chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The reason behind this is that it has an ample amount of soluble fiber.
  2. Fights Cancer– Many studies on animals and test-tube babies have revealed that apples reduce the chances of having cancer in the colon and the lungs. Other studies have proved that people who eat apples regularly are at a lower risk of getting breast and colorectal cancer.
  3. Makes the heart-healthy- Apple is also a heart-friendly fruit, one that lessens the chances of being affected with cardiovascular diseases.
  4. Helps reduce irritable bowel syndrome- Irritable bowel syndrome can be characterized by diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, and bloating. Doctors recommend a minimum intake of fatty foods and dairy products in such cases. So, apple is a good replacement for people with IBS.
  5. Controls weight- The best way of managing weight is by exercising and eating healthy foods. Apple and other fruits give the body the required nutrients and also help the person maintain healthy body weight.
  6. Prevents hemorrhoids- Swollen veins in a person’s anal canal are called hemorrhoids. Fiber can control constipation and alleviate hemorrhoids.
  7. Detoxifies liver- One of the easiest and best things that help you detoxify the liver is apples.
  8. Strengthens immune system- Quercetin, an antioxidant present in red apples boosts the immune system.
Best time to eat apples:

As apples are rich in pectin, you should eat them in the morning. Since most people these days suffer from digestive problems due to insufficient sleep and unhealthy eating habits, eating an apple in the morning is a good idea. However, do not eat it or any other fruit in an empty stomach as it might aggravate acid reflux, causing distress.

Conclusion:

If you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet is a must. Apples are an excellent choice in this respect. So, keep having this healthy and tasty fruit. Planting an apple tree in your backyard is also a great idea.

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The Calcutta Botanical Gardens, A Paradise For Nature Lovers

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Calcutta Botanical Gardens
Image credit : Wikipedia

The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, also known as the Calcutta Botanical Garden, is located in West Bengal. Its earlier names were the Royal Botanic Garden and the Indian Botanic Garden. It is under the BSI (Botanical Survey of India) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests

 This sprawling garden one of the must-visit places in West Bengal for nature lovers. There is a wide range of plants that inhabit different types of birds. So, if you have a passion for photography, you’ll fall in love with this place. 

History of the Calcutta Botanical Garden:

The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden was founded by Colonel Alexander Kyd in 1786. He was an army officer working under the British East India Company. He created this garden to identify and grow different plants special of commercial value. Sir George King designed the interiors of the garden. William Roxburgh filled the area with plants brought from all parts of India and developed extensive barium over the years. 

So, prior to India’s independence, the British people referred to the garden as the East India Company’s Garden. Recently, in 2009, it got its name as the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden in honor of the great scientist.

The Great Banyan Tree: a rare beauty

One of the most famous landmarks of the Botanical Garden that attracts tourists from all corners of the world is the Great Banyan Tree. Reckoned to be the world’s largest tree, it has a circumference of 330 meters approximately. It spreads gloriously over four acres of land, making it as large as a small forest. Though there is no official age record of the Great Banyan, its estimated age is at least 250 years. References to this gigantic tree have been found in travelogues dating back to the early 19th century, thus validating our statement.

After being hit by two great devastating cyclones in the years 1864 and 1867, the main trunk of the Great Banyan got fungus-infected and had to be cut out in 1952. But, because of its thousands of aerial roots, the tree did not cease to thrive and expand. The aerial roots originating from the branches and reaching the ground makes it look like a beautiful canopy of banyan trees. Such is the beauty of this tree that it inspired Brain Aldiss to write a novel, Hothouse, based on it. 

Major attractions of the Calcutta Botanic Garden:

The Calcutta Botanical Garden is the abode of 12,000 perennial plants and thousands of dried out plant species collected from all over the world. Other than the enormous Banyan tree, the garden is adorned with several other beautiful plants brought from Java, Sicily, Brazil, Malaysia, Sumatra, Nepal and other places: 

  • There are mango trees, Cuban Palms, banyan trees, tamarind trees, Bougainvillea, Citrus, Jasmine, Ferns, Hibiscus, the mad tree, mahogany trees, orchids, muli-haired bamboos, creepers, and multiple kinds of cacti. There are also unique floricultural, arboriculture, and aquatic plants.
  • Some exotic species of plants that you can spot here are Bread Fruit Tree, Giant Water Lilies, the Shivalinga Tree, Double coconut, and Krishnabot. 
  • Another interesting fact is that the famous tea cultivated extensively in Darjeeling and Assam was initially developed in the Botanical Gardens. 
  • There is a serpentine lake for tourists to enjoy boating. 
  • The ancient library of the Botanical Garden has an impressive collection. 
Animals that you can spot inside the Calcutta Botanic Garden: 

You can also spot different types of animals inside the Calcutta Botanical Garden premises. Some of them include the Indian Fox, jackals, and the Indian mongoose. A great variety of snakes also inhabit the gardens. 

Which is the ideal time to visit the Calcutta Botanic Garden? 

As the weather of Kolkata is extremely humid in summer and monsoon, winter is the best time to explore the city. So, plan your visit to the Botanical Garden between November and March. 

Conclusion: 

If you are in the city, you must pay a visit to this eco-friendly venue. The entry fee is only Rs 10 for Indian citizens and it remains open from 10 am to 7 pm. Daily walkers of the locality go for a yearly membership available at Rs 200 only. A one-day-trip with friends or family would be enough to explore the gardens. 

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Tree Planting An Exceptional Way To Mitigate The Consequences Of Climate Change

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Kids are ready to plant trees
Nature Talkies

Global warming is the rapid rise in the Earth’s average temperature. It is one of the major reasons behind drastic changes in the climate of several places. Trees are the greatest resource or natural technology that we can use against climate changes due to global warming. One of the easiest as well as cheapest methods of reducing the severe outcomes of climate change is tree planting measures. Planting billions of trees worldwide will effectively remove excess carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. So, environmentalists have suggested restoring the forest cover of the planet. Let us take you on a journey to the beautiful world of trees for better understanding of their capabilities.

Carbon absorption potential of trees:

  • Trees absorb the carbon that is one of the primary greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. Plants take help of sunlight energy for performing photosynthesis. During this process they use water and carbon dioxide for creating glucose. In the end, they feed on the carbon and thus maintain a balance in the carbon content of the air.
  • Trees do not just capture carbon dioxide but also assist the soil in capturing and storing carbon. However, it is the oceans that absorb majority of all carbon emissions and suffer the devastating consequences of ocean acid unification.

How many trees do we need to plant to make a significant change?

Nature Talkies

The ‘Global Tree Restoration Potential’ study conducted by several scientists can help us answer this question. They measured the tree cover of the earth with the help of 80,000 satellite images and also mixed those results with climate variables such as topography and soil. The outcome was a global map indicating where more tree planting should take place for best results.

The good side of the story is that almost two-thirds of the planet’s land area have the potential of growing trees and supporting a forestall area. So, planting of billions of trees in the near future can solve our problem of global heating. Agro-forestry is an excellent forest management strategy in this respect.

How fast is the climate changing? When do we act?

Climate change is taking place faster than we can imagine. Therefore, we must act now to control the situation. As per recent studies, 0.9 billion ha of forest cover can easily store 205 giga tonnes of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. So, all nations should join hands and embark on a mission of planting trees in all possible places.

Trees that have higher potential to intake carbon dioxide than others:

The amount of carbon any tree can hold is known as carbon sequestration. They sequester the carbon by storing it in leaves, roots, branches and trunks. So, the trees that can store most carbon dioxide are the ones with dense wood and large trunks. The good thing is that many trees are there that fit this criterion:

  • Pines- Pines do an excellent job in sequestering carbon. The Ponderous, Hispaniola, white and red pines are not just great landscape plants but also beneficial in nature. As pines are extremely tall, their trunks store a lot of carbon dioxide.
  • Oaks- Oaks have dense wood and large canopies, two characteristics required for carbon sequestering. Besides, they are tall and attractive, enhancing the beauty of our planet.
  • Other coniferous and deciduous trees- Other than pine and oak, there is a wide range of conifers and deciduous trees that have fantastic carbon-absorption qualities. Some such deciduous trees are black walnut and horse- chestnut. Christmas tree is again another evergreen species of tree that has great carbon sequestering ability. So, we should focus on planting more of those trees.
Other ways of addressing global warming and climate change:

Other than tree planting initiatives, mitigation efforts to reduce global warming include development of advanced technologies to reduce the rates of carbon emission, preservation of existing forests, coastline protection, lessening the usage of fossil fuels and increasing usage of renewable energy sources like wind power, solar power, hydro-electric power and several others.

Conclusion:

If all us unite and take the vow of making the world a better place to live, soon there will be greenery all around us. With the restoration of forest areas, alterations in global climate will not be the greatest threat anymore.

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