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Chemistry is a science whose progress is exponential as it touches every aspect of our existence and provides all the things required for life to survive on this planet. Chemistry is rightly called the Science of Life.
Chemical processes provide food, clothing, shelter medicines, and energy to sustain life. Feeding the ever-increasing population is a big challenge calling for increased production of crops, minimizing losses during their harvesting and storage and use of new, improved varieties like Genetically modified (GM) food grains and pulses.
The use of fertilizers has increased manifold over the years, leading to an increase in the production of food. Clothing is made from plant fibres like cotton and silk. New and better varieties of cotton have been developed. Nylon, produced by the polymer industry is also a critical clothing material in some parts of the world. New materials like composites, fly ash bricks, and polymeric wastes are being increasingly used for construction purposes, especially for housing and roads.
Research for the synthesis of new drugs to combat diseases is a continuous activity, and the pharmaceutical industry has a considerable investment, especially in our country. Indigenous medicine systems like Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Unani are also contributing to health welfare, especially in India. Of late, nanomedicines are emerging as an essential area of medicine.
Non-conventional energy sources like solar, nuclear, hydro, biodiesel and wind energy are being increasingly tapped as possible substitutes for the fast depleting coal and oil reserves. The International Solar Alliance, initiated by India, aims at forging a strong partnership between all nations to tap and use solar energy.
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This is a guest lecture delivered at the International Web Chemistry Conference held on May 23-24, 2020 organized by Acharya Marathe College, Chembur, Mumbai.