A global resolution was adopted by India on Monday to redefine four of the seven base units kilogram, kelvin, mole, and ampere. The new step is likely to have far-reaching effects including changes in textbooks.

The new decision to redefine four of the seven base units was passed by representatives of 60 countries at the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), Paris on November 16 last year.

K Aswal, the Director of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) stated: “The fundamental constants are invariants of time and space and have successfully replaced the artifact based units, and aptly opened up the new era for quantum world by linking all seven base units to fundamental constants or quantum standards”.

“Since the 1960s, we have to rely ever more heavily on advanced science and engineering in our day-to-day lives, and also in manufacturing, healthcare, and science. The proposed changes in the unit definition have been designed to have no immediate consequences,” he said.

Mr. Aswal further said, “The unit redefinitions represent a profound change of perspective and they are expected to form the foundations of improved measurements for decades to come as science and technology continues to develop in a way we cannot currently foresee”. He also said the resolution  “may not change anything drastically”, but will effect on measurements less than a kilogramme like- smaller diamonds.

Some recommendations on proposed changes have been sent to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

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