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Rapid Fire Current Affairs

  • 04 May 2023
  • 5 min read

Government to Ease Life for Gay Couples

The Centre informed Supreme Court that it is willing to form a committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary to consider administrative measures for addressing “genuine, human concerns” faced by same-sex couples in their daily lives in areas such as banking, insurance, etc. The SC has suggested that same-sex couples consider this as a building block for future changes, rather than an all-or-none approach. However, the petitioners are seeking a judicial declaration from the court legally recognizing same-sex marriage, arguing that marriage gives meaning, purpose, and identity to a relationship. The court noted that even if it were to recognize same-sex marriage, administrative and legislative changes would still be required to address the human concerns arising out of these relationships. The government is willing to address these human concerns but is reluctant to give same-sex relationships the status of marriage.

Read more: Same-Sex Marriage: Struggle for Equality

Organ Donation and Transplantation Manual

The National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) in India is developing a transplant manual and standard course for training transplant coordinators to better implement organ donation and transplantation programs in hospitals. The NOTTO has also created verticals for coordination, training, and human resources/accounts.

The Indian government has granted Central Government employees who donate an organ special casual leave of up to 42 days as a welfare measure. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reported that the number of organ transplants in the country has substantially increased from less than 5,000 in 2013 to over 15,000 in 2022 due to better coordination through the network of Organ & Tissues Transplant Organizations at national, state, and regional levels. In 2016, 2,265 organs were utilized from 930 deceased donors, while 2,765 could be utilized from 904 deceased donors in 2022.

Read more: National Organ Transplantation Guidelines

RVNL Gets Navratna Status

Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Railways, has been granted Navratna status. The company, incorporated in 2003, was established to implement railway infrastructure projects and raise extra-budgetary resources for Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs). RVNL began operations in 2005 and was granted Mini-Ratna status in 2013. RVNL is responsible for undertaking Rail project development and execution of works, creating project specific SPVs, and handing over completed railway projects to the relevant Zonal Railway for operation and maintenance.

The grant of Navratna status to RVNL provides it with more operational freedom, financial autonomy, and enhanced delegation of powers.

Navratna status is a recognition given by the Indian government to select public sector enterprises (PSEs) that have financial and operational autonomy. This status enables PSEs to invest up to Rs. 1000 crore without any approval from the central government, giving them more flexibility in decision making, personnel management, and joint ventures.

Read more: Maharatna Status to REC

Metavalent Bonding

A team of scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru, has discovered a new type of chemical bonding in solids called metavalent bonding. The bonding, which defies the classical octet rule in chemistry, has properties of both the bonding present in metals and those found in glasses. Metavalent bonding can be used to optimize thermoelectric performance in quantum materials and efficiently convert waste heat to electricity. They chose TlBiSe2, a renowned topological insulator, for investigation, and their search for materials with excellent electrical properties drew them to quantum materials. They have shown that TlBiSe2 demonstrates metavalent bonding, which facilitates a fundamentally new way of intrinsically scattering phonons via lattice shearing. By rational chemical designing, they have realized intriguing emergent properties in quantum materials, which shows exciting prospects for green energy production and could pave the way for a new direction for India's newly launched Quantum Mission.

Read more: National Quantum Mission

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