Same-sex marriages can rock societal values: Centre

In Context

  • The Union government expressed its disagreement towards same-sex marriage pointing out that it would cause complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws and accepted societal values.
    • According to the government, marriage between a biological man and woman is a “holy union, a sacrament and a sanskar” in India.

What is Same-Sex Marriage?

  • It is the practice of marriage between two men or between two women.
  • Same-sex marriage has been regulated through law, religion, and custom in most countries of the world.
    • As of 2023, marriage between same-sex couples is legally performed and recognized in 34 countries, constituting some 1.35 billion people (17% of the world’s population), with the most recent being Andorra.

Petitioner’s Arguments

  • Petitioners argued that the non-recognition of same-sex marriage amounted to discrimination that struck at the root of the dignity and self-fulfillment of LBTQ+ couples. 
  • It demanded that the Special Marriage Act, 1954 should grant same-sex couples the same protection it allowed inter-caste and inter-faith couples who want to marry.

Governments’ Arguments

  • According to the center, despite statutory recognition of the relationship of marriage between a biological man and a biological woman, marriage necessarily depends upon age-old customs, rituals, practices, cultural ethos and societal values.
  • Registration of marriage of same-sex persons would also result in violation of existing personal as well as codified law provisions.
  • Any “deviation” from the “statutorily, religiously and socially” accepted norm in “human relationship” can only happen through the legislature and not the Supreme Court.
  • The government argued that the Court had only decriminalised sexual intercourse between same-sex persons in its 2018 judgment in Navtej Singh Johar, and not legitimised this “conduct”.
  • Same-sex marriage cannot be compared to a man and women living as a family with children born out of the union.

Same sex marriage legality

  • There is no explicit mention of homosexuality or homophilic in any of the statute books of India.
    • person cannot be prosecuted for being a homosexual or homophilic. 
    • The sexual act of sodomy is a criminal offense. 
    • The major provisions of criminalisation of same-sex acts are found in Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1860.
  • The 2018 Navtej Singh Johar judgment decriminalised homosexuality, but it did not mention/legitimise same-sex marriage.
  • The court, while decriminalising homosexuality, had never accepted same-sex marriage as part of the fundamental right to life and dignity under Article 21 of the Constitution.
  • Registration of marriage of same-sex persons would also result in violation of existing personal as well as codified law provisions.

Arguments in favour of legalising Same-Sex Marriage

  • The Special Marriage Act of 1954: 
    • It provides a civil form of marriage for couples who cannot marry under their personal law.
  • Fundamental Right: 
    • Right to marry a person of one’s choice is a fundamental right guaranteed under the Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
    • Members of the LGBTQ+ community have the same human, fundamental and constitutional rights as other citizens.
  • Right to equality: 
    • The petitioners have argued that barring them from marriage violates their right to equality.
  • Global practice:
    • According to global think tank Council of Foreign Relations, same sex marriages are legal in at least 30 countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada and France.

Arguments against Same Sex Marriage

  • Social Stigma: Apart from the harsh legal scenario, homosexuals face social stigma.
    • Any instance of sexual relations between a couple of the same sex draws hatred and disgust. 
    • Intimacy of any sort is not approved of unless it is legitimized in the form of marriage where socially approved sexual access takes place.
  • Rising activism: Campaigns for lesbian and gay rights taken on an increasingly radical character, arguing for an end to all forms of discrimination against homosexuality.
  • Progeny Issues: Gay and lesbian couples are also not allowed to have children born with the help of an Indian surrogate mother.
    • An LGBTQ+ person can apply to the Central Adoption Review Authority for adoption only as a single parent.
  • Patriarchal Society: Indian society is patriarchal which believes that hetrosexual marriage was the norm throughout history and are “foundational to both the existence and continuance of the state.

Way Ahead

  • Awareness campaigns are a must to sensitise society about the rights of all individuals. 
  • As people’s relationships change, and society undergoes transformation, constitutional rights on freedoms and liberties must extend to every sphere, including a same-sex couple’s life.
Special Marriage Act of 1954About:All marriages in India can be registered under the respective personal law Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Muslim Marriage Act, 1954, or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is an Act of the Parliament of India with provision for civil marriage for people of India and all Indian nationals in foreign countries, irrespective of religion or faith followed by either party.The couples have to serve a notice with the relevant documents to the Marriage Officer 30 days before the intended date of the marriage.Applicability: Any person, irrespective of religion. Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, or Jews can also perform marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.Inter-religion marriages are performed under this Act.This Act is applicable to the entire territory of India and extends to intending spouses who are both Indian nationals living abroad.

Adultery as ‘misconduct’

In News

  • The Union of India sought clarification from the Supreme Court on applicability of its judgement on Adultery on armed forces.


  • The Supreme Court of India decriminalized adultery more than four years ago in a landmark judgment, Joseph Shine versus Union of India in 2018.
  • Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (on adultery) along with Section 198 of the Criminal Procedure Code were held to be unconstitutional on the premise that these provisions were violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
  • In this regard, the Union government has sought clarification from the Court saying that any promiscuous or adulterous acts should be allowed to be governed by the relevant sections of the Army Act, the Air Force Act and the Navy Act being special legislations by the virtue of Article 33 of the Constitution.
  • The Court has recently held that in Joseph Shine it ‘was not at all concerned with the effect and operation of the relevant provisions’ and ‘it is not as if this Court approved of adultery’

What is Adultery in India?

  • Adultery is a voluntary sexual relationship between a married person and someone who is not their spouse.
  • In India, prior to the Supreme Court’s judgment in 2018, adultery was considered a criminal offence under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code.
  • This law made it a crime for a man to have sexual intercourse with the wife of another man without that man’s consent.
  • The law treated women as the property of their husbands and did not provide for any punishment for women who committed adultery.
  • Currently, in India, adultery is not considered a crime, but it can be a ground for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
  • In addition, adultery can be considered as ‘misconduct’ under the relevant Service Conduct Rules for government servants, including those in the armed forces.
  • However, any disciplinary action taken by the employer must have a direct or indirect nexus with the employee’s duties, and cannot be arbitrary or infringe on their right to privacy.

Important judgements on Adultery

  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860: Section 497 of the IPC dealt with adultery until it was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2018.
  • Yusuf Aziz v. State of Bombay (1954): The case upheld the constitutional validity of Section 497 of the IPC, stating that the law did not discriminate against men and that the adultery law protected the sanctity of marriage.
  • Sowmithri Vishnu v. Union of India (1985): The Supreme Court held that Section 497 of the IPC was violative of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India, as it only criminalized sexual intercourse with a married woman without the consent of her husband and did not punish women for adultery.
  • V. Revathi v. Union of India (1988): In this case, the Supreme Court held that Section 497 of the IPC was discriminatory against women and violated the Constitution of India and observed that adultery is a private matter between adults and the state has no business to interfere.
  • Joseph Shine v. Union of India (2018): The Supreme Court in this case declared Section 497 of the IPC unconstitutional and struck it down holding that the provision was archaic and violated the fundamental right to equality and personal liberty enshrined in the Constitution.

Challenges of adultery

  • With the decriminalization of adultery in India, employers are limited in their ability to discipline employees for their private affairs.
  • The courts have provided some guidance on this issue, stating that misconduct must have some nexus with the employee’s duties in order to be subject to disciplinary action.
  • There is ambiguity regarding whether the armed forces may still take disciplinary action for adulterous acts under their special legislations.
  • There are cases in which allegations of adultery have directly or indirectly been used as a tool to hamper the employee’s ability to discharge their duties or maintain discipline within the workplace.
  • Determining whether or not an act of adultery has a nexus with an employee’s duties can be a challenging task, particularly in cases where the alleged act is consensual and voluntary.
Article 33 
It deals with Parliament’s power to restrict fundamental rights of members of the armed forces for proper discharge of duties and maintenance of discipline.Same principle applies to police personnel and intelligence agencies.Right to privacy of armed forces and police cannot be taken away unless there is a nexus with their duties

What more can be done to improve the situation of adultery in india?

  • About: Improving the situation of adultery in India is a complex issue that requires both legal and social solutions. Here are some possible steps that could be taken:
  • Legal reforms: The laws governing adultery in India have been widely criticized as being archaic and outdated which can be reformed to make it more equitable, with equal punishment for both men and women, and with provisions to prevent the misuse of the law. 
  • Gender equality: Adultery is often seen as a crime committed by men against women, but women can also be perpetrators of adultery which can be reduced by empowering women.
  • Education and awareness: Educating people about the importance of fidelity and the negative consequences of adultery could help to reduce its occurrence through schools, community organizations, and the media.

Way ahead

  • The recent ruling of the Supreme Court of India clarifying the application of adultery laws in the armed forces highlights the need for a clear nexus between the adulterous act and the professional duties of the personnel.
  • While adultery has been decriminalized in India, it is still considered a moral and civil wrong, and a ground for securing dissolution of marriage.
  • The government and armed forces should now focus on establishing guidelines and protocols to ensure that personal conduct does not affect the professional duties of their personnel, while respecting their private space and individual rights.

Source: TH

The rise of the ESG regulations

In Context

  • Over the last decade, regulators and corporations have embraced environmental impact, commitment to social issues and the soundness of their corporate governance and protection of shareholder rights as part of their business model.


  • Companies have a realization that environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) considerations need to be included by investors in a company’s risk profile in order to accurately assess the enterprise. 
  • The evolution of ESG laws and regulations is, however, still at a nascent stage in India, where the focus is often on providing protections regarding the environment or workplace conditions.  
  • In this regard, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has substantially revised the annual Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR) required by the 1,000 largest listed companies in India.

What is ESG?

  • ESG refers to three key factors considered by investors and stakeholders when evaluating a company’s sustainability and societal impact
    • Environmental factors : It relate to a company’s impact on the natural environment, including energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, waste management, and resource consumption
    • Social factors: It refer to a company’s impact on society, including relationships with employees, customers, suppliers, and communities
    • Governance factors: It focus on a company’s management and decision-making structures, including board composition, executive compensation, and transparency
  • Companies demonstrating good ESG practices may benefit from reduced operational costs, better risk management, and enhanced reputation among consumers and investors
  • Investors recognize the importance of ESG factors in evaluating long-term sustainability and profitability of companies
  • Companies neglecting ESG considerations may face reputational damage, regulatory scrutiny, and increased operational costs
  • Many consumers and employees also consider ESG factors when making decisions about which companies to support or work for.

How ESG differs from CSR?

  • India has a robust corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy that mandates that corporations engage in initiatives that contribute to the welfare of society.
  • This mandate was codified into law with the passage of the 2014 and 2021 amendments to the Companies Act of 2013 which requires:
  • Companies with a net worth of ?500 crore (approximately $60 million) or a minimum turnover of ?1,000 crore (approximately $120 million) or a net profit of ?5 crore (approximately $6,05,800) in any given financial year.
  • Companies spend at least 2% of their net profit over the preceding three years on CSR activities.

Why is ESG Relevant in India?

  • India has a number of laws and bodies regarding environmental, social, and governance issues
  • New initiatives in India establish guidelines that emphasize monitoring, quantification, and disclosure, akin to ESG requirements found in other parts of the world.
  • Compliance with ESG regulations from other parts of the world will be critical if India is to take full advantage of the growing decoupling from China.
  • Adhering to ESG can play a more prominent role in global supply chains and the global marketplace overall

Implications for Indian Companies

  • Compliance with ESG regulations poses a significantly different challenge than India’s CSR regulations
  • Thorough due diligence will play a key role in expanding ESG risk management.
  • Companies that wish to maximize their opportunities in the global economy need to embrace these new requirements and adjust their organizations accordingly.
  • Indian companies looking to expand their ESG risk management need to conduct thorough due diligence that can stand up to scrutiny.
  • ESG due diligence needs to be supported within the company with detailed procedures for assessing risks and controls for assuring that no corners are cut.

Way Ahead

  • Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors are increasingly important considerations for investors and stakeholders when evaluating the sustainability and societal impact of a company. 
  • The evolution of ESG laws and regulations needs controls and disclosure that are a hallmark of contemporary ESG regulation.
  • There is also a need to further bring legislation by the Indian government on ESG issues, which can be seen in India’s more active role in global climate forums and secure long-term growth in today’s business landscape.

Source: TH

First India-Australia Annual Summit

In News

  • Recently, the Australian Prime minister visited India to participate in an annual summit.


  • Both countries  reaffirmed the strength of bilateral ties which are based on the foundation of mutual trust, shared democratic values, common interests and strong people-to-people ties.
  • The First India-Australia Annual Summit led to following outcomes
    • Signing of Audiovisual Co-production Agreement between the Government of India and the Government of Australia 
    • MoU Between the Government of Australia and the Government of India on Cooperation in Sports
    • Framing of Terms of Reference for  India-Australia Solar Taskforce
    • Letter of Intent between the Government of India’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation for Furthering Cooperation in Innovation
    • Resolution of Tax issue on offshore income of Indian firms under the India-Australia Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).

India-Australia Bilateral Relations 

  • Political:
    • In 2009, India and Australia established a ‘Strategic Partnership’, which has been further elevated to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2020
    • The strength of the relationship can be guaged from the fact that In the past year itself the Prime ministers have met thrice and there have been at least 18 ministerial level exchanges between the two countries .
    • Both the countries cooperate regularly through the following  forums
      • Annual Meetings of Prime Ministers
      • Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue
      • Joint Trade & Commerce Ministerial Commission
      • India-Australia-Japan Trilateral Dialogue
      • India-Australia-Indonesia Trilateral Dialogue
      • India-France-Australia Trilateral Dialogue
      • India-Australia Bilateral Dialogue on Global Cyber Issues
      • India-Australia Maritime Dialogue
      • India-Australia Economic Policy Dialogue
      • India-Australia Dialogue on Disarmament
  • Trade and Investment:
    • India is one of the largest trade partners of Australia with trade worth $ 25 billion in 2022. It has the potential to reach 100 billion.
    • India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) was established in 1989 to enable interaction at a Government and business level on a range of trade and investment related issues.
    • India-Australia CEO Forum is a mechanism for business from both nations to engage directly on ways to build the bilateral trade and investment relationship.  
  • Civil Nuclear Co-Operation :
    • Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement between the two countries was signed in 2014. The agreement came into force in 2015 and provides the framework for substantial new trade in energy between Australia and India.
  • Scientific Cooperation:
    • An Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF), which was established in 2006, supports collaboration between scientists in India and Australia on cutting-edge research
    • A Joint Working Group (JWG) for cooperation in Agriculture has been set up
    • Both the countries have agreed to set up task forces on solar photovoltaic (PV) and hydrogen ,which are  critical to Australia and India’s energy transition goals.
    • In 2017, Australia signed a framework agreement for to join the International Solar Alliance, led by the Governments of India and France
  • Defence:
    • Both countries regularly participate in  2+2 Ministerial Dialogue involving defence and external affairs ministers on both sides
    • India and Australia signed a Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) to enhance defence cooperation.
    • Australia will host the “Malabar” exercises in August 2023, with participation from India, Japan, and the US.
    • India has been invited to join the Talisman Sabre exercises in 2023.
    • General Rawat Officer’s Exchange Program has been operationalised between two countries 
    • Indian Air force has participated in Exercise Pitch Black, a biennial warfare exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
  • Multilateral Cooperation:
    • India and Australia are members of the Quad, Commonwealth, Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia Pacific Partnership on Climate and Clean Development, and have participated in the East Asia Summits.
    • Both countries have also been cooperating as members of the Five Interested Parties (FIP) in the World Trade Organization context.
    • Australia is an important player in Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and supports India’s membership of the organisation.
  • Cooperation on Clean Energy:
    • In 2022, Both  countries signed a Letter of Intent on New and Renewable Energy for cooperation to reduce the cost of renewable energy technologies, including ultra low-cost solar and clean hydrogen.
    • India announced Australian Dollars(AUD) 10 million for Pacific Island Countries under the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
    • Both the countries committed USD 5.8 million to the three-year India-Australia Critical Minerals Investment Partnership.


  • Australia is one of the largest economies in the world (1.72 trillion $ ).
  • It is rich in natural resources that India’s growing economy needs.
  • It is advanced  in higher education, scientific and technological research.
  • Australia is one of the pivots of the Indo-Pacific. Deeper integration between India and Australia will beneficial for the region
  • the Australian agribusiness sector has capacity, experience and knowledge to help India’s food industry 
  • Both countries have increasingly common military platforms as India’s defence purchases from the U.S. continue to grow.


  • Visa issues: There have been concerns over visa restrictions for Indian students and professionals seeking to work in Australia.
  • Violence with Indian Diaspora: Attacks on Indian Diaspora and temples in the recent past has left a bad taste .
  • Trade Issues: India’s trade deficit with Australia has been increasing since 2001-02 due to India- Australia Free Trade Agreement. It was also a contentious issue in the ongoing RCEP negotiations which India left. 

Way Forward

India and Australia ties are extremely important for the Indo-Pacific region which is in flux. Strengthening of their relationship  will support international peace, rule of law, development and multiculturalism in the region .  

Net zero waste must for buildings

In Context

  • All upcoming housing societies and commercial complexes in the country will soon mandatorily have to ensure net zero waste and have their liquid discharge treated.
    • India currently generates 72,368 million litres per day of urban wastewater of which only 28% is treated


  • The directive is part of the Manhole to Machine-hole scheme for the complete removal of manual scavenging and has been formulated as a convergence of programmes like Swachch Bharat, NAMASTE (National Action Plan for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem), and AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation).
  • Integrating septic tank design into the building by-laws and adherence to standard specifications, geo-tagging all septic tanks and manholes for proper tracking, and reducing GST on mechanised cleaning vehicles is also to be considered.
  • A Make in India start-up for promoting low-cost technological solutions like mechanical spades as well as sensor sticks for gas detection is also being considered.

What is Net Zero Waste?

  • The term net zero means achieving a balance between the carbon emitted into the atmosphere, and the carbon removed from it.
    •  This balance – or net zero – will happen when the amount of carbon we add to the atmosphere is no more than the amount removed.
  • Achieving net zero waste means reducing, reusing, and recovering waste streams (sludge) to convert them to valuable resources so that zero solid waste is sent to landfills.
  • It can be achieved by following methods:
    • Food waste reduction.
    • Date labeling.
    • Food redistribution.
    • Water stress reduction.
    • Greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
    • Citizen behaviour change.
  • 5 R’sof net zero waste:
    • Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot – these are the “5 Rs” that make up the basic rules of zero waste.
  • United Nations SDG 6.3:
    • It aims at “halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally” by 2030.

Advantages of Net Zero waste

  • Lower energy costs:
    • Since reducing greenhouse gas emissions usually involves reducing energy use, a major benefit of net zero is lower energy costs. With energy prices rising globally, this is a particularly timely benefit.
  • Reduce GHG emissions:
    • The whole point of pursuing net zero is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which means fewer pollutants in the air and…
  • Less damage to Mother Earth:
    • The idea of saving the planet may seem lofty, but working towards net zero emissions is perhaps the biggest way we can fight climate change and preserve our planet for future generations.
  • Economic Benefit:
    • According to a 2021 Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’ report the country’s economy could also be boosted if the sale of treated sewage is institutionalized. 
    • It has the potential to add close to ?3,285 crore annually.

Way Forward

  • Achieving net-zero CO2 by 2050 and consequently stabilising global mean temperatures at approximately 1.5 degC above pre industrial levels would avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change predicted at 2 degC and above. 
  • The co-benefits of achieving net-zero results in a healthier population.

Rajasthan’s Right to Health Bill

In News

  • The recently concluded Budget session of the Rajasthan Assembly revived the debate around the Right to Health Bill.

Key Features of the Bill

  • Right to Health: The Bill provides the right to health and access to healthcare for people in the state. This includes free health care services at any clinical establishment to residents of the state.
  • Obligations on State: To formulate and prescribe a public health model, 
    • Make appropriate provisions in the state budget, 
    • Make available healthcare services with due consideration for distance, geographical area, or population density, 
    • Lay down standards for quality and safety at all levels,
    • Set up a coordinating mechanism to ensure adequate supply of safe drinking water, sanitation, and nutritionally sufficient safe food, and
    • Institute measures to prevent, treat, and control epidemics and public health emergencies. 
  • Health Authorities will be set up at the state and district level. These bodies will formulate, implement, monitor, and develop mechanisms for quality healthcare and management of public health emergencies.
  • Grievance redressal: The Bill provides a mechanism for resolving complaints against denial of services and infringements of rights. A web portal and helpline centre will be established for filing complaints.  The concerned officer will have 24 hours to respond to the complaint.  

Need for the Bill

  • In 1996, the Supreme Court held that the Right to life (Article 21) included the right to health within its fold, and also pointed out the obligation of state governments to provide health services.
  • In 2018, the National Commission on Human Rights drafted the Charter of Patient Rights to be implemented by state governments.
  • The Rajasthan Right to Health Bill, 2022, was introduced in the Rajasthan Assembly on September 22, 2022 which seeks to provide for the protection and fulfilment of equitable rights in health and well-being.  
Does the Constitution guarantee a right to health? The Indian Constitution does not explicitly talk about a right to health. “Right to health”, in theory, is derived from the Right to life and liberty as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.  Previously, courts have highlighted the State’s obligation to protect and promote the health of citizens, pointing to Constitutional provisions such as Article 38 (promoting the welfare of people) and Article 47 (which directs the government to meet the nutrition and health requirements of the population). In Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity v. State of West Bengal (1996), the Supreme Court averred that it is the government’s responsibility to provide medical aid in the interest of bolstering public health.As per a 2013 study, more than half of the world’s countries have a guaranteed and specified right to public health and medical care written into their constitutions.

Key Issues 

  • Commercially Unviable for Private Establishment: A resident of the state has the right to avail free healthcare services from any clinical establishment including private establishments. There is no provision for reimbursing private health establishments for providing free healthcare services.  This may make these establishments commercially unviable and violate Article 19(1)(g) (Right to practice any profession) of the Constitution.
  • Privacy of the Patients: The District Health Authority is required to upload an action taken report on the web portal for complaints.  The Bill does not specify who will have access to the report on the web portal.  This may infringe on the patient’s right to privacy in medical cases.
  • Financial Burden on States: Implementing the right to health may increase the financial obligation of the state.  The Bill does not provide for such additional costs.
  • Institutional and health worker shortage: Ensuring free and quality healthcare at all establishments would require adequate human resources and infrastructure at all clinical establishments.  Data suggests that there may be a shortage of such resources in the state.  This may affect the effective implementation of the right to health.

Jalyukt Shivar Project

In News

  • Government of Maharashtra has decided to launch the second phase of Jalyukt Shivar project.


  • It is a scheme that targets drought-prone areas by Undertaking water conservation measures
  • The scheme attempts  to arrest maximum run-off water during the monsoon months, in village areas known to receive less rainfall..
  • Under the scheme, decentralised water bodies are installed at various locations within villages to enhance the groundwater recharge.
  • In the first phase, planned during 2015 – 2019, Jalyukta Shivar envisaged making 5,000 villages drought-free, every year.

Government of India initiatives :

  • Jal Jeevan Mission:The mission was announced by the Prime Minister to provide potable tap water to every rural household in the country by 2024.
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana:This scheme was launched with an aim to enhance water-use efficiency by better on-farm management practices. 
  • Jal Shakti Abhiyan:The scheme is aimed at water conservation in 256 water-stressed districts across the territory of India, in a time-bound manner.

Fluorescence Microscopy

In News

  • Researchers at Winona State University, Minnesota, have created a design for a rudimentary Fluorescence Microscope.

What is Fluorescence Microscopy?

  • An optical microscope views an object by studying how it absorbs, reflects or scatters visible light. 
  • A fluorescence microscope views an object by studying how it reemits light that it has absorbed, i.e. how it fluoresces. This is its basic principle.


  • The object is illuminated with light of a specific wavelength. Particles in the object absorb this light and reemit it at a higher wavelength (i.e. different colour). These particles are called fluorophores; the object is infused with them before being placed under the microscope.
  • Different fluorophores are used to identify and study different microscopic entities.
  • There are versions of fluorescent microscopes with more sophisticated abilities, such as epifluorescence and confocal laser-scanning microscopes.


  • When the fluorophores fluorescence, a fluorescent microscope can track them as they move inside the object, revealing the object’s internal shape and other characteristics. 
  • Through this, scientists have developed different fluorophores to identify and study different entities, from specific parts of DNA to protein complexes. On the flip side, fluorescence microscopes cost at least a lakh rupees, but often up to crores.
  • With this setup, the researchers were able to image the creatures’ brain, spinal cord, heart, and head and jaw bones.
  • They were able to zoom in and out using the smartphone camera and the clip-on lens.


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