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Current Affairs 16 March 2024 for UPSC And State PSC Exam

Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)

News- Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received the first U.S. approval for its drug Rezdiffra, designed to treat the life-threatening liver condition known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).


  • Definition: NASH is a condition characterized by inflammation and damage in the liver due to fat accumulation. It falls under the broader category of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • Progression: While NASH can lead to liver scarring and cirrhosis, its progression varies, and it doesn’t invariably worsen.
  • Comparison: NASH is akin to liver diseases caused by chronic, excessive alcohol consumption, yet it occurs in individuals who do not drink alcohol.


  • Persistent fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • General feeling of weakness
  • Discomfort in the upper right abdomen

Risk Factors

  • Obesity
  • Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
  • Elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Metabolic syndrome

Treatment Strategies

  • Lowering total cholesterol
  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight (a reduction of 3% to 10% in total body weight can be beneficial)
  • Managing diabetes effectively


News- Recently, the Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing and Urban Affairs unveiled ‘ETHANOL 100’.


  • Octane Rating: ETHANOL 100 boasts a high-octane rating ranging from 100 to 105, making it optimal for high-performance engines. This contributes to enhanced efficiency and power output while reducing the environmental footprint.
  • Versatility and Usage: This fuel is highly versatile, suitable for a broad spectrum of vehicles, especially flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs). These vehicles are capable of operating on pure gasoline, ethanol, or any blend thereof, showcasing the adaptability of ETHANOL 100.
  • Composition: The formula consists of 93-93.5% ethanol mixed with 5% gasoline and 1.5% co-solvent, serving as a binder, which supports its practical use and potential for wider adoption with appropriate infrastructure.
  • Environmental Benefits: As a cleaner alternative to traditional gasoline, ETHANOL 100 significantly lowers the emission of greenhouse gases and pollutants. This contributes positively to the fight against climate change and promotes better air quality in communities.

Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) Explained

Functionality: Flex-fuel vehicles are designed to operate on multiple fuel types. They feature an internal combustion engine (ICE) that can run on gasoline, ethanol, methanol, or blends of these fuels, offering flexibility in fuel choice.

Design Similarities: Despite requiring certain modifications to accommodate different fuel types, flex-fuel vehicles largely mirror the design and functionality of conventional gasoline-only vehicles, facilitating a seamless integration into the automotive market.

Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970

News- The Supreme Court recently stated that workers engaged in tasks of a permanent or perennial nature should not be classified as contract workers under the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970, as a means to withhold from them the benefits of job regularization.


Contract Labour Overview

  • Definition: Contract labour involves workers hired by or through a contractor for work at an establishment, making them indirect employees.
  • Distinction from Direct Labour: Unlike direct labour, contract workers are not on the establishment’s payroll nor paid directly by it.
  • Contractor’s Role: Contractors are responsible for hiring, supervising, and paying contract workers, and are compensated by the establishment utilizing the contractor’s services.
  • Contractor Definition: A contractor is tasked with delivering a specific result for the establishment (excluding goods or services of manufacture) through contract labour, including subcontractors.
  • Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970:
  • Purpose: To regulate the employment of contract labour in certain establishments, abolish it under specific conditions, and address related matters.
  • Scope: Nationwide applicability in India.

Applicability Criteria

  • Establishments employing 20 or more contract workers in an accounting year.
  • Contractors engaging 20 or more workers in an accounting year.

Exclusions: Does not apply to intermittent work or establishments within Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

Key Features of the Act

Registration Requirement: Establishments must obtain a registration certificate to employ contract workers.

Licensing for Contractors: Contractors with 20 or more workers must secure a license for contract labour engagement.

License Validity and Renewal: Licenses are valid for a specified period and can be renewed.

Wage Payment Responsibility: Contractors must pay workers within the prescribed period; principal employers are liable for any unpaid wages.

Wage Fixation: The Commissioner of Labour determines wages.

Penalties: Violations may result in up to 3 months imprisonment and/or fines up to Rs.1000.

Advisory Boards: Establishment of Central and State Advisory Boards to guide government on Act administration.

Government Prohibition Power: The government can, after consulting advisory boards, prohibit contract labour employment in certain operations or establishments.

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