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Current Affairs for 5 April 2024

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Ozone Presence on Callisto: Jupiter's Largest Moon

A team of international scientists, led by researchers from the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad, has recently uncovered strong evidence suggesting the existence of ozone on Callisto, one of Jupiter's significant moons. Their study, which was published in the March 2024 edition of the journal Icarus, illuminates the intricate chemical processes taking place on this icy celestial body, hinting at its potential to sustain life. The team, headed by R. Ramachandran from PRL's Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Division, delved into the chemical changes in sulphur dioxide (SO2) ice under irradiation, simulating the conditions found on Callisto's surface. These experiments were carried out at the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC) in Taiwan, providing access to high-energy radiation sources crucial for replicating the solar radiation reaching the moon's surface.

Categorization of Energy Drinks

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a directive to all E-Commerce companies, urging them to correctly categorize beverage drinks. FSSAI prohibits E-Commerce platforms from labeling cereal-based, dairy-based, or malt-based beverages as "Energy Based Drinks" or "Health Drinks." The directive aims to define "Health Drinks" accurately within the country's food laws, emphasizing food safety in handling mechanisms, preparation processes, and storage facilities to prevent foodborne illnesses. Beverages and bars are also included in the advisories to comply with these food standards.

myCGHS App

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has introduced the myCGHS app to facilitate access to Electronic Health Records, information, and resources for Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) beneficiaries. Developed by the technical teams of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) Himachal Pradesh and NIC Health Team, this mobile application offers features enhancing information and accessibility for CGHS beneficiaries. It enables a range of services, including appointment booking, downloading CGHS cards, accessing lab reports, checking medicine history, medical reimbursement claim status, referral details, and locating nearby wellness centers. The app incorporates security features like 2-factor authentication and mPIN functionality to ensure data confidentiality and integrity.

Postal Ballot for Election Duty Personnel

The Election Commission has introduced the facility of voting via postal ballot for polling personnel engaged in election duty. Postal ballot, also known as absentee voting, allows electors to cast their ballots by mail rather than in person at a polling station. Eligible individuals include armed forces, paramilitary forces, government employees on election duty away from their home constituencies, those unable to vote in person due to work, illness, or disability, government officials and polling staff at different stations, and individuals under preventive custody orders during elections. Eligible voters must submit an application to the Returning Officer (RO) with personal details, voter ID information, and the reason for seeking a postal ballot. The RO verifies eligibility and issues the postal ballot accordingly.

Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA)

MPEDA certifies India’s shrimp exports' entire value chain, ensuring no abusive conditions exist at shrimp farms. Established by Parliament in 1972, MPEDA promotes marine product exports and regulates offshore and deep-sea fishing, fisheries conservation, and management. It registers fishing vessels, processing plants, and export conveyances, sets standards for marine products, regulates exports, and registers marine product exporters. MPEDA operates Quality Control Laboratories and ELISA Screening Laboratories, reaching exporters nationwide through regional offices.

Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria

Researchers have discovered nitrogen-fixing symbiotic organisms exhibiting behaviors akin to organelles. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria transform atmospheric nitrogen into usable compounds for plants. They can be symbiotic, residing in root nodules of legumes like Rhizobium or free-living in soil or water, aiding the nitrogen cycle crucial for life.

PRATUSH Telescope

Astronomers anticipate deploying high-resolution telescopes, including India's PRATUSH, to explore cosmic origins. PRATUSH, a radio telescope by the Raman Research Institute (RRI) in Bengaluru with ISRO's collaboration, aims to detect signals from the universe's early stages, shedding light on star formation and cosmic evolution. It carries advanced instruments for signal detection, contributing to astronomical discoveries.

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