CrackitToday App

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 4th April 2024

Today’s Current Affairs: 4th April 2024 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

SKOCH ESG Award 2024:

REC Limited, a Maharatna Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Power and a leading Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) has been awarded the prestigious SKOCH ESG Award 2024 in the ‘Renewable Energy Financing’ category.

  • The award recognizes REC’s commitment to sustainable financing, facilitating India’s transition to renewable energy and a greener future.
  • The SKOCH ESG Awards recognize organizations that demonstrate outstanding performance in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices.
  • The award serves as a benchmark for evaluating organizations’ commitment to India’s vision for 2047, focusing on the interplay between sustainable investments and processes in shaping a sustainable and growing business future.
  • REC has emerged as a significant player in India’s clean energy transition, actively contributing to the nation’s sustainable future.
  • The company has committed to numerous sustainable projects and signed various Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) for green projects.
  • REC has also engaged in one-on-one discussions with developers of green projects across sectors such as solar, wind, Pumped Storage Projects, E-mobility, RE manufacturing, green ammonia and green hydrogen, and battery storage.

USSD-Based Call Forwarding:

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has directed telecom operators to halt USSD-based call forwarding from April 15 due to misuse, requiring subscribers to activate it through alternative methods.

  • Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is a protocol used in GSM networks for sending short text messages.
  • It facilitates instant messaging without storing messages on the operator or subscriber’s device.
  • USSD comes in two types:
    • Pull (user-initiated) and
    • Push (operator-initiated), using * and # characters and numeric codes.
  • Messages typically start with * or # and end with #, with a maximum length of 182 characters.
  • It’s commonly used for balance deduction notifications and checking IMEI numbers on mobile phones.

Punnett Square : Way To Predict The Possible Genetic Outcomes

Punnett square is named after British geneticist Reginald Punnett.

  • Along the top and side of the grid, the possible genetic traits of one parent on one side and the other parent on the other side is listed.
  • Then, you fill in the squares by combining the traits from each parent.
  • Each square effectively represents a possible combination of traits that their offspring could inherit.
  • It’s a simple way to visualise the probabilities of different traits showing up in the offspring.
  • They are commonly used in biology to understand inheritance patterns, like when you learn about dominant and recessive genes in school.
  • It is a useful tool that helps predict the variations and probabilities resulting from cross-breeding.

White Rabbit Collaboration:

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, recently launched White Rabbit Collaboration.

  • White Rabbit Collaboration is a membership-based global community whose objective is to maintain a high-performance open-source technology that meets the needs of users and to facilitate its uptake by industry.
  • The WR Collaboration will provide dedicated support and training, facilitate R&D projects between entities with common interests and complementary expertise, and establish a testing ecosystem that fosters trust in products that incorporate the open-source technology.

White Rabbit (WR):

  • It is a technology developed at CERN, in collaboration with institutes and companies, to synchronize devices in the accelerators down to sub-nanoseconds and solve the challenge of establishing a common notion of time across a network.
  • White Rabbit Switches provides sub-nanosecond synchronization accuracy, which formerly required dedicated hard-wired timing systems, with the flexibility and modularity of real-time Ethernet networks. It achieves sub-nanosecond accuracy in Ethernet based networks.
  • A White Rabbit network may be used solely to provide timing and synchronization to a distributed electronic system, or to provide both timing and real-time data transfer.
  • In 2020, it was included in the worldwide industry standard known as Precision Time Protocol (PTP), governed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
  • A key distinctive feature of White Rabbit, is that it is open source and based on standards. Companies and institutes can therefore adapt it to their needs and incorporate it in their products and systems.
  • White Rabbit is used in the finance sector as well as in many research infrastructures, and it is currently being evaluated for application in the future quantum internet.

OptiDrop Platform:

The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) in Bengaluru has developed a new platform called OptiDrop.

  • OptiDrop Platform is an innovative microfluidic chip-based platform that simplifies and reduces the cost of studying single cells. It employs a novel approach that enables precise and cost-effective analysis of single cells encapsulated in droplets.
  • The platform’s unique features include live data visualisation, a smaller data footprint, and a ‘closed’ system design that prevents external contamination.
  • This research was supported by the Biotechnology Industry Research Council (BIRAC), the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
  • This cutting-edge technology has potential applications in diagnostics, therapeutics, agriculture and animal health.
  • It helps in studying the impact on individual cells during a drug screen, environment control (water contamination counter), detection and sorting of CAR-T cells in immuno-oncotherapeutics, selection of CRISPR-modified single cells and selection of high-efficiency clones in single-cell genomics

Mother Of Dragons Comet:

A rare, formerly-horned comet that astronomers have dubbed the “Mother of Dragons” is now visible after dusk in the Northern Hemisphere.

  • Mother of Dragons comet is officially known as Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks.
  • It is a ‘Halley-type’ comet with an orbital period of roughly 71 years and a nucleus approximately 30 km wide.
  • It is composed of ice, dust and rocky material. When it approaches the Sun, heat causes the ice inside the comet to turn from solid to gas.
  • It is classified as a Jupiter-family comet, meaning its orbit is influenced by Jupiter’s gravitational pull.
  • It typically reaches perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) around the orbit of Mars and can become visible to observers on Earth during its close approach.
  • Its closest approach to Earth will occur in June 2024.

Havana Syndrome : Surge

There has been a noticeable surge in interest in the Havana Syndrome, particularly concerning its occurrence among US diplomats.

  • Havana Syndrome is a mysterious illness causing a range of neurological problems. It was first reported by the US Embassy staff in Havana, Cuba in 2016, when they began experiencing extreme headaches and hearing piercing sounds at night.
  • Other symptoms including bloody noses, headaches and vision problems were later reported by embassy staff in China and Europe.
  • In 2021, Havana Syndrome gained attention in India after a US intelligence officer travelling with CIA director William Burns to New Delhi reported symptoms.
  • A ‘syndrome’ does not mean a unique medical condition but denotes a cluster of symptoms that commonly occur together, making it hard to determine their precise origin.

Large Value Fund (LVF) Scheme:

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of shares of MG Motor India Private Limited by IndoEdge India Fund under the Large Value Fund (LVF) Scheme.

  • Large Value Fund (LVF) Scheme: It is an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) wherein every investor is an accredited investor and invests a minimum amount of Rs 70 crore.
  • Alternative Investment Fund(AIF): An AIF is a privately pooled or collective investment fund incorporated in India for investment purposes.
  • SEBI categorizes AIFs into 3 types:
    • Category-1 AIFs:
      • Invest in startups, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), and socially beneficial sectors like infrastructure.
      • Includes Infrastructure Funds, Venture Capital Funds, Angel Funds, and Social Venture Funds.
    • Category-2 AIFs:
      • Invest in equities and debt securities, excluding Category 1 or 3.
      • Includes Fund of Funds, Debt Funds, and Private Equity Funds.
    • Category-3 AIFs:
      • Aim for short-term investment returns, utilizing complex trading strategies.
      • Includes Hedge Funds and Private Investment in Public Equity Funds.

Atomic Clocks:

India is deploying atomic clocks nationwide to synchronize all digital devices with Indian Standard Time, enhancing uniformity and national security.

  • An atomic clock is a highly accurate timekeeping device that combines a quartz crystal oscillator with an atom, typically caesium or hydrogen, to measure time precisely.
  • It uses the consistent frequency of atoms to maintain accurate time, making it more stable than conventional quartz clocks.
  • It was Invented in 1955 by Louise Essen. It combines a quartz crystal oscillator with an atom for precise timekeeping.
  • Types of Atomic Clocks Caesium and hydrogen maser atomic clocks
  • Hydrogen maser clocks are more accurate and used in scientific research.
  • Quartz crystal oscillators are commonly used in modern clocks, vibrating at a precise frequency when voltage is applied.
  • However, they become slightly slow every hour and require frequent adjustments.
  • Atomic clocks are like super accurate timekeepers.
  • They use special atoms, usually caesium atoms, which vibrate at a very steady rate.
  • By sending microwaves to these atoms, we can make them vibrate even more regularly.
  • Then, we compare these vibrations with the vibrations of a quartz crystal in a regular clock.
  • The most advanced atomic clocks lose just one second every 300 billion years.
  • Atomic Clocks in India Council of Industrial and Scientific Research(CSIR)-National Physical Laboratories (NPL) New Delhi maintains Indian Standard Time with caesium and hydrogen maser clocks.
  • CSIR-NPL are now setting up new atomic clocks in Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, and Hyderabad, in addition to the existing ones in Faridabad and Ahmedabad. By June, these new clocks will be installed, and the government will require all device manufacturers to sync with Indian Standard Time.
  • Currently, timekeeping relies on satellites, but the government aims to connect all atomic clocks using optical cables for enhanced security.