DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS: 18 March 2024

Rhodamine B

Source: TH

Why in News: In February 17, Tamil Nadu prohibited the sale of cotton candy or candy floss following analysis that verified the existence of Rhodamine-B. Subsequently, the Karnataka Government has enforced a ban on the utilization of detrimental coloring substances in cotton candy and Gobi Manchurian.Rhodamine-B is a fluorescent dye used in cosmetics, textile and leather industries. It is used as a food colouring agent not only in cotton candy but also in sweets, various manchurian items and pakodas.Cancer-Causing Chemical Detected in Cotton Candy UPSC

About Rhodamine B:

  • Usage in Various Industries: Rhodamine-B is a fluorescent dye commonly employed in cosmetics, textiles, and leather industries, imparting vibrant shades of pink, green, and blue.
  • Food Coloring Agent: Regrettably, it is utilized as a food coloring agent not only in cotton candy but also in the production of sweets, diverse Manchurian dishes, pakodas, and Chinese food sauces.
  • Attractiveness in Foods: Rhodamine-B is frequently added to colored foods like cotton candy to enhance their visual appeal, especially targeting younger individuals and children.
  • Health Implications: Extensive research indicates that Rhodamine-B can induce cell death and cause significant harm to vital organs like the cerebellum, brainstem, kidney, and liver. Long-term exposure also heightens the risk of developing stomach tumors. It’s classified as toxic and carcinogenic to humans.
  • Approved Food Colors by FSSAI: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has endorsed certain food colors and flavors as safe for consumption. These include caramel, riboflavin (lactoflavin), saffron, annatto, curcumin (turmeric), carotene, beta-carotene, red colors from Ponceau 4R, carmoisine, and erythrosine, yellow colors such as tartrazine and sunset yellow FCF, blue colors like indigo carmine and brilliant blue FCF, and green color from fast green FCF.

Railways plans to develop multi-modal transport hubs

Source: TH

Why in News: The Indian Railways is focused on creating large-scale railway terminals equipped with diverse modes of connectivity in ambitious cities across the country with populations exceeding ten lakh. Railways Multi-modal transport hubs |ForumIAS

About Railways Multi-Modal Transport Hubs:

These hubs represent infrastructure initiatives led by railway authorities, designed to centralize various modes of transportation, such as trains, buses, taxis, and other public transit options, within a single location.

  • Key Intersections: Serving as vital nodes, these hubs facilitate smooth transitions for passengers between different modes of travel, enhancing overall connectivity and streamlining travel experiences.
  • Facilities: Alongside transportation services, these hubs may provide supplementary amenities like parking facilities, waiting areas, and retail outlets to cater to the diverse needs of travelers.
  • PM Gati Shakti Master Plan: The launch of the “PM Gati Shakti Master Plan” aims to bolster multi-modal connectivity and governance across India, setting the stage for 21st-century infrastructure development.

PM Gati Shakti:

  • Digital Platform: Gati Shakti functions as a digital platform aimed at facilitating integrated planning and coordinated execution of infrastructure connectivity projects.
  • Inter-Ministerial Collaboration: This initiative brings together 16 Ministries, including Railways and Roadways, fostering collaboration for the seamless implementation of infrastructure projects.

Navy’s 1st “Independent Headquarters”: Nausena Bhawan

Source: ET

Why in News: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh recently unveiled the newly constructed Nausena Bhawan in Delhi Cantonment.Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Inaugurates Indian Navy's 1st "Independent  Headquarters" In Delhi

About Nausena Bhawan Building Design:

  • Design Selection: The architectural design of Nausena Bhawan was selected through a nationwide competition, prioritizing both functionality and aesthetic appeal.
  • Construction Details: The building comprises three wings spread across four stories, employing innovative construction methods to ensure efficiency and sustainability.
  • Environment-Friendly Features: Nausena Bhawan is committed to environmental conservation, incorporating energy-saving measures such as solar power systems and utilizing advanced building materials to conserve water.

Facilities:

Advanced Technological Integration:

  • The building offers a comfortable indoor environment with a centralized heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system leveraging advanced oxidation plasma technology.
  • Additionally, it features an advanced integrated building management system for effective coordination and monitoring of security and utilities.

Green Rating and Security Measures:

  • Nausena Bhawan has achieved a Green Rating IV under the integrated habitability assessment, highlighting its commitment to environmental sustainability.
  • It boasts a robust three-tier security system, including automatic underbelly scanning for vehicles, a power fence, and surveillance technologies such as face recognition cameras, bollards, vehicle stoppers, access control systems, and security cameras.

Significance of Nausena Bhawan Inauguration:

The inauguration of Nausena Bhawan signifies a significant milestone for the Indian Navy as it establishes its first independent headquarters in Delhi. Previously, the Navy operated from 13 different sites, leading to coordination challenges.

Pandavula Gutta designated exclusive Geo-heritage site in Telangana

Source: TH

Why in News: Pandavula Gutta, an ancient geological wonder located in Telangana’s Jayashankar Bhupalpally District, has been officially recognized as the sole Geo-heritage site in the state.Pandavula Gutta designated exclusive Geo-heritage site in Telangana' - The  Hindu

About Pandavula Gutta:

  • Geological Age and Rock Paintings: Pandavula Gutta predates the Himalayas and boasts ancient rock paintings adorned in various hues such as green, red, yellow, and white.
  • Depicted Symbols and Animals: The paintings exhibit a diverse array of symbols including swastikas, circles, squares, along with depictions of animals like bison, antelope, tiger, and leopard.

About Geo-heritage Sites:

  • Definition of Geo-heritage: Geo-heritage encompasses geological features that hold intrinsic or cultural significance, offering insights into the Earth’s evolution or history, thus serving educational purposes.
  • Designation Process: Sites are officially recognized as Geo-heritage Sites (GHS) by the Geological Survey of India (GSI), aligning with India’s commitment as a member of the UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. This designation ensures the protection and preservation of such sites through appropriate legislative measures, mirroring global practices.

Grievance Redressal Assessment Index

Source: IE

Why in News: In the grievance redressal assessment index (GRAI) for 2023-24, the Ministry of Home Affairs has consistently been positioned within the top 10 Ministries.Grievance Redressal Index

About Grievance Redressal Assessment Index:

  • Origin and Design: The Grievance Redressal Assessment Index (GRAI) was conceptualized and developed by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Government of India.
  • Objective: The primary goal of GRAI is to offer a comparative overview across organizations, shedding light on their respective strengths and areas requiring enhancement within the grievance redressal mechanism.
  • Dimensions Covered: GRAI evaluates organizations based on four key dimensions: Efficiency, Feedback, Domain, and Organizational Commitment. These dimensions provide a comprehensive assessment framework.
  • Data Source: GRAI utilizes data extracted from the Centralized Public Grievance Redressal and Management System (CPGRAMS), a central database for managing public grievances.

Key Facts about CPGRAMS:

  • Online Platform Availability: CPGRAMS is an online platform accessible 24/7 to citizens for registering grievances related to service delivery matters. It serves as a single portal connecting citizens to all Ministries/Departments of the Government of India and States.
  • Grievance Tracking: Citizens can track the status of their filed grievances on CPGRAMS using the unique registration ID provided at the time of complaint registration.
  • Appeal Mechanism: CPGRAMS also facilitates an appeal mechanism wherein citizens dissatisfied with the resolution provided by the Grievance Officer can escalate their grievance for further consideration.
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