Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 02 August 2021
Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 02 August 2021
Chhattisgarh’s plan to contain human-elephant conflicts raises eyebrows
Chhattisgarh’s forest department has mooted a plan to purchase paddy from the state government’s food and civil supplies department ostensibly to lure elephants away from human habitation to prevent human-elephant conflicts in the state that have resulted in loss of 204 lives in the last three years.
However, activists and political opponents are accusing the department of conjuring an unscientific plan which they say in reality aims to help the state government cut its losses incurred in additional procurement of paddy in 2019-2020.
Forest officials claimed that since elephants enter villages following the smell of stored paddy or mahua (a juicy fruit with strong smell) in houses, the department will dump paddy, a few kilometers away from these villages, distracting the elephants away from the villages.
“We will start this drive as [a] pilot project in some villages of Chhattisgarh and will see how it works. Till now we have not decided the rate at which paddy will be purchased for the drive. The aim is to contain human-elephant conflicts,” said NarsimbhaRao PV, the principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife).
India and UK to conduct clinical trial of 'Ashwagandha'
The traditional Indian herb ‘Ashwagandha’ (Withaniasomnifera), commonly known as ‘Indian winter cherry’, helps boost energy, reduces stress and makes the immune system stronger. The herb is widely used as a customary medicine especially for weakness. It is an easily accessible, over-the-counter, safe nutritional supplement in the U.K. The positive effects of ‘Ashwagandha’ have been observed in Long COVID, which is a multi-system disease.
Now, The Ministry of Ayush has collaborated with the U.K.’s London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) to conduct a study on ‘Ashwagandha’ for promoting recovery from COVID-19.
A Ministry release said that the All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Ayush, and the LSHTM recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to conduct clinical trials of ‘Ashwagandha’ on 2,000 people in three U.K. cities.
Tata Motors reaffirms plan to be zero-debt firm
Tata Motors Ltd, the country’s largest automaker by revenue, will stick to its plan to turn debt-free by FY24 despite its businesses being adversely impacted by the pandemic.
Addressing the company’s annual general meeting, Chandrasekaran said the Tata Motors management is confident of reducing debt due to improved free cash generated by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and the growing domestic passenger and commercial vehicle businesses.
Tata Motors, announced at last year’s annual general meeting, its aim to become a debt-free company within three years. The automaker now has three “fundamentally strong”businesses—the India passenger vehicles business, the commercial vehicles business, and the JLR business, Chandrasekaran said at Friday’s AGM.
The Mumbai-based automaker earlier reported an improved operating performance in the fiscal third and the fourth quarter following improved sales of JLR vehicles in key markets such as China and the US. Besides, a sharp recovery in passenger vehicle sales and gradual improvement in demand for commercial vehicles helped improve financials of the India business.
::SCIENCE AND TECH::
Porsche enters 'space race', invests in satellites and rocket technology
The 'billionaire' space race' has heated up with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and English business magnate Richard Branson competing against each other with recent manned trips to the frontiers of space. American entrepreneur Elon Musk is also close, with his company SpaceX collaborating with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) to launch scientific probes to the cosmos. Now, the billionaires in the competition have a new rival to tackle -- Porsche SE.
Porsche SE is the dynasty that owns a controlling stake in Volkswagen AG, the owner of German automobile manufacturer Porsche. In a press release issued on Wednesday, Porsche Automobil Holding SE informed that it has invested in Isar Aerospace, a Munich-based company that develops and manufactures launch vehicles for the transport of satellites.
Although Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, and Elon Musk's Tesla are all backed by billionaires taking on each other with manned space missions, Porsche on the other hand, with the help of Isar Aerospace, intends to make headway in the growing market for rocket technology for launching small satellites into Earth's orbit.
As part of a $165 million funding round, Porsche SE is investing alongside venture capital company HV Capital and Swiss bank Lombard Odier to inject $75 million into Isar Aerospace, reported CNN. Porsche has acquired "a low single-digit percentage stake", the company informed in an official release.
PV Sindhu wins bronze medal to create history for India at Tokyo Olympics
PV Sindhu created history on Sunday by winning the bronze medal match against China's He Bing Jiao at the Tokyo Olympics. She won the crucial encounter 21-13, 21-15 to become the first Indian woman ever to win two individual Olympic medals. She had lost the final of the women's singles event at the 2016 Rio Olympics to settle for a silver medal.
Sindhu needed to start strong in the match to get her self-confidence up, which must have been rattled by the one-sided semi-final loss on Saturday to Tai Tzu-Ying.