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Important Current Affairs 4th August

NATIONAL:

ICMR introduces new TB vaccines VPM and Immuvac.

• The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) launched a trial for two new TB vaccines. This is India’s first large-scale trial. This is a large preventive TB vaccine trial. The initiative involves more than 12,000 healthy household contacts of newly diagnosed TB patients from across six states of India are set to be enrolled.

Two thousand participants from each of the six states including Delhi, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Karnataka will enroll over the next seven to eight months. Also, seven main centres will have six sub-sites, where these trials will be conducted.

Two new vaccines:

The two new TB vaccines that are introduced by ICMR are:

♦ Immuvac manufactured by Cadila Pharmaceuticals

♦ VPM 1002 manufactured by Institute of India, Pune

The medicines are to be tested with three testing phases. Based on the results the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will decide and set the price of the vaccines.

Reason for ICMR's new TB vaccines:

To treat TB multi-drug course that usually spans six months is usuallu involved. Scientists from ICMR suggested that new TB vaccines other than BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin), which is 100 years old, is needed to treat TB as it has been partially effective in protecting infants and young children and it provides poor protection against pulmonary disease in adolescents and adults.

TB in India:

Data from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s Central TB division said that the TB incidence in India has touched almost 2.8 million every year along with drug-resistant TB incidence at 1,47,000 annually. It also said that around 27% of the world’s TB incidences are from India. It has marked the highest share at a global level. In 2017, the Centre vowed to eliminate TB by the year 2025.

NITI Aayog approves JV to acquire minerals needed for Electric Vehicles.

• NITI Aayog has approved the proposal for joint venture between National Aluminium Company (Nalco), Hindustan Copper (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd. and foreign companies. The plan is to acquire foreign reserves of strategic minerals like lithium and cobalt to power the country's electric vehicles has moved a step closer. Therefore, the three state-owned metal and mining companies are set to form a joint venture to buy on minerals.

• Aim:

• India has set a target to achieve an all-electric vehicle fleet by 2030. The Union Ministry of Mines has already directed three state-owned companies to aggressively look for reserves of lithium and cobalt mines.

• To attain the target, mining companies like Nalco, HCL and MECL have partnered with a German consultancy for the project. This partnership is to guide them on prospective reserves and also  foreign government rules and regulations. Discussions are on, to achieve India's target on cobalt and lithium mines as soon .

• Note: Argentina, Bolivia and Chile are the countries which have the best reserves of lithium and cobalt in the world.

• Uses: Lithium, and cobalt are used to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles in addition to other minerals like tungsten, nickel and rare earths.

SPORTS:

Lewis Hamilton wins his seventh Hungarian Grand Prix.

• Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton won his record-extending seventh Hungarian Grand Prix in the Hungaroring on Sunday. With the win, Hamilton moves to within 10 race wins of Michael Schumacher's all-time Formula One victory record of 91. Red Bull's Max Verstappen finished second while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was placed third. Hamilton now has 250 points in the drivers' standings.

               

Rohit Sharma surpasses Virat Kohli to shatter massive T20I record.

• India vice-captain Rohit Sharma surpassed skipper Virat Kohli to create a massive T20I record in the 2nd T20I against West Indies at Lauderhill in Florida on Sunday

• The right-handed batsman scored a half century in 40 balls after Kohli won the toss and elected to bat. In doing so, Sharma became the player with to have the most number of scores above 50 in the shortest format.