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Indian Popular app-based cab Ola likely to announce new initiative with Mahindra Group

Anand Mahindra, the Chairman of the $17.8 billion Mahindra Group, said the arrangement will also fulfil the current and future needs of Indian consumers

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Ola Cabs. Image source: Flickr

Sept 11, 2016: Automobile maker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Ola, the app-based cab service provider, announced a tie-up on Thursday to sell Mahindra vehicles worth about Rs. 2,600 crore to Ola-affiliated drivers over two years on easy financing terms. The agreement between the two entities envisages selling the vehicles to about 40,000 drivers by 2018 at “special” prices, along with other benefits.

“Ola’s driver partners can now avail of an integrated and attractive ‘Mahindra-Ola’ package which will include Mahindra cars at special prices, attractive financing with zero down payment, and the best NBFC interest rates, subsidized insurance premiums, comprehensive maintenance packages, as well as exclusive benefits on the Ola platform,” M&M said in a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Thursday.

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Anand Mahindra. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Anand Mahindra. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Anand Mahindra, the Chairman of the $17.8 billion Mahindra Group, said the arrangement will also fulfil the current and future needs of Indian consumers, particularly younger ones who prefer shared mobility solutions, said to Reuters.

Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said that the partnership will pave the way for similar arrangements in the future. M &M shares closed at Rs. 1,485.50, down 0.21 percent.

The company sold 18,246 passenger vehicles in August 2016, 29 percent more than the 14,198 units sold in August 2015. Pravin Shah, President and Chief Executive (automotive), Mahindra & Mahindra, said that the upcoming festival season will boost sales for the company.

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According to Reuters report, M&M is also involved in manufacturing tractors, two-wheelers, and electric cars. Recently, the company renamed its electric car business as Mahindra Electric. Ola and global rival Uber have burned through money to capture market share in India, one of the world’s fastest growing taxi markets worth nearly $12 billion.

Ola, last year in 2015, announced a tie-up with Nissan Motor India to buy and lend cars to its drivers. And last month, Tata Motors’s parent Tata Group, became the first Indian carmaker to tie-up with Uber. Overseas, General Motors in January announced a $500 million investment in Lyft, with plans down the road to develop an on-demand network of self-driving cars.

– prepared by Shayari Dutta with inputs from various agencies

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‘Operation Taxi’ Finds Out that How Unsafe App based Cabs Can be in India!

 Are cab based companies in India lacking business ethics?

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Woman hiring taxi. Pixabay

New Delhi, August 3, 2017: Did you just book a cab because you fear of reaching home late? Well give it a second thought, the App- based cabs may not be as safe as you think!

Recently an extensive investigation carried out by CNN-NEWS18 reveals that safety parameters that the companies promise to the Indian customers are questionable.

A fortnight-long investigation carried out by 25 reporters in 4 cities across the country took over 300 rides to reach this conclusion. It was found that despite being promised by the companies of top-notch security to the Indian customers, there were shocking loopholes in the system. Apart from Chennai and Bengaluru, the cities included Delhi as well as Kolkata.

In the national capital region, over a period of 4 days, they took over 20 Uber and Ola rides and recorded the conversations with a spy camera. The whole idea of this investigation was to get the insight of the cab business from the drivers.

This is one of its kind investigation where you will hear your cabbies uncensored spilling the secrets and how your cab is a ticking-time-bomb. Undercover reporter Saahil Meghani and video journalist Vikas Kumar found out is quite shocking-

  1. One registered cab has multiple unregistered drivers. If you notice carefully, you will find out, that the cab driver whose picture comes in your app is not the one who is driving you to your destination. The reason is they have never been registered to drive this cab.

2. There is also a possibility that the driver of your cab is using fake driver’s license. There is no verification before they are registered with the company and also may be they are presenting fraudulent papers. This means after any crime they cannot be traceable. Did the apps keep you informed about this? Certainly not!

3. Another strange thing if you have noticed before- Try booking a cab as a female customer from any party destination- chances are it will be difficult to book a cab post 11 pm  If you are a woman, Chances are you will not get a cab post 11 pm but your male friend may get it immediately. The video explains why?

 

Even after repeated attempts by the two media houses, both Ola and Uber didn’t respond to these sort of menace. Are cab based companies in India lacking business ethics? You be the judge!

– prepared by Naina Mishra of NewsGram. Twitter @Nainamishr94

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Green Coffee: Say Hello to a New Member in Your Fitness and Weight Loss Regime!

Here is an insight to the reasons for the popularity of green coffee and whether it is worth

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Green Coffee
Green Coffee. Wikimedia
  • Green coffee is the best alternative to several weight loss supplements
  • Chlorogenic acid retained in this raw form manage to dominate its multiple benefits over caffeine
  • Research is still ongoing on its effect on other metabolic functions in humans

August 2, 2017: According to the current trend in which every second person is a fitness fanatic, the search for a healthier yet equally refreshing beverage as coffee has finally stopped on green coffee. Green coffee is nothing but unroasted coffee beans. Coffee beans are roasted to release the flavor and aroma sealed inside the green unroasted beans. Unfortunately roasting coffee beans deprives it with one of the active component, chlorogenic acid. The caffeine content more or less remains similar.

Green coffee beans are a just unroasted raw form of roasted coffee. Pixabay

The debate for the need and usefulness of green coffee is based on the foundation of the role of chlorogenic acid in human health. Where some find it as a healthy alternative,  others find it no better than a regular caffeine intake brewing in the name of another weight loss supplement. A plethora of companies selling green coffee extracts has currently captured the market. They claim it to be your best friend when it comes to weight loss. Not the coffee but the claim which is at stake is debatable. However, the top brands are reviewed to give a clear picture to the consumers.

After several types of research and studies, green coffee has notably marked its dominance in weight loss. Caffeine is assumed to contribute to cardiovascular diseases, increased blood pressure and increased homocysteine level. On the contrary chlorogenic acid present in the same has shown multiple benefits. Green coffee bean extract may improve glucose metabolism and reduce blood pressure. No wonder it has been endorsed as being able to reduce blood sugar levels and potentially exert an antidiabetic and anti-obesity effect. It also improves the function of the fat burning hormone adiponectin.

Coffee whether roasted or green, raw and grassy is the number one source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are our friends in need. They come to rescue us from the harmful free radicals generated inside the body.  Coffee drinkers have a 23-50% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and liver cirrhosis. Consuming coffee on a regular basis may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease by 32–65%. It has shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Looking at the other side of the coin, green coffee also has several scary side effects such as:
  • Insomnia, Nervousness, Restlessness, Upset Stomach, Nausea, Vomiting, Increased heart rate, Increased breathing rate, Headaches, Irregular heartbeats, Diarrhea, Calcium deficiencies, Depression, Fatigue.
  • An important issue with Green coffee is shaky evidence on its effect on pregnant women and breast feeding women.

So, people who look forward to switching to green coffee must consult their respective doctors and go for a superior brand.

Bottom Line

The debate is still ongoing but the take home point is green coffee is yet questionable in its efficacy in the long run. But it is still far away in proving its worth in other dimensions of health apart from shreds of evidence of its role in weight loss.

Prepared by Harshi Jaiswal of NewsGram and Intas Biopharmaceuticals.

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Is there a Substitute for the Irritating Traffic Signals?

Can autonomous vehicles help provide a substitute for our vintage traffic signals?

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Traffic Signals
Traffic and congestion on roads is frequent in all cities of India. Wikimedia
  • There are two ways of managing traffic and congestion- traffic signals or roundabouts
  • South Carolina’s Clemson University professor and researcher Abdul Reza Fayazi thinks that automation vehicles can help provide an alternative
  • As we shall see, human volunteering is an important part of the solution

July 21, 2017: Needless to say that for many people, traffic signals can be an irritating part of the daily commute. With numerous cars on the road and the sad condition of the quality of roads, traffic and congestion are common to many places in India, particularly Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai.

Traffic signals are sometimes substituted by roundabouts. While the United Kingdom has decided to substitute their roundabouts for signals, the United States has opted to do the opposite. However, roundabouts are only suitable for low volume traffic.

A researcher and professor at Clemson University in South Carolina, Abdul Reza Fayazi believes that traffic signals could be eliminated, but it would require automated vehicles.

ALSO READ: This Dancing Traffic Man from Kolkata Makes People Smile!

The self-driven vehicle, which works on a Global Positioning System (GPS), will receive data on all vehicles directly from the server. Then, an optimal speed will be calculated by the system that will indicate that speed to the vehicle. This speed, if adhered to, will keep traffic smoothly running.

The problem with the above substitute is the lack of automated vehicles. Self-driven cars on the roads is still a long dream. A remarkable lesson learnt from Coimbatore’s ‘Green Corridor’ initiative (which involved cars moving at speed of 45 km/hr and signals arranged in a way that no car has to stop) is that signal free corridor is a possibility.

The benefits that popular cab applications Ola and Uber reap from their servers is that they get an optimum speed told to them, which helps them keep the car running smooth on the roads.

If humans adhere to the optimal speeds, the traffic situation will drastically improve in the country.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter @Saksham2394