Important Articles from The Hindu Newspaper–18-October-2020

Important Articles from The Hindu Newspaper–18-October-2020 – The Hindu is the most recommended newspaper for UPSC aspirants. Almost every IAS aspirant know the importance of reading newspapers for UPSC Civil Services Exam preparation. Among the newspapers in the market, ‘The Hindu‘ is the most recommended newspaper, primarily for its high standards. We provide important articles to be read from the hindu everyday with syllabus and sub topic wise break up.

Important Articles from The Hindu Newspaper–18-October-2020

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Important Articles from The Hindu Newspaper–18-October-2020

First Page

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for full preparedness to ensure speedy access to COVID-19 vaccines for every citizen.

Chairing a meeting to review the pandemic situation in the country, Mr. Modi directed that every step in the logistics, delivery and administration of the vaccine should be put in place rigorously and it must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment and preparation of ancillary equipment such as vials and syringes, according to a release issued by the government.

Two pan-India studies on the Genome of SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) conducted by the ICMR and the Bio-Technology (DBT) have now suggested that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation.

The Prime Minister also cautioned against complacency in efforts to contain the pandemic. He insisted on continued social distancing, appropriate behaviour such as wearing the mask, regularly washing hands and sanitation etc. especially in the wake of the upcoming festival season.

Three out of four rural Indians cannot afford a nutritious diet, according to a paper recently published in journal Food Policy. Even if they spent their entire income on food, almost two out of three of them would not have the money to pay for the cheapest possible diet that meets the requirements set by the government’s premier nutrition body, it says.

Unlike the Economic Survey’s Thalinomics, which provided a rosier picture of meal costs, this study uses the wages of unskilled workers who make up a larger proportion of the population than industrial workers, and includes items such as dairy, fruit and dark green leafy vegetables that are essential as per India’s official dietary guidelines.

Important Articles from The Hindu Newspaper–18-October-2020

The mandate means Ms Ardern, 40, could form the first single-party government in decades, and faces the challenge of delivering on the progressive transformation she promised but failed to deliver in her first term, where Labour shared power with a nationalist party.

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden’s centre-left Labour Party won a landslide victory in New Zealand’s general election on Saturday as voters rewarded her for a decisive response to COVID-19.

The mandate means Ms Ardern, 40, could form the first single-party government in decades, and faces the challenge of delivering on the progressive transformation she promised but failed to deliver in her first term, where Labour shared power with a nationalist party.

“New Zealand has shown the Labour Party its greatest support in almost 50 years,” Ms Ardern told supporters after her landslide victory.


  • A work-in-progress campaign for rights (GS-2): October 13, elections were held for the cohort of member nations who will serve for the next three years (2021-23) in the UN Human Rights Council. Among the five countries that were vying for membership from the Asia-Pacific region, four — Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Nepal and China — made it, while Saudi Arabia lost out.

The UNHRC has 47 members serving at any time with elections held to fill up seats every year, based on allocations to regions across the world to ensure geographical representation. Along with the aforementioned countries, the others who booked a seat in the council included Russia and Ukraine from Eastern Europe; France and the U.K. from Western Europe and other states; Ivory Coast, Gabon, Malawi and Senegal from Africa; and Bolivia, Cuba and Mexico from the Latin American and Caribbean States. Countries are disallowed from occupying a seat for more than two consecutive terms.

Important Articles from The Hindu Newspaper–18-October-2020

The UNHRC, which was reconstituted from its predecessor organisation, the UN Commission on Human Rights, is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights across the world. The council is seen as a central structure in the global human rights architecture, a political body with representatives drawn from the General Assembly.

Apart from the council, the UN has also set up a number of treaty-based organisations to monitor compliance with human rights standards and international human rights treaties such as the Human Rights Committee and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.


The story so far: American economists Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson, both of whom teach at Stanford University, were awarded the 2020 economics Nobel Prize last week. This year’s Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was awarded to the duo “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats”. The Nobel Prize committee noted that Dr. Milgrom and Dr. Wilson did not just come up with original ideas in auction theory, but they also played a crucial role in implementing their ideas.

Auction theory is a branch of economics that deals with, as the name suggests, auctions. Auctions are important to economists because they are the most widely used and also the most efficient mechanism to allocate scarce resources. The allocation of scarce resources, in turn, matters to economists because there is a limited supply of resources on earth when compared to unlimited human needs, and hence they need to be allocated only to the most urgent needs of society. In particular, auction theory deals with the various ways in which auctions can be designed to improve seller revenues, increase benefits to consumers, or even achieve both these goals at the same time.

Science & Tech

IISER Pune claims test offers 82% accuracy among infected persons

Loss of smell, which is one of the symptoms of the novel coronavirus infection, can now is quickly and accurately, measured using a novel method developed by researchers at IISER Pune.

Using a custom-built olfactory action meter, which determines how well one can smell, the team led by Dr. Nixon Abraham from the Department of Biology at IISER Pune, were able to identify people infected with the virus but have no typical symptoms such as fever, fatigue etc.

To access the olfactory functions of asymptomatic people, the researchers tested 34 patients admitted in isolation wards at B.J. Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospitals, Pune. The researchers were able to detect olfactory deficits in 82% of people with asymptomatic infection. That only 15% of those with asymptomatic infection were aware of their inability to smell before participating in the test highlights the ability of the new method to detect asymptomatic cases that might otherwise not be detected. The results were published in the journal EClinicial Medicine.

The disease is a complex interplay of infection, immunity and reinfection

In July, a large seroprevalence study in Mumbai reported that 57% slum residents and 16% building residents had antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. The presence of antibodies implied that these individuals had been infected, and had now developed protective antibodies. Similar results were found in other cities, leading to optimism that “herd immunity,” the protection that a community enjoys from a germ by virtue of a significant proportion of individuals being immune, was not a distant dream.

Optimism on hold

Two recent changes have put such optimism on hold: Reinfections being reported across the world and declining seroprevalence of antibodies in repeat sampling surveys done in both Mumbai and Delhi. The latter suggests a possible “decay” of antibodies with time.

It would be useful to do lab experiments on model plants

Between the year 1870 (the first industrial revolution) and today, the global temperature has risen by almost 2 degrees Celsius. This has come about due to more fossil burning (oil, natural gas, coal), which has also increased the carbon dioxide (abbreviated as CO2) levels from 280 ppm to 400 ppm. This heating has caused glaciers (and snow capping mountains) to melt and the sea level to rise. Daniel Glick, in the October 2 issue of National Geographic Magazine warns that the glaciers in Garhwal, Uttarakhand may virtually disappear by 2035!

Ocean acidification

The rise in CO2 levels has also acidified the ocean, leading to weakening the shells and skeletons of animals living in the sea, On land, the rise in CO2 levels has both positive and negative effects. This being a ‘Green House Gas’, it traps the Sun’s heat from the atmosphere and warms the temperature, aids in the photosynthesis of plants, making them grow more, but at the same time restricts the plant’s ability to absorb nitrogen, thus restricting crop growth,

‘Govt. should address supply chain disruptions, augment aggregate demand’

After six months of severe stress triggered by the toughest lockdown so far, some high-frequency indicators point towards economic recovery but there are signs that this revival is fragile, Brickwork Ratings said.

It estimated that the economy is likely to contract by 13.5% in the second quarter (July-September), and the contraction in FY21 is likely to be about 9.5% unless the government takes immediate initiative to revive the economy. “After six months of severe stress triggered by the severest lockdown so far, there finally is some good news on the economy,” it said in a report.

Important Articles from The Hindu Newspaper–18-October-2020

After a gap of six months, merchandise exports registered 5.3% growth, driven by outbound shipments of engineering goods, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals and ready-made garments. There was an increase in power demand and generation as well.

“However, there are indications that this recovery is fragile. Capital expenditure on new projects declined by 81% in the second quarter… showing a continuous declining trend in investments,” the agency said.

Also, the core sector contracted 8.5% in August.

“The immediate task the government has to address is the removal of supply chain disruptions and augment aggregate demand to lift the economy out of the morass,” Brickwork Ratings said.


He conveys distress at Centre’s “wilful non-compliance” to fiat on building full-fledged roads

The Supreme Court has taken suo motu cognisance of a letter by Chardham High-Powered Committee (HPC) Chairman Ravi Chopra about the Centre’s “willful non-compliance” to comply with an apex court order against building full-fledged roads cutting across the fragile Himalayan slopes.

The project includes developing highways in Uttarakhand to improve access to the four shrines — Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath.

On September 8, a Bench led by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman had ordered the Centre to adhere to a March 23, 2018 circular of the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and reduce the width of the roads to 5.5m from 12m. The court had ordered the Centre to plant trees in “right earnest” to recover the green cover ‘devastated’ by construction.

North & West

AMU should continue to lead in providing quality education, says Meghalaya Guv.

Sir Syed’s vision of a nation was one of the earliest expressions of an idea of India which includes all its inhabitants without distinctions on the basis of religion, caste or race, said Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik while delivering the Sir Syed Day commemoration address as the chief guest on Saturday.

Addressing AMU students in a virtual mode, he said, “You are the true realisation of Sir Syed’s dream as you are serving the nation with the true spirit of the ideals of Sir Syed.”

‘Example in healthcare’

Speaking in Hindustani, he stressed, “We are living in a challenging times due to the pandemic, but it is heartening to see that AMU rose to the occasion with full potential for serving humanity as its Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital has set an example for the nation by leaving no stone unturned in the healthcare of the patients.”

Describing AMU as a “historical and heritage institution”, Mr. Malik said it was a “common desire” of the nation that the university continues to “lead the country in providing quality education”. He said it was “our collective responsibility to provide full support for the welfare of this institution of prominence.”

Reminiscing the days when he represented Aligarh constituency as a Member of Parliament from 1989 to 1991 (on a Janata Dal ticket) and AMU Court simultaneously, he said that AMU became very dear to him.

He recalled that AMU faculty members, including eminent poet and lyricist late Prof. Shahryar, and the students had campaigned for him when he contested the Lok Sabha election. He claimed Prof. Irfan Habib and Prof. Shahryar distributed his voter identity slips.

The seasoned politician, who is seen as a rare socialist in the ruling dispensation, said one of the reasons he was appointed the Governor of Jammu & Kashmir was his stint as the MP of Aligarh. Mr. Malik, who was the Governor of J &K when Article 370 was revoked in August 2019, also spoke about the cooperation and help he received from AMU Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor in convincing the Kashmiri students to stay at AMU and not to return home during the tense period.

Important Articles from The Hindu Newspaper–18-October-2020

International category

Receiving the Sir Syed Excellence Award in the international category, eminent historian Dr. Gail Minault, Professor Emerita, Department of History, The University of Texas at Austin, US, discussed her research on the Khilafat Movement and how important it was for her not to rely just on British sources and find out what the Ali Brothers, and Abdul Bari Firangi Mahali, and Maulana Azad were writing, thinking, and saying.

Dr. Minault spoke about the help she received in her research from the families and descendants of the founders of schools, and the editors and publishers of Urdu journals, especially the family of Shaikh Abdullah of Aligarh; founder of Aligarh Girls’ School, which later became Aligarh Women’s College.

She made a special mention of Mumtaz Jahan Haidar, who was for many years the Principal of the Women’s College.

Anjuman-I-Islam, a Mumbai based educational conglomerate, was awarded Sir Syed Excellence Award in the national category.

In the welcome address, Prof. Mansoor said that Sir Syed brought about the great revolution that transformed the Indian society in all walks of life.

Later in the day, AMU Chancellor Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin inaugurated the Centenary Gate at the northern side of the AMU campus in virtual mode. The V-C, on behalf of the Executive Council, has named it ‘Centenary Gate’ and the name in Urdu has been inscribed on it. Important Articles from The Hindu Newspaper–18-October-2020

Important Articles from The Hindu Newspaper–18-October-2020
The UN agency is leading the global fight for human rights amid external challenges and internal contradictions


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