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The Hindu Editorial Analysis | 7th October ’21 | PDF Download

Recognising Altruism | TH

  • MoRTH initiative – award Good Samaritans who save lives of road accident victims
  • Ranking third among 20 nations that have the highest number of accidents.
  • U.S. and Japan, have more recorded crashes but fewer deaths.
  • During 2020, even with severely disrupted mobility due to COVID-19, National Crime Records Bureau data show 1,33,715 lives were lost in 1,20,716 cases attributed to negligence relating to road accidents.
  • Under the Motor Vehicles law, a Good Samaritan voluntarily helps an accident victim with no expectation of payment or reward, and has no legal obligation to record his involvement or aid the investigation in the case.
  • In spite of an entire chapter being added to the Motor Vehicles Act last year to sensitise police forces and hospitals on this, altruism is affected by the perception of harassment and legal complications.
  • Scientific road design and standards, and zero tolerance enforcement
  • As a steadily motorising country, the goal must be to reduce accidents and the ratio of deaths and injuries to cases.
  • The Good Samaritan plan can work well if District Committees tasked with awarding these individuals readily recognise their contribution, aided by the police, hospitals and RTOs.

Road accidents can be reduced | TH

  • Fifty-one passengers of an overcrowded bus died in an accident on the morning of February 16 when it fell into a canal near Sarda Patan village in Sidhi district, Madhya Pradesh.
  • Fourteen persons were killed when a minivan they were travelling in hit a divider on a National Highway (NH) near Madarpur village in Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The van carrying 18 passengers was on its way to Ajmer in Rajasthan from Chittoor, when the driver lost control and hit the divider, tumbling on the other side of the road where a speeding truck crashed into it.
  • 1,51,113 persons were killed and 4,51,361 injured in road accidents across the country in 2019
  • NHs and State Highways, which account for about 5% of the total road length, claimed 61% of the deaths related to accidents.
  • Around 35,606 deaths were reported on the NHs, which come under the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
  • Nitin Gadkari said India topped the fatality figures in road accidents in the world
  • While commending Tamil Nadu for taking effective road safety measures that had resulted in the reduction of road accidents by 38% and deaths by 54%, he asked other States to emulate Tamil Nadu.
  • United Nations Brasilia Declaration – India is a signatory
  • Many states have rejected hefty fines designed by GoI
  • While probing an accident that led to the death of former Union Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde in New Delhi, the cell concluded that hedges along a road obstructed the visibility of drivers coming from the other direction.
  • Improving road infrastructure with coordinated efforts by the police and civic authorities, identification of black spots that are prone to accidents and deploying an adequate number of police personnel, particularly during peak hours, could bring down accident rates.
  • Highway patrols with police personnel trained in first aid and ambulances every 10 km could also help save precious lives.

Sensing heat | TH

  • 2021 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine
  • David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian from the University of California, San Francisco and Scripps Research in La Jolla, California, respectively
  • Seminal work in identifying the gene and understanding the mechanism through which our body perceives temperature and pressure
  • Our ability to sense touch and temperature — particularly noxious temperature — is essential for our survival and determines how we interact with our internal and external environment; chronic pain results when the pain response goes awry.
  • Recent studies have found that discrimination between warm and cool temperatures is possible only through simultaneous activation of warmth-sensing nerve fibres and inhibition of cold-sensing nerve fibres.
  • Using pressure-sensitive cells, Dr. Patapoutian discovered a novel class of mechanical sensors that responds to pressure on the skin and internal organs, and the perception of touch and proprioception — the ability to feel the position and movement of our body parts.
  • The cellular mechanism that senses touch also regulates important physiological processes.
  • Besides laboratory work, insights have been gained by studying people carrying genetic mutations in the cellular mechanism of temperature, pain, touch and pressure sensation.
  • The discovery of pain receptors and the cellular mechanism have attracted pharmaceutical companies as these could be targets for novel medicines.
  • Further research will help in understanding the functions of the receptors in a “variety of physiological processes and to develop treatments for a wide range of disease conditions”.
  • This year’s Prize once again underscores the great contributions refugees fleeing war-torn countries can make to science and other fields.
  • Dr. Patapoutian, who is of Armenian origin, grew up in Lebanon during the country’s prolonged civil war and fled to the U.S. in 1986 as an 18-year-old.
  • From being blissfully unaware about science as a career in Lebanon, he not only “fell in love doing basic research”, but has also excelled in it to produce path-breaking discoveries in medicine.

Trade multilateralism at risk | TH

  • The World Trade Organization (WTO) — the global trade body — is facing a serious existential crisis.
  • The upcoming WTO ministerial meeting scheduled for next month in Geneva provides an opportunity to rescue this critical global institution from irrelevance.
  • Created in 1995, during the heyday of neoliberalism, the WTO became a shining example of triumphant free-market capitalism.
  • Critics of neoliberalism chastised the WTO for pushing the American imperialist agenda.
  • Paradoxically, more than two-and-a-half decades later, the United States seems to have lost interest in it.
  • The feeling in Washington is that the WTO hasn’t served the American national interest by failing to stem China’s rise and regularly indicting the U.S. in several trade disputes.
  • President Joe Biden has continued with the same policy towards the WTO that Donald Trump practised.
  • The continuation of the U.S. policy on the WTO is most evident in the sustained crippling of the Appellate Body (AB).
  • The AB is part of the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism.
  • It is a permanent body with seven members, and acts as an appellate court hearing appeals from the decisions given by WTO panels.
  • However, since December 2019, the AB has stopped functioning due to rising vacancies.
  • Over the years, the U.S. has consistently blocked the appointment of AB members.
  • The U.S. also vetoes proposals to find solutions to this impasse, including stalling the proposal of the European Union to establish an alternative interim appellate arbitration mechanism.
  • The number of pending appeals to the AB has increased sharply to around 20 cases.
  • Countries now have an easy option not to comply with the WTO panel decisions by appealing into the void.
  • No solution has been found to the public stockholding for food security purposes despite a clear mandate to do so in the 2015 Nairobi ministerial meeting.
  • This is of paramount concern for countries like India that use Minimum Support Price (MSP)-backed mechanisms to procure foodgrains.
  • The WTO rules allow countries to procure, stock and distribute food.
  • However, if such procurement is done at an administered price such as the MSP that is higher than the external reference price, then the budgetary support provided shall be considered trade-distorting and is subject to an overall cap.
  • The WTO member countries continue to disagree on the need of waiving the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement for COVID-19 related medical products.
  • It was exactly a year back when India and South Africa proposed a TRIPS waiver to overcome intellectual property (IP)-related obstacles in increasing accessibility of COVID-19 medical products, including vaccines.
  • The WTO is close to signing a deal on regulating irrational subsidies provided for fishing that has led to the overexploitation of marine resources by countries like China, which is the largest catcher and exporter of fish.
  • An effective special and differential treatment provision that accords adequate policy space is what India and other developing countries should insist on.
  • The gridlock at the WTO has led to the emergence of mega plurilateral trade agreements like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) — a treaty between 11 countries.
  • Another key trade treaty is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement between Asian economies and countries down under.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his recent U.S. visit, rightly pleaded for a rule-based global order.
  • Institutional multilateralism would be the ideal antidote to unilateralism and economic nationalism.
  • The WTO is the only forum where developing countries like India, not party to any mega plurilateral trade agreements, can push for evolving an inclusive global trading order that responds to the systemic imbalances of extant globalisation.


  • PM Modi says, now govt is going to the poor and empowering them; interacts with beneficiaries of SVAMITVA scheme
  • Prime Minister to dedicate 35 PSA Oxygen Plants across 35 States and UTs
  • Cabinet approves over Rs 4,400 cr plan to setup 7 mega textile parks; sanctions Productivity-Linked Bonus for Railway employees
  • 75 Science Technology and Innovation Hubs to be set up in different parts of the country
  • Over 92.60 crore COVID vaccine doses administered in the country so far
  • Nearly 52,000 apprentices hired in Skill India’s ‘National Apprenticeship Mela’ 2021
  • US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman holds talks with Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla
  • Govt is working as an enabler by creating demand structure for drones: Civil Aviation Minister
  • Ramayan to be telecast on DD National on the occasion of Navarati
  • Coal ministry says in process of finalising mine closure framework
  • Benjamin List, Briton David MacMillan win Chemistry Nobel Prize for mirror-image molecules
  • India-US relationship has positive impact in ensuring free, open, inclusive Indo-Pacific region and peaceful world: Harsh Shringla
  • Over five billion people could face water shortage by 2050: UN
  • Mahalaya celebrated in Bangladesh
  • Bangladesh honours 1971 liberation war veterans of Indian Navy
  • Women’s cricket: Three match T-20 series between India and Australia to begin today


Q.) The Nord Stream 2 underwater, which is 1224 km long and built at a cost of $11 billion, is a gas pipeline running from Russia to which country?

  1. Poland
  2. Germany
  3. France
  4. Italy


Q.) India is facing severe crisis of which fuel?

  1. Petrol
  2. Diesel
  3. Gas
  4. Coal

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