Factly articles for 18th September 2020

1.India ranks 116 in World Bank’s Human Capital Index

News: The World Bank has released the annual Human Capital Index(HCI).


  • Human Capital Index: It was launched in 2018 as part of the Human Capital Project(HCP), a global effort to accelerate progress towards a world where all children can achieve their full potential.
  • Aim: It measures how much capital each country loses through lack of education and health.The Index ranges between 0 and 1 with 1 meaning maximum potential is reached.
  • Methodology: The Index is based on the following three pillars:
    • Survival: Share of children surviving past the age of 5
    • School:
      • Quantity of education (Expected years of schooling by age 18)
      • Quality of education (Harmonized test scores)
    • Health:
      • Adult survival rates (Share of 15-year-olds who survive until age 60)
      • Healthy growth among children (Stunting rates of children under 5).
  • HCI 2020: It measures health and education data for 174 countries – covering 98% of the world’s population – up to March 2020.

Key Takeaways:

  • Topped by: The index has been topped by Singapore.It was followed by Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Canada.
  • India: It has been ranked at the 116th position in the index.However, India’s score has increased to 0.49 from 0.44 in 2018.

2.Brucellosis outbreak in China

News: Thousands of people in China have tested positive for brucellosis after a leak at a biopharmaceutical company.


  • Brucellosis also known as Malta fever or Mediterranean fever is a bacterial disease caused by various Brucella species which mainly infect cattle, swine, goats, sheep and dogs.
  • Transmission: Humans generally acquire the disease through direct contact with infected animals, by eating or drinking contaminated animal products or by inhaling airborne agents.Person-to-person transmission is rare.
  • Symptoms: The disease causes flu-like symptoms including fever, weakness, malaise and weight loss.
  • Treatment: The infection can usually be treated with antibiotics. However, treatment takes several weeks to months and the infection can recur.

3.Indian Cities Slip In Global Smart City Index

News: The Institute for Management Development(IMD) in collaboration with Singapore University for Technology and Design (SUTD) has released the 2020 Smart City Index(SCI).


  • About the index: The index ranks cities based on economic and technological data as well as by their citizens’ perceptions of how “smart” their cities are.
  • Cities Covered: Hundreds of citizens from 109 cities were surveyed and were asked questions on the technological provisions of their city across five key areas: a) health and safety b) mobility c) activities d) opportunities and e) governance.
  • What is Smart City? In SCI’s context, ‘smart city’ is described as an urban setting that applies technology to enhance the benefits and diminish the shortcomings of urbanization.

Key Takeaways:

  • Topped by: Singapore has topped the index followed by Helsinki (Finland) and Zurich(Switzerland).
  • Indian Cities:
    • Hyderabad was placed at the 85th position (down from 67 in 2019)
    • New Delhi was placed at 86th rank (down from 68 in 2019)
    • Mumbai was at 93rd place (down from 78 in 2019) and
    • Bengaluru at 95th (down from 79 in 2019).

4.Indian economy is heading for a K-shaped recovery and it won’t be a pretty sight

News: According to Economists, Indian economy is heading for a K-shaped recovery.


  • K-shaped Recovery: It occurs when an economy recovers unevenly and there’s a separate trajectory for two segments of the society.
  • Examples:
    • Industries like technology, retail, and software services have recovered while the travel, entertainment, hospitality, and food services industries have continued to decline.
    • India’s stock market is healthy while millions have lost their jobs and private consumption has collapsed.

5.Explained: What is serial interval, and how can it be managed to control Covid-19?

News: According to a study, China which has now gone over a month without any locally transmitted Covid-19 cases was able to contain Covid-19 due to its ability to manage the serial interval.


  • Serial Interval: It is the duration between symptom onset of a primary case and symptom onset of secondary cases(contacts) generated by the primary case.
    • In simple terms, the serial interval is the gap between the onset of Covid-19 symptoms in Person A and Person B who is infected by Person A.
  • Origin: The term was first used by British physician William Pickles, who had initially referred to it as transmission interval with reference to a hepatitis epidemic in the United Kingdom during 1942-45.
  • Factors on which Serial Interval depends:
    • Incubation period: It is the time between a person’s exposure to the virus and symptom onset.
    • Reproduction rate or R naught: It is the number of people who will be infected by one infected person.
  • Significance: The serial interval helps to gauge the effectiveness of infection control interventions besides indicating rising population immunity and forecast future incidence.

6.Prime minister inaugurates historic Kosi Rail Mahasetu In Bihar

News: The Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation the historic Kosi rail mega bridge in Bihar.


  • Kosi Rail Mahasetu: It is a 1.9km long rail bridge that connects Nirmali and Bhaptiyahi(Saraigarh) in Bihar.The project was sanctioned by the Centre during 2003-04.
  • Significance: The project provides a shorter route to the Northeast.It is also of strategic importance along the India-Nepal border.

7.NASA images capture wet and dry cycles in Namibia’s Etosha Pan

News: United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) has captured images depicting the wet and dry cycles of Etosha Pan in Africa.


  • Etosha Pan: It is a large endorheic salt pan forming part of the Kalahari Basin in the north of Namibia.The pan is mostly dry but after a heavy rain, it will acquire a thin layer of water which is heavily salted by the mineral deposits on the surface.
  • Protection: It is protected as part of Etosha National Park, Namibia’s second-largest wildlife park.It is also designated as a Ramsar wetland of international importance.

Additional Facts:

  • Endorheic Basin: It is a closed drainage basin that retains water and allows no outflow to other external bodies of water such as rivers or oceans but converges instead into lakes or swamps, permanent or seasonal, that equilibrate through evaporation.