April 2021

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (April 21, 2021) for CSS, PMS

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (April 21, 2021) for CSS, PMS
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

April 21, 2021: National / International Current Affairs

1. Govt approves centralised database plan for food stock

• The cabinet on April 20, 2021 decided to establish a centralised database to maintain record of stocks of essential food items available with the federal and provincial governments to ensure the country does not face shortage.
• The cabinet meeting, which was presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan, also took several other decisions, including deferring a proposal to exempt Kartarpur (Sikhs` religious site) project from the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules and allowing transportation of UNICEF trucks from Karachi port to Kabul

2. Resolution on French envoy`s expulsion lands in NA

• The government in a dramatic way managed to present a resolution in the National Assembly on April 20, 2021 on the issue of the French envoy`s expulsion from Pakistan over the publication of blasphemous caricatures in line with an `agreement` with the banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) amid a noisy protest by the opposition members belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F).
• Speaker Asad Qaiser, however, did not put the resolution tabled by a ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf(PTI) lawmaker as a private member`s agenda for a vote after the opposition protested over the government move to bring it into the house without prior consultation with them and demanded a fullfledged debate on the issue of Namoos-i-Risalat (the sanctity of the Prophet)

3. FO hails rollover of $2bn loan by UAE

• The Foreign Office on April 20, 2021 hailed United Arab Emirates` decision to roll over $2 billion loan as proof of strong bilateral ties.
• `The UAE`s decision to roll over the USD 2 billion deposit by the Abu Dhabi Fund … is yet another manifestation of the close cooperative relations between the two countries,` FO spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said in a statement.
• He was commenting on the announcement made by UAE government regarding the $2bn loan during Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi`s three day visit to the Emirates

4. Circular debt plan outline shared with WB

• Pakistan on April 20, 2021 shared with the World Bank a revised outline of the Circular Debt Management Plan that seeks rationalisation of taxes, negotiated takeover of old independent power plants (IPPs) and closure of all old public sector plants to increase electricity tariffs, but slightly lower than that committed with the lenders under the IMF programme.
• This was the takeaway of a virtual meeting newly appointed federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin-led team of economic ministers and officials had with Managing Director (Operations) of the World Bank Axel van Trotsenburg. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for Power Hammad Azhar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Power Tabish Gauhar, SAPM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, the secretaries of finance, power and economic affairs divisions, Federal Board of Revenue chairman and State Bank of Pakistan governor attended the meeting.

5. Third border crossing point with Iran being inaugurated today

• Pakistan and Iran will inaugurate the Pishin Mand border crossing point on April 21, 2021 (today) for facilitating trade.
• Iran`s Deputy Foreign Minister for West Asia Rasoul Mousavi announced on Twitter the opening of the additional border crossing, which would be the third between the two countries.
• The border crossing would be opened in the presence of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who arrived in Iran on a three-day visit

6. Afghan peace conference put off over Taliban non-participation

• A Washington backed Afghan peace conference in Turkey has been postponed over non-participation by the Taliban.
• The meeting was scheduled for April 24 to fast-track an agreement between the Taliban and the Afghan government in light of the announcement by Washington that foreign troops would leave Afghanistan by Sept11.
• The Istanbul meeting is not happening on the given date because the Taliban refused to attend, a senior Afghan government official said.

7. Americans advised against travel to India

• The United States has warned against travel to India, where authorities on April 20, 2021 imposed tighter restrictions to combat an explosion of Covid-19 cases.
• India has recorded more than three million new infections and 18,000 deaths this month, bringing its caseload to the world`s second highest, after the United States.
• The updated US travel advisory comes after the State Department announced Monday it would apply `do not travel` guidance to about 80 percent of countries worldwide, citing the unprecedented risk posed by the pandemic

8. S. Koreans shave heads to protest Japan`s N-waste water plan

• More than 30 South Korean college students shaved their heads in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul on April 20, 2021 to protest Japan`s decision to release water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea.
• Police periodically dispersed crowds, who chanted and held placards, but did not stop the event from taking place, though there is an anti-pandemic ban on gatherings larger than 10 people.
• The protesters who were shaved were draped in protective sheets emblazoned with messages condemning the Japanese plan and calling for it to be ditched

9. Russia to launch own space station in 2025

• Russia`s space agency said on April 20, 2021 it hoped to launch its own orbital station in 2025 as Moscow considers withdrawing from the International Space Station programme to go it alone.
• Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said work had begun on the fist module of a new station, after officials warned that Russia was considering pulling out of the ISS, one of the few successful examples of cooperation with the West.
• The announcement came with tensions soaring over espionage claims, a Russian troop build-up along Ukraine`s borders and the deteriorating health of President Vladimir Putin`s imprisoned critic Alexei Navalny.

10. Chad president dies after battling rebels

• Chad`s President Idriss Deby Itno died on April 20, 2021 from wounds sustained in battle after three decades in power, the army said, opening a period of uncertainty in a country that is a key strategic ally of the West.
• His son was immediately named transitional leader as head of a military council and both the government and parliament were dissolved, but the army vowed `free and democratic` elections after an 18-month transitional period.
• The shocking news of Deby`s death came only the day after the 68-yearold career military man was proclaimed the winner of a presidential election that had given him a sixth term in office

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Shahzad F. Malik

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