August 2019

Day by Day Current Affairs (August 27, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS


August 27, 2019: National Current Affairs

1. Survey in 22 districts supports Urdu as medium of instruction

• Educationists and other stakeholders of primary school education believe that making Urdu a medium of classroom instruction (MOI) will help students get rid of rote learning and build their capacity to understand subject more effectively.
• The Punjab government recently announced changing the medium of learning in primary classes in schools from English to Urdu from the next academic session beginning in March on the basis of a research conducted in 22 districts of the province.
• Former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif conducted exhaustive consultations through education consultant Sir Michael Barber, and introduced English as a medium of instruction in the public sector schools. The government has been facing problems as its enrollment campaigns are failing to meet targets and a large number of children are out of schools.
• The research document available with Dawn overwhelmingly indicates that using the language of common use, in this case, Urdu as the MOI would boost learning.

2. PM appoints PHRC head

• The prime minister has appointed Maj Gen Aamer Ikram executive director of the Pakistan Health Research Council (PHRC).
• Mr Ikram is currently serving as the executive director of the National Institute of Health (NIH), where he took a number of steps to improve the institute’s status at the national and international levels. Following the appointment, he will hold both posts.
• The PHRC, previously the Pakistan Medical and Research Council (PMRC) was renamed and given permanent status in 2016, after almost 30 years, because of the efforts of former executive director Dr Huma Qureshi.
• The PMRC was an autonomous organisation established under a statutory regulatory order (SRO) in 1962, and was reconstituted by resolution in 1985. Its major functions were to organise, coordinate and promote scientific research in various disciplines of medical sciences and public health.

August 27, 2019: International Current Affairs

3. Kenya exports first crude oil shipment

• Kenya exported its first crude oil on August 26, 2019, amid pointed speeches by local leaders asking the government to stick to its commitment to share revenues from future shipments equitably.
• Although commercial production is years away, the discovery of oil has heightened expectations that citizens, especially those living adjacent to the deposits, will benefit.
• President Uhuru Kenya ttain March signed in to law along awaited petroleum bill that regulates oil exploration and production and outlines how revenues will be shared between the government, local communities and companies.
• Of the revenues due to the state, the law allocates 20pc to local government, SPC to the communities living where oil was found and 75pc to the central government. An earlier draft gave 10pc to the communities.
• The law also says parliament will review the percentages within 10 years.

4. Agreement with US will not stop attacks on Afghan forces: Taliban

• As US and Taliban negotiators push to wrap up talks aimed at securing the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, disagreement remains about whether a pact will mean an end to the insurgents` fight with the US-backed Afghan government.US negotiators have been pressing the Taliban to agree to peace talks with the Kabul government and to a ceasefire, but a senior Taliban official said that would not happen.
• `We will continue our fight against the Afghan government and seize power by force,` said the Taliban commander.
• Another Taliban commander said a deal was expected to be signed this week under which US forces, which provide all important air support to Afghan troops, will stop attacking the Taliban and the militants would end their fight against the US troops.
• Under the pact, the United States would also cease supporting the Afghan government, the Taliban officials said.

5. G7 leaders back Hong Kong autonomy, call for calm

• G7 leaders meeting in France on August 26, 2019 backed Hong Kong`s autonomy as laid out in a 1984 agreement between Britain and China and called for calm in the protest-hit city.
• `The G7 reaf firms the existence and the importance of the 1984 Sino British agreement on Hong Kong and calls for avoiding violence,` according to a joint statement issued in French at the end of a G7 summit in Biarritz, southwest France.
• British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States France had all voiced `deep concern` about the situation in Hong Kong.
• `The G7 nations all want to support a stable and prosperous Hong Kong and we remain collectively committed to the one-country, two-systems framework,` he said.
• Hong Kong has been wracked by more than two months of protests over an attempt by its Beijing-backed government to pass an extradition bill which opponents saw as a huge dent in Hong Kong`s autonomy.

6. Bangladesh court orders `virgin` removed from marriage deed

• The word `virgin` must be removed from Muslim marriage certificates in Bangladesh, the country`s top court has said, a landmark verdict after campaigners challenged the `humiliating and discriminatory` term.
• Under the South Asian country`s Muslim marriage laws, a bride has to select one of three options on the certificate whether she is a Kumari (virgin), a widow or divorced.
• In a brief verdict on August 25, 2019, the court ordered the government to remove the term and replace it with `unmarried`, deputy attorney general Amit Talukder said.
• The court is expected to publish its full verdict by October, with the changes to the certificate expected to come into effect then.

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7. Trump says he`s ready to meet Rouhani in attempt to resolve nuclear impasse

• US President Donald Trump said on August 26, 2019 he was prepared to meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani within weeks, after talks about Tehran`s nuclear programme at the G7 summit in France.
• Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had made a surprise appearance on the sidelines of the summit in Biarritz on Sunday at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.
• Macron said the `conditions for a meeting` between Trump and Rouhani `in the next few weeks` had been created through intensive diplomacy and consultations.
• `If the circumstances were correct, I would certainly agree to that,` Trump said at a press conference with Macron at the end of three days of talks.

8. Trump discusses Kashmir with Modi who wants no mediation

• US President Trump said again on August 26, 2019 he was available to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, even as the Indian prime minister, sitting alongside him, said his help was not needed.
• The two leaders met and addressed a joint news briefing on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on August 26, 2019.
• Mr Trump, who was the first to speak at this joint press talk, began by saying that he did discuss the Kashmir issue with Mr Modi over dinner on Sunday night.

9. Indonesia to move its capital to Borneo island

• Indonesia will move its capital to the eastern edge of jungle-clad Borneo island, President Joko Widodo said on August 26, 2019, as the country shifts its political heart away from congested and sinking megalopolis Jakarta.
• The proposed location near the regional cities of Balikpapan and Samarinda is an area at `minimal` risk of natural disasters, where the government already owns some 180,000 hectares (445,000 acres)ofland,he added.
• `The location is very strategic it`s in the centre of Indonesia and close to urban areas,` Widodo said in a televised speech.` The burden Jakarta is holding right now is too heavy as the centre of governance, business, finance, trade and services,` he added.
• The announcement ends months of speculation about whether Widodo would followthrough on the long-mooted plan it was floated by the newly independent country`s founding father Sukarno more than half a century ago.

10. Scientists in Italy fertilise seven northern white rhino eggs

• Silvia Colleoni`s hand holding a syringe was trembling as she injected liquid into a micro pipette to facilitate the aspiration of sperm that had been removed and later frozen from one of the last then-living male northern white rhinos on Earth.
• Her nervousness in the Avantea laboratory in northern Italy on August 25, 2019 was understandable.
• Whether the artificial fertilisation of eggs taken from the last two living females succeeds could determine whether the species has a future, or is doomed to end.
• `It does create a little emotion,` Colleoni said, reflecting in a phone interview the day after the fertilisation procedures that could result in as many as seven embryos.

Day by Day Current Affairs (August 27, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS

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