December 2021

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

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

December 10, 2021: National / International Current Affairs

1. First suspected case of Omicron reported in Karachi

• Sindh health department officials collected 51 blood samples in the contact-tracing process on Thursday after reporting the country`s first suspected case of Covid-19 variant Omicron in a female patient residing in Karachi.
• These samples, they said, would be first tested for Covid-19 and later for genome sequencing, if needed. The samples were also collected from two male members of the suspected patient`s family, who tested positive for Covid-19 and were under treatment at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), they added.
• The sources said the sampling process was carried out in the presence of a team representing the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), World Health Organisation (WHO) and health department, and the samples were sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad for genome sequencing

2. Consumers to pay Rs4.7 per unit extra for October power usage

• The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on December 9, 2021 formally allowed ex-Wapda distribution companies (Discos) to charge their consumers an additional fuel cost of Rs4.74 per unit during the current billing month to mop up about Rs60 billion additional funds.
• `Adjustment of an increase of Rs4.7446/kWh shall be applicable to all the consumer categories except lifeline consumers of all the XWDISCOs,` said a notification issued by Nepra. The adjustment, it added, should be shown separately in consumers` bills on the basis of units billed in the month of October 2021.
• The regulator said it observed that prima facie certain efficient power plants were not fully utilised and instead energy from costlier RFO/HSD based power plants was generated to the tune of over Rs27.521bn in October. The regulator said it also noted violation of economic order, examined the evidence and deducted Rs63.4 million on this count on a provisional basis

3. Profit rates up for all savings schemes

• In line with recent hike in the central bank`s policy rate, the Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) on December 9, 2021 increased profit rates on all national savings schemes by up to two per cent.
• The new rates would be applicable to deposits and investments made on December 10. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had increased its discount rate by 1.5pc to 8.75pc in November and 0.25pc in September.
• The return on savings accounts and bonds are linked with the central bank`s policy rates and are normally kept slightly higher to ensure better returns to small savers without drastically affecting the government budget

4. TTP declares end to ceasefire

• The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on December 9, 2021 declined to extend the month-long ceasefire with the government, accusing it of failing to honour the decisions reached earlier. The announcement has put the nascent peace efforts into the doldrums.
• A statement issued by the TTP late in the evening gave out details of the six point agreement that it said it had reached with the government under the aegis of the `Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan` (IEA) on Oct 25, 2021.The two sides, according to the agreement, had accepted that the IEA would play the role of a mediator and that both sides would form five-member committees each which, under the supervision of the mediator, would discuss the next course of action and demands of each sides.
• Both sides, it said, had also agreed to observe a month-long ceasefire from Nov 1 to Nov 30, 2021 and that the government would release 102 `imprisoned mujahideen` and hand them over to the TTP through the `IEA and that both sides would issue a joint statement regarding the ceasefire on Nov 1, 2021`.

5. Lahore again tops list of world`s most polluted cities

• Lahore again topped the list of the most polluted cities of the world on December 9, 2021 with hazardous air quality levels.
• The city`s air quality index was 443 at 10am that put it in the hazardous category with regard to PM2.5 (particulate matter) level. At the time of filing of this report at 10:25pm, Lahore was still at the top of the list of world`s most populated city with air quality index of 270 (very unhealthy), followed by Hanoi (Vietnam) whose index was 209.
• On the other hand, the district administration demolished two more pyrolysis plants on Thursday as it continued its operation against such plants in an effort to control smog. The number of such demolished plants has now reached 20

6. Afghanistan offers security to railway project

• Afghanistan has offered Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia complete security and safety to the rail service envisaging access to various Central Asian states up to Karachi and Gwadar ports.
• The access to Pakistan`s ports will enable the countries, especially Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, to export their goods to several countries through sea routes, according to a senior official of the Pakistan Railways.
• `Under the Trans-Afghan Railways` plan devised by the authorities in Pakistan and Afghanistan, two routes are being considered to connect Mazar-i-Sharif (Afghanistan) with Peshawar (Pakistan).One route is 700km long and another 900km. Besides this, four proposals related to financial arrangement, feasibility, etc

7. Biden opens summit, says democracy facing `alarming challenges`

• Democracy faces `sustained and alarming challenges` worldwide, US President Joe Biden said on December 9, 2021 at a virtual summit on democracy where he sparked controversy by pointedly not inviting China and Russia.
• Biden, who took office in January amid the biggest US political crisis for decades, said trends were `largely pointing in the wrong direction` and that `more than ever, democracy needs champions` `We stand at an inflection point, he said. `Will we allow the backward slide of rights and democracy to continue unchecked?` The two-day event, held by video link because of the coronavirus pandemic, was billed by the White House as US leadership in an existential struggle between democracies and powerful autocracies or dictatorships.
• `Make no mistake, we`re at a moment of democratic reckoning, said Uzra Zeya, the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights

8. Indian farmers end year-long protests against Modi reforms

• Indian farmers formally ended year-long mass protests on December 9, 2021 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi abandoned his push for agricultural reforms, defusing one of the biggest challenges faced by his government.
• Thousands of people have been camped on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi since last year to campaign against laws they said would have led to a corporate takeover of the sector.
• Modi`s administration rushed through a repeal of the laws last month in a rare back down, and farmer representatives said they agreed to stand down after the government agreed to other demands

9. Israel`s top diplomat in Egypt for talks on Gaza, Iran

• Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on December 9, 2021 during a rare visit to Egypt for talks on the blockaded Gaza Strip and Iran`s nuclear programme, the two sides said.
• Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish state in 1979, after decades of enmity and conflict.
• `I thank President Sisi, whose contribution to the region and the relations between us is of historic proportions,` Lapid tweeted. `I presented the president my `economy for security` programme for Gaza and the steps taken by the Israeli government with regards to the Palestinian issue, he added.
• Egypt`s presidency also said the Palestinian issue was a key priority

10. Ex-JCSC chairman Gen Shamim Alam passes away

• Former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) General Shamim Alam Khan died in Rawalpindi on December 9, 2021.
• He was 84 and is survived by three sons and his widow.
• General Shamim was born in 1937 to Mehboob Alam Khan and Amirun Nisa Begum, a couple whose all nine sons joined Pakistan`s armed forces and fought for the protection of the country either in 1965 or 1971 wars against India

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About the author

Shahzad F. Malik

Shahzad Faisal Malik is the administrator of and is responsible for managing the content, design, and overall direction of the blog. He has a strong background in Competitive Exams and is passionate and sharing information with others.
Shahzad Faisal Malik has worked as a Graphic Designer/Content Creator at CSSTimes in the past. In his free time, Shahzad Faisal Malik enjoys watching Cricket, writing blogs for different websites and is always on the lookout for new and interesting content to share with the readers of this website.
As the website administrator, Shahzad Faisal Malik is dedicated to providing high-quality content and fostering a welcoming and engaging community for readers. He looks forward to connecting with readers and hearing their thoughts and feedback on the website.

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