December 2021

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (December 14, 2021) for CSS, PMS

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (December 14, 2021) for CSS, PMS
Written by Shahzad F. Malik
WELCOME TO CSS TIMES DAY BY  DAY CURRENT AFFAIRS, YOUR BEST SOURCE FOR UP-TO-DATE AND DAILY TOP CURRENT AFFAIRS 2021 FOR PREPARATION OF CSS, PMS, BANKING, NTS, RAILWAYS AND ALL COMPETITIVE EXAMS.  “DAY TO DAY CURRENT AFFAIRS” BASICALLY IS TOP 10 NEWS SUMMARY ON CURRENT HAPPENINGS OF NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE FOR ALL EXAMINATIONS

December 14, 2021: National / International Current Affairs


1. Centre to stop financing provincial uplift projects

• With increasing resource crunch, the Centre has decided in principle to stop financing provincial development projects, particularly those relating to devolved subjects, to shift to the federating units the financial burden that now stands at above Rs320 billion.
• This is part of a new National Development Framework (NDF) under which the federal government wants to restrict its investment priorities to the areas of federal responsibilities and ensure that the provinces take full fiscal responsibility of all devolved subjects.
• The issue was discussed at a special meeting of the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Monday. It was presided over by Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission (DCPC) Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan


2. PR mulling Kazakhstan`s $300m offer for track rehabilitation

• Pakistan is considering an offer of a soft loan worth $300 million from Kazakhstan for rehabilitation of the decaying 860-kilometre up/down track from Kotri to Khanpur the most critical portion on the entire rail network. Kazakhstan has also offered to execute the project itself since it has the required expertise and technology.
• `Kazakhstan has offered us $300 million soft loan for rehabilitation of the 8601(m long up/down decaying railway track (Khanpur-Kotri-Khanpur). Along with the funding, it has also asked us to execute this project, Pakistan Railways Chairman Dr Habibur Rehman Gilani told Dawn. `Their offer is under consideration. And if it is accepted, we will give them a go-ahead.
• Kazakhstan has an advanced rail system with the capacity to manufacture locomotives, rail and other equipment and instruments. Four years ago, Russia`s top business group, Transmash holding, reportedly entered into two agreements with the General Electric to work together in Kazakhstan in various rail-related fields


3. Japan okays $4.35m grant for anti-polio programme

• Japan has announced $4.35 million grant to procure essential oral polio vaccines as part of its continued support to Pakistan for eradication of the crippling disease.
• The latest grant will be utilised for procurement of 24 million oral doses of vaccines. It will allow the programme to reach around 21 million children under five years of age with focus on the high-risk districts with persistent poliovirus transmission.
• The vaccines will be used during vaccination drives.
• The notes of the grant were signed and exchanged between Japan and Unicef and the grant agreement was signed and exchanged between Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Unicef


4. Counter-IED drill with Saudi forces set to begin

• The opening ceremony of Al-Kassah-Ill joint military counter-IED (improvised explosive device) exercise was held on Monday at King Khalid Military City Hafar Al Batin, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) where the Royal Land Saudi Forces and Pakistan Army troops would practise various drills.
• The participating troops would be involved in counter-lED operations including searching of routes, compound clearance, vehicle clearance, explosive handling and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) drills and procedures, said an ISPR news release received here.
• Commander Northern Area Maj Gen Saleh Bin Ahmed Al Zahrani attended the event as chief guest


5. Govt contracted $15.32bn foreign loans in FY21: report

• The government contracted $15.32 billion worth of new foreign loans from multilateral institutions and commercial banks during the previous fiscal year (2020-21) almost 47 per cent higher than $10.45bn a year earlier.
• With these additional loan agreements, the incumbent government contracted a total of about $34.17bn in its first three years in power, according to the `Annual Report on Foreign Economic Assistance 2020-21` released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Total foreign loan disbursements stood relatively higher at $35.1bn during the three years.
• The data showed that Pakistan contracted $8.41bn in the fiscal year 2018-19, followed by $10.45bn in 2019-20 (up 24pc), and $15.32bn in 2020-21 (up 47pc).


6. First Omicron case in Pakistan confirmed

• Pakistan on December 13, 2021 reported its first confirmed case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
• The virulent strain was found in a female patient from Karachi and was confirmed by the National Institute of Health (NIH) through whole-genome sequencing.
• In an official statement, the NIH said it was the first confirmed case and that continued surveillance of suspected samples was in place to identify the trends.
• It highlighted the importance of getting vaccinated to protect oneself from serious effects of the various prevailing strains


7. Britain records world`s first known death from Omicron

• At least one person has died in the United Kingdom after contracting the Omicron coronavirus variant, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on December 13, 2021, the first publicly confirmed death globally from the swiftly spreading strain.
• Since the first Omicron cases were detected on Nov 27 in the United Kingdom, Johnson has imposed tougher restrictions and on Sunday cautioned that the variant could overcome the immune defences of those inoculated with two shots of vaccines.
• Britain gave no details on the death or whether the patient had been vaccinated or had underlying health issues. Deaths from Omicron may have occurred in other countries but none has been publicly confirmed yet outside Britain


8. Bennett meets crown prince in first visit to UAE by Israeli PM

• Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met Abu Dhabi`s crown prince on December 13, 2021 during the first visit by a leader of the Jewish state to the United Arab Emirates, over a year after the two countries established ties.
• Bennett`s visit comes as Israel pursues a diplomatic push against international nuclear talks in Vienna that could ease sanctions on its arch-foe, Iran.
• He was received by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at his private palace, where they exchanged greetings before heading inside for talks


9. Moscow vetoes resolution at UN casting climate change as threat to world peace

• Russia on December 12, 2021 vetoed a first-of-its-kind UN Security Council resolution casting climate change as a threat to international peace and security, sinking a years long effort to make global warming more central to decision-making in the UN`s most powerful body.
• Spearheaded by Ireland and Niger, the proposal called for incorporating information on the security implications of climate change` so the council could pay due regard to any root causes of conflict or risk multipliers.
• The measure also asked the UN secretary general to make climate-related security risks a central component of conflict prevention strategies and to report on how to address those risks in specific hotspots


10. Time names Elon Musk as `Person of the Year`

• Time magazine on Monday named Tesla founder and space entrepreneur Elon Musk as its person of the year, capping a rollercoaster 2021 for the technology magnate.
• The brash South African born 50-year-old with grand ambition overtook space race rival and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to become the world`s richest person this year.
• In October his electric car company`s valuation soared above a trillion dollars, and throughout the year his company SpaceX has teamed up with US space agency Nasa to launch various missions including smashing a rocket into an asteroid in a test run for redirecting any future Earth-bound space rock


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Shahzad F. Malik

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