December 2021

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (December 16, 2021) for CSS, PMS

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (December 16, 2021) for CSS, PMS
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

December 16, 2021: National / International Current Affairs

1. US creating special envoy to combat Islamophobia

• The US House of Representatives has passed legislation requiring the State Department to create a special envoy for monitoring and combating Islamophobia.
• The final vote on Tuesday night was along party lines as 219 Democrats voted for the legislation while 212 Republicans voted against. The bill now goes to the Senate.
• The special envoy would also report state-sponsored Islamophobic violence and impunity in the State Department`s annual human rights reports. The bill was the brainchild of two lawmakers: Ilhan Omar, one of three Muslim House members frequently subjected to hate speech and death threats; and Jan Schakowsky, a 77-year-old Jewish white woman from the Chicago suburbs

2. PM cautions world against abandoning Afghanistan

• Pakistan on Wednesday reiterated its commitment to provide all out support to the Afghan people and warned the international community that disengaging with Afghanistan would be disadvantageous for the whole world.
• These views were expressed during the second meeting of the Apex Committee on Afghanistan, presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The meeting was attended by Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Adviser on Finance Shaukat Tarin, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yousaf and senior civil and military officers.
• Participants of the meeting expressed concern over deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and emphasised that Pakistan would not abandon the Afghans in their time of need

3. Pakistan prepares over Rs11bn package for Afghan students

• As part of the assistance package to the nascent Afghan government, Pakistan has decided in principle to offer thousands of scholarships to Afghan students, besides opening a campus of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) in Kabul.
• In this regard, the Ministry of Education and Professional Training has finalised a Rs11.2 billion package to improve the education sector and skill development in the war-torn country.
• According to sources in the ministry, the amount will be spent for offering scholarships to 3,000 Afghan students in Pakistani universities, free training with stipend to 5,000 Afghan nationals for skills development in Islamabad, free training to 150 Afghan teachers, 100 nursing diploma scholarships and establishment of regional campus of AIOU in Kabul

4. Govt allows Rs10m collateral-free loans in SME policy

• The government has unveiled the new Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Policy 2021-25, with focus on promoting around five million businesses through facilitation in registration, streamlining of taxes, access to credit and provision of land.
• Overall, the policy is aimed at providing facilities and incentives to the SME sector, which contributes around 40 per cent to the GDP and accounts for 25pc of all exports.
• Unveiling the policy on December 15, 2021, Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar said that for the first time in Pakistan an all-inclusive SME policy had been launched, which had divided these enterprises into three sectors, including low risk, medium risk, and high risk

5. Impenetrable fog descends on Punjab

• As temperatures drop, a thick layer of fog descended on the province and the city, at least two weeks earlier (it started in the first week of January last year), dropped visibility to zero at some points and hit the entire travel network air traffic, railways, highways and motorways.
• According to meteorology department officials, the pattern would hold for the next few days as temperature would drop even more, foggy conditions would persist and there are no chances of rain in central Punjab that can help clear conditions.
• Worsened air pollution added to the problem. According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) data, Lahore`s air quality index rose up to 322 a hazardous level, necessitating use of face masks and advisory to avoid unnecessary exposure

6. LG ordinance, rivers bill presented in PA

• The Punjab Local Government Ordinance of 2021 was laid and the Punjab Irrigation, Drainage and Rivers Bill of 2021 introduced in the Punjab Assembly on December 15, 2021.
• Both the ordinance and the bill were introduced by Law Minister Basharat Raja.
• Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi referred the ordinance and the bill to committees with a direction of submitting their reports within two months.
• The house also passed with a majority vote the Thal University Bhakkar Bill of 2021 and the South Punjab Institute of Science & Technology Dera Ghazi Khan of 2020.

7. US Navy fires laser weapon in Mideast

• The US Navy announced on December 15, 2021 it tested a laser weapon and destroyed a Boating target in the Mideast, a system that could be used to counter bomb-laden drone boats deployed by Yemen`s Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.
• The test on Tuesday saw the USS Portland test-fire its Laser Weapon System Demonstrator at the target in the Gulf of Aden, the body of water separating East Africa from the Arabian Peninsula.
• The Navy`s Mideast-based 5th Fleet described the laser as having successfully engaged the target in a statement.
• Previously, the Portland used the laser to bring down a flying drone in May 2020

8. Karzai says he invited Taliban into Kabul to protect its people

• The Taliban didn`t take the Afghan capital, they were invited, says the man who reportedly issued the invitation.
• In an interview, former Afghan president Hamid Karzai offered some of the first insights into the secret and sudden departure of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and how he came to invite the Taliban into the city to protect the population so that the country doesn`t fall into chaos.
• When Ghani left, his security officials also left. Defence minister Bismillah Khan even asked Karzai if he wanted to leave Kabul when Karzai contacted him to know what remnants of the government still remained. It turned out there were none. Not even the Kabul police chief had remained

9. Spacecraft `touches` sun for first time, dives into its atmosphere

• A NASA spacecraft has officially touched the sun, plunging through the unexplored solar atmosphere known as the corona.
• Scientists announced the news during a meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
• The Parker Solar Probe actually flew through the corona in April during the spacecraft`s eighth close approach to the sun.
• Scientists said it took a few months to get the data back and then several more months to confirm them.
• `Fascinatingly exciting,` said project scientist Nour Raouafi of Johns Hopkins University.

10. Two Saudi women set to compete in Dakar Rally in historic first

• Mashael Al-Obaidan and Dania Akeel will be the first female drivers from Saudi Arabia to compete in the Dakar Rally next month, the Saudi Automobile & Motorcycle Federation said on December 15, 2021.
• The 44th edition of the endurance rally in Saudi Arabia is more than 8,300 kilometres long with a route that traverses deserts and mountains and the duo will drive up to 600km a day in a taxing schedule.
• Women were not allowed to drive cars in Saudi Arabia until a ban was lifted in 2018

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                      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.
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