December 2021

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (December 23, 2021) for CSS, PMS

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (December 23, 2021) for CSS, PMS
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

December 23, 2021: National / International Current Affairs

1. Taliban stop Pakistani troops from fencing border

• Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan disrupted the erecting of a security fence by the Pakistani military along the border between the two countries, Afghan officials said on December 22, 2021.
• Pakistan has fenced most of the 2,600km border despite protestations from Kabul, which has contested the British-era boundary demarcation that splits families and tribes on either side.
• Afghan defence ministry spokesman Enayatullah Khwarazmi said Taliban forces stopped the Pakistani military from erecting what he called an `illegal` border fence along the eastern province of Nangarhar on Sunday

2. British MPs express concern over rights abuses in IIOJK

• The members of British Parliament once again urged India to give update about the welfare of Khurram Parvez, the Kashmiri human rights activist, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency in Srinagar, Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
• The human rights activist is currently reported to be imprisoned in New Delhi, wrote Debbie Abrahams FFPH, Member of Parliament for Oldham East and Saddle worth and Chair of Kashmir APPG to the High Commissioner of Indian to the UK.
• “Further to my letter of December 1, 2021, parliamentary colleagues from all political parties, and from both Houses of Parliament, beseech you to respond to our request for an update on the welfare of Khurram Parvez, the Kashmiri human rights activist, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency in Srinagar Indian-administered Kashmir, and who is currently reported to be imprisoned in New Delhi,” she wrote in the letter mentioning names of over two dozen MPs

3. Ecnec approves four uplift projects worth Rs265bn

• The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Eenec) on December 22, 2021 approved four development projects worth over Rs265 billion, including the construction of Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway (M6) on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.
• The Ecnec meeting was presided over by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin. The meeting approved the revised project of construction of Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway on the BOT basis at a cost of Rs191.471bn. The project is to be executed by the National Highway Authority and envisages construction of 306km, 6-lane, fenced motorway between Hyderabad and Sukkur.
• The project would be included in the next federal budget and is expected to be completed in 30 months. The project was cleared by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) in April and subsequently approved by Ecnec in May at a cost of Rs191.46bnwith observation to address certain deficiencies. The project cost, in the meanwhile, slightly increased to Rs191.47bn.

4. $1.54bn ADB loan for energy sector reforms, uplift projects

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on December 22, 2021 signed six agreements with Pakistan to extend $1.543 billion worth of loans for energy sector reforms, social protection, roads and water resource.
• ADB Country Director Yong Ye and Secretary Economic Affairs Division Mian Asad Hayaud Din signed the agreements on behalf of respective sides. The projects were approved by ADB Board of Directors last week. Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan, ADB Vice President (Operations 1) Shixin Chen and ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Department Yevgeniy Zhukov witnessed the ceremony.
• `The projects signed today mark ADB`s strong commitment for Pakistan`s post-pandemic recovery and sustainable development. Pakistan and ADB will continue working together to improve economic management, build resilience, boost competitiveness and private sector development,` Mr Ye said on the occasion

5. Islamabad’s air pollution reaches record level, says EPA report

• Islamabad’s air pollution has reached record highest, revealed the 24 hours ambient air quality report of Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA)’s on December 22, 2021.
• According to the report, increased ratio of environmental pollutants is causing bad air and degraded atmosphere leading to smog.
• The National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) by EPA set a threshold of 35 microgrammes per cubic meter for particulate matter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5), 120 microgrammes per cubic meter for sulphur dioxide (SO2) and 80 microgrammes per cubic meter to ensure clean ambiance.

6. IS-K is based in Afghanistan, targets both Pakistanis and Afghans, says US report

• The group known as Islamic State-Khorasan, or IS-K, `is based in Afghanistan, conducts operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and is composed primarily of former members of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the Afghan Taliban, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan`, according to the latest US report on terrorism released this week.
• The US State Department`s annual report estimates that IS-K still has about 1,000 fighters who operate from Afghanistan. The report describes the group`s areas of operation as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia.
• Prime Minister Imran Khan said in his address at the OIC meeting in Islamabad on Sunday that IS-K was using its Afghan cell for launching attacks into Pakistan.

7. UN Security Council adopts resolution to facilitate Afghan aid

• The UN Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday unanimously adopted a US resolution, which Pakistan believes opens the door to providing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan without violating UN sanctions on the Taliban.
• The resolution allowed the `payment of funds, other financial assets or economic resources, and the provision of goods and services necessary to ensure the timely delivery of such assistance or to support such activities.` It noted that such assistance `supports basic human needs in Afghanistan` and was `not a violation` of sanctions imposed on entities linked to the Taliban.
• In Washington, the US Treasury`s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued three general licenses on Wednesday to facilitate the continued flow of vital assistance and support for the Afghan people

8. France jabs children as variant surges

• France started vaccinating children over five and China plunged a city into a strict lockdown on December 22, 2021 as governments scramble to contain fresh virus surges driven by the Omicron variant.
• The UK meanwhile approved Pfizer`s jab for children aged five and up, while the World Health Organisation warned that getting booster shots did not mean tossing aside safety measures at end-of-year celebrations. The threat of the highly-mutated Omicron variant is looming large over the holidays, prompting governments to roll out new restrictions and urge citizens to get vaccinated.
• The latest data suggests Omicron does not cause more severe illness than previous variants, including Delta, but scientists warn it could cause more deaths if soaring infection numbers overwhelm health systems

9. `Good Shepherd` gold ring found in Roman-era wreck off Israel

• Israeli researchers on December 22, 2021 displayed a Roman-era golden ring with an early Christian symbol for Jesus inscribed in its gemstone, found in a shipwreck off the ancient port of Caesarea.
• The thick octagonal gold ring with its green gemstone bore the figure of the `Good Shepherd` in the form of a young shepherd boy in a tunic with a ram or sheep across his shoulders.

10. Babar Azam reclaims top spot in ICC T20I rankings

• Babar Azam finished off his incredible and electrifying 2021 journey with a number one T20I batting ranking by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his stellar performance in a match against West Indies.
• Babar’s 79 from 53 balls against the West Indies in Karachi moved him back to the top spot, outpacing Aiden Markram and Dawid Malan.
• He is now ranked number 1 in both T20I and ODI rankings going into the final nine days of 2021. Babar’s legacy is being crafted across all three formats, but his talent shone brightest in 2021’s shortest format. Babar scored 939 runs at 37.56, with a strike rate of 127.58, aided by a successful tour of South Africa in April, the ICC said. A world-class batting display followed Babar’s 50 in Johannesburg with a 122 from 59 deliveries in Centurion

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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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