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February 16, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Ravi `most polluted river` in the world
• Not just the air but also the river flowing through Punjab`s capital has been found to be the world`s most polluted, with active pharmaceutical ingredients posing a `threat to environment and human health`.
• A study on pharmaceutical pollution of the world`s rivers conducted at the University of York and published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the US detected pharmaceutical particles including paracetamol, nicotine, caffeine and epilepsy and diabetes drugs in the river.
• It placed waterways in Lahore, Bolivia and Ethiopia among the most polluted while rivers in Iceland, Norway and the Amazon rainforest fared the best
2. Federal cabinet approves Cloud First Policy, Personal Data Protection Bill
• The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved the Cloud First Policy and the Personal Data Protection Bill, noting that the decision was crucial to move the country further into the digital world.
• The Cloud First Policy has listed five classes for data, including open data in the public sector to make the government open and accountable and increase citizens` participation in government`s affairs.
• The other one is public data related to the public sector that is non-confidential and is publicly available.
• It is followed by restricted data related to public sector business, operations and services, which is not sensitive in nature, while the confidential data is the information not intended to be published, but it can be accessed only by certain people having proper authorisation to do that
3. Rs5 billion digital skills development programme gets KP cabinet`s nod
• The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet on February 15, 2022 approved Rs5 billion digital skills development programme for 100,000 youth.
• The cabinet met here with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair and ministers and administrative secretaries in attendance.
• Spokesman for the government Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif told reporters that the digital skills training would last three to six months and would help generate employment for skilled youth
4. PM launches second phase of Raast
• Prime Minister Imran Khan on February 15, 2022 launched the State Bank of Pakistan`s Free Raast Person-to-Person (P2P) Instant Payments System at a ceremony in Islamabad.
• A press release issued by the SBP said that Raast, a flagship initiative of the SBP, is a payment system platform that enables various types of transactions among different stakeholders such as organisations, businesses and persons.
• `The objective of this initiative is to promote digitisation and financial inclusion in the country. In the first phase of Raast, launched in January 2021, transactions from organisations to persons, generally referred to as Bulk Payments, were enabled. The second phase is designed to facilitate Person-to Person (P2P) transactions under Raast,` the press release said
5. Pakistan asks UNSC to help stop attacks from Afghanistan
• Pakistan has urged the UN Security Council to hold accountable the `masterminds` who continue to support, finance, and sponsor cross-border terrorist attacks into its territory.
• Pakistan raised the issue of cross-border terrorism from Afghanistan after India used the UN forum on Monday to accuse Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism in occupied Kashmir. The Indian initiative turned the annual meeting of the UN Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) in New York into a battle of words between South Asia`s two nuclear powers. This was the committee`s first briefing since January when India assumed its chair.
• Last week, Pakistani security forces repulsed two attacks at their camps in Balochistan. At least13 terrorists were killed in the fight while seven soldiers and an officer embraced martyrdom