January 2022

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (January 22, 2022) for CSS, PMS


January 22, 2022: National / International Current Affairs

1. All set for Justice Ayesha to be SC`s first woman judge

• President Dr Arif Alvi approved on January 21, 2022 the appointment of Justice Ayesha A. Malik as the first woman judge of the Supreme Court.
• `In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 177(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President is pleased to appoint Justice Ayesha A.
• Malik, judge Lahore High Court, as judge of the Supreme Court with effect from the date she makes oath of her office,`said a notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice.
• Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed is expected to administer the oath of office to Justice Malik the first woman judge of the top court in the country`s judicial history on Monday in a simple ceremony at the Supreme Court ceremonial hall

2. ECC allows export of another 14 items to Afghanistan against rupee

• In what appears to be another major development, the federal government on January 21, 2022 allowed export of another 14 items to Afghanistan in rupees via land routes owing to the non availability of tradable currency through banking channels.
• The decision was taken at a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, in the wake of a drastic decline in exports to Afghanistan.
• The decision will also help the Taliban-led regime continue import of essential food items from Pakistan until the West recognised their government. The ECC said the decision was taken in view of the food crisis and prevailing situation in Afghanistan.

3. SBP to give five licences for digital banks

• The Licensing and Regulatory Framework for Digital Banks is another milestone with regard to digital transformation and a major step towards revolutionising the banking services industry, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir said on January 21, 2022.
• The SBP announced that it would grant up to five licences for digital banks. The central bank said it intended to bring digital banks with a strong value proposition, robust technological infrastructure, sufficient financial strength, technical expertise and effective risk management culture.
• The SBP assured the market participants and potential investors that a team will remain available to provide necessary guidance in this regard.

4. Central bank injects Rs430bn into banking system

• The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) injected Rs430.5 billion liquidity into the money market on January 21, 2022 for a seven-day period at 9.9 per cent against the offered amount of Rs480.5bn.
• It`s the second consecutive open market operation (OMO) in which the SBP has shied away from injecting liquidity for a 63-day period an unusual tenor that the central bank introduced on Dec 17 and conducted the three subsequent OMOs to provide the money market with a total of Rs1.8 trillion liquid assets.
• The SBP provided the banks with liquidity for two months in order to bring down the yields on treasury bills, which had surged despite the central bank`s forward guidance about no change in the benchmark interest rate in the immediate term

5. EU re-establishes presence in Afghanistan

• The European Union said on January 21, 2022 it was re-establishing a physical presence in Afghanistan for humanitarian purposes, but stressed it was not formally recognising the Taliban-led administration.
• It was the first such announcement by a Western power since the 27-nation EU and many governments withdrew staff and diplomats from Afghanistan as Kabul fell to the hardline Taliban last August.
• `The EU has started to re-establish a minimal presence of international EU Delegation staff to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and monitor the humanitarian situation, said European Commission foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano

6. Israeli police accused of using Pegasus spyware against citizens

• Israel on January 21, 2022 launched an investigation into allegations that police used the controversial Pegasus spyware on the country`s citizens.
• In a letter sent to police commander Koby Shabtai, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit asked to receive all wiretapping and computer spying orders from 2020 and 2021 in order to `verify allegations made in the media`.
• The Israeli business daily Calcalist reported on January 21, 2022 that the police used Pegasus software to spy on an Israeli they considered a potential threat in order to gather evidence that could be used as leverage in future investigations. According to the newspaper, which did not cite any sources, the police action represents a `danger to democracy`

7. Iran in talks with Russia to build nuclear power units

• Iran is in talks with Russia over the construction of two new units at its sole nuclear power plant, Tehran`s atomic energy agency said on January 21, 2022.
• `Negotiations are underway between Tehran and Moscow to construct the second and third units of the Bushehr power plant,` said Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI).
• The move was `in accordance with the Islamic republic`s plans to produce at least 10,000 megawatts of electricity using nuclear energy`, he said, quoted on the government`s website

8. Biden, Japanese PM agree to `pressure` China

• US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida agreed to `pressure` China and condemned North Korea`s spate of missile tests, while Biden underlined US commitment to defending Japan, in virtual talks on January 21, 2022.
• In a video meeting that lasted about one hour and 20 minutes, Biden also agreed to visit Japan in the first half of this year for a summit of the Quad, which groups Australia, India, Japan and the United States, the White House said.
• Biden has made restoring the importance of the US-Japanese relationship a priority since taking office exactly a year ago, following Donald Trump`s questioning of the benefit of US alliances in both Asia and Europe

9. `World first` hydrogen shipment set to leave Australia for Japan

• A state-of-the-art liquid hydrogen tanker readied for loading in Australia on January 21, 2022 ahead of shipment to Japan, in what Canberra described as a `world first` trial of the technology.
• The Suiso Frontier is docked near Melbourne and is being loaded with super cooled hydrogen, a source of fuel that supporters hope could one day rival LNG.
• The ship is part of the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC), a joint Japanese Australian project intended to produce plentiful, affordable fuel for Japan

10. US, Russia promise to ease Ukraine tensions in high-stakes talks

• Washington and Moscow`s top diplomats agreed on January 21, 2022 to keep working to ease tensions over Ukraine, with the United States promising a written response to Russian security demands and not ruling out a presidential meeting.
• As fears grow that Russia could invade its pro-Western neighbour, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken renewed warnings of severe Western reprisals as he met for 90 minutes Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva. But Blinken described the high-stakes talks as `frank` and not `polemical`, with Lavrov also voicing hope for a lowering of the temperature between the former Cold War foes.
• Russia has massed tens of thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border, denying it plans to invade but demanding security guarantees, including a permanent ban on the country joining Nato

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