March 2021

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (March 11, 2021) for CSS, PMS

restrictions as Covid cases
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March 11, 2021: National / International Current Affairs


1. NCOC re-imposes restrictions as Covid cases surge

• With no let-up in Covid-19 cases, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on March 10, 2021 re-imposed a number of restrictions that had been in force in the country prior to Feb 24.
• The centre announced a two-week spring vacation in educational institutions in 10 cities whereas Balochistan and Sindh were suggested to limit attendance to 50 per cent.
• It decided to continue smart lockdowns and micro smart lockdowns and re enforce 50pc work from home policy and time limit of 10pm on all commercial activities with immediate effect. Amusement parks will be closed at 6pm and strict compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) will continue across the board.


2. Uzbekistan offered access to Pakistani ports

• Prime Minister Imran Khan on March 10, 2021 assured Uzbekistan of complete facilitation in access to Pakistani ports.
• Mr Khan held out the assurance during a meeting with Uzbekistan`s Foreign Minister Dr Abdulaziz Kamilov, who was on a two day visit to Pakistan.
• Mr Khan, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister Office after the meeting, said that Pakistan`s Karachi and Gwadar ports could become `the gateway to the landlocked Central Asia as Pakistan provided the Central Asian Republics the shortest route to international seas`.
• Pakistan, he said, would facilitate Uzbekistan`s access to its ports.


3. 5,145 firms in Pakistan have at least one female director: SECP

• Out of total 21,168 companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) between March 2020 and March 2021, 5,145 firms have at least one female director, the regulator said in a statement issued on March 10, 2021.
• The commission is cognizant of the vital role played by women in economic growth and has introduced a number of measures to improve gender mainstreaming within the organisation, the statement added.


4. Pakistan ranks eighth among countries with high rate of kidney diseases

• Pakistan ranks eighth among the countries with a high rate of kidney diseases, with 17 million people suffering from kidney problems.
• Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is rapidly growing in Pakistan due to late diagnosis, kidney stone and an increasing number of diabetes and high blood pressure patients.
• This was stated by health experts during an event held in connection with World Kidney Day being observed on March 11 (today)


5. PIA begins VSS payments

• Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has started paying dues to its employees who have opted for Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) and made full payments to more than 100 such workers on March 10, 2021.
• PIA`s spokesman Abdullah Hafeez said that the airline`s chief financial officer Khalilullah Sheikh distributed cheques among the ex-employees at a ceremony held at the PIA head office.
• PIA introduced the VSS after the federal government`s approval, which benefited about 2,000 employees. The finance ministry allocated Rs9.6 billion for the purpose during the current financial year


6. House approves Biden`s $1.9tr Covid-19 bill

• The House of Representatives gave final approval on March 10, 2021 to one of the largest economic stimulus measures in US history, a sweeping $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill that gives President Joe Biden his first major victory in office.
• The measure provides $400 billion for $1,400 direct payments to most Americans, $350bn in aid to state and local governments, an expansion of the child tax credit and increased funding for vaccine distribution.
• Forecasters expect it to supercharge the US economic recovery


7. Libyan lawmakers approve interim govt in key step towards elections

• Libya`s parliament on March 10, 2021 approved a unity government to lead the war-ravaged North African nation to December elections, hailed as a `historic` step towards ending a decade of chaos.
• Oil-rich Libya descended into conflict after dictator Moamer Qadhafi was toppled and killed in a Natobacked uprising in 2011, resulting in multiple forces vying for power.
• `This will be the government of all Libyans,` interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah said, in a brief but emotional speech after the vote


8. Netanyahu to visit UAE today; Israeli media speaks of meeting with Saudi Prince

• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit the United Arab Emirates on March 11, 2021 in an opportunity to showcase new Gulf ties before a closely contested election in Israel.
• Netanyahu may meet Saudi Arabia`s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman there. It said he would hold talks with Abu Dhabi`s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and that the Saudi crown prince might join them.
• The report was not immediately confirmed by Netanyahu`s office or by the UAE.


9. Facial recognition payment system launched

• Russia`s X5 group, the country`s leading food retailer, announced on March 10, 2021 the launch of a facial recognition payment system, the latest expansion of a technology that has sparked privacy and security concerns.
• To launch its facial recognition payment system, the X5 group, which owns the Pyaterochka convenience stores and the Perekrestok supermarket chain, has joined forces with the Visa payment system and Russia`s state giant Sberbank that is striving to become an IT company.


10. ICC chief Sawhney sent on forced leave after inquiry

• The International Cricket Council (ICC) has sent its chief executive Manu Sawhney on forced leave after an independent investigation found evidence of misconduct, world body sources said on March 10, 2021.
• Sawhney, an Indian-origin former television executive who is also a non-executive director of Manchester United, has been in the post for less than two years.
• With a year of his contract still to run, the move follows a review of his actions and management conduct by the business consultancy PwC


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