March 2021

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


March 16, 2021: National / International Current Affairs

1. PM starts olive cultivation campaign

• Prime Minister Imran Khan on March 15, 2021 said that largescale olive cultivation would prove to be the best investment for the country in terms of earning valuable foreign exchange and ensuring food security.
• Launching the countrywide olive cultivation drive in Nowshera district, the prime minister said the country had immense potential in cultivation of olive trees owing to its suitable topography and climate from north to south.
• He said that water-scarce areas such as Suleiman Mountains near Waziristan, Balochistan`s plains and Punjab`s diverse terrain offered environment for low-irrigation olive f arming

2. Walk-in vaccination facility for citizens aged 70 from today

• In view of a high mortality rate among senior citizens, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on March 15, 2021 decided to allow people aged 70 years and above, who have registered themselves on the helpline 1166, to walk into any vaccination centre from Tuesday (today) onwards to get inoculated against Covid-19.
• In another development, President Dr Arif Alvi and First Lady Samina Alvi received their jabs at a vaccination centre in Tarlai in the suburbs of Islamabad

3. Pakistan main recipient of Chinese arms: report

• Although China accounted for 61 per cent of Pakistan`s arms imports in 2011-15 and for 74pc in 2016-20, the country`s arms imports decreased by 23pc, according to the latest report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
• The report, `Trends in International Arms Transfers 2020` says Pakistan remained the main recipient of Chinese arms and accounted for 38pc of Chinese arms exports in 2016-20

4. World day to combat Islamophobia observed

• Pakistan on March 15, 2021 joined the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in observing the first International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
• At a meeting of the OIC foreign ministers held on Nov 27 last year in Niamey, Niger, Pakistan presented a resolution to designate March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
• The resolution was unanimously adopted by the OIC foreign ministers. The OIC is now working with the international community to commemorate the day at the globallevel

5. Saudi tycoon in Pakistan to end impasse over KE sale

• A Saudi group that had originally bought the Karachi Electricity Supply Corporation, now called K-Electric, in 2005 has reentered the scene amid an impasse over the future of the power utility`s business relations with the government following the downfall of Abraaj Capital chief Arif Naqvi.
• The owner of the Aljomaih Holding Company of Saudi Arabia, Shaikh Abdulaziz Hamad Aljomaih, spent a hectic day here after his early morning arrival. He held separate meetings with President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, ministers for finance, energy and privatisation and some other important stakeholders. Senior officials of almost all the important ministries concerned were part of some of these meetings

6. Taliban to attend Afghan peace talks in Moscow

• Senior members of the Taliban will attend talks with the Kabul government in Moscow this week to discuss the future of war-ravaged Afghanistan, the insurgent group said on March 15, 2021.
• The two sides are due to meet at Russia`s invitation ahead of a May deadline for US President Joe Biden to decide whether to end the two-decade military involvement in the ravaged country.
• Washington has encouraged the Afghan leadership to work towards establishing an `inclusive` government and peace accord amid fears of rapid Taliban gains once US troops leave

7. Iran inaugurates underground missile facility

• Iran`s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard on March 15, 2021 inaugurated a new underground facility designated for missile storage, the country`s state TV reported.
• The report quotes Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami as saying that cruise and ballistic missiles will empower the force`s navy even more.
• The TV report showed footage of scores of missiles in an enclosed space resembling an underground corridor.
• It did not say where the facility is located nor how many missiles are stored there

8. Beyonce makes history as women sweep Grammys

• Women won every major Grammy at March 14, 2021`s history-making gala, a joyful night for music`s biggest stars after a devastating year for the industry, with Beyonce, Megan Thee Stallion and Taylor Swift triumphing at the socially distanced event anchored by electrifying performances.
• It was a monumental night for Beyonce, who broke the record for most career wins by a female artist with 28.
• Swift became the first woman to win the coveted Album of the Year prize three times, this year for `folklore,` the first of her twin quarantine releases

9. Biggest sandstorm in decade turns skies yellow in Beijing

• Beijing was cloaked in thick yellow smog on March 15, 2021 with pollution levels surging off the charts as the worst sandstorm in a decade descended on China`s capital from the Gobi desert.
• City residents used goggles, masks and hairnets to protect themselves from the choking dust and sand, with landmarks including the Forbidden City partly obscured behind an apocalyptic-looking haze.
• The city government ordered schools to cancel outside sport and events and advised the public to stay inside where possible, as hundreds of flights were cancelled.

10. Mank leads Oscar nominations

• Netflix`s 1930s Hollywood drama Mank led a diverse field of Oscar nominations on March 15, 2021 packed with historic firsts, but with no clear frontrunner for the highest honours in the movie industry.
• David Fincher`s Mank, about Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, got 10 nods, including best picture, director Fincher and for actors Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried. But most of its nominations were in craft fields like sound design and make-up

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