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March 2021

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (March 24, 2021) for CSS, PMS

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (March 24, 2021) for CSS, PMS
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

March 24, 2021: National / International Current Affairs

1. Modi urges `environment of trust` for better ties

• Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 23, 2021 called on Pakistan to build an environment of trust for better ties.
• `As a neighbouring country, India desires cordial relations with the people of Pakistan.
• For this, an environment of trust, devoid of terror and hostility, is imperative,` Mr Modi said in a message to Prime Minister Imran Khan on the occasion of Pakistan Day.
• He also wished Pakistan well in dealing with the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic

2. Pakistan`s regional exports slump 22pc

• Pakistan`s exports to regional countries declined 22 per cent in the first eight months of the current fiscal year due to the impact of Covid-19.
• Exports to Afghanistan, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Iran, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives fell to $1.171 billion in 8MFY21, from $1.504bn the previous year, according to the latest data compiled by the State Bank of Pakistan.
• On the other hand, the country`s trade deficit with the region narrowed slightly during the period under review as imports from these countries also dipped

3. Talks begin on India`s disputed hydropower projects

• Pakistan and India began their first talks under the Permanent Indus Commission in two and a half years in New Delhi on March 23, 2021 to resolve the longstanding dispute over the hydroelectric projects India is building on the River Chenab.
• Reuters news agency quoted an Indian official as playing down prospects for a `breakthrough` in the ongoing talks.
• Pakistan`s delegation could not be contacted for its comments despite several attempts by Dawn

4. President confers civil awards on prominent personalities

• President Dr Arif Alvi on March 23, 2021 conferred Pakistan civil awards on prominent personalities including foreign nationals in recognition of their services in different fields of life including medicines, education, social services, fine arts and for showing gallantry in the war against terrorism and during the coronavirus pandemic.
• During the investiture ceremony held here at the President House in connection with Pakistan Day, the President bestowed Nishan-i-Imtiaz on Sadeqain Naqvi (Arts, Painting, Sculpture), Prof. Shakir Ali (Arts, Painting), Zahoor ul Haq (Arts, Painting/Sculpture), Abida Parveen Arts (Singing), Dr. Jameel Jalibi (Literature) and Ahmad Faraz (Literature).
• He also conferred awards on following personalities

5. Pakistan to borrow $5.025b from external sources by June

• Pakistan would continue to borrow from the international lenders in next few months to sustain the country’s foreign exchange reserves and to repay previous loans.
• Official documents of the Ministry of Economic Affairs show that the government would borrow at least $5.025 billion from the external sources in four months (March to June) of the current fiscal year.
• The government would borrow to maintain its foreign exchange reserves and to repay previous loans. However, this amount does not include the loan, which would be approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF is likely to approve around $500 million for Pakistan in next few days. The government had completed all the prior actions required for the approval of the next tranche of the IMF.

6. Rejecting US peace plan, Ghani to offer election in six months

• Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will propose a new presidential election within six months, under a peace plan he will put forward as a counter-offer to a US proposal that he rejects, according to two senior government officials.
• Ghani would unveil his proposal at an international gathering in Turkey next month, signaling his refusal to accept Washington`s plan for his elected government to be replaced by an interim administration, the officials said.

7. Sri Lanka secures $1.5bn Chinese loan

• Sri Lanka and China have signed a $1.5 billion currency swap deal, the island nation`s central bank said on March 23, 2021, as it struggles with a major foreign exchange crisis and debt repayments.
• Colombo had been negotiating for months to secure credit from China -its largest single source of imports -as the island`s foreign reserves plummet amid the pandemic.
• Chinese influence in the South Asian nation has been growing in recent years, through loans and projects under its vast Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, raising concerns among regional powers and Western nations

8. Russia and China hit back at Western sanctions

• The foreign ministers of China and Russia affirmed their countries` close ties at a meeting on March 23, 2021, amid intense criticism and new Western sanctions against them over human rights.
• Wang Yi and Sergei Lavrov rejected outside sniping at their authoritarian political systems and said they were working to further global progress on issues from climate change to the coronavirus pandemic

9. Chemists gain ‘NEW’ insights into behaviour of water

• Research on how water behaves in a proton channel provides possible new avenues for flu treatment. In a new study of water dynamics, a team of MIT chemists led by Professor Mei Hong, in collaboration with Associate Professor Adam Willard, has discovered that water in an ion channel is anisotropic, or partially aligned.
• The researchers’ data, the first of their kind, prove the relation of water dynamics and order to the conduction of protons in an ion channel.
• The work also provides potential new avenues for the development of antiviral drugs or other treatments. Members of the Hong lab conducted sophisticated nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments to prove the existence of anisotropic water in the proton channel of the influenza M virus, while members of the Willard group carried out independent all-atom molecular dynamics simulations to validate and augment the experimental data

10. Artwork from world`s largest canvas painting sells for $62m in Dubai

• An artwork created from the world`s largest canvas painting has sold for $62 million in Dubai, the second most expensive painting sold at auction by a living artist.
• The original painting, `The Journey of Humanity` by British artist Sacha Jafri, holds the Guinness World Record for the largest art canvas.
• Painted on one large canvas on the ballroom floor of the Atlantis hotel in Dubai over seven months of the coronavirus pandemic, the canvas was split into 70 lots for sale

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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.
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