February 2021

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (February 17, 2021) for CSS, PMS

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (February 17, 2021) for CSS, PMS
Shahzad F. Malik
Written by Shahzad F. Malik
WELCOME TO CSS TIMES DAY BY  DAY CURRENT AFFAIRS, YOUR BEST SOURCE FOR UP-TO-DATE AND DAILY TOP CURRENT AFFAIRS 2021 FOR PREPARATION OF CSS, PMS, BANKING, NTS, RAILWAYS AND ALL COMPETITIVE EXAMS.  “DAY TO DAY CURRENT AFFAIRS” BASICALLY IS TOP 10 NEWS SUMMARY ON CURRENT HAPPENINGS OF NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE FOR ALL EXAMINATIONS

February 17, 2021: National / International Current Affairs


1. Accord reached with IMF for release of $500m

• With energy tariffs jacked up, Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have reached a staff-level agreement for disbursement of $500 million as they finalised modified `ambitious policy actions` on expenditure cuts and revenue measures for revival of $6 billion fund programme disrupted since February 2020.
• A statement issued by the IMF said the two sides completed second to fifth (March 2020 to March 2021) quarterly reviews a rare phenomenon given the pandemic and the fund projected an economic growth rate of 1.5 per cent for the current financial year against last year`s negative growth rate of 0.4pc


2. Pakistan Navy`s Aman exercise concludes

• The biennial multinational maritime exercise Aman-2021, with 45 countries, including China, Russian, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, the United States and Sri Lanka participating along with their fleets, culminated in the Arabian Sea on February 16, 2021 with an impressive international fleet review witnessed by President Dr Arif Alvi from aboard Pakistan Navy`s largest ship built at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Worksin collaboration with M/s Savunma Teknologiler Muhendisilik of Turkey, the 17,000-tonne fleet tanker the majestic PNS Moawin.


3. Joint PDM candidate wins Pishin by-poll with big margin

• Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI-F) candidate Syed Azizullah Agha won the by-election of Balochistan Assembly`s vacant seat of PB-20 (Pishin-III) with a massive majority against his rival Asmatullah Tareen of ruling Balochistan Awami Party on February 16, 2021.
• According to official results received late in to the night, Mr Agha obtained 16,086 votes while Mr Tareen could get only 2,963 votes.
• The JUI-F candidate enjoyed the support of all political parties which are part of the Pakistan Democratic Movement alliance


4. Covid brought major change in internet viewership: report

• Amid threats of Covid-19 and lockdowns, the year 2020 witnessed a significant change in internet viewership as searches like sadqa, pet, cooking, mental health, gender equality, kids` home activities, etc, at Google were among the top trends in Pakistan.
• A report titled `What is Pakistan Searching for?` captures the collective trending searches and sheds light on what captured people`s curiosity for online users across the country.


5. First meeting of 10th National Finance Commission to be held tomorrow

• First meeting of 10th National Finance Commission (NFC) would be held tomorrow (February 18, 2021) in Islamabad to review the fiscal position of centre and provinces and to initiate discussion for devising new resource sharing formula.
• The federal government and provinces would discuss the latest fiscal situation of the country and the four provinces. The first meeting of reconstituted NFC might also constitute various sub-groups on various sectors including the shape of future scope of fiscal arrangements between the centre and the provinces and among the provinces, officials said on Tuesday


6. French lawmakers approve bill to battle Islamist extremism

• France`s lower house of parliament on February 16, 2021 voted in favour of a law to battle `Islamist separatism` that is billed by the government as a riposte to religious groups attempting to undermine the secular state.
• The draft legislation, which has been criticised for stigmatising Muslims and giving the state new powers to limit speech and religious groups, was backed by a clear majority of MPs in the National Assembly


7. UK set for new laws to protect free speech on campus

• Britain is set to introduce new laws guaranteeing freedom of speech in universities to counteract what the government on February 16, 2021 called “unacceptable silencing and censoring” on campuses.
• As part of the plans, the government is considering appointing a “free speech champion” to investigate possible breaches of the right to expression, while academics who lose their jobs in similar disputes may be able to claim compensation.


8. Iran, Russia start ‘Maritime Security Belt Exercise’

• Iran armed forces on February 16, 2021 launched a joint naval drill with Russia in the north of the Indian Ocean designed to “enhance security” of maritime trade, state TV reported.
• The ‘Maritime Security Belt Exercise’ is to cover an area of 17,000 square kilometers and include units from the Iranian army and the elite Revolutionary Guards as well as Russia´s navy, the broadcaster quoted drill spokesman Rear Admiral Gholamreza Tahani as saying


9. A new theory explains how superconductivity arises

• In a study published in Quantum Materials, Si of Rice University and Nica of Arizona State University argue that unconventional superconductivity in some iron-based and heavy-fermion materials arises from a general phenomenon called “multiorbital singlet pairing.” In superconductors, electrons form pairs and flow without resistance.
• Physicists cannot fully explain how pairs form in unconventional superconductors, where quantum forces give rise to strange behavior.


10. NASA to launch initial elements for Lunar outpost

• NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services for the agency’s Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) and Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), the foundational elements of the Gateway.
• As the first long-term orbiting outpost around the Moon, the Gateway is critical to supporting sustainable astronaut missions under the agency’s Artemis program. After integration on Earth, the PPE and HALO are targeted to launch together no earlier than May 2024 on a Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida


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Shahzad F. Malik

Shahzad F. Malik

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