February 2021

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs / News (February 23, 2021) for CSS, PMS


February 23, 2021: National / International Current Affairs

1. CM launches Rehmatul Lil Alameen Scholarship Programme

• Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar February 22, 2021 launched the Rehmatul Lil Alameen (PBUH) Scholarship Programme and inaugurated its website at a ceremony.
• As many as 14,891 students of Intermediate and BS (Hons) will be given scholarships worth Rs 41.70 crore and the amount will be expanded to Rs one billion in the next budget. Addressing the ceremony, the Chief Minister asserted the launch of the Rehmatul Lil Alameen (PBUH) Scholarship Programme was an honour for him. “The respect, glory, honour and grandeur of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) cannot be expressed in words. The immaculate character and glory of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) cannot be expressed in words”, he observed

2. 27pc drop in foreign direct investment

• Foreign direct investment (FDI) during the first seven months of the current fiscal year fell by 27 per cent compared to the same period of last fiscal year, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on February 22, 2021.
• The FDI during July-Jan FY21 was $1.145 billion against an inflow of $1.577bn in the same period last fiscal year. The inflow during January was$192.7m compared to $219m in the same month of previous fiscal year; 12 per cent decline was noted.
• However, the seven month decline was mainly due to a decline in net FDI from China and increase in net outflow to Norway

3. Pakistan to host World Environment Day this year

• Pakistan will host World Environment Day this year to mark the launch of United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) was informed on February 22, 2021.
• Environmental issues being faced by Pakistan and initiatives taken to mitigate it will be highlighted.
• The day will be celebrated across the world through various events and activities under Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs)

4. Japan announces $3.7m for Afghan refugees, host communities in country

• The Japanese government announced on February 22, 2021 a contribution of $3.7 million to support UN refugee agency`s programmes and activities for Afghan refugees and host communities in Pakistan.
• The three-year project will focus on education, livelihood assistance and community structures in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, benefitting over 240,000 individuals

5. NA panel blocks bill for unspecified surcharge

• Days after a staff-level agreement for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme revival, a parliamentary panel on February 22, 2021 blocked a government bill seeking restoration of its powers to impose unspecified amount of surcharges on electricity consumers.
• Through the bill, the government attempted to regain the powers for imposition of surcharge that had been withdrawn in 2017

6. Italian ambassador killed in DR Congo attack

• Italy`s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo was among three people killed on February 22, 2021 when a UN convoy came under attack in the troubled east, DRC sources and the Italian government said.
• Luca Attanasio died of his wounds after a World Food Programme (WFP) convoy came under gunfire near Goma while he was on a field trip, a senior diplomatic source said in Kinshasa

7. Iran could boost uranium enrichment to 60pc, says Khamenei

• Iran`s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on February 22, 2021 that the Islamic republic could boost uranium enrichment to 60 percent if needed, vowing to `not back down on the nuclear issue`.
• That would be far above the 3.67 percent limit Iran had accepted under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, but still short of the around 90 percent required to make an atomic bomb

8. US crosses 500,000th Covid-19 death

• The United States crossed the staggering milestone of 500,000 Covid-19 deaths on February 22, 2021 just over a year since the coronavirus pandemic claimed its first known victim in Santa Clara County, California.
• The country had recorded more than 28 million Covid cases and 500,054 lives lost as of Monday afternoon, although daily cases and hospitalisations have fallen to the lowest level since before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays

9. Study shows life from earth could survive on Mars

• Study shows sending microbes to Earth’s stratosphere, to test their endurance to Martian conditions, can reveal their potential use and threats to space travel. Some microbes on Earth could temporarily survive on the surface of Mars, finds a new study by NASA and German Aerospace Center scientists.
• The researchers tested the endurance of microorganisms to Martian conditions by launching them into the Earth’s stratosphere, as it closely represents key conditions on the Red Planet. Published in Frontiers in Microbiology, this work paves the way for understanding not only the threat of microbes to space missions, but also the opportunities for resource independence from Earth.

10. Fakhar, Hafeez power Lahore to clinical win over Quetta

• Excellent knocks by Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez helped Lahore Qalandars cruise to their second straight victory in the HBL Pakistan Super League 6 when they crushed Quetta Gladiators by nine wickets at the National Stadium on February 22, 2021.
• Quetta`s second defeat on the trot left their skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed livid as his charges simply let the match slip away from their grasp. Fakhar and Hafeez toyed with a bowling attack that was disappointingly toothless from start to finish

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