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April 19, 2023: National Current Affairs MCQs
1. Chinese mine operator in Thar halves production
• The Chinese mine operator in Thar whose output feeds coal based power plants generating 1,360 megawatts has reportedly cut its production by half over non-payment of dues to the tune of $60 million.
• The China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) which works under an offshore agreement with Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) as the operator of an open-pit lignite mine in Block-II of the Thar coalfield has formally informed SECMC about its `limitation of operation` that may lead to a complete mining halt within one month.
• Sources told Dawn the Chinese contractor hasn`t received any payment since May 2022
2. Talha given portfolio of religious affairs
• JUI-F`s Senator Talha Mahmood has been given the additional charge of Religious Affairs minister, the post that fell vacant following the death of Mufti Abdul Shakoor in a car crash.
• Mr Mahmood, who is currently serving as States and Frontier Regions minister, took charge on Tuesday after his appointment was notified by the prime minister`s office.
• In his initial meeting with the ministry officials, Mr Mahmood offered prayers for his predecessor and issued directives to ensure the best possible facilities for Haj pilgrims.
• Later, Mr Mahmood held a meeting with Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said al-Malki
3. Pakistan urges SCO to prioritise climate action
• Warning that the sustainability of life on earth and the overall socio-economic development of current and future generations are now under threat, Pakistan on April 18, 2023 urged the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to prioritise climate action.
• Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman, representing Pakistan at the 4th Meeting of the Heads of the Ministers and Agencies of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states responsible for environmental protection emphasised the critical role that the SCO could play at the regional level in achieving shared goals related to environmental sustainability and climate resilience.
• She also highlighted the value of the SCO as a forum for member states to share their perspectives on this existential crisis that is now redefining global, regional, and national priorities and responses in the 21st century
4. RIUT becomes functional after 11 years
• The Rawalpindi Institute of Urology and Transplantation (RIUT) became functional after 11 years as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif inaugurated the facility on April 18, 2023.
• Work on the 400-bed hospital was started in 2012 at a cost of Rs2 billion but the slow pace of work escalated the cost to Rs3.4 billion. Moreover, the number of beds was also reduced to 200. Initially, the project cost was Rs1.5 billion but due to the slow funding it escalated thrice reaching over Rs3 billion.
• The previous PTI-led Punjab government released only Rs2OO million for the project in 2019-20.
• But after the change of government last year, the federal and provincial governments sped up efforts to complete the project
5. Russia summons Western diplomats over `meddling` in dissident`s case
• Russia`s foreign ministry summoned the US, British and Canadian ambassadors for a dressing down on April 18, 2023 after they condemned the conviction of an opposition politician on treason charges.
• A Moscow court jailed Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara Murza, who holds Russian and British passports, for 25 years on Monday after a trial he and the West said was politically motivated.
• Kara-Murza, 41, had lobbied Western governments for sanctions that were later imposed on Russia and individual Russians for purported human rights violations, and condemned what Moscow calls its `special military operation` in Ukraine
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