May 2020

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs/News (May 16, 2020) for CSS, PMS

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs/News (May 16, 2020) for CSS, PMS
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

May 16, 2020: National / International Current Affairs

1. State Bank of Pakistan tapers off policy rate to 8 percent

• The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on May 15, 2020 reduced the policy rate by 100 basis points to 8 percent, to assist the economy fight against COVID-19.
• The decision taken in the MPC meeting, reflect the MPC’s view that the inflation outlook has improved further in light of the recent cut in domestic fuel prices. As a result, inflation could fall closer to the lower end of the previously announced ranges of 11-12 percent this fiscal year and 7-9 percent next fiscal year, according to a news release. The MPC highlighted that the coronavirus pandemic has created unique challenges for monetary policy due to its non-economic origin and the temporary disruption of economic activity required to combat it.
• While easier monetary policy can neither affect the rate of infection transmission nor prevent the near-term fall in economic activity due to lockdowns, it can provide liquidity support to households and businesses to help them through the ensuing temporary phase of economic disruption. In particular, the successive policy rate cuts and sizeable cheap loans provided through the SBP’s enhanced refinancing facilities have helped maintain credit flows, bolster the cash flow of borrowers, and support asset prices. This has contained the tightening of financial conditions that would otherwise have amplified the initial necessary contraction in activity.

2. Limited domestic flight operations resume today

• The government has decided to open the limited domestic flight operations from five major airports -Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta from May 16, 2020 (today) due to growing demand and ease in coronavirus restrictions across the country.
• However, the government extended suspension of the international night operations to Sunday (May 31) at 2359 hours PST, pushing back its first announcement for resuming international flights from May 15.
• The Civil Aviation Authority has issued the requisite NOTAM (notice to airmen) regarding allowing restricted domestic schedule and chartered passenger flight operations between five airports only in accordance with the guidelines which will be valid until midnight of June 30

3. Pakistan gets license to produce medicine for virus patients

• Pakistan will soon start manufacturing breakthrough COVID-19 treatment drug Remdesivir under license from US pharmaceutical company Gilead, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza said on May 16, 2020.
• Addressing a news conference in the capital Dr Mirza said a Pakistani pharmaceutical company has concluded its voluntary licensing agreement with the US pharmaceutical company – Gilead – for the manufacture and sale of the drug. According to Dr Mirza, Pakistan is one of the five countries that the US Company has signed a licensing agreement with for manufacturing the drug. He further said that production of the medicine can commence as early as eight weeks from now, after the necessary regulatory approvals are obtained. According to the PM’s assistant this development represents an important step forward for Pakistan on health, economic and diplomatic fronts, it further helps provide the country’s citizens and frontline healthcare workers access to the latest treatment for the pandemic in a fast-tracked manner

4. Wearing face mask in public made mandatory

• The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) May 15, 2020 emphasised that individual and society at large be informed and educated through a robust public awareness campaign for mobilising the masses on wearing face masks as mandatory in public places.
• The NCOC meeting headed by Minister for Planning Development Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar discussed the current status of testing capacity of the country per million, stocks of ventilators available and its future demand and capacity building of the health care professionals to cope with the pandemic at different tiers.
• Earlier, the NCOC was told that a special documentary on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was successfully launched and telecast on all Wearing face mask in public dia channels. Awareness and correct usage about PPE is very important for safety and well being of those who are fighting COVID-19 in the front lines

5. Special police reporting desk set up for transgender people

• For the first time in Punjab, the Rawalpindi police have established a special reporting desk on the premises of the women police station with a transgender woman as a facilitator and victim support officer to facilitate the transgender people.
• Reem Shareef, who holds a master degree in International Relations, will play as a bridge between the transgender people and police.
• A male and a female police officer will also work with her at the “Tahaffuz” reporting centre. City Police Officer (CPO) Mohammad Ahsan Younas told Dawn that “Tahaffuz” reporting and khidmat markaz is the first of its kind for transgender people in Punjab

6. Punjab, KP decide to conditionally lift ban on public transport

• Following a televised appeal by Prime Minister Imran Khan to the provinces to lift a ban on public transport vehicles, governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on May 15, 2020 decided in principle to conditionally allow the plying of such vehicles in their areas but Sindh declined the request, citing a spike in Covid-19 cases in the province.
• While issuing the appeal, the prime minister acknowledged that there was no consensus on the matter among the provinces. But he said that lifting the ban would benefit the people.
• He said that public transport vehicles were used mainly by the common and poor people, including labourers. Even in countries like the United States and England, where tens of thousands of people died of Covid-19, no ban had been imposed on public transport vehicles, he added.

7. ECC allocates Rs75bn for labourers, daily wage earners

• The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on May 15, 2020 set aside Rs75 billion for distribution among labourers and daily wage earners through the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).
• This is part of the Prime Minister’s Relief Package of Rs200bn for labourers and daily wage earners that was earlier to be coordinated by the Ministry of Industries and Production and Commerce through industries and business houses for not laying off workers.
• A meeting of the ECC, presided over by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, also approved the mechanism for the Emergency Cash Assistance (Criteria and Mechanism) to workers whose livelihoods have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic

8. Malaysia signs record rice import deal with India

• Malaysia has contracted to import a record 100,000 tonnes of rice from India for shipment this month and next, four industry officials told Reuters, in a further sign of improving trade relations between the countries after a diplomatic spat.
• The first such purchase this year is already nearly twice the average annual volume of rice Malaysia has imported from India in the last five years, as rival suppliers such as Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia placed temporary curbs on exports to save the grain for themselves during the coronavirus crisis.
• Malaysia’s purchases would help trim rice stockpiles in India, the world’s biggest exporter of the commodity

9. Facebook buys animated graphics startup GIPHY

• Facebook said on May 15, 2020 it had acquired the animated graphics startup GIPHY and would integrate the company in its Instagram visual social network.
• Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the news site Axios said the California-based tech giant was paying $400 million.
• GIPHY is a platform and search engine for “stickers” and other products using the graphics interchange format or GIFs

10. UN won’t vote electronically in Security Council election

• The UN General Assembly will cast ballots in-person for five new non-permanent Security Council seats, its president said May 14, 2020, effectively ruling out electronic voting despite the coronavirus pandemic.
• In a letter to UN members obtained by AFP, President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande said that voting members would be “invited to visit the venue at the designated time slot communicated to them in advance” in order to cast their ballot.
• Mexico and India are guaranteed a spot on the Council as the only countries in the running to represent Latin America and Asia respectively

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs/News (May 16, 2020) for CSS, PMS

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About the author

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.
Shahzad Faisal Malik has worked as a Graphic Designer/Content Creator at CSSTimes in the past. In his free time, Shahzad Faisal Malik enjoys watching Cricket, writing blogs for different websites and is always on the lookout for new and interesting content to share with the readers of this website.
As the website administrator, Shahzad Faisal Malik is dedicated to providing high-quality content and fostering a welcoming and engaging community for readers. He looks forward to connecting with readers and hearing their thoughts and feedback on the website.

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