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February 2019

Day by Day Current Affairs (February 05, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS

Current Affairs MCQs 2019 Daily Updates
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

February 05, 2019: National Current Affairs

1. PM launches Sehat Insaf Cards programme

• Prime Minister Imran Khan on February 4, 2019 launched countrywide health insurance programme ‘Sehat Insaf cards’ for around 10 million people living below the poverty line.
• The progress of any country is not possible if it did not prioritise health and education sectors, and “government is [therefore] striving for bringing improvement in these sectors with all its available resources”.
• The Sehat Insaf Card would support medical treatment of up to Rs720,000 per family, he told the attendants of a ceremony wherein he also distributed Sehat Insaf Cards among some beneficiaries.
• The card would initially be distributed among the families in federal capital and erstwhile Fata region as the families there suffered immense hardships in the recent past.
• The initiative proved a success in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where around 69 percent of the poor families were given such cards to receive quality healthcare, he mentioned.
• Current National Health Services Minister: Dr Amir Mahmood Kiani

2. S&P downgrades Pakistan`s long-term credit rating

• Raising questions over economic fundamentals over the next two years, the Standard & Poor`s on February 4, 2019 downgraded Pakistan`s long-term credit rating to `B-Negative` from `B`, as the new government struggled with structural reform push.
• `Pakistan`s economic outlook, as well as its external position, have deteriorated well beyond our previous expectations,` said the New York-based rating agency, adding that it also lowered the long-term issue rating on senior unsecured debt and Sukuk bond to `B-` from `B`.
• With weaker economic settings and limited progress in addressing fiscal imbalances following the elections in mid-2018, the rating agency said: `The prospects for a rapid recovery in fiscal and external settings are now diminished.
• More modest growth prospects and limited reserve buffers will continue to challenge the country`s external position, even as the government receives financial aid from various partners.

3. Nation observes Kashmir Solidarity Day today (February 5, 2019)

• The nation is observing the Kashmir Solidarity Day on February 5, 2019 (today) in a befitting manner, with a pledge to continue extending all possible support to the people of India-held Kashmir, who are struggling for more than seven decades to get their legitimate right to self-determination.
• The day is being observed in Pakistan and other parts of the world at a time when Indian atrocities in held Kashmir have reached a new level of oppression and human rights denial to crush the indigenous freedom movement against the subjugating forces.
• The government has planned a number of activities to mark the day and expose massive human rights violations and brutality being committed by the Indian forces to suppress the indigenous freedom movement. The nation will observe a minute`s silence at 10am to pay tributes to Shuhada of Kashmir for sacrificing their lives for the right to self-determination in line with resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

4. Water wastage high in Pakistan: WB report

• Pakistan can get more economic, social and environmental benefits from its water, subject to urgent reforms to improve water use efficiency and service delivery, says a new report from the World Bank.
• The report, Pakistan: Getting More from Water, states that while Pakistan, the sixth most populous country in the world, is well-endowed with water, water availability per person is comparatively low. Water wastage is high and agricultural yields are low compared to most countries.
• Although climate change and transboundary issues are a significant hindrance for Pakistan’s water sector, the greatest challenges and opportunities are internal, not external, to Pakistan. So, improving water-use efficiency and productivity, delivery of water services in cities and in irrigation, and addressing environmental sustainability are the most pressing needs, according to this new analysis.

5. `Benami Act` to become operational from 8th

• After a delay of more than two years, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on February 4, 2019 announced that the Benami Act will become operational from Feb 8 onwards allowing government to confiscate properties and bank accounts registered with fictitious individuals.
• The law, which is in line with government`s efforts to document the economy, will allow authorities to take strict action against movable and immovable assets registered with fictitious individuals in order to avoid taxes. The legislation was made through an act of parliament in Jan 2017 but was put on cold burner owing to delay in finalisation of rules.

6. Breast cancer kills 110 every day in Pakistan

• Around 110 women die every day and 40,000 every year due to Breast Cancer in Pakistan which is an alarming and emergency situation and demands us to act quickly and effectively to counter the menace.
• Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pink Ribbon Omer Aftab said: “Pakistan has the highest prevalence of Breast Cancer in the entire Asian region. Every 9th woman is at high risk of Breast Cancer and a total of 10.2 million women are at stake.
• Cancer causes about 9.5 million deaths worldwide every year. About 26,000 people lose the battle per day.
• February 4 is commemorated as World Cancer Day and various events like festivals, walks, seminars and public information campaigns are held to raise awareness and educate people on how to fight cancer through screening and early detection, through healthy eating and physical activity, by quitting smoking, and by urging public officials to make cancer issues a priority.

7. Shazia Syed elected OICCI president

• Unilever Pakistan Limited Chief Executive Officer Ms Shazia Syed has been elected as Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) president for the 2019 term.
• This was announced at the 159th Annual General Meeting of the OICCI held here at the Chamber. Shazad G. Dada, CEO Standard Chartered Bank of Pakistan, was elected unopposed as the vice president.
• Shazia Syed is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of Unilever Pakistan Limited. She joined the Board on 1st November 2015. Prior to this, Shazia was Chairperson, Unilever Sri Lanka Limited

February 5, 2019: International Current Affairs

8. Pope calls for end to ME wars in historic Gulf trip, gets royal welcome

• Pope Francis on February 4, 2019 called for an end to wars in the Middle East during the first visit by the head of the Catholic Church to the birthplace of Islam the Arabian Peninsula. Pope Francis, who has made outreach to Muslim communities a cornerstone of his papacy, is on an historic three-day visit to the United Arab Emirates.
• On February 4, 2019, the pope held talks in Abu Dhabi with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb imam of Cairo`s Al Azhar, Sunni Islam`s prestigious seat of learning before delivering an address at an interfaith meeting. In his address, the pontiff pushed the need for justice, equality of citizens` rights and an end to all wars, including in Yemen.
• The pope said all religious leaders had a `duty to reject every nuance of approval from the word war`. `I am thinking in particular of Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya,` he said at the interfaith meeting attended by Sheikh Ahmed and UAE leaders.

9. 33pc of ice in region to melt by 2100: study

• At least a third of the ice in the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush will thaw this century as temperatures rise, disrupting river flows vital for growing crops from China to India, scientists said on February 4, 2019.
• Vast glaciers make the Hindu Kush Himalaya(HKH)region-which is home to the world`s highest peaks topped by Mount Everest and K2 a `third pole` behind Antarctica and the Arctic region, they said.
• `Global warming is on track to transform the frigid, glacier-covered mountain peaks of the HKH cutting across eight countries to bare rocks in a little less than a century,` said Wester of theInternational Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).
• The report, by 210 authors, said that more than a third of the ice in the region will melt by 2100 even if governments take tough action to limit global warming under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

10. ‘Japan, Germany to work towards global peace’

• Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on February 4, 2019 that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel share a responsibility to work towards global peace and prosperity, with both hoping for a prompt, democratic solution to Venezuela’s leadership crisis.
• Merkel, on a two-day visit to Japan, said that Germany recognises opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation’s interim president, joining many European nations, and said he should organise new elections as soon as possible. “Guaido is the person with whom we are talking and who we expect to initiate an election process as quickly as possible, and he is the legitimate interim president for this task from the German perspective and also from the perspective of many European partners,” Merkel told a news conference with Abe. “And we hope that this process is as short as possible and of course peaceful,” she added.
• Abe emphasized his cooperation with Merkel during a visit aimed a forging an “alliance of multilateralists” to resist U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” approach to trade and China’s pursuit of narrow national interests. “Our responsibility towards working for global prosperity and security has merely increased,” he said, adding that the two leaders would work for a global order “based on rules.”

Current Affairs MCQs 2019 Daily Updates 5 April 2019

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