May 2019

Day by Day Current Affairs (May 30, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS


May 30, 2019: National Current Affairs

1. NEC approves Rs1.837tr PSDP for 2019-20

• The National Economic Council which met with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair on May 29, 2019 approved Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2019-20 amounting to Rs1.837 trillion which includes Federal and Provincial Annual Development Programmes.
• The meeting reviewed Annual Plan 2018-19 and the proposed Annual Plan 2019-20. It approved GDP growth target of 4 percent along with sectoral growth of agriculture (3.5 percent), industry (2.2 percent) and services sector (4.8 percent) for next financial year.
• The NEC meeting reviewed draft 12th Five Year Plan that is 2018-23. It was informed that main themes of the 12th Five Year Plan include balanced and equitable regional development; sustainable, inclusive, job-creating export-led growth; resource mobilisation and improving governance; improving social protection; ensuring food and water security, enhancing connectivity, promoting knowledge economy and Clean and Green Pakistan.
• The NEC approved 12th Five Year Plan (2018-23), in principle. It was decided that the plan will be further fine-tuned, especially its implementation mechanism, in consultation with all stakeholders.

2. COAS, Afghan NSA take up border management

• Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib called on Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ in Rawalpindi on May 29, 2019. During the meeting, matters related to mutual interest, peace and stability in the region were discussed, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations directorate.
• It said management of Pak-Afghan border and prospects for peace with particular emphasis on reconciliation process in Afghanistan was also discussed

3. Govt extends airspace closure on Indian border till June 14

• Pakistani airspace on its eastern border with India will remain closed until June 14, a Civil Aviation Authority official said on May 29, 2019, the latest extension months after a standoff between the arch-rivals.
• Pakistan closed its airspace in February after IAF carried out Balakot airstrike.
• As a result of the ban, foreign carriers using Indian airspace have been forced to take costly detours because they cannot fly over Pakistan. The closure mainly affects flights from Europe to Southeast Asia. The flights from US and Europe flying in and out of New Delhi were worst hit.
• Air India has long haul (14-16 hours) flights to New York, Newark, Chicago, Washington and San Francisco.

4. Foot and mouth disease control programme wins UN award

• The ministry of national food security and research has been awarded the Edouard Saouma Award by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in recognition of its efforts under the National Control Programme for Foot and Mouth Disease.
• This year, the award has been awarded jointly to Pakistan and Rwanda. The award ceremony will take place in Rome on June 26 during the annual FAO conference.
• The Edouard Saouma Award is presented to a national or regional institution, which has implemented a particular project funded by FAO`s technical cooperation programme. The biennial award pays tributes to Edouard Saouma, who served as FAO director-general from 1976 to 1993.

5. Pakistan`s financing needs grow to 42.3pc of GDP: IMF

• Pakistan`s gross financing needs during 2019 increased to 42.3 per cent of GDP as budget deficit increased to 7pc and maturing debt widened to 35.1pc of the GDP, data released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) showed on May 28, 2019.
• The IMF in its fiscal monitor for April said that, `in Pakistan, the overall deficit was 2.5 percentage points of GDP looser than budgeted, owing to underperforming revenues and expenditure overruns related to the political cycle.
• The fiscal monitor also warned that many emerging market economies including Pakistan `have become vulnerable to rollover risks if they face large financing needs` amid `rising interest burdens, which exceeded 20 percent of total revenue in 2018 in … Pakistan.
• Moreover, the report also adds that Pakistan`s gross financing needs for 2020 are expected to reach 46pc of the GDP on account on anticipated increase in the budget deficit by 1.5 percentage points to 8.7pc and2.1 percentage points in maturing debt, which is expected to rise further to 37.2pc of the GDP.

6. Journalist Idrees Bakhtiar passes away

• Veteran journalist and broadcaster Idrees Bakhtiar passed away on May 29, 2019 evening in Karachi after a brief spell of hospitalisation.
• He had suffered a heart attack on Saturday evening soon after attending an Iftar at Karachi Press Club and had been admitted to the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases.
• Idrees Sahib, as he was popularly known among his many colleagues and admirers, was born in 1945 in Rajasthan, India. He moved to Hyderabad in Pakistan soon after Partition and, coming from a very humble background, his was a tremendous story of a lifetime of struggle and unflinching integrity.
• He began his career in journalism as a proofreader at Hyderabad`s daily Indus Times while still studying. After completing his Masters from Sindh University, he joined the wire agency Pakistan Press International (PPI), later moving on to the dailies Jasarat and The Leader. He then moved to Saudi Arabia for a few years to help launch Arab News. He returned to Karachi in the mid-1970s and joined the Dawn Group`s eveninger The Star around 1980 as its chief reporter, mainly focusing on city reporting.

May 29, 2019: International Current Affairs

7. Chevalier des Palmes Académiques awarded to Dr Saeed

• Dr Saeed Shafqat, Professor and Founding Director, Centre for Public Policy and Governance at Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) was honored with the Chevalier des Palmed Académiques by the French Embassy in Pakistan on 28th May.
• The ceremony took place at Forman Christian College where His Excellency, the Ambassador of France in Pakistan, Mr Marc Barety was present on behalf of the French Government to conduct the ceremony and confer the award. The Chevalier des Palmes Académiques is a very prestigious award given to those who have made significant contributions to French education and culture. The award was originally created by French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte but has since evolved to an order of merit.

8. Scotland sets out referendum rules for independence vote

• Scotland`s pro-independence government has set out new rules on referendums in the hope of holding another secession vote in the second half of 2020 if Britain`s parliament gives the go-ahead.
• A bill presented to the devolved Scottish parliament on May 29, 2019 aims to give clear ground rules that are legally watertight for any referendum vote.
• In 2014, Scots rejected leaving their 300-year-old union with England and Wales by 55 to 45 percent.
• Polls say support for independence has grown since, but a majority still back the current UK political structure.

9. Maldives ex-president elected parliament speaker

• The Maldives’ parliament has overwhelmingly voted the country’s first democratically-elected president as the speaker of the house. Mohamed Nasheed received 67 votes from among 87 members. His rival received 17 votes past midnight on May 28, 2019.
• The speaker also has a role in the Judicial Services Commission that regulates the Supreme Court, and is third in line should the positions of the president and vice president become vacant.
• President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s Maldivian Democratic Party has swept the parliamentary elections, winning 65 out of 87 seats. Last year, Solih defeated strongman Yameen Abdul Gayoom in the presidential vote.

10. China steps up threat to deprive US of rare earths

• Chinese state media dangled on May 29, 2019 the threat of cutting exports of rare earths to the US as a counter-strike in the trade war, potentially depriving Washington of a key resource used to make everything from smartphones to military hardware.
• The warning is the latest salvo in a dispute that has intensihed since President Donald Trump ramped up tariffs against China and moved to blacklist telecom giant Huawei earlier this month, while trade talks have apparently stalled.
• Huawei stepped up its legal battle on May 29, 2019, announcing it had filed a motion in US court for summary judgement to speed up its bid to overturn US legislation that bars federalagencies from using its equipment over security concerns.
• Beijing had already dropped a big hint that rare earths could be in the firing line by showing images last week of President Xi Jinping visiting a rare earths factory in Ganzhou

Day by Day Current Affairs (May 30, 2019) | MCQs for CSS, PMS

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