March 2020

Day by Day Current Affairs (March 17, 2020) MCQs for CSS, PMS

Day by Day Current Affairs (March 17, 2020) MCQs for CSS, PMS
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

March 17, 2020: National / International Current Affairs

1. Alvi arrives in China to explore avenues for collaboration

• President Dr Arif Alvi arrived here on March 16, 2020 on a two-day visit to China at the invitation of President Xi Jinping.
• He is accompanied by a delegation including Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and senior officials.
• The president was warmly welcomed by Chinese Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Changfu, Pakistan`s Ambassador to China Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi and other senior officials of the Chinese government and Pakistan Embassy in Beijing.
• A smartly turned out contingent of the People`s Liberation Army presented a guard of honour.

2. Justice Naqvi takes oath as SC judge

• Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi was sworn in as a judge of the Supreme Court on March 16, 2020 to complete the sanctioned strength of 17 judges in the apex court.
• Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed administered the oath of office to Justice Naqvi in a simple and dignified ceremony held at the ceremonial hall of the Supreme Court.
• Justice Nagvi`s appointment will fill the coveted office of the Supreme Court judge that fell vacant after the retirement of former chief justice Asif Saeed Khosa.
• Justice Naqvi was earlier recommended to be appointed as judge of the apex court by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan in its meeting on March 4, which was presided over by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed

3. Ban on entry of tourists approved by AJK cabinet

• The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) cabinet on March 16, 2020 approved a ban on the entry of tourists in the territory for three weeks, along with some other decisions, to ensure safety of local people from the looming novel coronavirus threat.
• The cabinet meeting was held in Kashmir House and presided over by Senior Minister Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, as Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider had been advised by doctors to take rest in the wake of his eye operation.
• The cabinet directed the health department to immediately coordinate with the finance department for release of funds for personal protection equipment for medics. The department was also asked to coordinate with National Institute of Health (NIH) and other concerned institutions for early establishment of testing labs in AJK.

4. Torkham border closed for two weeks

• Cross border movement at Torkham came to a complete halt on March 16, 2020 as the crossing was closed for two weeks as part of efforts to control spread of conoravirus from the neighbouring countries.
• The federal government had announced on March 13 to shut down its western borders with Iran and Afghanistan.
• Hundreds of thousands of Afghans reached the Torkham border on Saturday to get back to their country in anticipation of its closure.
• Immigration and local police officials said an unprecedented number of Afghan and Pakistani nationals crossed the border on Saturday, the last day before its closure

5. China industrial production shrinks for first time in decades

• China`s industrial production has contracted for the first time in three decades as the coronavirus epidemic wreaked havoc on the economy, official data showed March 16, 2020.
• Industrial production for January and February shrank 13.5 per cent in the first two months of the year, markedly worse than a Bloomberg poll of analysts which forecaste a 3pc drop on-year.
• Retail sales plummeted 20.5pc from a year ago during the same period its worst showing in decades as well after rising 8pc in 2019.
• Analysts had expected a 4pc fall

6. First human trial of vaccine begins

• The first human trial to evaluate a candidate vaccine against the new coronavirus has begun in Seattle, US health officials said on March 16, 2020, raising hopes in the global fight against the disease.
• But it may be another year to 18 months before it becomes available, once it has passed more trial phases to prove it works and is safe.
• The vaccine is called mRNA-1273 and was developed by US National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and collaborators at biotechnology company Moderna, which is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

7. EU to close borders

• Border closures, checks French President Emmanuel Macron says the 27-nation European Union is to close all its external borders for 30 days.
• Germany implements controls at its land borders with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
• Spain announces it is closing its land borders.
• Chile closes all its land, maritime and air frontiers.
• Egypt will close its airports from Thursday to March 31.
• Greece announces a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals on Greek soil.
• French, Germans `stay home` Macron orders French people tostay home from midday Tuesday except for essential travel for the next 15 days and says violators will be `punished`.

8. Russian court okays Putin`s plan to prolong his rule

• Russia`s constitutional court approved on March 16, 2020 a package of amendments, including a `reset` of President Vladimir Putin`s previous terms, giving him the possibility to rule into 2036.
• The approval came just two days after Putin signed the reform bill, which has faced fierce criticism from opposition figures who say it will allow the Russian leader to become `president for life` The court published the ruling on its website, upholding a wide-ranging package of reforms first proposed by Putin in January and approved last week by the two houses of parliament.
• A public vote on the reforms has been scheduled for April 22, but it was unclear whether that might be delayed by the coronavirus crisis.

9. IMF to mobilise $1tr to fight coronavirus

• The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on March 16, 2020 it`s ready to use it s $1 trillion lending capacity to help countries struggling with the humanitarian and economic impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
• The US Federal Reserve offered a massive monetary stimulus to encourage economic growth, by slashing interest rates tozero.It also launched a $700 billion quantitative easing programme to shelter the economy from the effects of the virus.
• `The IMF stands ready to mobilise its $1 trillion lending capacity to help our membership,` IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement. `As a first line of defence, the Fund can deploy its flexible and rapiddisbursing emergency response toolkit to help countries with urgent balance-of-payment needs

10. French anti-trust regulator fines Apple $1.2bn

• France’s competition watchdog on March 16, 2020 fined iPhone maker Apple 1.1 billion euros ($ 1.23 billion), saying it was guilty of anti-competitive behaviour towards its distribution and retail network.
• The fine, the biggest ever levied by the French antitrust body, comes at a time of heightened scrutiny on US tech giants by European regulators, who have been delving into the firms’ powerful market position, the tax they pay, and how they protect consumers’ privacy.
• Apple said it would appeal the watchdog’s ruling, which it said was at odds with legal precedent in France.

Day by Day Current Affairs (March 17, 2020) MCQs for CSS, PMS

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Shahzad F. Malik

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