April 2020

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs/News (April 20, 2020) for CSS, PMS


April 20 2020: National / International Current Affairs

1. Wearing masks made mandatory for air passengers

• The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has made wearing surgical masks for passengers and crew mandatory. Moreover, personal protection equipment (PPE) will be required to be worn by the crew to minimise the risk of Covid-19.
• `All cockpit and cabin crew will wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) dress and surgical masks throughout the duration of flight without compromising on safety,` said a spokesperson for the Aviation Division He said the government had approved operational SOPs for passengers and chartered international flights to Pakistan which covered effective steps required to control the spread of coronavirus disease.
• All passengers are required to wear surgical masks throughout the duration of flight and the masks shall be provided by the airline at check-in counters of the airport if the passengers did not have their own.

2. Ordinance against hoarding, smuggling introduced

• Federal Minister Law and Justice Barrister Dr. Farogh Naseem on April 19, 2020 said that the government had promulgated an ordinance against hoarding of essential commodities amidst spread of coronavirus to protect the interest of common man.
• The new ordinance contained three-year sentence, summary trial and confiscation of the material for hoarding of wheat, sugar, flour, ghee, sanitizers, face masks and other essential items, the minister said while addressing a press conference at PID Islamabad along with Parliamentary Secretary on Law and Justice Mulaeka Bokhari. The minister said that the government had also prepared an Anti-Smuggling Ordinance to stop the smuggling of dollars and essential commodities like wheat and sugar through the undeclared routes. The Ordinance had been sent to the office of prime minister for vetting. This law was likely to be promulgated by Monday or Tuesday, he said. The minister said that stern actions would be taken against those involved in smuggling essential items

3. AIOU to provide education to Afghan refugees

• Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has recently enrolled a number of Afghan refugees in Matric and FA programmes, so as to help them improving their education while living in Pakistan.
• According to Educational Rehabilitation Institute for Afghan Refugees in Balochistan, the AIOU is considered as a best option that can meet the educational needs of Afghan brothers and sisters in an accessible way. As per the academic plan, the AIOU will provide them learning facilities in their refugee camps, books will be sent by post and tutors will visit them and guide them in the camps.
• The university will also conduct examination in the premises of camps.
• Currently, the Afghan refugees are living all over the country and the government of Pakistan along with the international organizations have been trying to rehabilitate them in health, vocational training and education sectors through their financial and infrastructural support

4. Pakistan opens Afghan trade through Gwadar Port

• The government of Pakistan has allowed the import of Afghan bulk cargoes under Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement through Gwadar Port.
• “For the sake of efficient and cost-effective operationalisation of the Gwadar Port and the Western-Corridor of the CPEC, the import of Afghan bulk-cargo of wheat, sugar, and fertilizer at the Gwadar Port and onward transit to Afghanistan shall be permitted,” said an office memorandum issued by the Ministry of Commerce on April 17, 2020 regarding the implementation of the Import and Export Policy Orders through shipping procedure and instructions for operationalisation of the Gwadar Port.
• The Federation of Pakistan Chambers at Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PNCCI), Gwadar International Terminals Limited and other stakeholders were approaching the ministry of commerce with the request to allow import of Afghan bulk cargo at the Gwadar Port and onward transit to Afghanistan in salable trucks, said the documents.

5. `Sindh College Lectures` channel launched on YouTube

• Take a deep breath and make sure you are in a relaxed mood before and during recording. Briefly introduce yourself and make sure you look at the camera so that your students feel you are looking at them with your webcam set up at eye level.
• This was some of the advice posted in the lecture tutorials on the YouTube channel called `Sindh College Lectures`.
• The channel, launched officially by the College Education Department of the Government of Sindh, is inviting professors and lecturers to record and upload their lectures for facilitating students during the current coronavirus lockdown.

6. Leading member of Guinea govt dies from virus

• A top government official in Guinea and close ally of President Alpha Conde has died from the new coronavirus, the government said on April 19, 2020.
• Sekou Kourouma, who was secretary general of the government and a former minister, was taken ill last week and died in Conakry on Saturday.
• `Several senior state officials (have died) as a result of complications related to Covid-19,` the government said in a statement.

7. World economy headed towards ‘severe recession’ in 2020, says IMF

• The world economy, already “sluggish” before the coronavirus outbreak, is now bound to suffer a “severe recession” in 2020, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva has warned and said the current crisis posed “daunting challenges” for policymakers in many emerging markets and developing economies.
• Addressing the Development Committee Meeting during the annual Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, the IMF Managing Director said a large global contraction in the first half of this year was inevitable.
• She said the coronavirus pandemic hit the world economy when it was already in a fragile state as it was weighed down by trade disputes, policy uncertainty and geopolitical tensions.
• “The global coronavirus outbreak is a crisis that is like no other and poses daunting challenges for policymakers in many emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs), especially where the pandemic encounters weak public health systems, capacity constraints, and limited policy space to mitigate the outbreak’s repercussions,” Georgieva said. She said that the world economy was in a “sluggish” recovery before the coronavirus outbreak, warning that it is now bound to suffer a “severe recession” in 2020

8. Virus hands China its first economic contraction in decades

• China is an economic powerhouse as a major consumer and producer of goods and services. This is the first time China has seen its economy shrink in the first three months of the year since it started recording quarterly figures in 1992.
• “The GDP contraction in January-March will translate into permanent income losses, reflected in bankruptcies across small companies and job losses,” said Yue Su at the Economist Intelligence Unit. Last year, China saw healthy economic growth of 6.4 per cent in the first quarter, a period when it was locked in a trade war with the US. In the last two decades, China has seen average economic growth of around 9 per cent a year, although experts have regularly questioned the accuracy of its economic data.
• Its economy had ground to a halt during the first three months of the year as it introduced large-scale shutdowns and quarantines to prevent the virus spread in late January. As a result, economists had expected bleak figures, but the official data comes in slightly worse than expected

9. Ocean deoxygenation linked to ancient die-off

• In a new study, Stanford researchers have strongly bolstered the theory that a lack of oxygen in Earth’s oceans contributed to a devastating die-off approximately 444 million years ago.
• The new results further indicate that these anoxic (little- to no-oxygen) conditions lasted over 3 million years – significantly longer than similar biodiversity-crushing spells in our planet’s history. Beyond deepening understandings of ancient mass extinction events, the findings have relevance for today: Global climate change is contributing to declining oxygen levels in the open ocean and coastal waters, a process that likely spells doom for a variety of species. “Our study has squeezed out a lot of the remaining uncertainty over the extent and intensity of the anoxic conditions during a mass die-off that occurred hundreds of millions of years ago,” said lead author Richard George Stockey, a graduate student in the lab of study co-author Erik Sperling, an assistant professor of geological sciences at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth)

10. UEFA plans to resume Champions League from August 7

• European football`s governing body UEFA is mulling to continue the Champions League matches suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic on August 7-8, after the domestic leagues have reached their conclusion.
• According to a report on Sky Sports Italia, the first of the remaining matches in the Round of 16 will be played on August 7 and 8 after which there will be matches every three days until August 29 when the final is scheduled to be held.
• The semi-finals will be on August 18-19 and 21-22 before the final in Istanbul.

Daily Top-10 Current Affairs MCQs/News (April 20, 2020) for CSS, PMS

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Shahzad F. Malik

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