Sunday, May 19, 2024
Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 28th & 29th April, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 28 & 29 April 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Critical Minerals Summit Held in New Delhi To Boost Domestic Production

India To Host Critical Minerals Summit To Boost Domestic Production

  • The Ministry of Mines, along with partners like the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, and the Indian Institute of Sustainable Development, is gearing up to host the “Critical Minerals Summit: Enhancing Beneficiation and Processing Capabilities” from April 29 to April 30, 2024. The summit rtake place at the India Habitat Centre in Lodhi Estate, New Delhi.
  • This summit is a significant gathering aimed at promoting collaboration, knowledge sharing, and innovation in the field of critical mineral beneficiation and processing. 
  • One of the summit’s highlights is the focus on eight key minerals: Glauconite (Potash), Lithium – Rare Earth Elements (Laterite), Chromium, Platinum Group, Graphite, Tungsten associated with Graphite, Rare Earths (RE), and Vanadium associated with Graphite. Technical sessions on these minerals will provide valuable opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange among businesses.

Centre paid Rs 147.82 crore in interest subsidy on loans under PM SVANidhi

Centre paid Rs 147.82 crore in interest subsidy on loans under PM SVANidhi

  • The central government has paid Rs 147.82 crore in interest subsidy to street vendors under PM SVANidhi scheme since it began in 2020 and till March 31, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said.
  • The street vendors availing loans under the scheme are eligible to get an interest subsidy of 7 per cent for all the loans – 1st, 2nd, and 3rd loans. The interest subsidy amount is credited into the borrower’s account quarterly.
  • Lenders have to submit quarterly claims for interest subsidy for quarters ending on June 30, September 30, December 31 and March 31 during each financial year.

Russian Chamber of Commerce & Industry opens office in Mumbai amid big interest of entrepreneurs in India

Russian Chamber of Commerce & Industry opens office in Mumbai amid big interest of entrepreneurs in India

  • Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has opened its office in Mumbai to give a boost to the bilateral trade between Russia and India amid big number of Russian entrepreneurs seeking partners in the country.
  • This expansion is seen as a significant step towards fostering business and trade cooperation between Russian and Indian companies, creating a platform for mutually beneficial partnerships in various sectors such as manufacturing, technology, and energy.
  • In addition to its presence in Mumbai, the CCI office will also operate in Nepal, a member country of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

India set to sign trade deal with Oman to expand its Middle East ties

India set to sign trade deal with Oman to expand its Middle East ties1#q

  • India and Oman will sign a trade deal in the coming months, two Indian government officials said, as New Delhi seeks to expand its ties in the Middle East, where rising tensions are putting major shipping routes at risk.
  • India and Oman have annual trade of less than $13 billion, but the relationship is important for New Delhi as the Gulf nation is a gateway to the narrow Strait of Hormuz between Oman and Iran, a major transit point for global oil shipments.
  • The planned deal with Oman “also gives a competitive edge as GCC is negotiating trade agreements with Pakistan and China,” the official said.
  • Oman has agreed to eliminate duties on Indian exports worth an annual $3 billion including agricultural products, gems and jewellery, leather, automobiles, medical devices, engineering products and textiles, the officials said. 


BANKING & FINANCE

RBI proposes tighter norms for LSPs offering multiple loan products

RBI proposes tighter norms for LSPs offering multiple loan products

  • The Reserve Bank of India has issued a draft circular proposing the framework for aggregation of loan products by lending service providers (LSPs) in order to ensure complete transparency for borrowers in the credit intermediation process.
  • The central bank said it has observed that many LSPs and regulated entities (RE) acting as LSPs  offer aggregation services for loan products through outsourcing arrangements with several lenders. Herein, the Digital Lending App/ Platform (DLA) of the LSP/RE matches the borrower to one of the lenders.
  • As per the proposed norms, regulated entities will need to ensure that LSPs provide a digital view of all the loan offers available as per the borrowers’ requirements, from all willing and partner LSPs. While the LSP may adopt any mechanism to ascertain the willingness of the lenders to offer a loan, it shall follow a consistent approach which has been disclosed on their website.

RBI moots digital view of loan offers

RBI moots digital view of loan offers

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come out with draft guidelines for ‘Digital Lending – Transparency in Aggregation of Loan Products from Multiple Lenders.’
  • This is to ensure that lending service providers (LSPs) provide a digital view of the loans they offer to customers in partnership with other entities. It is set to bring in the much-needed transparency in the system.
  • The banking regulator, in a draft circular on digital lending, said the identity of a potential lender may not be known to a borrower in cases where an LSP has arrangements with multiple lenders.
  • A digital view will provide a host of details to ensure that customers have prior information about potential lenders to make an informed decision on a loan product.
  • These details will include names of the regulated entities (REs) extending the loan offer, amount and tenor of loan, the annual percentage rate (APR) and other key terms and conditions. These enable a borrower to make a fair comparison between various offers.

RBI directs TalkCharge to return funds in PPI- wallets to consumers

TalkCharge

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on directed Gurugram-based company TalkCharge to refund the prepaid funds held in the wallets of its customers. This directive comes as TalkCharge has been issuing Prepaid Payment Instruments (Wallets) without proper authorisation from the central bank.
  • TalkCharge offers services such as cashbacks, coupons, and wallets to customers. The company had issued a legal notice to its customers demanding the return of cashback while threatening them that failure to do so would result in the matter being reported to the RBI. 
  • Further, the Central bank also cautioned the public to exercise utmost caution while using websites/applications and parting with their money to any such unauthorised entity.

RBI Lays Out Roadmap For Small Lenders To Achieve Universal Bank Status

Universal Bank Status

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released a set of criteria that small lenders need to achieve, including performance metrics and market listing, to become a universal bank and provide comprehensive services to both retail and corporate clients.
  • The criteria include a five-year track record of satisfactory performance, a net worth of 10 billion rupees, meeting capital requirements, recent profitability and limited non-performing assets, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said.
  • Existing promoters can continue without new additions and approved shareholding plans will remain unchanged, while diversified loan portfolios are favoured, the central bank said.

AU Small Finance Bank eligible for universal banking licence application

RBI gives approval to Fincare Small Finance Bank's merger with AU bank

  • Due to the stringent asset quality norms set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), only one, AU Small Finance Bank, out of 11 small finance banks meets the eligibility criteria to apply for a universal banking licence. The remaining banks will likely need to wait for at least a few more quarters.
  • AU Small Finance Bank, the largest lender among the pack, has met all the criteria established by the regulatory authority. AU boasts a net worth of Rs 12,560 crore, has recorded profits for the previous two fiscal years, and maintained gross and net non-performing assets below 3 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively, as mandated by the RBI.
  • Additionally, it maintains a well-diversified loan portfolio, aligning with the regulator’s expectations.  

Axis pips Kotak Bank as 3rd most valued private bank

Axis Bank introduces digital opening of US dollar fixed deposit for NRI customers at GIFT City

  • Axis Bank overtook Kotak Mahindra Bank to become India’s third most valued private lender after a rout in the latter’s stock. 
  • A steep fall in shares of Kotak Mahindra Bank following the RBI ban on onboarding customers online and via mobile banking helped, and so did the apex bank’s ban on Kotak’s credit card acquisitions. 
  • Axis Bank, with a market cap of Rs 3.5 lakh crore, replaced Kotak Bank as the fourth most valued lender in India. The top three in the pecking order are HDFC Bank (Rs 11.5 lakh crore), ICICI Bank (Rs 7.8 lakh crore) and state-owned SBI (Rs 7.3 lakh crore).

HDFC Life and Peerless Financial Products Distribution Ltd. (PFPDL) Enter into a Corporate Agency Tie-Up

HDFC Life and Peerless Financial Products Distribution Ltd.

  • HDFC Life, one of India’s leading insurers, and Peerless Financial Products Distribution Ltd. (PFPDL) have entered into a corporate agency tie-up. This partnership would enable PFPDL to distribute life insurance products of HDFC Life to its customers.
  • Through this tie-up, PFPDL would offer financial protection to its customers. The Company provides both digital and physical platforms to customers thereby enabling them to choose their preferred mode of service.

Commercial paper issuances touch a 4-year high of Rs 1.2 lakh crore

Commercial paper issuances touch a 4-year high of Rs 1.2 lakh crore

  • Issuances of commercial papers (CP) have hit a four-year high, touching Rs 1.2 lakh crore, a level seen last in July-Sept 2019, as companies seek to diversify funding sources. Higher CP issuances follow RBI’s November mandate to increase risk weights on bank loans given to higher rated NBFCs, said a Crisil report.
  • CP issuances are still not as high as 2018 levels when they touched Rs 3.1 lakh crore in July-September, as NBFCs look for other funding avenues like securitisation, where volumes peaked in FY24 at Rs 1.9 lakh crore. CPs are short-term, unsecured debt instruments issued by corporates. 
  • While banks remain the major source of funding, NBFCs will look to diversify their funding source. The share of CPs is expected to rise over the medium term from the low of 4% in FY20-23, but will remain lower than the pre-pandemic high of 11%. 


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

NIPFP projects India’s FY25 GDP growth at 7.1 pc

RBI projects FY25 GDP growth at 7%; CPI inflation at 4.5%

  • Economic think-tank National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) said it has estimated India’s GDP growth at 7.1 per cent for the current fiscal, using high-frequency models.
  • NIPFP, said the Centre is on a fiscal consolidation path through buoyancy in taxes and revenue expenditure compression. The economic think tank said that in 2023-24, states’ capex growth is robust due to significant capex transfers from the Centre.
  • While the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Fitch Ratings have estimated India’s growth at 7 per cent, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), S&P Global Ratings and Morgan Stanley projected a 6.8 per cent growth rate for FY25.

Deloitte projects India’s FY25 GDP growth at 6.6%

Deloitte

  • Deloitte India said it estimates India’s GDP growth at 6.6 per cent in the current fiscal helped by consumption expenditure, exports rebound and capital flows. In its India’s economic outlook report, Deloitte said the rapid growth of the middle-income class has led to rising purchasing power and even created demand for premium luxury products and services.
  • With the expectation that the number of middle-to-high-income segments will be one in two households by 2030/31, up from one in four currently, we believe this trend will likely become further amplified, driving overall private consumer expenditure growth. 
  • Deloitte has revised India’s economic growth prediction for last fiscal to a range of 7.6 to 7.8 per cent. In January, the firm had projected growth for 2023-24 fiscal in the range of 6.9-7.2 per cent.
  • The country’s GDP growth is estimated to reach around 6.6 per cent in FY 2024-25 and 6.75 per cent in the year after, as markets learn to factor in geopolitical uncertainties in their investment and consumption decisions, Deloitte said in its quarterly update to its economic outlook.

Adani Group’s Vizhinjam Port gets ministry nod to run India’s first transshipment operations 

Adani Group's Vizhinjam Port gets ministry nod to run India's first transshipment operations 

  • The Adani Group’s Vizhinjam Port has received the shipping ministry’s approval for operating as India’s first transshipment port. The recommendation for declaring it a customs-notified port was made earlier this week, according to people aware of the details.
  • Current regulations require the shipping ministry’s nod to prevent competing projects from being permitted before capacity at operational ports is saturated.
  • The shipping ministry’s nod allows customs to establish an office at the port. The project, started in 2015, aims to tap into India’s transshipment cargo, which is currently handled by foreign ports like Colombo. 

CII launches corporate governance charter for startups

CII

  • Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a leading industry body, has come up with a Corporate Government Charter for startups to serve as a self-governing code for them in their compliance journey.
  • The Charter, which startups may follow on a best-endeavour basis, is aimed to help them become responsible corporate citizens and also enable them to share it with their stakeholders to establish themselves as being well-governed.
  • The Charter is intended to be used by startups as a “ready reckoner” as they glide along the path of good governance, CII has said. The Charter has been curated to provide guidance to startups during their life cycle segregated into four stages: Inception, progression, growth and going public.


APPOINTMENTS

National Statistical Commission gets two more members

National Statistical Commission

  • India’s National Statistical Commission is back to full capacity with the appointment of two new members after a one-year gap. 
  • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has appointed A Ganesh Kumar and Debasis Kundu as members of the commission, which is mandated to strengthen the country’s statistical system and firm up surveys to be undertaken to provide administrative statistics.
  • The commission, set up in 2005, aims to strengthen the statistical system, suggest survey standards, and coordinate with other departments. The appointments come amidst calls for reforming the country’s statistics system, with the Prime Minister’s Office discussing overhauling measures earlier this year.

Yuvraj Singh named ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Ambassador

Yuvraj Singh named ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 Ambassador

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced India legend Yuvraj Singh as an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Ambassador, with just 36 days to go until the pinnacle global event for T20 cricket gets underway.
  • The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will be played from 1-29 June with co-hosts USA taking on Canada in the opening fixture at Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas. A total of 55 matches will be played by 20 teams across 9 venues, culminating in the final on 29 June in Barbados.

Arun Alagappan appointed as Coromandel International Ltd. Executive Chairman

Arun Alagappan appointed as Coromandel International Ltd. Executive Chairman

  • Coromandel International Ltd. (CIL) has appointed and re-designated Executive Vice Chairman Arun Alagappan as Executive Chairman following the retirement of Chairman and Non-Executive Director A. Vellayan.
  • Further, Vellayan was appointed as Chairman Emeritus in recognition of his contributions to CIL over the past many years and for his continued guidance, the leading agri-solutions provider said in a statement.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 

Rampage Missiles inducted by Indian Air Force, Navy

Rampage Missiles inducted by Indian Air Force, Navy

  • In a major boost for firepower of its fighter aircraft fleet, the Indian Air Force has inducted the Rampage long-range supersonic air-to-ground missiles which can hit targets at around 250 Km. The missiles have a longer range than the Spice-2000s used in the Balakot air strikes in 2019.
  • The missile known as the High-Speed Low Drag-Mark 2 missile in the Indian Air Force was reportedly used in a big way by the Israeli Air Force during its recent attacks on Iranian targets.
  • The Indian Air Force has inducted the Rampage in its Russian-origin aircraft fleet including the Su-30 MKI and MiG-29 fighters along with the Jaguar fighter jets, defence sources told. The Indian Navy has also inducted the missile in its fleet for the MiG-29K naval fighter jets. 

China launches first of the 8 Hangor-class submarine built for Pakistan

China launches first of the 8 Hangor-class submarine built for Pakistan

  • China has launched the first of the eight Hangor-class submarines to be built for its all-weather ally Pakistan to provide it with state-of-the-art warships, adding a new dimension to their growing bilateral military cooperation. 
  • The development comes as part of the agreement between Islamabad and Beijing under which the latter had agreed to provide the former with eight state-of-the-art advanced submarines.
  • Out of the total eight vessels, four are to be built by WSIG, while the remaining four are being built at KS&EW (Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works) under the Transfer of Technology (ToT) agreement.
  • The submarines, having advanced stealth features, are to be fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors to operate under a multi-threat environment and can engage targets at stand-off ranges.


OBITUARIES

Yakshagana exponent Subrahmanya Dhareshwar passes away at 67

Yakshagana exponent Subrahmanya Dhareshwar passes away at 67

  • Yakshagana thespian Subrahmanya Dhareshwar (67), who had earned the fame of ‘Bhagavata Shrestha’ for his scintillating voice, passed away in Bengaluru. 
  • Subrahmanya Dhareshwar had served 46 years in the field of Yakshagana, a unique dance form from coastal Karnataka, which involves distinct singing, dancing and drama style that has resemblance with the Theyyam art form of neighbouring Kerala.
  • Dhareshwar had served as the main singer for 28 years in Perdoor Mela alone and before that he had started his journey in Amriteshwari Mela.
  • As a disciple of Upparu Naranappa Bhagavata he sang in thousands of Yakshagana ballets held all over Karnataka and some in other states and few in other countries.


BOOKS & AUTHORS

EAM Jaishankar receives copy of book ‘India’s Nuclear Titans’

EAM Jaishankar receives copy of book ‘India’s Nuclear Titans’

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar received a copy of the book ‘India’s Nuclear Titans’ edited by Soumya Awasthi and Shrabana Barua. He said it is important that the contributions of nuclear titans is recognised by the emerging generations.
  • The book ‘India’s Nuclear Titans’ traces the evolution of India into a nuclear state while analysing the role played by stalwarts like Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai, Abdul Kalam, K Subrahmanyam, among others. The book aims to give a brief but complete picture of India’s nuclear story.


IMPORTANT DAYS

Council of Scientific &Industrial Research(CSIR)-Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP)celebrated its 65th Foundation Day

Council of Scientific &Industrial Research(CSIR)-Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP)celebrated its 65th Foundation Day

  • Council of Scientific & Industrial Research(CSIR)-Indian Institute of Petroleum(IIP), Dehradun,celebrated its 65th Foundation Day on its campus on 27th April, 2024.
  • The celebration marked the institute’srich history of pioneering research, innovative technologies, and industry collaborations. The Director CSIR-IIP presented the roadmap of the institute from 2024 to 2030 to accomplish the Vikasit Bharat .
  • As part of the celebrations, the Jigyasa 2.0 program was introduced to promote scientific thinking among students. Students from various schools visited various laboratories at the institute and interacted with scientists and research scholars.


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