Monday, June 24, 2024
Current Affairs English

Daily Current Affairs 31st May, 2024

Daily Current Affairs 31 May 2024 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Link PAN with Aadhaar Card before May 31: Income Tax Department To Taxpayers

Link PAN with Aadhaar Card before May 31: Income Tax Department To Taxpayers

  • The Income Tax Department has advised taxpayers to connect their PAN with Aadhaar card by May 31, 2024, to prevent higher tax deductions at source (TDS) or tax collections at source (TCS).
  • According to Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, every person who has been assigned a PAN as of July 1, 2017, and is eligible to obtain an Aadhaar number, must provide their Aadhaar number in the prescribed form and manner.
  • Failure to link PAN with Aadhaar will result in the PAN becoming inoperative. However, individuals who belong to the exempted category will not be affected by this provision. 

FICCI Organises Cold Chain & Logistics Summit In New Delhi

FICCI Organises Cold Chain & Logistics Summit In New Delhi

 

  • The Cold Chain and Logistics Summit is being organised by the FICCI in New Delhi. The summit aim is to foster collaboration and innovation in developing an integrated, sustainable, and efficient cold chain ecosystem for India’s perishable goods industry. India’s cold chain Industry, will grow to Rs 5 lakh cr by 2030 from Rs 2 lakh cr now. 
  • In addition to revising guidelines, NCCD is developing a mobile application designed to digitalize data related to cold chain components. This app aims to increase capacity utilization, reduce fuel costs, and minimize the carbon footprint. It will also capture relevant logistic data to aid in policymaking and analytics.
  • The summit also saw the release of the FICCI-Grant Thornton Bharat Report on “Cold Chain Dynamics: Mapping India’s Logistics Transformation.” This report highlights India’s dynamic food processing industry, emphasizing the role of the cold chain sector in addressing challenges such as infrastructure gaps and high costs.

Armed Forces Medical Services & IIT Hyderabad ink MoU for Collaborative Research and Training

Armed Forces Medical Services & IIT Hyderabad ink MoU for Collaborative Research and Training

  • The Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad to collaborate on research and training.
  • The MoU aims to foster innovation and research in developing novel medical devices and addressing health issues specific to soldiers serving in varied terrains. IIT Hyderabad, with its departments of Biotechnology, Biomedical Engineering, and Bioinformatics, will provide the necessary technical expertise to tackle the diverse medical challenges faced by the Armed Forces. 
  • This collaboration marks a significant milestone in leveraging advanced technology and research to enhance the health and well-being of military personnel.

Government Raises Retirement & Death Gratuity Limits To Rs 25 Lakh

Government Raises Retirement & Death Gratuity Limits To Rs 25 Lakh

  • The Center’s decision to increase its employees’ dearness allowance by 4% to 50% has resulted in a substantial revision in other allowances, including retirement gratuity, which is a huge boon for government employees.
  • The maximum limit for Retirement Gratuity and Death Gratuity is increased by 25%, from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 25 lakh, effective January 1, 2024.
  • Gratuity is a defined benefit plan provided by employers to employees who have served continuously for five years or more. Governed by the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, it is available to employees who have rendered at least five years of continuous service.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Indian Air Force Contingent Reached Alaska To Participate In Multi-National Exercise, Red Flag 24

Indian Air Force Contingent Reached Alaska To Participate In Multi-National Exercise, Red Flag 24

  • An Indian Air Force contingent reached the Eielson Air Force Base of the U.S. Air Force in Alaska, United States of America, to participate in the upcoming edition of the multi-national exercise Red Flag 24. 
  • The Indian Air Force said that, ably supported by its IL-78 air-to-air refuellers and the C-17 transport aircraft, the IAF Rafale fighters took a transatlantic flight with staging halts at Greece and Portugal. 
  • Ex-Red Flag is a two-week advanced aerial combat training exercise aimed at integrating aircrew in a multinational environment.

India hosts side event on Women, Children and Adolescent Health in collaboration with Norway, UNICEF, UNFPA and PMNCH at the 77th World Health Assembly at Geneva

FICCI Organises Cold Chain & Logistics Summit In New Delhi The Cold Chain and Logistics Summit is being organised by the FICCI in New Delhi. The summit aim is to foster collaboration and innovation in developing an integrated, sustainable, and efficient cold chain ecosystem for India’s perishable goods industry. India's cold chain Industry, will grow to Rs 5 lakh cr by 2030 from Rs 2 lakh cr now. In addition to revising guidelines, NCCD is developing a mobile application designed to digitalize data related to cold chain components. This app aims to increase capacity utilization, reduce fuel costs, and minimize the carbon footprint. It will also capture relevant logistic data to aid in policymaking and analytics. The summit also saw the release of the FICCI-Grant Thornton Bharat Report on "Cold Chain Dynamics: Mapping India's Logistics Transformation." This report highlights India's dynamic food processing industry, emphasizing the role of the cold chain sector in addressing challenges such as infrastructure gaps and high costs. After 10 years, S&P raises India’s outlook to ‘positive’, affirms ‘BBB-’ long-term rating In a rare move, S&P Global Ratings, raised its outlook for India to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’ while affirming the lowest investment grade sovereign credit rating (BBB-) ahead of the general election results due on June 4. The rating has been on BBB- since January 30, 2007 (when it was upgraded from BB+). It has been on BBB-/stable since September 26, 2014 (it was placed on negative outlook on April 25, 2012). Meanwhile, it is the first agency which has revised the outlook. Earlier in January, relying on a robust medium-term GDP growth outlook and sound external finances, Fitch affirmed India’s sovereign rating at ‘BBB Minus’ with stable outlook. ‘BBB Minus’ is the lowest investment grade rating offered. Armed Forces Medical Services & IIT Hyderabad ink MoU for Collaborative Research and Training The Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad to collaborate on research and training. The MoU aims to foster innovation and research in developing novel medical devices and addressing health issues specific to soldiers serving in varied terrains. IIT Hyderabad, with its departments of Biotechnology, Biomedical Engineering, and Bioinformatics, will provide the necessary technical expertise to tackle the diverse medical challenges faced by the Armed Forces. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in leveraging advanced technology and research to enhance the health and well-being of military personnel. India hosts side event on Women, Children and Adolescent Health in collaboration with Norway, UNICEF, UNFPA and PMNCH at the 77th World Health Assembly at Geneva During the ongoing 77th World Health Assembly, India hosted a side event on Women, Children and Adolescent Health in collaboration with Norway, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH). The purpose of the event was to share emerging evidence and discoveries, fostering dialogue on pivotal opportunities for investment in maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and well-being. It aimed to advocate for continued and augmented investment, prompting policy adjustments and their ramifications across diverse stakeholders and sectors, while prioritizing the needs of various population groups. The focus of the event was on adolescent health and various speakers spoke for various aspects of adolescent health including the need to invest more on this issue. Shri Apurva Chandra, Union Health Secretary and Head of the Indian delegation emphasized on the progress made on this topic and the initiatives taken in this regard. World unemployment to fall slightly in 2024: UN Global unemployment is set to fall slightly this year, a United Nations agency said reversing its previous prediction of a rise while warning of "slow progress" on tackling inequalities. The International Labour Organization (ILO) expects a global unemployment rate of 4.9% in 2024, after originally forecasting unemployment would rise to 5.2% this year from 5% in 2023. It also predicts the rate will remain at 4.9% in 2025. Despite this positive adjustment, the ILO highlights persistent labour market inequalities, especially affecting women in low-income countries. The report reveals that 183 million people are actively seeking work and available for employment, while 402 million people are jobless but desire employment. The Geneva-based UN agency estimates that the ‘jobs gap’ - which measures the number of persons without a job but who want to work - stands at 402 million persons in 2024. This includes 183 million people who are counted as unemployed. The findings indicate that women are disproportionately impacted by job scarcity, with 22.8% of women in low-income countries wanting a job but not working, compared to 15.3% of men. In high-income countries, the rates are 9.7% for women and 7.3% for men. Globally, it's estimated that 45.6% of working-age women are employed in 2024, compared to 69.2% of men. Airtel appoints Sharat Sinha as new CEO of Airtel Business Bharti Airtel said it has appointed Sharat Sinha as the Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Business, effective June 3, 2024, who will be reporting to Gopal Vittal, CEO and Managing Director, Airtel. He will also be a part of the Airtel Management Board, the company said. Sinha joins Airtel Business from Checkpoint Software Technologies, where he served as President of Asia Pacific. He is a seasoned technology professional, and has also worked with Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, and VM Ware, Ericsson and VSNL in various leadership roles. PhonePe launches secured lending platform, partners with bunch of NBFCs PhonePe has launched secured lending products on its platform by partnering with banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and other fintech firms. Walmart-owned PhonePe said it has more than 535 million registered users and aims to create a “powerful and seamless user experience” in the secured loans category. Customers can access to lending solutions on the PhonePe app in six major categories. mutual fund, gold, bike, car, home and loans against property, and education loan. PhonePe has partnered with Tata Capital, L&T Finance, Hero FinCorp, Muthoot Fincorp, DMI Housing Finance, Home First Finance, rupyy, Volt Money, and Gradright for secured lending. More lenders will be added in the coming weeks. The platform has 15 active partners and aims to scale to 25 by the next quarter. Monetary penalties imposed by RBI on regulated entities more than doubled to ₹86.11 cr in FY24 According to the RBI Annual Report, the monetary penalties imposed by the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) on regulated entities (REs) more than doubled to ₹86.11 crore in FY24 for contraventions/non-compliance with provisions of statutes and certain directions issued by the Reserve Bank from time to time. The monetary penalties are part of RBI’s enforcement actions even as it plans to put in place a scale-based framework for enforcement action. Unclaimed deposits with banks have witnessed a 26 per cent jump year on year to ₹78,213 crore at the end of March 2024, as per the report. The amount with the Depositor Education and Awareness Fund stood at ₹62,225 crore at the end of March 2023. Shah Rukh Khan, new brand ambassador of Muthoot Pappachan Group Muthoot Pappachan Group (MPG), popularly known as Muthoot Blue, has roped in Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador. This strategic collaboration represents a significant milestone for MPG, reinforcing its brand presence, and a new way of connecting with a diverse audience across the country. Muthoot Pappachan Group is the promoter of leading NBFCs including Muthoot FinCorp Limited (flagship Company of the Group), Muthoot Microfin Limited, Muthoot Capital Services Limited and Muthoot Housing Finance Company Limited. Capital Small Finance Bank, ICICI Lombard enter into bancassurance tie-up Capital Small Finance Bank (CSFB), a small finance bank, has forged a bancassurance tie-up with ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd.(ICICI Lombard), a private general insurer to provide a diversified range of general insurance products to the customers. Through this collaboration, Capital Small Finance Bank will leverage its network and customer base to distribute ICICI Lombard’s comprehensive suite of general insurance products, including health, motor, home, travel, and rural insurance. The addition of ICICI Lombard to the Bank's insurance partners will enhance the range of insurance solutions available to its customers, ensuring greater financial security and convenience. World Para Athletics Championships: Simran wins gold as India ends 6th with best-ever 17 medals India concluded the World Para Athletics Championships held in Kobe, Japan with 17 medals, including six golds, elevating to sixth place. The previous record for India stood at 10 medals, which included three gold, at the 2023 World Para Athletics Championships in Paris. China finished as the most successful country in the competition with a total of 87 medals, including 33 gold. Brazil, Uzbekistan, Great Britain, and the United States, meanwhile, finished second, third, fourth, and fifth respectively ahead of India. World Para Athletics Championships 2024 winner list of India: India’s gold medal rush at the 2024 World Para Athletics Championships started with Deepthi Jeevanji bagging the women’s 400m T20 gold medal with a world record timing of 55.20s. Sachin Khilari followed it up with an Asian Record of 16.30m in men’s shot put F46 for a gold medal, while the two-time Paralyampics medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu set a championship record to win his first World Championships gold, leaping a distance of 1.88m in men’s high jump T42. The other three gold medallists for India were the reigning Paralympics and World champion Sumit Antil in men’s javelin throw F64, Ekta Bhyan in women’s club throw F51, and Simran Sharma in women’s 200m T12 with a personal best time of 24.95s. Meanwhile, Yogesh Khatuniya (men’s discus throw F56), Nishad Kumar (men’s high jump T47), Rinku (men’s javelin throw F46), Kashish Lakra (women’s club throw F51), and Bhagyashri Jadhav (women’s shot put F34) won a silver medal apiece. The six bronze medallists for India were Dharambir (men’s club throw F51), Navdeep (men’s javelin throw F41), Ajeet Singh (men’s javelin throw F46), Sandeep (men’s javelin throw F64), and Preeti Pal (women’s 100m T35 and women’s 200m T35). Indian Grand Prix 2 2024 athletics: MP Jabir wins 400m hurdles gold medal MP Jabir clinched the gold medal in men’s 400m hurdles at the Indian Grand Prix 2 2024 athletics tournament at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. MP Jabir, a Tokyo 2020 Olympian, won the A final after clocking 49.94 seconds, ahead of Asian Championships bronze medallist T Santhosh Kumar, who took silver with 50.14. The bronze medal was won by Sathish K, who timed his run at 51.46. Multiple Asian Games medallist Vithya Ramraj won two gold medals at the Indian Grand Prix 2. She bagged the gold in women’s 400m hurdles after clocking 57.28 and then doubled her tally by finishing first in women’s 400m with 53.00. Asian Championships silver medallist Abha Khatua also clinched the gold medal in women’s shot put with a throw of 17.13m. She had improved the national record to 18.41m at the Federation Cup 2024 earlier this month. The 20-year-old R Yugendran won the men’s pole vault title with a personal best of 5.20m and set a new meet record in the process. M Gowtham won the silver with 5.10m while Sidharth AK took bronze after recording a clearance of 4.90m. RBI fines HSBC for FEMA violations The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) fined HSBC Bank Rs 36.38 lakhs for violating the provision of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999. According to the RBI, the HSBC bank failed to follow the required reporting requirements under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme of FEMA. The Liberalised Remittance Scheme was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2004 under the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999. Under this scheme, all resident individuals, including minors, can send up to $2,50,000 in a financial year(April to March) abroad without the permission of the Reserve Bank of India. RBI imposes business restriction on Edelweiss group's EARCL, ECL Finance The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) barred the Edelweiss group’s asset reconstruction company from acquiring financial assets and security receipts (SRs), and also its non-banking financial arm from undertaking any structured transaction for wholesale exposure, other than repayment and/ or closure of accounts in its normal course of business. The Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company Limited (EARCL) has also been barred from reorganising the existing SRs into senior and subordinate tranches. The RBI stated that the action is based on material concerns observed during supervisory examinations, primarily arising from the group entities’ conduct. NARCL board appoined P Santhosh as MD & CEO The National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL), India’s state-owned bad bank, has appointed P Santhosh as its new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. The decision was made by NARCL’s board, which recommended Santhosh for a three-year term at the helm of the asset reconstruction company. Santhosh’s appointment comes after he served as NARCL’s acting CEO since January 2024, following the unexpected departure of N Sundar before the completion of his term. Santhosh stepped in to fill the leadership void, and his performance during this interim period seems to have impressed the board, leading to his recommendation for the top job. ADB commits USD 2.6 billion in sovereign lending to India Asian Development Bank (ADB) committed USD 2.6 billion (about Rs 21,500 crore) in sovereign lending to India in 2023 for various projects. The fund is aimed to strengthen urban development, support industrial corridor development, promote power sector reforms, build India's climate resilience, and enhance connectivity. ADB also extended USD 23.53 million in technical assistance and USD 4.1 million in grants under the sovereign portfolio. In addition, ADB committed over USD 1 billion for private sector projects during the past year, the Manila-based multi-lateral development bank said in a statement. Two policy-based loans were committed to support the government's urban reforms agenda at the state level and power sector reforms to facilitate the shift to renewable energy. Praggnanandhaa Topples World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen For First Time In Classical Event At Norway Chess 2024 In Chess, Praggnanandhaa toppled Magnus Carlsen for the first time in a Classical event. The 18-year-old Indian prodigy took down the World No. 1 with the White pieces in the 3rd round of 12th Norway Chess 2024. Praggnanandhaa got an early edge out of the opening and eventually converted it into a victory. With this win, Pragg now takes the sole lead with 5.5 points in the event. South Korea Plans Mars Landing In 2045 As It Launches First Space Agency South Korea plans to make a Mars landing by 2045 and spend 100 trillion won ($72.6 billion) until then on space exploration, President Yoon Suk Yeol said at the launch of the country’s first space agency. The Korea Aerospace Administration (KASA) will lead the country’s “space economy,” with hundreds of businesses and enterprises working to catapult South Korea into the ranks of the world’s top five space powers. The country’s first lunar lander is planned for 2032. South Korea became the seventh country to own an indigenous space launch vehicle and satellite development technology with the launch of the Nuri rocket in May last year that put a commercial grade satellite in orbit. UAE fuel firm launches AI-powered robotic fueling arm The United Arab Emirates’ ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company), launched a pilot project introducing a robotic fueling arm pilot, as part of its plans to provide an AI-driven experience to customers. With the help of sensors and cameras, the robotic arm extends towards the vehicle, opens the fuel tank cap and aligns the nozzle to fill the car up. The robotic arm uses computer vision technology and is designed to be fast and environmentally friendly, as it manages spills, according to the UAE’s oil giant. This technology, which was demonstrated at ADNOC’S Al Reem Island petrol station, is set to be used in support of existing staff, to boost productivity and reduce wait times. Growth In India Set To Get More Broad-Based, Says Morgan Stanley, Pegged 6.8% For 2024 Growth in India, which already is strong and surging, may become more broad-based across both on the consumer and business spending side, indicated Morgan Stanley. The global investment bank, in its latest report '2024 Global Economic Midyear Outlook', attributed India's firm growth to three megatrends -- global offshoring, digitalization, and energy transition. Morgan Stanley forecasts 6.8 per cent growth in 2024 (against RBI's 7 per cent), and 6.5 per cent the next, and thinks inflation will stay within policymakers' comfort zone. Retail inflation clocked 4.83 per cent in April 2024, the lowest in the past 11 months. India's economy grew 7.2 per cent in 2022-23 and 8.7 per cent in 2021-22, respectively. The size of India's GDP is currently ranked 5th, after the US, China, Germany, and Japan. It overtook the UK in 2022. Just a decade ago, Indian GDP was the eleventh largest in the world. Currently, India's GDP is estimated to be around USD 3.7 trillion. Link PAN with Aadhaar Card before May 31: Income Tax Department To Taxpayers The Income Tax Department has advised taxpayers to connect their PAN with Aadhaar card by May 31, 2024, to prevent higher tax deductions at source (TDS) or tax collections at source (TCS). According to Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, every person who has been assigned a PAN as of July 1, 2017, and is eligible to obtain an Aadhaar number, must provide their Aadhaar number in the prescribed form and manner. Failure to link PAN with Aadhaar will result in the PAN becoming inoperative. However, individuals who belong to the exempted category will not be affected by this provision. Space Startup Agnikul Launches India’s Second Privately Built Rocket IIT Madras’ startup, Agnikul Cosmos, has launched the world’s first rocket with a single-piece three-dimensional (3D) printed engine. The rocket Agnibaan SOrTeD (SubOrbital Technological Demonstrator) is also India’s first semi-cryogenic engine-powered rocket launch that was completely designed and manufactured indigenously. It was also launched from India’s first privately developed launchpad called ‘Dhanush’ established by Agnikul at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Agnibaan is a customisable, two-stage launch vehicle that can carry a payload of up to 300 kg (661 lb) into orbit of about 700 kilometres (435 miles). Driven by LOX/Kerosene engines in all its stages, Agnibaan is configurable by the customer. It can access both low- and high-inclination orbits and is completely mobile, designed for accessing more than 10 launch ports, Agnikul, whose name is derived from the Hindi and Sanskrit word for fire, was founded in 2017 and runs India’s first private launchpad and mission control center. All other launchpads are operated by ISRO. RBI projects real GDP growth at 7% in FY25 Indian economy is likely to grow at 7 per cent in the current fiscal year starting April, according to Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) annual report. The outlook for the Indian economy remains bright, underpinned by a sustained strengthening of macroeconomic fundamentals, robust financial and corporate sectors and a resilient external sector, said the central bank. The Indian economy, it said, expanded at a robust pace in 2023-24 (April 2023 to March 2024 financial year), with real GDP growth accelerating to 7.6 per cent from 7.0 per cent in the previous year – the third successive year of 7 per cent or above growth. The government’s continued thrust on capex while pursuing fiscal consolidation, and consumer and business optimism augur well for investment and consumption demand, as per the central bank's report. IRDAI reduces audit firm term to bolster audit quality Insurance regulator IRDAI’s new corporate governance guidelines have reduced the engagement period of statutory auditors with insurance companies. Audit firms now have a four-year term for joint statutory audits, followed by a mandatory three-year cooling-off period, according to the IRDAI’s Master Circular on ‘Corporate Governance for Insurers 2024’. According to the new guidelines that reduce the engagement period of statutory auditors with insurance companies from 10 years to 4 years. This strategic decision is poised to ensure regular rotation and independence of audit firms, thereby enhancing transparency and accountability in the sector. Furthermore, the IRDAI has stipulated that incoming auditors must not include any affiliates of the retiring auditor. This proactive step is designed to ensure a fresh perspective and prevent any potential carryover of biases or familiarity from the previous audit tenure. Ultimately, the IRDAI’s decision to limit audit firms’ engagement with insurers is driven by the objective of promoting transparency and accountability within the sector. By mandating shorter audit tenures and introducing cooling-off periods, the regulator seeks to uphold the principles of good corporate governance and maintain the integrity of financial reporting processes. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/markets/sebi-cuts-commodity-delivery-period-in-derivatives-to-three/article68217931.ece https://www.newsonair.gov.in/indian-air-force-contingent-reached-alaska-to-participate-in-multi-national-exercise-red-flag-24/ World assembly

  • During the ongoing 77th World Health Assembly, India hosted a side event on Women, Children and Adolescent Health in collaboration with Norway, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH). 
  • The purpose of the event was to share emerging evidence and discoveries, fostering dialogue on pivotal opportunities for investment in maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and well-being. 
  • It aimed to advocate for continued and augmented investment, prompting policy adjustments and their ramifications across diverse stakeholders and sectors, while prioritizing the needs of various population groups.
  • The focus of the event was on adolescent health and various speakers spoke for various aspects of adolescent health including the need to invest more on this issue. Shri Apurva Chandra, Union Health Secretary and Head of the Indian delegation emphasized on the progress made on this topic and the initiatives taken in this regard.


BANKING & FINANCE

Monetary penalties imposed by RBI on regulated entities more than doubled to ₹86.11 cr in FY24

30 banks join RBI UDGAM portal for unclaimed deposits

  • According to the RBI Annual Report, the monetary penalties imposed by the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) on regulated entities (REs) more than doubled to ₹86.11 crore in FY24 for contraventions/non-compliance with provisions of statutes and certain directions issued by the Reserve Bank from time to time.
  • The monetary penalties are part of RBI’s enforcement actions even as it plans to put in place a scale-based framework for enforcement action.
  • Unclaimed deposits with banks have witnessed a 26 per cent jump year on year to ₹78,213 crore at the end of March 2024, as per the report. 
  • The amount with the Depositor Education and Awareness Fund stood at ₹62,225 crore at the end of March 2023.

RBI fines HSBC for FEMA violations 

  • The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) fined HSBC Bank Rs 36.38 lakhs for violating the provision of the  Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999
  • According to the RBI, the HSBC bank failed to follow the required reporting requirements under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme of FEMA.
  • The Liberalised Remittance Scheme was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2004 under the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999.  Under this scheme, all resident individuals, including minors, can send up to $2,50,000 in a financial year(April to March) abroad without the permission of the Reserve Bank of India. 

RBI imposes business restriction on Edelweiss group’s EARCL, ECL Finance

RBI imposes business restriction on Edelweiss group's EARCL, ECL Finance

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) barred the Edelweiss group’s asset reconstruction company from acquiring financial assets and security receipts (SRs), and also its non-banking financial arm from undertaking any structured transaction for wholesale exposure, other than repayment and/ or closure of accounts in its normal course of business. 
  • The Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company Limited (EARCL) has also been barred from reorganising the existing SRs into senior and subordinate tranches.
  • The RBI stated that the action is based on material concerns observed during supervisory examinations, primarily arising from the group entities’ conduct.

ADB commits USD 2.6 billion in sovereign lending to India

ADB and Government of India Sign $200 Million Loan for Brahmaputra River Project

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) committed USD 2.6 billion (about Rs 21,500 crore) in sovereign lending to India in 2023 for various projects. The fund is aimed to strengthen urban development, support industrial corridor development, promote power sector reforms, build India’s climate resilience, and enhance connectivity.
  • ADB also extended USD 23.53 million in technical assistance and USD 4.1 million in grants under the sovereign portfolio.
  • In addition, ADB committed over USD 1 billion for private sector projects during the past year, the Manila-based multi-lateral development bank said in a statement.
  • Two policy-based loans were committed to support the government’s urban reforms agenda at the state level and power sector reforms to facilitate the shift to renewable energy

After 10 years, S&P raises India’s outlook to ‘positive’, affirms ‘BBB-’ long-term rating

After 10 years, S&P raises India’s outlook to ‘positive’, affirms ‘BBB-’ long-term rating

  • In a rare move, S&P Global Ratings, raised its outlook for India to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’ while affirming the lowest investment grade sovereign credit rating (BBB-) ahead of the general election results due on June 4.
  • The rating has been on BBB- since January 30, 2007 (when it was upgraded from BB+). It has been on BBB-/stable since September 26, 2014 (it was placed on negative outlook on April 25, 2012).  Meanwhile, it is the first agency which has revised the outlook.
  • Earlier in January, relying on a robust medium-term GDP growth outlook and sound external finances, Fitch affirmed India’s sovereign rating at ‘BBB Minus’ with stable outlook. ‘BBB Minus’ is the lowest investment grade rating offered. 

PhonePe launches secured lending platform, partners with bunch of NBFCs

PhonePe launches secured lending platform, partners with bunch of NBFCs

  • PhonePe has launched secured lending products on its platform by partnering with banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and other fintech firms. 
  • Walmart-owned PhonePe said it has more than 535 million registered users and aims to create a “powerful and seamless user experience” in the secured loans category. Customers can access to lending solutions on the PhonePe app in six major categories. mutual fund, gold, bike, car, home and loans against property, and education loan.
  • PhonePe has partnered with Tata Capital, L&T Finance, Hero FinCorp, Muthoot Fincorp, DMI Housing Finance, Home First Finance, rupyy, Volt Money, and Gradright for secured lending. More lenders will be added in the coming weeks. The platform has 15 active partners and aims to scale to 25 by the next quarter. 

Capital Small Finance Bank, ICICI Lombard enter into bancassurance tie-up

Capital Small Finance Bank, ICICI Lombard enter into bancassurance tie-up

  • Capital Small Finance Bank (CSFB), a small finance bank, has forged a bancassurance tie-up with ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd.(ICICI Lombard), a private general insurer to provide a diversified range of general insurance products to the customers. 
  • Through this collaboration, Capital Small Finance Bank will leverage its network and customer base to distribute ICICI Lombard’s comprehensive suite of general insurance products, including health, motor, home, travel, and rural insurance.
  • The addition of ICICI Lombard to the Bank’s insurance partners will enhance the range of insurance solutions available to its customers, ensuring greater financial security and convenience.

RBI projects real GDP growth at 7% in FY25

India expected to grow faster at 6.2% in FY25: OECD

  • Indian economy is likely to grow at 7 per cent in the current fiscal year starting April, according to Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) annual report.
  • The outlook for the Indian economy remains bright, underpinned by a sustained strengthening of macroeconomic fundamentals, robust financial and corporate sectors and a resilient external sector, said the central bank.
  • The Indian economy, it said, expanded at a robust pace in 2023-24 (April 2023 to March 2024 financial year), with real GDP growth accelerating to 7.6 per cent from 7.0 per cent in the previous year – the third successive year of 7 per cent or above growth.
  • The government’s continued thrust on capex while pursuing fiscal consolidation, and consumer and business optimism augur well for investment and consumption demand, as per the central bank’s report.

IRDAI reduces audit firm term to bolster audit quality

IRDAI reduces audit firm term to bolster audit quality

  • Insurance regulator IRDAI’s new corporate governance guidelines have reduced the engagement period of statutory auditors with insurance companies. Audit firms now have a four-year term for joint statutory audits, followed by a mandatory three-year cooling-off period, according to the IRDAI’s Master Circular on ‘Corporate Governance for Insurers 2024’.
  • According to the new guidelines that reduce the engagement period of statutory auditors with insurance companies from 10 years to 4 years. This strategic decision is poised to ensure regular rotation and independence of audit firms, thereby enhancing transparency and accountability in the sector. 
  • Furthermore, the IRDAI has stipulated that incoming auditors must not include any affiliates of the retiring auditor. This proactive step is designed to ensure a fresh perspective and prevent any potential carryover of biases or familiarity from the previous audit tenure.
  • Ultimately, the IRDAI’s decision to limit audit firms’ engagement with insurers is driven by the objective of promoting transparency and accountability within the sector. By mandating shorter audit tenures and introducing cooling-off periods, the regulator seeks to uphold the principles of good corporate governance and maintain the integrity of financial reporting processes.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

World unemployment to fall slightly in 2024: UN

Unemployment rate drops to 3.1% in 2023: PLFS - CMIE

  • Global unemployment is set to fall slightly this year, a United Nations agency said reversing its previous prediction of a rise while warning of “slow progress” on tackling inequalities.
  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) expects a global unemployment rate of 4.9% in 2024, after originally forecasting unemployment would rise to 5.2% this year from 5% in 2023. It also predicts the rate will remain at 4.9% in 2025.
  • Despite this positive adjustment, the ILO highlights persistent labour market inequalities, especially affecting women in low-income countries. The report reveals that 183 million people are actively seeking work and available for employment, while 402 million people are jobless but desire employment.
  • The Geneva-based UN agency estimates that the ‘jobs gap’ – which measures the number of persons without a job but who want to work – stands at 402 million persons in 2024. This includes 183 million people who are counted as unemployed.
  • The findings indicate that women are disproportionately impacted by job scarcity, with 22.8% of women in low-income countries wanting a job but not working, compared to 15.3% of men. In high-income countries, the rates are 9.7% for women and 7.3% for men. Globally, it’s estimated that 45.6% of working-age women are employed in 2024, compared to 69.2% of men. 

SEBI cuts commodity delivery period in derivatives to three days

SEBI directs AMFI to stop inflows into overseas schemes of MFs from April 1

  • In a bid to improve liquidity in delivery-based commodity derivatives, market regulator SEBI has reduced the deliverable period to three days from five days. The circular shall be effective from July 1,2024. 
  • Based on representations received from market participants and deliberations by Commodity Derivatives Advisory Committee, the Minimum duration of staggered delivery stands revised to three working days. 
  • The decision to shorten the delivery period was driven by representations from market participants and recommendations from the Commodity Derivatives Advisory Committee. By actively engaging with industry stakeholders and experts, SEBI aims to create a more efficient and responsive trading environment for commodity derivatives.


SPORTS

Praggnanandhaa Topples World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen For First Time In Classical Event At Norway Chess 2024

Praggnanandhaa Topples World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen For First Time In Classical Event At Norway Chess 2024

  • In Chess, Praggnanandhaa toppled Magnus Carlsen for the first time in a Classical event. The 18-year-old Indian prodigy took down the World No. 1 with the White pieces in the 3rd round of 12th Norway Chess 2024.
  • Praggnanandhaa got an early edge out of the opening and eventually converted it into a victory. With this win, Pragg now takes the sole lead with 5.5 points in the event.

World Para Athletics Championships: Simran wins gold as India ends 6th with best-ever 17 medals 

World Para Athletics Championships: Simran wins gold as India ends 6th with best-ever 17 medals 

  • India concluded the World Para Athletics Championships held in Kobe, Japan with 17 medals, including six golds, elevating to sixth place. The previous record for India stood at 10 medals, which included three gold, at the 2023 World Para Athletics Championships in Paris.
  • China finished as the most successful country in the competition with a total of 87 medals, including 33 gold. Brazil, Uzbekistan, Great Britain, and the United States, meanwhile, finished second, third, fourth, and fifth respectively ahead of India.

World Para Athletics Championships 2024 winner list of India:

  • India’s gold medal rush at the 2024 World Para Athletics Championships started with Deepthi Jeevanji bagging the women’s 400m T20 gold medal with a world record timing of 55.20s.
  • Sachin Khilari followed it up with an Asian Record of 16.30m in men’s shot put F46 for a gold medal, while the two-time Paralyampics medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu set a championship record to win his first World Championships gold, leaping a distance of 1.88m in men’s high jump T42.
  • The other three gold medallists for India were the reigning Paralympics and World champion Sumit Antil in men’s javelin throw F64, Ekta Bhyan in women’s club throw F51, and Simran Sharma in women’s 200m T12 with a personal best time of 24.95s.
  • Meanwhile, Yogesh Khatuniya (men’s discus throw F56), Nishad Kumar (men’s high jump T47), Rinku (men’s javelin throw F46), Kashish Lakra (women’s club throw F51), and Bhagyashri Jadhav (women’s shot put F34) won a silver medal apiece.
  • The six bronze medallists for India were Dharambir (men’s club throw F51), Navdeep (men’s javelin throw F41), Ajeet Singh (men’s javelin throw F46), Sandeep (men’s javelin throw F64), and Preeti Pal (women’s 100m T35 and women’s 200m T35).

Indian Grand Prix 2 2024 athletics: MP Jabir wins 400m hurdles gold medal

Indian Grand Prix 2 2024 athletics: MP Jabir wins 400m hurdles gold medal

  • MP Jabir clinched the gold medal in men’s 400m hurdles at the Indian Grand Prix 2 2024 athletics tournament at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. 
  • MP Jabir, a Tokyo 2020 Olympian, won the A final after clocking 49.94 seconds, ahead of Asian Championships bronze medallist T Santhosh Kumar, who took silver with 50.14. The bronze medal was won by Sathish K, who timed his run at 51.46.
  • Multiple Asian Games medallist Vithya Ramraj won two gold medals at the Indian Grand Prix 2. She bagged the gold in women’s 400m hurdles after clocking 57.28 and then doubled her tally by finishing first in women’s 400m with 53.00.
  • Asian Championships silver medallist Abha Khatua also clinched the gold medal in women’s shot put with a throw of 17.13m. She had improved the national record to 18.41m at the Federation Cup 2024 earlier this month.
  • The 20-year-old R Yugendran won the men’s pole vault title with a personal best of 5.20m and set a new meet record in the process. M Gowtham won the silver with 5.10m while Sidharth AK took bronze after recording a clearance of 4.90m.


APPOINTMENTS

NARCL board appoined P Santhosh as MD & CEO

NARCL board appoined P Santhosh as MD & CEO

  • The National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL), India’s state-owned bad bank, has appointed P Santhosh as its new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. The decision was made by NARCL’s board, which recommended Santhosh for a three-year term at the helm of the asset reconstruction company.
  • Santhosh’s appointment comes after he served as NARCL’s acting CEO since January 2024, following the unexpected departure of N Sundar before the completion of his term.
  • Santhosh stepped in to fill the leadership void, and his performance during this interim period seems to have impressed the board, leading to his recommendation for the top job.

Shah Rukh Khan, new brand ambassador of Muthoot Pappachan Group 

Shah Rukh Khan, new brand ambassador of Muthoot Pappachan Group 

  • Muthoot Pappachan Group (MPG), popularly known as Muthoot Blue, has roped in Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador.
  • This strategic collaboration represents a significant milestone for MPG, reinforcing its brand presence, and a new way of connecting with a diverse audience across the country. 
  • Muthoot Pappachan Group is the promoter of leading NBFCs including Muthoot FinCorp Limited (flagship Company of the Group), Muthoot Microfin Limited, Muthoot Capital Services Limited and Muthoot Housing Finance Company Limited.

Airtel appoints Sharat Sinha as new CEO of Airtel Business

Airtel appoints Sharat Sinha as new CEO of Airtel Business

  • Bharti Airtel said it has appointed Sharat Sinha as the Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Business, effective June 3, 2024, who will be reporting to Gopal Vittal, CEO and Managing Director, Airtel. He will also be a part of the Airtel Management Board, the company said. 
  • Sinha joins Airtel Business from Checkpoint Software Technologies, where he served as President of Asia Pacific. He is a seasoned technology professional, and has also worked with Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, and VM Ware, Ericsson and VSNL in various leadership roles. 


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Space Startup Agnikul Launches India’s Second Privately Built Rocket

Space Startup Agnikul Launches India’s Second Privately Built Rocket

  • IIT Madras’ startup,  Agnikul Cosmos, has launched the world’s first rocket with a single-piece three-dimensional (3D) printed engine. The rocket Agnibaan SOrTeD (SubOrbital Technological Demonstrator) is also India’s first semi-cryogenic engine-powered rocket launch that was completely designed and manufactured indigenously.
  • It was also launched from India’s first privately developed launchpad called ‘Dhanush’ established by Agnikul at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Agnibaan is a customisable, two-stage launch vehicle that can carry a payload of up to 300 kg (661 lb) into orbit of about 700 kilometres (435 miles).
  • Driven by LOX/Kerosene engines in all its stages, Agnibaan is configurable by the customer. It can access both low- and high-inclination orbits and is completely mobile, designed for accessing more than 10 launch ports, Agnikul, whose name is derived from the Hindi and Sanskrit word for fire, was founded in 2017 and runs India’s first private launchpad and mission control center. All other launchpads are operated by ISRO.


Click here to download 31 May 2024 Current Affairs

0