Topic: Banking System
1. HDFC Bank has launched digital distribution platform ‘HDFC Bank Smart Saathi’.
- The platform has been introduced to connect business correspondents and business facilitators to the bank.
- The launch is part of Bank’s mission to provide innovate solutions that cater to the emerging needs of its customers.
- HDFC Bank Smart Saathi will enable availability of banking products and services especially credit for rural customers.
- This will also help in increased income generation for agents as they would be able to offer over 40 banking products and services including loan products, unlike traditional focus on opening accounts and transactions.
- HDFC Bank:
- HDFC Bank is India's largest private sector bank. It is India’s second largest lender after the State Bank of India.
- It is headquartered in Mumbai. It was founded in 1994. The CEO of HDFC Bank is Sashidhar Jagdishan.
Topic: Reports and Indices
2. In April 2023, Services PMI jumped to around 13-year high at 62.
- Services Purchasing Managers’ Index reached to 62 in April 2023 as against 57.8 of March 2023.
- Pick up in new business and favourable market conditions have led to an increase in Services PMI.
- The strongest output increase was observed in finance and insurance.
- However, the job creation remained negligible in services sector in April 2023.
- Services sector has a largest share in Gross Value Added (GVA). The growth of services sector is critical for GDP expansion.
- Services PMI:
- It is prepared by S&P based on responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 service sector companies.
- Sectors like consumer (excluding retail), transport, information, communication, finance, insurance, real estate and business services are covered in this survey.
- Score above 50 shows expansion. Score below 50 means contraction.
Topic: Banking System
3. South Indian Bank has launched e-BG facility for its customers.
- Electronic Bank Guarantee (e-BG) facility has been introduced by South Indian Bank in collaboration with National E-Governance Services Ltd (NeSL).
- It facilitates API-based paperless issue of bank guarantees, thereby reducing the need for physical documentation and record maintenance.
- E-BGs are stamped electronically and do not require physical stamping and printing of the documents.
- This initiative will reduce turnaround time and promote ease of doing business for business customers of the bank.
- Benefits of e-BG facility:
- Faster processing time
- Increase security
- Improved tracking
- e-BG of NeSL has been developed in association with Indian Banks’ Association in response to banks’ requirements for a digital product.
- South Indian Bank is a private sector bank. It is headquartered in Thrissur, Kerala. Murali Ramakrishnan is the current MD and CEO of South Indian Bank.
- National E-Governance Services Limited (NeSL):
- It is India’s first Information Utility. It is registered with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
- It is incorporated as a union government company.
- Its primary role is to serve as a repository of legal evidence holding the information pertaining to any debt/claim.
- MD and CEO of NeSL: Debajyoti Ray Chaudhari
Topic: World Economy
4. Russia surpasses Australia as top supplier of pulverized coal injection to India.
- During September to February period of FY23, Russia has become the top supplier of pulverised coal injection (PCI) to steel mills in India leaving behind Australia.
- During this period, Russia exported 3.6 million tonnes of PCI to India.
- Russian PCI spot prices were relatively low which attracted Indian steel mills.
- Pulverised coal is an essential auxiliary fuel that is used in the blast furnace to optimise its performance.
- PCI is a process that includes injecting large volumes of fine coal particles into blast furnace. It gives auxiliary fuel for partial coke replacement.
- Russia has become fourth largest import source for India in FY23. India mainly imports crude, petroleum products, coal and fertiliser from Russia. China is the top import source for India.
- The top destinations for Indian exports in FY2022-23 includes- US, UAE, Netherlands, China, Singapore, Bangladesh and UK.
Topic: World Economy
5. In 2022, Pakistan has become the largest recipient of ADB loans in Asia.
- According to the ADB Annual Report 2022, Pakistan received loans of USD 5.58 billion out of total loans of USD 31.8 billion to 40 countries.
- Pakistan is facing a deep economic crisis and it received concessional funding of USD 2.67 billion from the bank.
- The report has highlighted that Pakistan was also hit by devastating floods that killed more than 1,700 people. It has further worsened the economic situation.
- Afghanistan and Pakistan were severely impacted by rising food and energy prices.
- Drought and flash floods has increased food insecurity in Afghanistan. It has increased the prices of staple items.
- As per the report, ADB responded timely to emerging and ongoing crises in the Asia and Pacific region.
- Pakistan was one of the founding members of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 1966.
- ADB has provided loans to India to improve urban transport.
- Asian Development Bank is a regional development bank established in 1966. Its headquarters is located in Manila, Philippines. The current President of ADB is Masatsugu Asakawa.
Topic: Reports and Indices
6. As per WEF’s Future of Jobs report 2023, 83 Million Jobs will vanish by 2027.
- In the report, data related to jobs in the next five years has been presented worldwide.
- As per the report, around a quarter of jobs known will get wiped out by 2027.
- It shows that new 69 million jobs will be created by 2027 while 83 million will get eliminated. 14 million jobs will get lost during this period.
- This report is based on a survey conducted across 45 countries on 803 companies.
- 673 existing jobs in the companies have been considered for the study.
- The report suggests that the fastest-growing jobs will be available for AI and machine learning specialists, sustainability specialists, business intelligence analysts and information security specialists.
- The job growth will be witnessed in the field of education, agriculture and digital commerce.
- Big data specialists, AI machine learning specialists and cybersecurity professionals are expected to grow on average by 30% by 2027.
- Bank tellers, cashiers and data entry clerks’ jobs are expected to decline the fastest.
- As per the report, green transition, ESG standards and localisation of supply chains will be the leading drivers of job growth.
- It recommends that Governments and businesses should invest in the shift of jobs through education and reskilling.
- Before 2027, around Six in 10 workers will require training but currently only half of employees have access to adequate training opportunities.
Topic: Banking/Financial Schemes
7. Ministry of Finance launches scheme “Vivad se Vishwas I-Relief to MSMEs”.
- As per the announcement made in Union Budget 2023-24, the government has launched the Vivad se Vishwas Scheme for relief to MSMEs for COVID-19 period.
- The scheme commenced on 17 April 2023 and the last date for submission for claims is 30 June 2023.
- Under the scheme, the ministries will refund performance security, bid security and liquidated damages forfeited/ deducted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Under the scheme, the Ministry of Finance will give additional benefits to eligible MSMEs as given below:
- Refund of 95% of the performance security forfeited, Bid security and Liquidated damages deducted.
- Refund of 95% of Risk purchase amount realised.
- Revoking of debarment of a firm that has been debarred only due to default in execution of such contracts.
- No interest shall be paid on such refunded amount.
- The relief would be provided to those MSMEs which have registered as a Medium, Small or Micro Enterprise for any category of goods and services as per relevant scheme of Ministry of MSME on the date of claim by supplier/contractor.
- Also, the original delivery period/completion period mentioned in contract was between 19 February 2020 and 31 March 2022.
- Claims can be processed only through Government e-Marketplace.
Topic: MoUs/ Agreements
8. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs signed an MoU with RITES.
- The MoU has been signed for technical assistance of RITES for Solid Waste Management (SWM) and Used Water Management (UWM) under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0.
- Used Water Management (UWM) has been introduced under Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0 as a newly funded component for towns with less than 1 lakh population. It aims to ensure that no un-treated used water is discharged into water bodies thereby improving used water management ecosystem in Urban India.
- Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0 was launched by the Prime Minister on 1 October 2021 with a vision to create ‘Garbage Free Cities’.
- SBM-U 2.0 further envisions to make all urban local bodies open defecation free+. It envisions making urban local bodies with a population of less than one lakh as open defecation free++.
- RITES will act as technical support agency for Swachhata for 3 years.
- Under UWM, RITES will give technical support for standards and specification in the field of sewage and faecal sludge management and reuse, engineering design and process of waste water treatment units.
- Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES Ltd) is an Indian Miniratna PSU and engineering consultancy corporation. It is headquartered in Gurugram. It was established in 1974. Rahul Mittal is its current Chairman and MD.
9. Air Carrier Go First Airways filed application for insolvency resolution proceedings in the National Company Law Tribunal.
- The Wadia Group-owned air carrier Go First has taken this decision due to a severe fund crunch.
- Go First has grounded 25 aircraft due to non-supply of engines by Pratt & Whitney (P&W).
- The non-supply of engines from P&W resulted in an income loss of ₹10,800 crore.
- Voluntary insolvency means that the company has accepted that its business has become insolvent. Under this process, the company accepts that it cannot pay debts and needs help from someone to sort it out.
- It has to be completed within 270 days after the date of commencement of Voluntary Liquidation.
- The voluntary insolvency process of a company proceeds after approval from shareholders and creditors.
- After Jet Airways filed for bankruptcy in 2019, it is the first major airline to collapse in India.
- The Director General of Civil Aviation has issued notice to Go First for the violation of Aircraft Rules 1937.
- In the arbitration, Go First has sought compensation of around ₹8,000 crores.
- Go First's grounded aircraft percentage has decreased from 7% in December 2019 to 31% in December 2020 and 50% in December 2022.