1. RBI is going to organize Smart Payments Hackathon.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will organize its first global hackathon 'HARBINGER 2021- Innovation for Transformation'.
- The hackathon will be started with the theme ‘Smarter Digital Payments’.
- The central bank said in a statement that registration for the hackathon will begin on November 15.
- The hackathon will invite participants to identify and develop solutions that include making digital payments accessible to underserved people, enhancing the ease and user experience of payments, strengthening the security of digital payments, and promoting customer safety.
- Hackathon participants will get the opportunity to be mentored by industry experts, showcase their innovative solutions to an eminent jury, and win prizes in each category.
- A prize of Rs 40 lakh will be given to the winner and Rs 20 lakh to the runner-up.
Topic: Banking System
2. NPCI Bharat BillPay and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance enter into a partnership.
- NPCI Bharat BillPay has entered into a partnership with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance to provide ClickPay to the customers of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance.
- ICICI Prudential Life Insurance is the first insurance company to offer this facility of ClickPay to its customers.
- This is to offer an automated and valuable insurance premium payment experience to customers of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance.
- ICICI Prudential Life Insurance will generate the ClickPay link and share it with the customers. The link will redirect them to the payment page comprising payment details.
3. Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company enters into partnership with the Department of Posts and India Post Payments Bank.
- Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company has entered into a partnership with the Department of Posts and India Post Payments Bank.
- Under the partnership, two Point of Sale (PoS) products will be offered through the postal department’s network of banking access points and the payments bank’s branches.
- Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company has become the first private life insurer in the country to enter into partnership with the Department of Posts for the sale of PoS products.
- Bajaj Allianz Life Smart Protect Goal and Bajaj Allianz Life Guaranteed Pension Goal will be made available to customers in addition to the Department of Posts’ existing Postal Life Insurance and Rural Postal Insurance products.
- This partnership will enable the lakhs of Gramin Dak Sevaks to offer financial solutions in rural areas.
Topic: Banking System
4. Co-lending agreement signed between Aadhar Housing Finance and UCO Bank.
- The co-lending agreement has been signed between Aadhar Housing Finance and UCO Bank to offer home loans at competitive interest rates.
- The partnership aims to provide easy, convenient, and efficient home finance solutions to customers from the economically weaker, lower, and middle-income groups.
- The partnership will help provide efficient and economical home loan solutions to customers across geographies and socio-economic groups.
- UCO Bank is a Kolkata-based bank. It was earlier called United Commercial Bank. Atul Kumar Goel as its Managing Director and CEO.
5. Axis Bank signs MoU with the Army Insurance Group.
- Axis Bank has signed MoU with the Army Insurance Group (AGI) to offer retail mortgage loans to the Indian Army.
- The bank will offer best-in-class products and services to defence personnel to cater to their home loan requirements.
- Through this partnership, the bank will offer them the facility to transfer the balance of their loans from AGI to Axis Bank.
- Axis Bank is the third-largest private bank in India. It is headquartered in Mumbai. Its MD & CEO is Amitabh Chaudhry.
Topic: Banking System
6. Indian Government Bond ETF listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange launched by UTI International.
- Indian Government Bond Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange has been launched by UTI International.
- The performance of the Nifty India Select 7 Government Bond index will be tracked by this sovereign bond ETF.
- Nifty India Select 7 Government Bond index comprises of top seven most-liquid, local currency sovereign bonds issued by the Centre. It has been specifically created by NSE Indices.
- UTI India Sovereign Bond ETF is domiciled in Ireland. It is structured in compliance with the European regulatory framework of UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities).
- UTI International is a Singapore-based subsidiary of UTI Asset Management Company.
7. GST Council may focus on rate rationalization in its December meeting.
- GST Council may focus on rate rationalization in its December meeting.
- The meeting is likely to take place immediately after the Winter Session of Parliament scheduled to end on December 23.
- The last meeting of the Council took place on September 17.
- As per Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the GST Council, the meeting of the GST Council should take place at least once in every quarter of the financial year.
- Presently, there are multiple rates (5, 12, 18, and 28 percent) and some special rates such as 0, 0.25, 1, and 3 percent.
- The current rate slab is being reviewed by a Group of Ministers under the convenorship of Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj S Bommai.
- The group was formed on September 24 and was asked to submit its report within 2 months.
Topic: Banking/ Financial Schemes
8. PM Modi launched RBI Retail Direct Scheme and RBI Integrated Ombudsman Scheme.
- PM Modi has launched RBI Retail Direct Scheme and RBI Integrated Ombudsman Scheme.
- RBI Retail Direct Scheme will help ease retail investors’ access to the government securities market.
- Retail investors can have access to the online portal to open a securities account with RBI and then bid in primary auctions and buy and sell securities.
- No fee will be charged for any of the services provided under the scheme. RBI Retail Direct Scheme was announced in February 2021.
- RBI Integrated Ombudsman Scheme will help improve customer grievance redressal mechanism.
- RBI is presently having three Ombudsman schemes given below.
- Banking Ombudsman Scheme launched in 1995
- Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies of 2018
- Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions launched in 2019
- The schemes are administered through 22 offices of the RBI Ombudsman. Consumer Education and Protection Cells functioning at 30 regional offices of the RBI handle complaints not falling under the Ombudsman mechanism.