Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
1. Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based retail inflation declined to an 11-month low level of 5.88% in November.
- In October, it stood at 6.77%. Index of Industrial Production (IIP)-based industrial growth contracted by 4% as against 3.2% growth in September.
- Retail inflation has reached below the upper tolerance level of 6% for the first time in the current fiscal.
- The main reason for decline in retail inflation is sharp decrease in food price inflation.
- In November, consumer food price inflation decreased significantly to 4.67%. This is lower than 7.01% recorded in October 2022.
- The main reason for contraction in industrial production in October was decline in manufacturing sector’s output and less growth in mining and power generation.
2. The administration of Covid-19 vaccine by hospitals is taxable at 5% according to Andhra Pradesh’s Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR).
- Andhra Pradesh based Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences approached AAR with three queries as given below.
- Whether the administering of vaccination by hospitals is the supply of Good or Supply of Service
- Whether the administering of vaccine by clinical establishments (Hospitals) qualify as ‘Health care services”
- Whether administering of Covid-19 vaccination by clinical establishment is exempt under GST Act
- AAR observed that while sale of vaccines is the supply of goods, administration of vaccines is the supply of services.
- AAR denied the administering of vaccine by clinical establishments (Hospitals) exemption as ‘healthcare’ services.
- It ruled that since vaccines attract GST at the rate of 5%, vaccine administration by hospitals will also attract the same GST.
Topic: Banking System
3. Tamilnad Mercantile Bank (TMB) and Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance have entered into a bancassurance partnership in December 2022.
- Under the partnership, customers of Tamilnad Mercantile Bank can now choose from Bajaj Allianz Life’s retail products.
- Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance will also work closely with the Bank to offer service options to the customers.
- Last week, Tamilnad Mercantile Bank has entered into bancassurance partnerships with Cholamandalam MS General Insurance and Max Life Insurance.
- Tamilnad Mercantile Bank is a Thoothukudi (Tamil Nadu)-based bank. S Krishnan is its MD & CEO. It is a private bank. Its tagline is Be a step ahead of life.
Topic: Banking System
4. State Bank of India has sanctioned Rs 4.26 crore as donation to rejuvenate seven major lakes in the Kolar district of Karnataka.
- SBI will carry out the rejuvenation of seven lakes as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR).
- The rejuvenation would include bund development and channel development for the seven lakes.
- Earlier, FM Nirmala Sitharaman chose Kolar district as the district for rejuvenation of lakes under the Amrit Sarovar Yojana.
- Under this, 75 tanks or lakes would undergo rejuvenation work through resources from MGNREGA, the FM’s MPLADS funds, and also a component of CSR.
- State Bank of India (SBI):
- It is a nationalized public sector bank. Dinesh Kumar Khara is its chairperson.
- Its headquarters is in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Its tagline is The Banker to Every Indian.
5. Seven global consultancy firms have been shortlisted by RBI to use artificial intelligence and machine learning for supervisory functions.
- In September 2022, RBI invited expressions of interest to engage consultants for use of advance analytics for generating supervisory inputs.
- Seven applicants have been shortlisted for taking part in the request for proposal (RFP) process for the selection of consultant(s).
- Seven shortlisted firms are given in the following table.
Accenture Solutions Private Limited
Boston Consulting Group (India) Pvt Ltd
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP
Ernst and Young LLP
KPMG Assurance and Consulting Services LLP
McKinsey and Company
Pricewaterhouse Coopers Pvt Ltd
- RBI’s supervisory jurisdiction expends over banks, urban cooperative banks, NBFCs, payment banks, small finance banks, local area banks, credit information companies and select all Indian financial institutions.
- RBI is already using AI and ML in supervisory processes, it now intends to upscale it.
Topic: Banking System
6. Spice Money has partnered with Axis Bank to bring financial inclusion in rural India.
- Spice Money has partnered to facilitate opening of instant, zero balance savings or current accounts for rural citizens through its Adhikari network.
- Through this partnership, the aim of Spice Money is to bridge rural-urban divide by providing access to banking products to the last mile at their doorstep.
- Spice Money network is made up of over 10 lakh Adhikaris. It covers over 18,000 pin codes and 700 districts.
- Spice Money is a Fintech firm. It is a regulated entity under the RBI. It has recently come onboard government promoted e commerce platform ONDC (Open Network Digital Commerce).
7. K V Shaji has been named as NABARD Chairman.
- He served as Deputy Managing Director of NABARD till May 21, 2020.
- Before joining NABARD, he worked with Canara Bank. He played a role in the merger of Syndicate Bank and Canara Bank.
- He also worked for National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
- Indian Origin Sushmita Shukla has been named 1st Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Her appointment begins from March 2023. She will be the bank’s second-ranking officer after President and CEO, John C Williams.
- National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) was founded in July 1982. It is headquartered in Mumbai. It is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance.
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
8. Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was passed in Parliament.
- Rajya Sabha approved the bill on 12 December 2022. Lok Sabha has already passed the Bill.
- The bill amends the Energy Conservation Act, of 2001.
- It gives the centre powers to specify a carbon credit trading scheme.
- It also provides that certain consumers can meet a part of their energy requirement from non-fossil sources.
- Under the bill, The Energy Conservation Code for buildings will apply to office and residential buildings with a connected load of 100 kilowatt or above.
- The Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 aims to tap the $800 billion global carbon market.
- It mandates the use of non-fossil sources, including Green Hydrogen, Green Ammonia, Biomass and Ethanol for energy and feedstock.
- The bill increases members in the Governing Council of Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). The number of members will be between 31 and 37.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
9. Indian startup ‘Kheyti’ won the 2022 Earthshot Prize.
- A Telangana-based startup ‘Kheyti’ is one of the five winners of this year's prestigious Earthshot Prize.
- Kheyti won the prize in the Protect and Restore Nature category. It has won 1 million pounds as Prize money.
- Kheyti’s Greenhouse-in-a-Box is solution for local smallholder farmers to reduce costs, increase yields and protect livelihoods, in regions impacted due to climate change.
- It is providing a Greenhouse solution which is 90% cheaper than a standard greenhouse. It reduces the use of water and pesticide.
- Earthshot Prize:
- It was founded by Britain’s Prince William. It is also known as the “Eco Oscars”.
- Every year five projects working to find solutions to the earth’s environmental problems are awarded the Earthshot award.
10. N Chandrasekaran assumed charge as Chair of B20 India.
- Chairman of Tata Sons, N Chandrasekaran, has been appointed as the chair of B20 India on 1 December 2022.
- He will lead the business agenda during G20 presidency of India.
- B20 India represents the entire G20 business community.
- Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has assumed charge as the B20 India Secretariat to lead the B20 India process.
- CII said that B20 India has identified priorities for discussions among G20 businesses under the theme “RAISE- Responsible, Accelerated, Innovative, Sustainable, and Equitable Businesses”.
- B20 was formed in 2010. It is the official G20 dialogue forum with global business community.
- G 20 is a group of 19 Countries and European Union. The members of the G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union.
- India is currently holding the Presidency of G20.