Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
1. In October, wholesale price index (WPI) declined 0.52% from a year earlier.
- WPI continued in the negative territory for the seventh continuous month.
- According to government data on 14 November 2023, WPI remained negative on account of weaker manufacturing and a moderation in food prices.
- WPI fell 0.26% in September. In October, fuel and power prices declined 2.47% from a year earlier. It declined 3.35% in September.
- Prices of primary articles increased 1.82% in October compared with an increase of 3.70% in September.
- Food prices increased 1.07% year-on-year versus a rise of 1.54% in September.
- Manufactured product prices declined 1.13% against a 1.34% fall the previous month.
Topic: Banking/Financial/Govt Schemes
2. The Finance Ministry has introduced changes to the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme in a notification dated 7 November.
- Centre has allowed the spouses of the deceased government employees to open Senior Citizen Saving Scheme (SCSS) accounts.
- Earlier, the spouses of deceased government employees were not allowed to open SCSS accounts.
- The spouse of the government employee can open an account under the scheme, if the government employee who has attained the age of 50 years has died in harness.
- All Central and State Government employees are included in government employees here. They are eligible for retirement benefit or death compensation.
- The account can be opened within three months from the date of receipt of the retirement benefits for a living employee.
- The account can be opened within three months from the date of receipt of admissible financial assistance to an eligible government employee who died in harness.
- This time limit was earlier one month and that too only for living person.
- An account holder can extend the account for a further block period of three years within one year from the date of maturity or from the date of end of each block period of three years. This was earlier to be used only once.
- Through the Budget, maximum deposit limit for Senior Citizen Savings Scheme was increased from ₹15 lakh to from ₹30 lakh.
- Increased maximum deposit limit has been made effective from April 1, 2023.
- Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS):
- It is a savings scheme supported by the government.
- It is available to individuals aged 60 years or older, or those who have retired at the age of 55 years or above.
- Under this scheme, account can be opened with a minimum amount of ₹1,000 and a maximum of ₹30 lakh.
- The SCSS offers 8.2 % per annum interest rate. The tenure of the scheme is five years. It can be extended.
3. Refinitiv’s forex outage is being probed by RBI.
- On 10 November, the platform faced an outage leading to volatility in Rupee.
- Indian rupee suddenly fell to low level of ₹83.33 against the US dollar may partly be due to volatility caused by an outage in Refinitiv.
- Refinitiv is an electronic trading platform authorized to offer forex products.
- It is a subsidiary of London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).
- It is among the five non-bank entities authorized by the RBI to operate electronic trading platforms for spot foreign exchange market.
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
4. India’s solar module manufacturing capacity reaches 60 GW.
- India has achieved an annual installed high-end solar module manufacturing capacity of 60 GW.
- India has fixed a target of building 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
- Out of this, the contribution of solar energy will be around 300 GW.
- India had less than 10 GW of low-wattage polysilicon modules in FY21.
- Solar power installations in India are growing at 30% per annum.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
5. Retail inflation reached 4.87% in October.
- Retail inflation, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), has eased to a four-month low of 4.87 % in October.
- As per the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), food inflation remained at 6.6 %.
- The Cereals inflation stood at 10.65 % in October and the Vegetable inflation stood at 2.7 % in October.
- Core inflation — non-food, non-fuel segment — eased marginally to 4.4 % in October from 4.6 %.
- As per the statistics released, rural areas witnessed a higher inflation rate of 5.12 % while in urban areas it was 4.62 %.
- The Consumer Food Price Index for October remains at 6.61%, slightly lower than September.
- The retail inflation is within RBI's upper tolerance limit of 6 %.
6. 33rd Conference of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) Regional Commission for Asia and Pacific started in New Delhi.
- Delegates from 36 countries are participating in the conference.
- Senior officers from regional and international organizations and representatives from the private sector and private veterinary organizations are participating in the conference.
- It is scheduled to be organized from November 13 to 16, 2023.
- Union Minister Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan chaired the inaugural session of the conference.
- As per the World Organisation for Animal Health, 69 % of the human infections originate from the animals.
- This has increased demand in the fields of food safety, public health, animal welfare and antimicrobial resistance.
- The government is establishing mobile veterinary units to provide high-quality veterinary services to farmers.
- The Government of India is also implementing a livestock health and disease control programme under the One Health Approach.
7. India International Trade Fair-2023 started on 14 November 2023 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
- Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel inaugurated the India International Trade Fair-2023.
- India International Trade Fair-2023 is the 42nd edition of India International Trade Fair. It will continue till 27th November 2023.
- The theme of the India International Trade Fair-2023 is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
- The theme emphasizes the significance of interconnectedness and cooperation in trade for achieving sustainable growth and well-being.
- More than 3,000 exhibitors from both India and abroad will take part in the fair.
- Representatives from 13 countries will be taking part in the event from overseas.
- The countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Oman, Egypt, Nepal, Thailand, Turkiye, Vietnam, Tunisia, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Iran and UAE.
- The First five days of the Trade Fair are reserved for the business category.
- The Fair will be open to the general public from 19th November.
- Bihar and Kerala are the Partner States. Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh are the Focus States.
8. The export of the first trial consignment of bananas to Europe has been facilitated by APEDA.
- India is the world’s largest producer of bananas. APEDA facilitated the first trial shipment of bananas to the Netherlands via sea.
- The first export consignment of one container of bananas to the Netherlands has been flagged off from Baramati, Maharashtra.
- The trial shipment of bananas was sent out by the APEDA-registered 'InI Farms'.
- The export of bananas to the Netherlands would increase the income of farmers.
- After this trial shipment, India is expected to export bananas worth more than USD one billion in the next five years.
- It would increase the income of 25000 farmers and indirectly provide employment to 50,000 people on farms.
- Indian bananas are mainly exported to Iran, Iraq, UAE, Oman, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan, and the Maldives.
- India is looking for export opportunities of bananas to the USA, Russia, Japan, Germany, China, the Netherlands, the UK, and France.
- Banana is a major horticultural crop in India. Andhra Pradesh is the largest banana-producing state in India.
- Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh are also the leading producers of bananas in India.