1. Kamarajar Port Ltd is preparing to sign MoUs valued at ₹1,920 crore.
- It will sign 24 MoUs during 3rd edition of the ‘Global Maritime India Summit’.
- The ‘Global Maritime India Summit’ 2023 is scheduled to be held in Mumbai from 17 October to 19 October 2023.
- On 13 October, a special event was held at the port to formalise the signing of MoUs with the various companies.
- Kamarajar Port is located on the Coromandel Coast in the north of Chennai Port, Chennai.
- It is the 12th major port of India. It is the first port in India which is a public company. It is the only corporatized major port.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
2. India’s goods exports declined to $34.47 billion in September 2023.
- In terms of percentage, goods exports declined 2.6% (year-on-year).
- This is the fifth month of decline this fiscal. The petroleum, gems & jewellery, chemicals and garments sectors are responsible for decline.
- Imports have fallen by 15% to $53.84 billion in September 2023. This is because petroleum imports declined 20.3% to $14 billion.
- The trade deficit have fallen to a 5-month low of level of $19.37 billion, according to the quick estimates released by the Commerce Department.
- Goods exports in September 2023 at $ 24.78 billion were higher than $24.33 billion in September 2022.
- Exports in the April-September 2023 have fallen 8.77% to $ 211.4 billion.
- Imports in the April-September 2023 fell by 12.23% to $ 326.98 billion.
3. World Cooperative Economic Forum (WCEF) have been formed co-operative sector leaders and experts in India.
- WCEF has been formed on the lines of the World Economic Forum.
- It will be based in New Delhi. It will provide voice to over three million co-operatives spread over all countries.
- It will promote cooperative thinking and cooperative movement.
- It will also raise issues and concerns of the sector with governments and all other stakeholders around the globe
- Dileep Bhai Sanghani, President of the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) is one of the founder members of WCEF.
- Other members of the WCEF are Binod Anand, Rakesh Arrawatia and Ashish Anand.
Topic: Reports and Indices
4. Bengaluru is ranked at 22nd place on Global Residential Cities Index Q2 2023.
- As per the Knight Frank Global Residential Cities Index Q2 2023, Ankara (Turkish capital) is ranked at the 1st place with highest growth rate in residential prices of 105.9%.
- Ankara is followed by Istanbul at 85.1%. Stockholm ranks lowest in terms of price appreciation on the Global Residential Cities Index.
- Bengaluru’s rank improved to 22nd from 77th in Q2 2022.
- Bengaluru became the second highest-ranked Indian city on the Global Residential Cities Index Q2 2023.
- Mumbai is ranked at 19th place and New Delhi achieved 25th rank.
- Bengaluru has shown a residential price growth of 5.3% y-o-y in Q2 2023.
- Mumbai saw a 6% annual percentage change, compared to its 95th position in Q2 2022.
- Chennai and Kolkata stand at 4th and 5th positions among Indian cities in Q2 2023.
- On the global index, they stand at 39th and 40th. Last year, they were ranked at 107th and 114th on the global scale.
- Residential price growth across 107 cities of the world has slowed in Q2 2023.
- The index offers a quarterly overview of developments in major property markets in more than 100 cities around the world.
Topic: Banking System
5. The net interest spread between outstanding loans and deposits of banks has reached an 8-year low in August, according to RBI data.
- The spread between WALR and WADTDR stood at 3.11% for fresh rates in August 2023.
- The spread between WALR and WADTDR stood at 3.22% for outstanding rates in August 2023.
- WALR stands for weighted average lending rate and WADTDR stands for weighted average domestic term deposit rate.
- Private Banks are continuing to maintain a higher spread than PSU banks.
- Spreads between the outstanding WALR and WADTDR have fallen below pre-pandemic levels since June 2023.
- Credit off-take has increased by 19.8% y-o-y as of September 8.
- The share of External Benchmark Lending Rate (EBLR) linked loans in total outstanding floating rate loans was at 50.2% at the end of June, 2023.
- The share of Marginal Cost of funds-based Lending Rate (MCLR) linked loans was 44.8%.
- The share of EBLR-linked loans was higher in Private Banks at 73.2% followed by PSU banks at 36.1%.
6. RBI has imposed penalty on Union Bank of India, RBL Bank, Bajaj Finance and Paytm Payments Bank.
- RBI imposed ₹1 crore penalty on Union Bank of India.
- RBI has imposed penalty on Union Bank of India for non-compliance with directions on ‘Loans and Advances – Statutory and Other Restrictions’.
- RBI imposed ₹64 lakh fine on RBL Bank for violation of norms on regulatory approval for acquisition of shares or voting rights in private sector banks.
- RBL Bank failed to obtain the annual declaration in Form B from one of its major shareholders, within one month of the close of FY18, FY19 and FY20.
- RBI imposed ₹8.50 lakh fine on Pune-based Bajaj Finance for breach of regulatory norms of not reporting and delay in reporting of certain frauds to RBI.
- On 12 October, a monetary penalty of Rs 5.39 crore on Paytm Payments Bank imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for violating Know Your Customer norms, among others.
- The Paytm Payments Bank had failed to meet certain regulatory provisions under Know Your Customer (KYC) as well as the norms for increasing the maximum balance at the end of the day as stated in the licensing conditions of payments banks.
- The bank was also found to be non-compliant with the 'Cyber Security Framework in Banks', 'Guidelines on Reporting of Unusual Cyber Security Incidents', and 'Securing Mobile Banking Applications including the UPI Ecosystem'.
- From March 2022, Paytm Payments Bank has been barred from adding new customers by the RBI due to supervisory concerns.
- The bank was directed by the regulator to appoint an IT audit firm to conduct a comprehensive system audit of its IT systems.
- RBI had said the onboarding of new customers by Paytm Payments Bank Ltd will be granted after reviewing the report of the IT auditors.
7. VJ Kurian has been appointed as new chairman of South Indian Bank.
- He has been appointed as the non-executive part time chairman of the bank with effect from November 2 to March 22, 2026.
- He will succeed Salim Gangadharan. Gangadharan will retire as non-executive part-time chairman of the bank on November 1 after completing his term.
- South Indian Bank is a private sector bank. It is headquartered in Thrissur, Kerala. It was founded in 1929. P R Seshadri is its MD & CEO.
- Pankaj Bohra assumed charge as national president of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC).
- Pankaj Bohra, a Chartered Accountant from Ahmedabad, became the first person from Gujarat to assume charge as the president of IACC.
- Navneet Munot has been elected as the new chairman of the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi).
- Anthony Heredia became the new vice-chairperson of Amfi. Munot and Heredia will take charge from 16 October 2023.
- A Balasubramanian’s term ended as the chairman of Amfi. Radhika Gupta's term ended as the Vice-Chiarman.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
8. Retail inflation (consumer price index (CPI)-based inflation) for September 2023 declined to 5%.
- Industrial growth based on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) increased to a 14-month high level of 10.3% in August 2023. It was 6% in July 2023.
- Industrial growth increased in August on account of strong manufacturing activity. Mining and Electricity showed double-digit growth.
- The fall in vegetable and oil prices was the key reason for the decline in retail inflation from 6.8% in August.
- The inflation rate was higher than the national average in Rajasthan and Telangana.
- Haryana, Karnataka and Odisha are other states where the inflation rate continues to be high.
Industrial Growth (in %, 2023)
Topic: Reports and Indices
9. India ranked 111th out of 125 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2023.
- India slipped four spots in the Global Hunger Index 2023. India has been ranked at 111.
- In the 2022 ranking, India was in the 107th position out of 121 countries.
- ‘Concern Worldwide’ and ‘Welt Hungerhilfe’, two NGOs from Ireland and Germany, have released this report.
- India has a score of 28.7 in the latest ranking, which shows a serious level of hunger.
- As per the index, India also has the highest child-wasting rate in the world at 18.7 per cent.
- The rate of undernourishment in India stood at 16.6 per cent and under-five mortality is at 3.1 per cent.
- The prevalence of anaemia in women aged between 15 and 24 years stood at 58.1 per cent.
- South Asia and Africa are the world regions with the highest hunger levels.
- India’s neighbouring countries Pakistan (102nd), Bangladesh (81st), Nepal (69th) and Sri Lanka (60th) are ahead of India.
- As per the 2023 Global Hunger Index (GHI), after many years of advancement up to 2015, the progress against hunger is stagnant.
- The 2023 GHI score for the world is 18.3. It is less than the world's 2015 GHI score of 19.1.
- Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, China, Hungary, Estonia, etc. are among the top 20 countries of this ranking.
- Central African Republic, Madagascar and Yemen are at the bottom of the ranking.
- Climate change, conflicts, economic shocks, the global pandemic, and the Russia-Ukraine war have increased social and economic inequalities and slowed or reversed the progress against hunger.
- The Indian government has rejected the report of this year and termed the methodology of the report preparation faulty.
10. Government granted Navratna Status to IRCON International and RITES.
- IRCON became the 15th Central Public Sector Enterprise to get Navratna status.
- Another PSU, RITES, becomes the 16th Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) to receive this prestigious recognition.
- Over the past year, the stocks of these public sector undertakings (PSUs) have increased significantly.
- These companies will get more freedom in making decisions related to investments, joint ventures, mergers, and acquisitions.
- A Navratna company can get ‘Maharatna’ status by meeting specific performance benchmarks and fulfilling certain eligibility criteria.
- Bharat Electronics, Shipping Corporation of India, Hindustan Aeronautics, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, and Hindustan Aeronautics are some of the Navratna Companies.
- Ircon International Limited is a Government of India Undertaking under the Ministry of Railways. It was established in 1976, by the Indian Railways under the Indian Companies Act 1956.
- RITES Ltd is a central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Railways. It was formed in 1974 under the Ministry of Railways.
- RITES is a leading company in the transport consultancy and engineering sector in India.
Topic: Reports and Indices
11. NTPC became the only Indian PSU to feature in Forbes' World's Best Employers 2023 list.
- On October 10, 2023, Forbes World's Best Employers List 2023 was released.
- In this, NTPC Limited, India's largest integrated energy conglomerate, has been recognized as one of the "World's Best Employers 2023".
- It is ranked 261st among the top 700 companies in the world ranking and is the only Indian public sector undertaking (PSU) to feature in the list.
- This is proof that the people's practices at NTPC are at par with the top companies in the world.
- Every year, Forbes publishes the World's Best Employers list through independent market research to identify the top 700 companies.
- In 2023, Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to create the seventh annual list of the World's Best Employers.
- It recognized NTPC's progressive and “people before plant load factor (PLF)” approach, and excellence in the development and management of its human resources through continuous process improvement.
12. Union cabinet has approved royalty rates for mining of three critical and strategic minerals.
- These critical and strategic minerals are Lithium, Niobium, and Rare Earth Elements (REEs).
- The approval of royalty rates will allow central government to auction blocks for these minerals for the first time.
- The royalty rate would be 3% of London Metal Exchange price for Lithium.
- The royalty rate would be 3% of Average Sale Price for Niobium.
- The royalty rate of Rare Earth Elements would be 1% of Average Sale Price of Rare Earth Oxide.
- In July 2023, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act 2023 was passed in the Parliament.
- It delisted six minerals, including Lithium and Niobium, from the list of atomic minerals.
- Thus it enabled the grant of concessions for these minerals to the private sector through auction.