1. The Energy Transition Advisory Committee has recommended ban on diesel four-wheelers from cities with million-plus population by 2027.
- The committee also suggested that more diesel-operated city buses should not be added in urban areas.
- The committee suggested that by 2030, no city buses should be added, which are not electric.
- It said CNG may continue till 2035, but diesel buses for city transport should not be added from 2024 onwards.
- As per the committee, long-distance buses should be a mixture of electric with battery swapping and CNG/LNG.
- According to a September 2022 report of the Automotive Research Association of India, the transport sector contributes up to 20% of the PM 2.5 emissions.
- The committee suggested the extension of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME)-II scheme beyond March 2024.
- It suggested increase in the quantum of FAME subsidy per EV, rather than targeting more EVs with lesser subsidy.
- Energy Transition Advisory Committee was chaired by former oil secretary Tarun Kapoor.
- It was formed by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. It was tasked with creating a clean energy transition roadmap.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
2. WPI based inflation declined to 1.34% in March 2023 from 3.85% in February 2023.
- Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation in March 2023 is lowest in 29 months. It declined mainly due to fall in food prices.
- The food index in March 2023 rose 2.32% year-on-year as against 2.76% in February 2023.
- Fuel and power basket inflation declined to 8.96% in March 2023 from 14.82% in February 2023.
- In manufactured products, inflation was (-)0.77% in March 2023.
- Inflation in wheat and pulses was 9.16% and 3.03%, respectively in March 2023.
- Inflation in vegetables was (-)2.22% in March 2023. Inflation in oilseeds was (-) 15.05% in March 2023.
3. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the cost of KYC has reduced from ₹700 to ₹3 because of Aadhaar.
- The cost of loan processing has been cut down by almost 75%.
- Finance Minister delivered a keynote address during a seminar on ‘India’s Digital Public Infrastructure - Stacking Up the Benefits’, organised by IMF.
- She highlighted the benefits of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) and how the government has used its benefits to serve the citizens, especially during the pandemic.
- 46,25 crore low-cost bank accounts have been opened under PM Jan Dhan Yojana. 56% of account holders are women.
- She said India’s DPI based direct benefit transfer system has helped about 650 million people.
- Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). It was launched on 28 January 2009.
- PM Jan Dhan Yojana is a National mission for Financial inclusion. It was announced on 15 August 2014. Under the scheme, one basic savings bank account is opened for unbanked person for which he/she does not have to maintain any minimum balance. Accident Insurance Cover is also provided to the account holder. An overdraft facility up to Rs. 10,000 is available for eligible account holders.
Topic: Banking System
4. First blockchain-enabled Letter of Credit transaction has been completed by Citi India.
- The transaction has been completed by Citi India on Contour for its client Cummins India Limited.
- The transaction is a first for both Cummins and Citi India on Contour.
- It enabled banks, corporates and logistic partners to collaborate seamlessly in real-time on a single platform.
- With Contour’s decentralized global trade finance network, Letter of Credit (LC) processing time can declined by 90%.
- For Cummins, documentation presentation under LC was completed in 3 hours.
- Citi served as both LC Advising and Issuing Bank through its Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) business in India.
- Citi is a founding member bank of Contour. It is the blockchain-based platform. It is a global digital trade finance network.
- Cummins is a diversified industrials manufacturing company. A Letter of Credit guarantees the buyer’s payment to the sellers.
Topic: Reports and Indices
5. Most preferred medium for digital payments was Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in 2022.
- UPI has a volume and value market share of 84% in 2022.
- Adoption of credit cards increased as per the India Digital Payments Annual Report for 2022 released by Worldline.
- There was a slowdown in debit card transactions in 2022.
- Debit and credit cards collectively accounted for 14% of the transactions in terms of value and 7% of transactions in terms of value.
- The report said the volume and value of transactions via credit cards has grown steadily throughout the year.
- It is likely to increase because credit cards are now eligible for UPI transactions.
- Within UPI, the most preferred payment modes among consumers were Person-to-Merchant (P2M) and Person-to-Person (P2P).
- State Bank of India and ICICI Bank were among the top five banks, both in terms of being a UPI remitter and beneficiary bank.
- The other top UPI remitter banks in 2022 were HDFC Bank, Bank of Baroda and Union Bank.
- The other top UPI beneficiary banks were Paytm Payments Bank, YES Bank and Axis Bank.
Topic: Banking System
6. AU Small Finance Bank will launch bill payment services through video banking.
- AU Small Finance Bank has integrated with the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) to launch these services.
- This initiative aims to promote digital accessibility and enhance economic capability.
- The bill payment services through video banking enables customers to pay bills without the need to visit a branch.
- Through AU SFB’s video banking service, people can make payments like FASTag, loan repayment, insurance, investments, education fees, municipal taxes, utility payments including gas, electricity, mobile, landline, water, DTH bills, and others.
- The SFB is already offering more than 400 services to its customers through video banking.
- AU Small Finance Bank (SFB):
- It was founded in 1996 as AU Financiers (India) Ltd.
- In 2017, AU Financiers (India) Ltd became a small finance bank.
- It is headquartered in Jaipur. Its chairman is Raj Vikash Verma.
7. The appointment of Sekhar Rao as interim MD and CEO of Karnataka Bank has been approved by RBI.
- Sekhar Rao’s appointment is for three months effective from 15 April, 2023 or till the appointment of a regular MD and CEO, whichever is earlier.
- Mahabaleshwara M S, MD and CEO of the bank completed his term of office as MD and CEO of the bank on 14 April 2023.
- Financial year 2023-24 coincides with centenary year of the Karnataka Bank.
- In the financial year 2023-24, the bank has fixed the target of achieving a growth of 17.69%.
- Karnataka Bank is a Scheduled Commercial Bank based in Mangaluru, Karnataka. It is a private sector bank. It was founded on 18 February 1924.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
8. AIMA's 'Business Leader of the Decade' award presented to Kumar Mangalam Birla.
- On 11 April, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group, Kumar Mangalam Birla, has received the ‘Business Leader of the Decade Award’ at All India Management Association's (AIMA) 13th Managing India Awards ceremony.
- Birla won the award for his contribution to Indian industry over the past decade.
- 'AIMA-JRD Tata Corporate Leadership' award has been presented to the Tata Steel Chairman T V Narendran.
- 'MNC in India of the Year' award has been presented to the leading engineering services company ABB India.
- The contribution of several other leaders and institutions was also awarded at the annual event held in New Delhi.
- In 2010, the AIMA Managing India Awards were instituted to promote management in every sphere of life.
Outstanding PSU of the Year
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)
MNC in India of the Year
ABB India Ltd
Young Entrepreneur Award
Tarun Mehta & Swapnil Jain, Founders, Ather Energy
Outstanding Contribution to Media
Entrepreneur of the Year
Samir Mehta, Chairman, Torrent Group
Transformational Business Leader
Sanjiv Bajaj, Chairman & Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv Ltd
Outstanding Institution Builder
Venu Srinivasan, Chairman Emeritus, TVS Motor Company
Business Leader of the Decade Award
Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
9. The US became India’s largest trading partner in FY23.
- Bilateral trade between both countries has increased by 7.65% to $128.55 billion in 2022-23 as against $119.5 billion in 2021-22 as per provisional data of the commerce ministry.
- Bilateral trade between India and US was $80.51 billion in 2020-21.
- Exports to the US increased by 2.81% to $78.31 billion in 2022-23. Exports to the US were $76.18 billion in 2021-22.
- Imports to the US grew by about 16% to $50.24 billion. In 2022-23, India had a trade surplus of $28 billion with the US.
- During 2022-23, India’s bilateral trade with China declined by about 1.5% to $113.83 billion as against $115.42 billion in 2021-22.
- Exports to China declined by approximately 28% to $15.32 billion in 2022-23. Imports increased by 4.16% to $98.51 billion in the last fiscal.
- China was India’s top trading partner from 2013-14 till 2017-18. It was also India’s top trading partner in 2020-21.
- During 2022-23, the UAE was India‘s third largest trading partner with $76.16 billion.
- UAE was followed by Saudi Arabia ($52.72 billion) and Singapore (USD 35.55 billion).
- India is the world’s 3rd largest consumer market.
Topic: Reports and Indices
10. As per ADR report, Jagan Mohan Reddy is the wealthiest CM in India.
- According to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report, a total of 29 chief ministers are crorepatis in India with average assets of ₹33.96 crore.
- Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy is the wealthiest CM in India.
- Arunachal Pradesh's Pema Khandu (over ₹163 crores), and Odisha's Naveen Patnaik (over ₹63 crores) are in second and third positions.
- West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is in the last position with total assets of ₹15 lakh.
- Kerala's Pinarayi Vijayan (over ₹1 crore), and Haryana's Manohar Lal (over ₹1 crore) are also among the CMs with the lowest declared assets.
- Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Delhi's Arvind Kejriwal have assets of more than 3 crores.
- This report is based on the self-sworn poll affidavits of all the 30 current chief ministers of states and union territories.
- As per the ADR report, serious criminal cases including murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, and criminal intimidation are on 13 (43%) CMs.
- At present, there is only one female Chief Minister i.e. Mamta Banerjee.