Banking Awareness of 17, 18 and 19 February 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 19 Feb 2024 17:56 PM IST
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Topic: Regulatory Bodies/Financial Institutions

1. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) now covers pension funds due to the changes brought by PFRDA.

  • A concept known as "fit and proper" criterion has been adopted for Principal Officers of the pension fund and the sponsor.
  • Additionally, it has recently implemented strict guidelines on the calculation of net asset value for pension fund plans.
  • Additionally, it has made it mandatory to establish a nominating and compensation committee inside the pension fund board.
  • Additionally, the term "pension fund" should be in the name of any pension fund available in the market.
  • For example, UTI Retirement Solutions cannot be the name of a pension fund.
  • Additionally, the pension fund would now have to provide the regulator with a compliance certificate.
  • Atal Pension Yojana and the National Pension System have combined assets of over ₹11 lakh crore.
  • After being implemented in 2009, NPS took six years and six months to achieve the milestone of ₹1-lakh crore AUM.
  • More than 8 lakh new members have joined with NPS so far this fiscal year.
  • This fiscal year, PFRDA aims to add 13 lakh new non-government users.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

2. At 21.4 million tonnes, crude oil imports into India reached a 20-month high in January.

  • In January 2024, India bought 21.4 million tonnes (mt) of crude oil. During the last 20 months, this is the highest.
  • In order to meet domestic demand and capitalize on the growing demand for refined products in export markets, refiners increased their cargo volumes.
  • India’s imports in January 2024 were the highest since April 2022, when it bought 21.6 mt of the crude oil.
  • While inbound shipments increased by about 6% annually from 20.4 mt, imports increased by 8% month over month from 19.8 mt.
  • India's imports of crude oil began to decline in June 2023 due to monsoon, which had an effect on industrial activity and mobility.
  • With the start of the festival season and the resumption of mining and construction activities, the inbound cargos began to accelerate once more in October.
  • The January 2024 and April-January FY24 periods had seen increase in refined petroleum product exports of 7.5% and 3.1% annually, respectively.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

3. Government raised authorised capital of Food Corporation of India (FCI) to ₹21,000 crore.

  • Earlier, its authorised capital was ₹10,000 crore. Government has increased authorised capital to enhance the operational capabilities.
  • The increase in authorised capital will lower economic costs, lessen the burden of interest, and eventually have a positive impact on government subsidies.
  • The FCI should upgrade its transportation infrastructure, modernize its storage facilities, and implement cutting-edge technology with this infusion of funding.
  • The Center gives equity to the FCI in order to meet its working capital needs and create capital assets.
  • To safeguard farmers' interests, FCI purchases foodgrains at a Minimum Support Price (MSP).
  • Additionally, it distributes the grains under various social programs and keeps strategic stocks.

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Topic: Corporates/Companies

4. LIC has launched Amritbaal insurance plan for children.

  • It is a new non-linked, non-participating, individual, savings, life insurance plan.
  • It is particularly designed to have an adequate corpus to fulfil the higher education and other needs of a child.
  • The minimum sum assured for this plan is ₹2 lakh. There is no maximum sum assured (subject to underwriting decision).
  • As long as the policy is in effect, it will make it easier for corpus to grow by guaranteed additions at the rate of ₹80 for every thousand basic sum assured at the conclusion of each policy year.
  • The entry-level minimum age is thirty days (completed) and the entry-level maximum age is thirteen years (last birthday).
  • The minimum and maximum age at maturity are 18 years (last birthday) and 25 years (last birthday), respectively.
  • For limited premium payments, the minimum policy term is ten years. For single premium payments, it is five years.
  • For both restricted and single premium payments, the maximum policy duration is 25 years.

Topic: Appointments

5. Pradeep Kumar Sinha will take charge as Non-Executive Part-time Chairman of ICICI Bank after the end of G. C. Chaturvedi’s term.

  • G. C. Chaturvedi’s term ends on June 30, 2024. G. C. Chaturvedi is current Non-Executive Part-time Chairman. 
  • Pradeep Kumar Sinha is former cabinet secretary. His appointment would be effective from July 1, 2024 or the date of approval from RBI, whichever is later.
  • He has been appointed for a period until February 16, 2029.
  • ICICI Bank is a private sector bank. Its MD & CEO is Sandeep Bakhshi.
  • It is headquartered in Mumbai with registered office in Vadodara. It was founded in 1994.
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Topic: Banking/Financial/Govt Schemes

6. MSME Minister Narayan Rane launched a special scheme for informal micro enterprises (IMEs).

  • An Rs 20 lakh scheme under the government’s Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) for GST-exempted micro-units has been launched by MSME Minister Narayan Rane.
  • The scheme ‘Special Provision for Informal Micro Enterprises under Credit Guarantee Scheme’ help in providing credit support to micro or nano enterprises from lenders.
  • Under this scheme, 85 per cent guarantee cover will be provided to lenders for unsecured loans up to Rs 20 lakh to IMEs registered on the Udyam portal.
  • Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) was launched in the year 2000. It provides guarantees to lenders for collateral-free loans to micro and small enterprises.
  • In the current fiscal year, Rs 1.50 lakh crore of guaranteed amount has been disbursed as compared to Rs 1.04 lakh crore in FY23.
  • The finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget 2023 speech had announced an Rs 9,000 crore fund infusion in the CGTMSE corpus.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

7. ‘Best Technology Bank of the Year award’ has been conferred to South Indian Bank.

  • At the 19th IBA Annual Banking Technology Conference, South Indian Bank received the ‘Best Technology Bank of the Year award’.
  • South Indian Bank won a total of six prestigious awards for outstanding performance.
  • South Indian Bank emerged as the winner in three categories: Best Technology Bank of the Year, Best Tech Talent and Organization and Best Tech Talent and Organization.
  • It secured the runner-up position in one and received special mentions in two others.
  • The awards were received by PR Seshadri, MD & CEO of South Indian Bank.
  • The IBA Annual Banking Technology Conference, Expo & Citations is an annual event that has been organized since 2005.
  • It recognizes organizations that have brought transformational changes in their businesses by adopting modern digital solutions.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

8. Reserve Bank of India and Nepal Rastra Bank signed a pact for UPI-NPI linkage.

  • For seamless cross-border remittances transfer, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Nepal Rastra Bank signed an agreement to integrate the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of India and the National Payments Interface (NPI) of Nepal.
  • The integration of Indian and Nepalese fast payment systems will enable users of both systems to make instant and low-cost fund transfers.
  • The formal commencement of operations would take place at a later date.
  • This pact will strengthen financial connectivity between both countries through the UPI-NPI linkage.
  • Recently, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and France have enabled the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of India for payments.

Topic: Banking/Financial/Govt Schemes

9. Electoral bond scheme for political funding declared “unconstitutional” by the Supreme Court.

  • In a landmark judgment on February 15, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said the scheme was arbitrary and violated citizens' right to information.
  • A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court struck down the electoral bond scheme, which allowed anonymous donations to political parties.
  • On January 2, 2018, the electoral bond scheme launched by the government was seen as a solution to replace cash donations and increase transparency in political funding.
  • The Supreme Court said that this scheme violates the right to information of the citizens, thereby affecting the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.
  • Chief Justice Chandrachud, while striking down the scheme introduced through the Finance Act, 2017, said information about the funding of political parties is essential for the effective exercise of voting choice.
  • The electoral bonds Issuer bank, the State Bank of India (SBI), has been ordered to submit details of the political parties that have received electoral bonds since 2019 to the Election Commission of India (ECI) by March 6, 2024.
  • ECI has also been asked to publish such details on its official website.
  • The Supreme Court also struck down the amendments made to the Income Tax Act and the Representation of the People Act, which had made donations anonymous.
  • The judgment also said that the amendment to the Companies Act allowing blanket corporate political funding was "unconstitutional".
  • Before the amendment to the Companies Act in 2017, loss-making companies in India were not allowed to make contributions.
  • Furthermore, the Supreme Court said that the electoral scheme would help the political party that is in power.

Topic: World Economy

10. Japan fell into recession and lost its position as the world's third-largest economy.

  • After declining in the last quarter of 2023, Japan's economy is now the world's fourth largest and fell behind Germany.
  • According to Cabinet Office data on real GDP released on 15 February, the government reported that the economy shrank by an annual rate of 0.4% from October to December, although it grew by 1.9% for the whole of 2023.
  • It declined by 2.9% in July-September. Contraction in two consecutive quarters is considered an indicator that an economy is in a technical recession.
  • Until 2010, Japan's economy was the second largest when it was overtaken by China.
  • In 2023, Japan's nominal GDP totaled $4.2 trillion, while Germany's was $4.4 trillion or $4.5 trillion, depending on currency conversion.
  • The weak Japanese yen was a major factor in the decline to fourth place, as nominal GDP is compared in dollar terms.
  • The US remains the world's largest economy with a GDP of $27.94 trillion in 2023.
  • India's wealth is about $3.7 trillion but it is growing at a fast rate of about 7%.


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