Banking Awareness of 17 and 18 May 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 18 May 2024 17:02 PM IST
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Topic: Banking System

1. $500 million loan has been provided by International Finance Corporation (IFC) to HDFC Bank.

  • This loan will be used by HDFC Bank for providing microloans to underserved women in rural and semi-urban India.
  • HDFC Bank will use it for on-lending as microloans to Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) enrolled in SLI (Sustainable Livelihoods Initiative).
  • Through this funding, HDFC Bank is seeking to support lending for income generation purposes.
  • SLI (Sustainable Livelihoods Initiative) is the Bank’s business line, which is responsible for microfinance lending programs only for women borrowers.
  • Banks contribute 40% of the total microlending in India.
  • Approximately 65.7% of all microloans in India come from non-banking financial organisations, including small finance banks and microfinance institutions.
  • HDFC Bank is the largest private sector bank in India.
  • IFC is a member of the World Bank Group. It is world’s largest global development institution that focuses on private sector in emerging markets.

Topic: Agriculture

2. Pulses exports in FY24 declined 22% in volume terms.

  • India’s pulses exports in 2023-24 declined 2.5% in value terms.
  • India’s pulses exports declined on account of decline in purchases by important buyers like Bangladesh, China and the United Arab Emirates on higher prices.
  • Pulses exports were at 5.94 lakh tonnes (lt) in 2023-24. These were at 7.62 lt in the previous year.
  • In value terms, pulses exports were at $644 million. These were at $661 million in the previous year.
  • Bad weather had impacted the pulses production in India.
  • Prices of chana were more than the minimum support price by 15-20 %. This impacted the exports.
  • Bangladesh is the largest buyer of Indian pulses. It lowered purchases during 2023-24 at 1.85 lt against 2 lakh tonnes in the previous year.
  • China reduced the purchases from 1.65 lt in previous year to 50,223 tonnes this year.
  • However, exports to US increased from 32,589 tonnes in the previous year to around 34,944 tonnes. Exports to UK almost doubled.
  • The exports of desi chana and kabuli chana declined. The exports of lentils, tur and urad increased.
  • Exports of lentils and urad have more than doubled. Exports of tur and moong saw a marginal increase.
  • India is the largest producer and consumer of pulses. 

Topic: Agriculture

3. India’s poultry exports have reached a record high level of $184.58 million (₹1,530 crore) in FY24.

  • Poultry exports have reached record level on demand for products like eggs and egg powder from countries such as Oman and Sri Lanka.
  • India’s poultry exports were at $134.04 million (₹1,081 crore) in 2022-23.
  • Factors like the Ukraine crisis and the earthquake in Turkey impacted the production and shipments to West Asia.
  • This helped India export more poultry products during 2023-24 financial year.
  • The major market for Indian poultry products is West Asia.
  • Oman is the largest buyer. It accounts for nearly a third of Indian exports.
  • Other major destinations in the West Asia are UAE and Qatar.
  • Sri Lanka has become the 2nd largest buyer of Indian poultry products in 2023-24. It was followed by Maldives.
  • Indian poultry exports stood at ₹768 crore ($117.42 million) in 2015-16.
  • They reached a six-year low of ₹435 crore ($58.70 million) during 2020-21.


Poultry Exports (Value $ million)











Data Source: Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS)

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Topic: Appointments

4. IndiaFirst Life will make Deputy CEO Rushabh Gandhi its MD.

  • R M Vishakha is the current MD and CEO. R M Vishakha will retire on June 30, 2024.
  • The appointment of Deputy CEO Rushabh Gandhi as the Managing Director (MD) and CEO has been approved by the board of IndiaFirst Life Insurance.
  • Gandhi has worked alongside Vishakha since 2015. Gandhi will take charge for five years, with effect from July 1, 2024.
  • Gandhi’s appointment is subject to regulatory, shareholder and other approvals.

Topic: Banking System

5. RuPay cardholders will be provided 25% cashback on in-store purchases in 7 countries till July 31.

  • A special cashback incentive plan is being offered for a limited time by NPCI's RuPay card network.
  • This programme is available to holders of RuPay debit and credit cards from May 15 to July 31.
  • Customers who make in-store point-of-sale purchases at merchants within seven countries that accept cards on the "Discover" network or "Diners Club International" will receive 25% cashback during the offer period.
  • These seven nations are the US, UK, UAE, Spain, Japan, Canada, and Switzerland.
  • During the offer period, a card's maximum cashback value per purchase would be ₹2,500.
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Topic: Corporates/Companies

6. SEBI granted LIC a three-year extension to achieve a 10% public shareholding.

  • LIC must comply with all regulatory requirements on or before May 16, 2027.
  • LIC must raise its public shareholding to ten percent by May 16, 2027, at the latest.
  • A company must achieve a 10% public shareholding within three years of the date of listing, per SEBI regulations. On May 17, 2022, LIC was listed.
  • The public's shareholding in LIC is 3.5% as of March 31, 2024.
  • To reach the 10% shareholding target, the government must still sell off an additional 6.5% of its holdings over the period of the coming three years.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

7. Cross-border UPI payments launched in Sri Lanka by PhonePe.

  • On 15 May, PhonePe, an Indian digital payments and financial services portal, has been launched in Sri Lanka.
  • India's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Santosh Jha said the launch of UPI and subsequently the launch of PhonePe today is part of the broader agenda of connectivity.
  • Digital transformation has been a key element in the ongoing transformation in India and India is hoping to bring a similar transformation in Sri Lanka.
  • Along with bringing a digital identity project to Sri Lanka, India is also working on expanding comprehensive digital public infrastructure in the island nation.

Topic: Reports and Indices

8. India had 116 cases of internet shutdowns in 2023, according to data analysed by Access Now.

  • It accounted for 41% of the 283 instances globally. India now leads the world in internet shutdowns for the sixth year in a row.
  • Access Now has recorded the 1,458 shutdowns since 2016. Out of these, India accounted for 773 (53% of them).
  • The number of internet shutdowns increased by 41% from 201 in 2022 to 283 in 2023.
  • The shutdowns cost India $1.9 billion in the first half of 2023 alone.
  • They cost India a loss of $118 million in foreign investment in the first half of 2023 alone.
  • Shutdown of single day can lead up to 379 people into unemployment in India.
  • In India, 64 shutdowns affected over one district. This was prompted by the statewide shutdown in Punjab in March and the 47 shutdowns in Manipur.
  • There were local or statewide internet shutdowns in 13 Indian states.
  • The number of Indian states having over five shutdowns has grown from 3 in 2022 to 7 in 2023. 
  • In India, 41% of all shutdowns lasted for five days or more. In 2022, this number was 15%.
  • In 2023, Iran had 34 internet shutdowns, and Myanmar had 37, following India.
  • To stop exam cheating, twelve shutdowns were ordered in six countries, including India.
  • Natural disasters have been recognised by Access Now as "emerging trigger" for shutdowns.
  • There was an increase of 35.6% in platform blocks.
  • After Facebook, Grindr is the chat app that is blocked the most outside of India.
  • Access Now is a not-for profit group that focusses on digital rights.

Topic: Reports and Indices

9. UN amended India's 2024 economic growth projection to 6.9%.

  • The United Nations has released the World Economic Situation and Prospects.
  • The world economy is now forecast to grow by 2.7 per cent in 2024 and 2.8 per cent in 2025.
  • The report forecasts that the Indian economy will grow by 6.9 per cent in 2024 and 6.6 per cent in 2025.
  • Earlier, the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2024 report projected 6.2 per cent GDP growth for India.
  • This growth will be mainly driven by strong public investment and resilient private consumption.
  • Pharmaceutical and chemical exports are expected to expand strongly.
  • The consumer price inflation in India is projected to decline from 5.6 per cent in 2023 to 4.5 per cent in 2024.
  • Due to robust growth and higher labour force participation, labour market indicators have also improved in India.
  • The inflation rates in other South Asian countries will also decline.
  • The Chinese economy is expected to grow at 4.8 per cent in 2024, up from 4.7 per cent projected in January.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

10. Moody's expects India to achieve growth of 6.6% in the financial year 2024-25.

  • Moody's Ratings said the Indian economy is expected to grow at 6.6% in the current financial year 2024-25, driven by strong credit demand that will support the profitability of the NBFC sector.
  • However, the rating agency's 2024-25 GDP growth projections are lower than those made by the RBI.
  • In the latest monetary policy review meeting, the RBI projected the Indian economy to grow at 7% in 2024-25.
  • The global rating agency has pegged India's growth rate at 6.2% for the next financial year 2025-26.
  • During the October-December quarter of fiscal year 2023-24, India's GDP grew by a massive 8.4%, and the country remains the fastest-growing major economy and is set to maintain its growth path going forward.
  • In 2022-23, India’s economy grew 7.2% and 8.7% in 2021-22, respectively.
  • In addition, the IMF has raised India's growth forecast for 2024 to 6.8% from 6.5% in its latest outlook.
  • India's GDP size currently ranks 5th after America, China, Germany and Japan. In 2022, India overtook the UK.
  • Currently, India's GDP is estimated to be around US$3.7 trillion.


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