Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
1. PC shipments in India increased to record 4.5 million units in Q3 2023.
- Personal computer (PC) shipments to India increased to record level in July-September quarter of 2023 after a long period of stagnation.
- During the July-September quarter of 2023, PC shipments recorded a 14% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase, as per a report by International Data Corp (IDC).
- Desktops recorded an increase of 19.3%. Notebooks increased by 13.1%.
- Thee shipments increased because of the Centre’s brief import ban and in anticipation of festival season sales.
- Government contracts, particularly the education sector has shown a growth of 117.5%.
- HP dominated market. Its market share stood at 29.4%. Lenovo stood at second in market share. Its share was 17%.
- Dell Technologies came at 3rd place with a market share of 14.6%.
Topic: Banking/Financial/Govt Schemes
2. Total 27 firms have been approved under the government’s new IT hardware production linked incentive (PLI) scheme.
- The approved firms include electronic companies like Dell, HP, Foxconn, Flextronics, VVDN Technologies, Bhagwati Products, Rising Stars Hi-Tech, HLBS Tech and Optiemus Telecommunication.
- PLI Scheme – 2.0 for IT hardware was approved by the cabinet on May 17, 2023.
- It covers laptops, tablets, all-in-one PCs, servers and ultra small form factor devices.
- It extends incentive of 5% on net incremental sales (over base year) of goods manufactured in India and covered under the target segment, to eligible companies, for six years.
- The PLI Scheme 2.0 for IT hardware also includes semiconductor design, IC manufacturing, and packaging as incentivised components.
- It will result in broadening and deepening of the manufacturing ecosystem.
3. Biometric Aadhaar authentication would be required for GST registration in Andhra Pradesh.
- This has been done to deter fraudulent entries. Earlier this provision was applicable for Gujarat and Puducherry.
- Finance Ministry has now notified the changes in GST Rules to apply this provision to Andhra Pradesh.
- Biometric-based Aadhaar authentication was implemented by Finance Ministry in Gujarat and Puducherry as pilot to deter fraudulent entries.
- Andhra Pradesh will be subject to the provisions of sub-rule (4A) of Rule 8 of the CGST Rules.
- In the GST Council meeting on December 17, 2022, a decision was taken to tighten the registration process.
- Rule 8 of CGST Rules, 2017 deals with the application procedure for registration.
- Rule 9 of CGST Rules, 2017 deals with verification of the application and approval.
- In June 2023, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) brought out detailed guidelines for GST registration.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
4. The daily wages of rural agricultural workers in Madhya Pradesh are lowest in country according to the data compiled by RBI.
- As per the data compiled by RBI, the daily wage of male agricultural workers in rural areas in MP is just Rs 229.2 in the year ended March 2023.
- The daily wage of male agricultural workers in rural areas in Gujarat is Rs 241.9 in the year ended March 2023.
- For the year, the national average was Rs 345.7. Kerala pays the highest wage of Rs 764.3 per person among states.
- Rural farm workers in Uttar Pradesh receive an average daily wage of Rs 309.3.
- Rural farm workers in Maharashtra receive Rs 303.5 daily.
- The high wages in Kerala attract farm workers from other poorly paid states.
- Average wages of farm workers in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are Rs 550.4, Rs 473.3 and Rs 470 per person, respectively.
- As per RBI data, in case of male non-agricultural workers, the lowest wage was in MP (Rs 246.3).
- In Gujarat, male non-agricultural workers received daily wage of Rs 273.1. The national average in case of male non-agricultural workers was Rs 348.
- Kerala again leads in non-agricultural workers’ daily wages with Rs 696.6 per person.
- It was followed by J& K (Rs 517.9), Tamil Nadu (Rs 481.5) and Haryana (Rs 451) for the year ended March 2023.
- In the case of rural male construction workers, Gujarat (Rs 323.2) and Madhya Pradesh (Rs 278.7) were below the national average of Rs 393.3.
5. Former RBI Governor S. Venkitaramanan passed away.
- S. Venkitaramanan, RBI Governor from December 1990 to December 1992 died recently.
- He served as the 18th RBI governor during which India faced the balance of payments crisis.
- During his term, India adopted the stabilisation programme of IMF under which the Rupee was devaluated.
- He also served as Finance Secretary to the Government of India from 1985 to 1989.
- Before appointment as RBI governor, he was the advisor of the Karnataka government.
- He was born in the town of Nagercoil in the princely state of Travancore.
- During his tenure as RBI Governor, business journalist Sucheta Dalal exposed the Harshad Mehta scam.
6. Ministry of Consumer Affairs has formed a committee to draft a “Safety Pledge” to stop the online sale of hazardous products.
- The Safety Pledge would be a voluntary commitment by e-commerce players to stop the sale of hazardous products through their platforms.
- The aim of the pledge is to make sure that appropriate measures are taken by online platforms to stop the sale of unsafe goods.
- Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs chaired a stakeholder consultation in this regard.
- Members from e-commerce platforms, consumer associations, industry bodies and National Law Universities are included in the committee.
- The committee will submit its report in two weeks.
- The proposed principles of the Safety Pledge for e-commerce platforms are:
- Detecting and preventing the sale of unsafe products
- Co-operating with statutory authorities responsible for product safety
- Raising consumer product safety awareness amongst third-party sellers
- Empowering consumers on product safety issues
- Section 2(9) of the Consumer Protection Act recognizes consumer rights to be protected against the marketing of goods, products or services that are hazardous to life and property.
- Consumer Protection Act empowers consumer commissions to pass directions to entities to not offer hazardous or unsafe goods for sale.
7. ChatGPT creator OpenAI has fired CEO Sam Altman.
- On November 17, OpenAI dismissed CEO Sam Altman because the company no longer had confidence in his ability to lead the firm.
- Mira Muratti, the company's chief technology officer will replace Altman on an interim basis.
- OpenAI created ChatGPT about a year ago, which renders human-level content like poetry or artwork in seconds.
- OpenAI's board said in a statement that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.
- Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI and has given company's technology into its offerings, including search engine Bing.
- OpenAI's board of directors includes OpenAI Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever, Quora CEO Adam D'Angelo, technology entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner of the Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology.
Topic: Banking System
8. State Bank of India will soon launch the Yono Global app in Singapore and the US.
- With this, SBI will offer digitalized remittance and other services to its customers.
- Vidya Krishnan, Deputy MD (IT), SBI held talks with Singapore-based digital platform enablers and local regulators and the central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
- Presently, SBI offers Yono Global services in 9 countries. In September 2019, it started with the UK operations.
- SBI is integrating the Yono Global app with PayNow in Singapore.
- SBI is continuing to invest in Yono Global to offer the best services available, Krishnan said at the three-day Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF).
- In contests held on testing technologies, Indian-origin Nikhilesh Goel was selected among the winners for the Individual Category.
- Nikhilesh Goel is the Co-founder and Group CEO of Singapore-based Validus Capital, which focuses on leading SMEs in Southeast Asia.