Banking Awareness of 19 and 20 April 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 20 Apr 2024 17:08 PM IST
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Topic: Regulatory Bodies

1. IRDAI removed age limits on purchase of new health insurance policies.

  • With effect from April 1, 2024, the age cap on purchasing health insurance policies has been removed by IRDAI.
  • Earlier, the age limit was 65 years for buying a new health insurance policy.
  • As per IRDAI notification, insurers shall ensure that they offer health insurance products to cater to all age groups. Insurers may design products specifically for senior citizens, students, children, maternity, and any other group as specified by the Competent Authority.
  • The move aims to create a more inclusive healthcare ecosystem in India.
  • The insurers are now also prohibited from denying to issue policies to individuals with critical medical conditions like cancer, heart or renal failure, and AIDS.
  • As per the notification, the all pre-existing conditions should be covered after 36 months, regardless of whether the policyholder disclosed them initially or not.
  • The insurance companies are only permitted to provide benefit-based policies, offering fixed costs upon the occurrence of a covered disease.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

Indian Government in a fix over oil import options amid escalation of tensions in Middle East.

  • After the unprecedented attack of Iranian missile on Israel, the Indian government is exploring alternatives in case of supply disruption in West Asia and continued volatility in oil prices.
  • More than 40% of India’s oil demand is fulfilled from this region.
  • India is also considering to increase purchase from Russia.
  • India is also looking if this can be routed through the Chennai-Vladivostok route, which passes through the Sea of Japan, the South China Sea and Malacca Strait, in case the traditional route through the Red Sea cannot be used.
  • India is already sourcing one-third of its oil imports from Russia.
  • According to data released by the Oil Ministry’s Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell (PPAC), India’s dependence on imported crude touched a new high of 87.7% in FY24 compared to 87.4% in the previous fiscal year.
  • However, India’s crude oil import bill declined 16% in FY24 to $132.4 billion due to a fall in global oil prices.
  • The following are the largest supplier of crude oil for India:
    • Russia (35 per cent)
    • Iraq (20 per cent)
    • Saudi Arabia (15 per cent)
    • UAE (6 per cent)
    • US (3.5 per cent)
    • Kuwait (3 per cent)
  • US is the largest exporter of oil outside the Middle East and Russia but it already supplies to countries such as China, Mexico and Netherlands.

Topic: Agriculture

3. Government notifies specifications of IFFCO's Nano Urea Plus.

  • 'Nano Urea Plus' fertilizer will be manufactured by cooperative IFFCO in the country over the next three years.
  • Nano Urea Plus is a new version of Nano Urea to meet the nitrogen requirements of the crop at critical growth stages.
  • According to a gazette notification, Nano Urea Plus in liquid form with 16% nitrogen content by weight, pH value 4-8.5, and viscosity 5-30 has been approved by the government.
  • The cooperative major IFFCO will manufacture this product for a period of three years.
  • To meet the nitrogen requirement of the crop at critical growth stages, IFFCO's Nano Urea Plus is an advanced formulation of Nano Urea with redefined nutrition.
  • To promote soil health, farmer profitability, and a sustainable environment, it is used in place of traditional urea and other nitrogen fertilizers.
  • The commercial production of the new product will soon begin at the Kalol plant in Gujarat, Amla, and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh.
  • In June 2021, IFFCO launched the world's first 'Nano Liquid Urea' fertilizer. Subsequently, IFFCO brought 'Nano DAP' fertilizer in April 2023.
  • Till now, the cooperative institution has sold 7.5 crore bottles of Nano Urea since August 2021, while till now it has sold 45 lakh bottles of Nano DAP.

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Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

4. Centre notifies new FDI rules for the space sector ahead of Elon Musk's visit.

  • To attract offshore investors in the satellite manufacturing and satellite launch vehicle sectors, the Government has notified changes to the Foreign Direct Investment Policy in the space sector.
  • It sets out liberalized entry pathways and provides clarity for FDI in satellites, launch vehicles, and related systems or sub-systems, creation of spaceports for launching and receiving spacecraft, and manufacturing of space-related components and systems.
  • These rules may be called the Foreign Exchange Management (Non-Debt Instruments) (Third Amendment) Rules, 2024.
  • Under the revised policy, liberalized entry routes are aimed at attracting potential investors in Indian companies in the sector.
  • The notification came days ahead of the scheduled visit of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is expected to meet various Indian space companies during his visit from April 21 to 22.
  • As per the notification, up to 74% FDI is permitted under the automatic route for satellite manufacturing and operations, satellite data products, and ground segment and user segment.
  • More than 74% of these activities are under the government route.
  • FDI up to 49% is permitted for launch vehicles and associated systems or sub-systems, construction of spaceports for launching and receiving spacecraft is under the automatic route, but more than 49% will require government permission.
  • Additionally, 100% FDI is permitted without government permission for manufacturing components and systems/sub-systems for satellites, ground segments, and user segments.

Topic: RBI

5. A fine of Rs 60.3 lakhs imposed by RBI on 5 cooperative banks for violating rules.

  • A fine of Rs 43.30 lakh has been imposed on Rajkot Nagrik Sahakari Bank for non-compliance with RBI instructions.
  • RBI has 'prohibited granting of loans and advances to directors and their relatives and firms in which they have interest' and 'prohibited opening of savings bank accounts in the name of certain organizations'.
  • A monetary penalty of Rs 5 lakh each has been imposed by the central bank on The Kangra Co-operative Bank (New Delhi), Rajdhani Nagar Co-operative Bank (Lucknow), and District Co-operative Bank, Garhwal (Kotdwar, Uttarakhand).
  • Apart from this, a fine of Rs 2 has been imposed on the District Cooperative Bank (Dehradun).
  • In each case, the RBI said the penalty is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance.
  • It is not intended to affect the validity of any transaction entered into by the banks with their respective customers.
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Topic: Corporates/Companies

6. Vedanta firm Hindustan Zinc has become the third-largest silver producer globally.

  • According to a survey, its Sindesar Khurd mine in Rajasthan has now become the world's second-largest silver-producing mine, up from fourth place last year.
  • Silver plays a key role in the global energy transition and Hindustan Zinc's 5% year-on-year growth in production is attributed to increased ore production and improved grades.
  • This strengthens its position as a major player in the global silver market.
  • Hindustan Zinc is a Vedanta Group company in the zinc, lead, and silver business.
  • It is the world's second-largest integrated zinc producer and now the third-largest silver producer.
  • Udaipur headquartered, Hindustan Zinc has a 75% market share in the growing zinc market in India with zinc, lead mines, and smelting complexes spread across Rajasthan.

Topic: Reports and Indices

7. As per UNFA’s report, India's population is estimated to reach 144 crore.

  • According to the United Nations Population Fund's (UNFPA) State of World Population – 2024 report, India's population is estimated to reach 144 crore, with 24 percent in the 0-14 age bracket.
  • As per this report, India's population is estimated to double in 77 years.
  • 17 percent of India’s population is within the 10-19 age range while 26 percent of the population is the 10-24 bracket.
  • 7 per cent of India's population is aged 65 years and above, with men having a life expectancy of 71 years and women 74 years.
  • China with 142.5 crore is on the second spot in terms of population.
  • India's population was recorded at 121 crore during the last census, conducted in 2011.
  • Recent research into India's 640 districts revealed that nearly a third achieved the sustainable development goal of reducing maternal mortality ratio.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

8. GMR Hyderabad International airport won award for ‘best airport staff’.

  • GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) has received the ‘Best Airport Staff in India & South Asia 2024’ award by Skytrax. 
  • The award was announced at a ceremony held on April 17 at the Passenger Terminal EXPO 2024 in Frankfurt, Germany.
  • The award is announced on the result of audits and evaluations that analyse a wide range of factors including the combined quality of staff service (attitude, friendliness, efficiency).
  • Skytrax is a global air transport rating organisation. It is evaluating airports and airlines worldwide since 1989.
  • It assigns star ratings from 1 to 5 stars based on diverse assessments.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

9. Meta unveils Llama 3 and real-time image generator.

  • Meta released its latest large language model Llama 3 and a real-time image generator.
  • Its main objective is to fill the gap with OpenAI in the rapidly evolving field of artificial intelligence (AI).
  • The newly unveiled models will be integrated into Meta's virtual assistant- Meta AI.
  • Meta's Llama 3 is the latest in its Llama series of open-source AI models.
  • It came in two versions: one with 8 billion parameters and a second with 70 billion parameters.
  • The models are trained on sequences of 8,192 tokens. It grouped query attention (GQA) for both the 8B and 70B parameter models.


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