Banking Awareness of 20, 21 and 22 January 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 22 Jan 2024 17:31 PM IST
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Topic: Agriculture

1. India's exports of agri-products declined by 10% in April-November period of 2023-24.

  • The agriexports declined chiefly on account of a decline in cereals shipments, excluding basmati rice.
  • Agri exports for the April-November period of the current financial year stood at $15.729 billion, according to the latest provisional data released by APEDA.
  • This is a decline of 9.73% over same period of last year. During the same period of last year, exports stood at $17.425 billion.
  • Shipments of basmati rice recorded a 17.58% growth at $3.7 billion over the same period last year’s $2.87 billion. 
  • Basmati rice shipments registered growth on account of higher purchases by buyers such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
  • Exports of basmati rice increased by 9.6% in volume, to over 29.94 lakh tonnes, compared to 27.32 lakh tonnes during the same time the previous year.
  • However, because of the export limitations put in place by the government in July of last year to enhance domestic availability and restrain price hikes, shipments of non-basmati rice decreased by a quarter.
  • Non-basmati shipments decreased by 33% to 76.92 lakh tonnes, compared to the same period last year, when there were 115.7 lakh tonnes.
  • Compared to $1.50 billion in the previous year, wheat exports were down 98% to $29 million.
  • Compared to $699 million during the same period last year, exports of other grains decreased by 38% to $429 million.
  • Nonetheless, compared to the same month last year, when exports of livestock goods totaled $2.70 billion, there was a 6.31% increase in the period's exports of livestock products, led by buffalo meat and poultry products.
  • The dairy product shipments decreased by 32.86% to $283 million.
  • The value of shipments of processed fruits and vegetables increased by 8% to $1.41 billion.
  • The shipments of fresh fruits and vegetables increased by 20% to $1.19 billion.
  • Groundnuts, guargum, alcoholic drinks, and milled goods were among the other processed items that had a 3.9% increase to $2.96 billion.
  • Exports of floriculture products increased by 2.41% to $154 million.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

2. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has launched Jeevan Dhara-II.  

  • It is a new non-participating annuity plan with 11 options.
  • LIC said it is a non-linked, non-participating, individual savings deferred annuity plan.
  • LIC said 11 annuity options are available to prospective policyholders.
  • The maximum entry age is 20 years.
  • The maximum age, based on the annuity option selected, is 80, 70, or 65 years old less the deferment time.
  • In addition to offering a higher annuity rate at older ages, this product includes life insurance during the deferment period.
  • Under annuity options, a borrowing facility with the repayment of the premium or purchase price would be available either during or after the deferment term.
  • A new non-linked, non-participating individual savings whole life insurance product called Jeevan Utsav was launched by LIC in November 2023.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

3. Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) take out approx. $1 billion from long-term debt.

  • After four continuous years of inflows, FPIs have taken out ₹8,089 crore from the debt VRR segment.
  • FPIs have taken out this amount amid lack of opportunities to invest in stressed or structured credit, end in withholding tax benefit and dearth of auctions.
  • This withdrawal is in contrast to the inflows of more than ₹80,000 crore in the Indian debt market (after excluding the VRR segment),
  • Government has introduced voluntary retention route (VRR) in March 2019.
  • It was introduced with the aim of attracting long-term overseas money into the debt market.
  • Macro-prudential and other regulatory norms applicable to regular FPI investments do not apply to investments through VRR route.
  • Investment in VRR is contingent upon investors willingly pledging to hold onto at least 75% of their total assets for a minimum of three years.
  • The investment cap for this section has been increased from ₹75,000 crore to ₹2.5 lakh crore.

Inflows (₹ crore )


Debt VRR

















Source: National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL)

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Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

4. Government has deferred its plan to spend ₹5,000 crore on strategic petroleum reserves in FY24.

  • Finance Ministry has postponed plan of spending ₹5,000 crore in FY24 to refill the strategic petroleum reserves, citing emerging trends in oil markets.
  • Finance Ministry said Department of Expenditure has recommended deferring of the proposal of filling crude oil.
  • Finance Ministry said that ₹15,000 crore will be given to Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation in FY24.
  • This is part of the plan to provide ₹30,000 crore as capital support the PSU oil marketing companies for green energy and net zero initiatives.
  • The decision was taken in November 2023 during the Expenditure Finance Commission (EFC) meeting.
  • In the budget proposals for FY24, the government proposed expenditure of ₹5,000 crore for Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves (ISPR).
  • Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL) has set up crude oil storage facilities with a capacity of 5.33 million tonnes (MT) under Phase I of the SPR programme.
  • This facilities are located at Vishakhapatnam (1.33 MT), Mangaluru (1.5 MT) and Padur (2.5 MT).
  • This is equivalent to around 38 million barrels. This can serve India’s crude requirement for 9.5 days.
  • Under Phase II, In July 2021, the government approved the establishment of two further commercial-cum-strategic reserves under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
  • These reserves are approved at Chandikhol (4 MT) and Padur (2.5 MT), with a combined storage capacity of 6.5 MT.
  • When finished, these reserves will provide India's crude needs for an extra 12 days.

Topic: Miscellaneous

5. Tata Group has won IPL sponsorship rights for 5 years for $300 million.  

  • Tata Group has won the title sponsorship of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for 2024-28.
  • IPL has become the world’s richest T20 tournament with the brand value of $8.4 billion.
  • Tata Group has been the title sponsor of both the men’s IPL and the Women’s Premier League.
  • The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a men's Twenty20 cricket league. It is annually held in India.
  • The league is contested by ten city-based franchise teams. The BCCI founded the league in 2007.
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Topic: MoUs/Agreements

6. A MoU was signed between Google Pay India and NPCI International to expand UPI to countries beyond India.

  • An MoU has been signed between Google India Digital Services and NPCI International Payments, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Payments Corporation of India to expand UPI to countries beyond India.
  • The MOU has three main objectives.
    • Widening the use of UPI payments for travellers outside India, allowing them to easily transact abroad.
    • Helping set up digital payment systems like UPI in other countries.
    • Focusing on simplifying the process of remittances between countries using the UPI infrastructure, thereby simplifying cross-border financial exchanges.
  • This strategic partnership will also allow to extend knowledge and expertise in operating a successful digital payments ecosystem to other countries.
  • The MoU aims to help accelerate global acceptance of UPI, helping foreign merchants reach Indian consumers who no longer have to rely solely on foreign currency or credit and foreign currency cards to make digital payments.
  • In 2023, NPCI enabled transactions from mobile numbers from ten countries, including Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom.
  • NPCI International is the international arm of NPCI and works to deploy the UPI and card payment system RuPay outside India.

Topic: Appointments

7. PepsiCo India has appointed Jagrut Kotecha as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

  • He will take over from Ahmed El Sheikh, who will assume role of CEO for the Middle East.
  • Kotecha will assume the role of CEO in March 2024.
  • He is currently the Chief Commercial Officer for PepsiCo in Africa, Middle East, and South Asia.
  • PepsiCo is an American multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation. It is headquartered in New York.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

8. Bangalore and Delhi airports jointly won the Best Airport award.

  • Both airports jointly won the award at the 4th edition of “Wings India Awards” in the Civil Aviation Sector.
  • Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia presented the Wings India Awards 2024 at an event organized in Hyderabad.
  • Vistara won the Best Airline of the Year award. Air India has been recognised for International Connectivity.
  • Alliance Air has been recognized for Regional Connectivity.
  • Air India Express was declared a Sustainability Champion.
  • GMR Group has been honoured as the Best Aviation Service Provider.
  • Skyways Air Services has been honoured for cargo services.
  • Indian Oil Skytanking Pvt. Ltd has been honoured for Fuel Services and GMR has been honoured for Aero Academy.

Topic: Committees/Commissions/Taskforces

9. Union Cabinet approved three Joint secretary-level posts for the 16th Finance Commission.

  • Two posts of Joint Secretary and one post of Economic Adviser have been created by the government for the 16th Finance Commission.
  • Arvind Panagariya has been appointed as the Chairman of the 16th Finance Commission. Ritwik R Pandey will be the Secretary to the commission.
  • The Finance Ministry has invited applications for the appointment of various officers and employees to the commission.
  • The 16th Finance Commission will submit its report by October 31, 2025.
  • It will suggest tax devolution between the Centre and States and revenue augmentation measures for five years commencing April 1, 2026.
  • The Finance Commission is a constitutional body to give suggestions on Centre-State financial relations.

Topic: Reports and Indices

10. Annual Status of Education Report, titled ‘ASER 2023: Beyond Basics’, was released.

  • The NGO Pratham’s Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) titled ASER 2023 ‘Beyond Basics’ was released on 18th January.
  • The 2023 survey focused on the 14-18 year-old children group in rural India.
  • It assessed specifically children's ability of reading and math skills. It also captures information about their access to digital technology.
  • This survey was carried out among 34,745 young respondents in 28 rural districts in 26 states.
  • The survey has four broad buckets to measure — activity, aspiration, awareness in general, and ability.
  • About one in four children in the 14-18 age group still cannot read a Std II-level text fluently in their regional language.
  • 86.8% of Children in the 14-18 year age group are enrolled in an educational institution,
  • Around 57% of children can read sentences in English and more than 73% can also tell their meanings. Boys are better than girls in both arithmetic and English reading.
  • Almost 50% could not solve division (3-digit 1-digit) questions.
  • Out of the total surveyed children, 95% of boys and 90% of girls could use a smartphone.
  • The proportion of children opting for private tuition nationwide has increased from 25% in 2018 to 30% in 2022.
  • Girls are less enrolled in the science stream (28.1%) as compared with boys (36.3%).


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