1. BVR Subrahmanyam has been appointed as the new CEO of NITI Aayog.
- His appointment has been approved by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet for a period of two years from the date of assumption of the charge of the post.
- BVR Subrahmanyam will replace Parameswaran Iyer.
- Parameswaran Iyer has been appointed as Executive Director, World Bank headquarters, Washington DC, USA. Mr. Iyer will replace Rajesh Khullar.
- Parameswaran Iyer was 3rd CEO of NITI Aayog. He became CEO of NITI Aayog in July 2022.
- BVR Subrahmanyam is a Chhattisgarh cadre Indian Administrative Service officer.
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog is appointed by Prime Minister for a fixed tenure.
2. HDFC Bank and LuLu Exchange have entered into partnership to strengthen cross-border payments between India and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.
- Under the partnership, a digital inward remittance service titled ‘RemitNow2India’ will be launched.
- This will allow UAE residents to send money to any Indian bank account via IMPS and NEFT through HDFC Bank.
- The MoU will also try to strengthen the existing relationship between the two entities in India.
- LuLu Exchange is a UAE-based financial services company.
- HDFC Bank is India's largest private sector bank by assets.
3. Vardhini Kalyanaraman has been appointed as Additional Director (Independent Category) on the Board of Dhanlaxmi Bank.
- Vardhini Kalyanaraman has been appointed with effect from February 23, 2023.
- Ex-SBI executive Aparna Kuppuswamy has been appointed by BharatPe Group as its Chief Risk Officer.
- She was the Chief Risk Officer at SBI Cards. Amit Jain is currently the Chief Risk Officer of BharatPe.
- He will be working closely with Aparna and will be investing more of his time on collections.
- Dhanlaxmi Bank is an Indian private sector bank based in Thrissur, Kerala. Shivan J K is Managing Director and CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank.
- BharatPe was co-founded by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani in 2018. In 2018, it launched UPI interoperable QR code, the first zero Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) payment acceptance service.
Topic: Banking System
4. Central Bank of India and Moneywise Financial Services Pvt Ltd have entered into a co-lending partnership.
- They have entered into co-lending partnership for lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
- The partnership will expand portfolio of Central Bank and Moneywise Financial Services.
- As part of the partnership, Moneywise Financial Services will process MSME loan proposals as per jointly decided credit parameters and eligibility criteria.
- Central Bank of India will take into its books 80% of the MSME loans under mutually agreed terms.
- Moneywise Financial Services is a non-banking financial company focused on MSME lending.
- Central Bank of India is an Indian public sector bank. It is based in Mumbai. Matam Venkata Rao is its MD & CEO.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
5. According to Ind-Ra, India requires annual GDP growth of 7.6% till 2036-37 to achieve pre-pandemic GDP trend.
- Ind-Ra expects that Indian economy will grow at 5.9% in 2023-24.
- This is lower than IMF’s projection of 6.1% and the RBI’s projection of 6.4%.
- The pre-pandemic trend indicates that from 2011–12 and 2019–20, the average GDP grew by 6.6%.
- The first year of the pandemic saw a 6.6% decline in growth. Growth in FY22 was 8.7%, primarily as a result of base effect. There is a 7% projection for the current year.
- According to the agency, India has to increase 7.6% annually for the following 13 fiscal years, from 2024–2025 to 2036–2037, in order to catch up with the GDP trend before the pandemic.
- Ind-Ra expects that agriculture sector will grow 3.1% in FY24 against 3.5% in FY23.
- It expects that industrial sector will grow 3.9% as against 4.1% and services at 7.1% as against 9.1%.
- India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra):
- It is headquartered in Mumbai. It is a 100% owned subsidiary of the Fitch Group.
- It is recognised by the Securities and Exchange Board of India and Reserve Bank of India.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
6. In SBI research report titled Ecowrap, India’s GDP growth for Q3 FY23 is estimated at 4.6%.
- This estimate is higher than NSO and RBI’s growth projection of 4.4%, but lower than Ind-Ra’s estimate of around 5%.
- This estimate is based on an in-house SBI Artificial Neural Network (ANN) model.
- National Statistical office (NSO) will release the actual number on February 28.
- India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 0.7% and 5.4% in Q3 FY21 and Q3 FY22, respectively.
- GDP Growth for Q1 and Q2 of the current fiscal has been kept at 13.5% and 6.3%, respectively.
- ANN is a computational network model. SBI ANN model has been developed with 30 high-frequency indicators.
Topic: Reports and Indices
7. According to a joint report by the IEEFA and JMK Research & Analytics, annual renewable tender issuance should increase to 35GW to achieve India’s 2030 targets.
- Annual tender issuance have declined by 30%, from 40 GW in 2019 to about 28 GW in 2022.
- Annual tender issuance of 28 GW per year is not sufficient to achieve the target of 450 GW of renewable capacity by 2030.
- The report has been jointly released by IEEFA (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis) and JMK Research & Analytics.
- Discoms' financial problems are the main cause of the sluggish adoption of renewable energy tenders, which resulted in under-subscription and pricing renegotiation.
- Particularly in the wind industry, supply chain problems and rising project costs are causing developers to be cautious and submit fewer bids.
8. Telangana government is aiming to increase the size of pharma-life sciences ecosystem in the State from $50 billion to $100 billion by 2028.
- State Industries Minister KT Rama Rao said this while interacting with reporters on the eve of the 20th edition of BioAsia 2023.
- Rao also said that upcoming Hyderabad Pharma City with a life sciences university and B-Hub to encourage start-ups will further boost the pharma-life sciences industry in the State.
- BioAsia 2023 is scheduled to be held during February 24-26 in Hyderabad.
- United Kingdom is the country partner for BioAsia 2023.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
9. India’s steel imports from Russia reached eight-year high level in April-January of FY23.
- India imported 281,000 tonnes of steel from Russia between April and January.
- This was nearly five times higher than the same period a year ago.
- Russia was the 4th biggest steel supplier to India during the April to January period.
- It emerged as one of the top five steel exporters to the India for the first time since the 2016-17 fiscal year.
- Russia displaced Japan as the second-largest supplier of hot-rolled coil (HRC) to India for the first time in eight years.
- India is the world's second-largest crude steel producer.
10. Cross-border connectivity between the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of India and PayNow of Singapore launched on 21 February.
- PM Modi and his Singapore counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong witnessed the launch of cross-border connectivity between UPI of India and PayNow of Singapore through video conferencing.
- The launch was done by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das and Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore.
- The linkage of UPI and PayNow will make it possible for citizens of both nations to send remittances across borders more quickly and affordably.
- A quick and inexpensive money transfer from Singapore to India will benefit the Indian community in Singapore, particularly migrant workers and students.
- PhonePe has earlier launched support for cross-border UPI payments, under UPI International.
- This allows apps’ users to use their Indian bank accounts to pay at merchant outlets in the UAE, Singapore, Mauritius, Nepal and Bhutan.
- RBI has proposed to allow all inbound travelers to India to use UPI for their merchant payments while they are in the country.
- Non-resident Indians (NRIs) who have bank accounts in India and reside abroad will soon be able to use UPI platforms with the help of their international mobile numbers.
- NPCI has permitted UPI platforms to onboard non-resident accountholders from ten countries with international mobile numbers with certain restrictions.