Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
1. India’s foreign exchange (forex) reserves increase by USD 12.74 billion.
- The forex reserves stood at USD 609.022 billion as on July 14, 2023.
- The forex reserves increased mainly due to rise in the Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) by $11.198 billion.
- The other three components of the reserves have also shown increase.
- Gold reserves increased by USD 1.137 billion and reached at USD 45.197 billion.
- The Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) increased by USD 250 million to reach USD 18.484 billion.
- India’s reserve position with the IMF increased by USD 158 million to reach at USD 5.175 billion.
- In the previous reporting week, forex reserves had increased by USD 1.23 billion to reach at USD 596.28 billion.
- The forex reserves crossed USD 600 billion mark in the week ended May 27, 2022 and June 3, 2022.
- In the week ended May 27, 2022, forex reserves stood at USD 601.363 billion.
- In the week ended June 3, 2022, forex reserves stood at USD 601.057 billion.
- In the week ended October 3, 2021, forex reserves reached an all-time high level of USD 642.019 billion.
Topic: Banking System
2. Centre has exempted Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) from the purview of merger control regime of Competition Commission of India (CCI).
- Corporate Affairs Ministry (MCA) said that the exemption from prior scrutiny and approval of CCI would be available for five years.
- This step will lead to the merger of RRBs without the prior scrutiny and approval of CCI.
- As per the order of MCA, RRBs are exempted from the application provisions of section 5 and 6 of the Competition Act, 2002 for five years.
- Sections 5 and 6 apply to the combination of enterprises.
- As of 2021, there are about 43 RRBs in India. They are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- Centre had earlier given similar merger control regime exemption for smooth consolidation among public sector banks.
- In 2020, ten PSU banks were merged into four. The overall number of PSBs was reduced to 12 banks.
- Regional Rural Banks (RRBs):
- Presently, centre has 50% stake in each RRB. Sponsor Bank has 35%. Remaining 15% lies with the State government.
- Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) are government owned scheduled commercial banks of India.
- Five RRBs were set up in 1975 on the recommendations of the Narsimhan Committee on Rural Credit. Prathama Bank was first RRB.
Topic: Banking System
3. Karnataka Bank organised fintech partnership programme in Bengaluru.
- The first edition of ‘KBL-FinOne’ was hosted by Karnataka Bank.
- The programme was aimed at forging collaborations to develop innovative business models and providing seamless banking experience.
- More than 30 speakers from various fintechs participated in the first edition of KBL-FinOne.
- Karnataka Bank is a Scheduled Commercial Bank based in Mangaluru, Karnataka. It is a private sector bank. Srikrishnan Hari Hara Sarma is its MD and CEO.
4. Nivruti Rai becomes the new MD and CEO of Invest India.
- Former Intel India country head Nivruti Rai has been appointed as MD and CEO of Invest India.
- She has taken over the charge from Manmeet K Nanda, who had taken the charge as MD in March.
- She was working as Intel India country head for the last seven years.
- Rajesh Kumar Singh, Secretary, DPIIT, chairs the board of Invest India.
- Invest India:
- Invest India is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency.
- It helps investors who looked for investment opportunities and options in India.
- It was set up as a non-profit venture under the aegis of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
5. Coal Ministry has won “Best Engagement” award for procurement through GeM portal.
- Ministry of Commerce has recently awarded Coal Ministry for its achievements in e-procurement through GeM.
- The Ministry of Coal has been awarded in “Best Engagement” category.
- Coal India Limited (CIL) has been awarded in “Rising Star” category.
- NLC India Limited has been awarded in the “TimelyPayments” category.
- As on July 17, 2023, the actual purchase through GeM in this financial year is Rs 3,909 crore.
- Hence, the coal ministry has almost reached the target of Rs 4000 crore during the 100 days period in the current financial year.
(Source: News on AIR)
6. Sat Pal Bhanoo has been appointed as Managing Director of Life Insurance Corporation.
- Government has appointed Sat Pal Bhanoo as Managing Director of Life Insurance Corporation.
- He has taken the place of Siddhartha Mohanty, who has been appointed as chairman of LIC in April.
- Sat Pal Bhanoo has been appointed up to the date of his superannuation on December 31, 2025, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
- LIC has registered more than five-fold jump in consolidated net profit for Q4FY23 to Rs 13,191 crore.
Topic: Banking/Financial/Govt Schemes
7. Government launched first ever “Credit Guarantee Scheme” for Livestock Sector.
- Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying is implementing the scheme under the Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF).
- The main aim of the scheme is to strengthen the credit delivery system and facilitate the smooth flow of credit to the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) involved in the Livestock sector.
- The credit guarantee scheme will help mainly first-generation entrepreneurs and underprivileged sections of society in accessing finance facilities.
- The main objective of the Credit Guarantee Scheme is that the lender should give importance to project viability and secure the credit facility purely on the basis primary security of the assets financed.
- Credit guarantee fund trust establishment was approved under the Prime Minister’s AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package of Rs.15000 crores.
- The main feature of the AHIDF scheme is the establishment of a Credit Guarantee Fund Trust of Rs 750.00 Crores.
- The main feature of the Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF):
- Interest Subvention of 3%
- Loan up to 90% of the total project cost from any Scheduled Bank, National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).
8. Surat Diamond Bourse became the largest office building in the world.
- In a significant achievement, this building of India has surpassed the US Pentagon as having the world's largest office building.
- This record has been achieved by Surat where 90% of the earth's diamonds are cut.
- The newly-opened Surat Diamond Bourse comprises a 15-storey complex, built over 35 acres of land.
- This building has over 7.1 million square feet of floor space, surpassing the US Pentagon as the world's largest office building.
- It will be known as the "one-stop destination" for over 65,000 diamond professionals including cutters, polishers, and traders.
- This building is all set to start in November.
- The Indian architecture firm Morphogenesis masterminded the building.
- This project cost ₹32 billion, which includes 131 lifts and many facilities for workers.
9. ‘One District One Product’ Wall launched jointly by DPIIT and Govt. of Gujarat at Garvi Gujarat Bhawan on 20 July.
- One District One Product (ODOP) programme, an initiative under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, launched its first collaboration with the Government of Gujarat in New Delhi.
- The aim of this collaboration is to promote indigenous crafts and artisans of the state.
- Gujarat, with its 33 districts, exemplifies the vast geographical area and potential for the state's diverse products.
- In a significant collaboration, ODOP has partnered with the Government of Gujarat to implement product tagging and story cards for Gujarat specific products and enhance publicity and recognition.