Banking, Financial and Economic Awareness

Half Yearly (Jan - June 2021)
2021 Book

Banking Awareness

Topic: Agriculture

1. Agri exports grow 22% during April-August of current financial year.

  • Agri exports grew 22% during April-August of the current financial year to $7,902 million from $6,485 million in the same period last year.
  • In rupee terms, the exports grew 19.6% at ₹58,478 crore from ₹48,885 crore in the same period last year.
  • Robust demand for products such as rice, cereal preparations, livestock products, fresh fruits and vegetables and cashew is the main factor for the rise in agri exports.
  • Rice has shown a growth 13.7 % at $3,820 million ($3,359 million). Percentage growth of other items is provided in the next table.

 

April-August (Agri and processed food exports in $ million)

% growth

2020-21

2021-22

Fruits and vegetables

1,013

1,075

6.1

Livestock products

(meat, dairy and poultry)

1,185

1,554

41.9

Rice

3,359

3,820

13.7

Other cereals

157

379

142.1

Cashew

144

185

28.5

Total

6,485

7,902

21.8

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

2. APSEZ tries to obtain five year extension from the Kerala government for completing Vizhinjam port.

  • Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) has tried to obtain five-year extension from the Kerala government for completing Vizhinjam port.
  • APSEZ has sought extension to complete construction and start operations at Vizhinjam port near Thiruvananthapuram.
  • As per the concession agreement signed on August 17, 2015, the port was to start operations on December 3, 2019.
  • Adani Vizhinjam Port (AVPPL) is the APSEZ unit developing the port. It has said that force majeure events like cyclone Ockhi in 2017, high waves, a National Green Tribunal order, the pandemic, the cyclone Tauktae in May this year are responsible for the delay.
  • Vizhinjam transshipment port is designed to reduce India’s dependence on Colombo — a regional transshipment hub — to send and receive cargo containers.

Topic: Reports and Indices

3. India ranked at 46th place in Global Innovation Index 2021.

  • India has been ranked at 46th place in Global Innovation Index 2021 and India’s ranking in Global Innovation Index has climbed by two places from 48 in 2020 to 46 in 2021.
  • India’s position in Global Innovation Index has been rising over the past several years. Its rank climbed from 81st rank in 2015 to 46th rank in 2021.
  • Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, and the United Kingdom have maintained their top four positions in the index. China is ranked at 12th place.
  • According to the GII 2021 report, India continues to lead the world in the ICT services exports indicator and holds top ranks in other indicators, such as domestic industry diversification (12th) and graduates in science and engineering (12th).
  • India’s innovation performance is above average for the upper middle-income group in five of the seven innovation pillars.
  • India’s innovation performance is below average in the pillars of infrastructure and creative outputs. 
  • India’s performance in the area of science and technology (S&T) is also encouraging.

Global Innovation Index 2021:

It is 14th edition of GII. The theme of GII 2021 is Tracking Innovation through the Covid-19 Crisis.

GII 2021 provides latest global innovation ranking of 132 economies on the basis of 81 different indicators.

Global Innovation Index:

It is annually published and compiled by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Overall GII score is the average of the Innovation Input Sub-Index and Innovation Output Sub-Index. While Innovation Input Sub-Index comprises of five pillars, Innovation Output Sub-Index comprises of two pillars.

India ranked at 46th in Global Innovation Index 2021

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Reports and Indices

4. Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu ranked as top three states in the large states category of Food Safety Index 2020-21.

  • Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been ranked as the top three states in the large states category of Food Safety Index 2020-21.
  • Food Safety Index 2020-21 has been released by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). It ranks States on food safety parameters.
  • Goa, Meghalaya and Manipur are the top three states in the smaller States category of Food Safety Index.
  • Among UTs, Jammu & Kashmir, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and New Delhi got top ranks.
  • The index ranks States on five parameters of food safety. The parameters are given below.
    • Human resources and institutional data
    • Compliance
    • Food testing facility
    • Training and capacity building
    • Consumer empowerment
  • Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya released Food Safety Index on Monday which also marked 15 years of the formation of FSSAI.
  • FSSAI also released findings of a pan-India survey focused on identifying the presence of industrially produced trans-fatty acid content in the selected foods.

Topic: Indian Economy

5. All-India Consumer Price Index for agricultural and rural labourers (CPI-AL and CPI-RL) show an increase in August.

  • All-India Consumer Price Index for agricultural and rural labourers (CPI-AL and CPI-RL) has shown an increase of five and four points respectively in August.
  • In August, CPI-AL is recorded at 1064 and CPI-RL is recorded at 1074.
  • As per Principal Labour & Employment Advisor DPS Negi, the rise is chiefly due to an increase in prices of rice, milk, mustard-oil, vanaspati, groundnut-oil, tea leaf etc.
  • He said that point to point rate of inflation based on the CPI-AL was at 3.90% in August 2021 compared to 3.92 % in July 2021.
  • He also said that point to point rate of inflation based on the CPI-RL stood at 3.97% in August 2021 compared to 4.09% in July 2021.
  • CPI in both groups saw an increase of 2.43% and 2.28% in the food group. Andhra Pradesh has experienced a maximum increase in both group. Kerala has shown a maximum decrease in both groups.

Four Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers are released currently. These are CPI for Industrial Workers (IW), CPI for Agricultural Labourers (AL), CPI for Rural Labourers (RL) and CPI for Urban Non-Manual Employees (UNME).

The base year for CPI (AL) and CPI (RL) is 1986-87. Both are compiled and released by the Labour Bureau in the Ministry of Labour.

Topic: Regulatory Bodies/Financial Institutions

6. CCI approves proposed acquisition of 10.4% of equity shareholding of Gangavaram Port by APSEZ.

  • Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the proposed acquisition of 10.4% of equity shareholding of Gangavaram Port by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones Limited (APSEZ).
  • As per the proposal, APSEZ will acquire 10.4% of shareholding in GPL (entity operating Gangavaram port, Andhra Pradesh) from the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
  • APSEZ is currently present across 11 domestic ports in six maritime States of Gujarat, Goa, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha.

Topic: Banking System

7. BLS International Services Ltd chosen as National Business Correspondent for SBI.

  • BLS International Services Ltd has been chosen as National Business Correspondent for State Bank of India (SBI).
  • It has been chosen to deliver banking services in urban, semi-urban and rural areas across the country.
  • The partnership between BLS and SBI will support the government’s initiative to deliver last-mile banking services to tier2 & tier3 cities.
  • The subsidiary of BLS International, Starfin India Pvt. Ltd. has got a contract from Bank of Baroda to support the financial inclusion mission of Government.
  • Under the contract, Starfin will be the official National Business Correspondent (BC) to deliver last mile banking services in rural and urban areas.

Topic: Regulatory Bodies/Financial Institutions

8. PFRDA’s board gives approval to award licences to Tata Asset Management Company and Max Life Insurance.

  • PFRDA’s board has given the approval to award licences to Tata Asset Management Company and Max Life Insurance to become sponsors of a pension fund to manage the National Pension System (NPS).
  • Once the licence-award process is completed, the total number of Pension Fund Managers in the country to manage the NPS will be 10.
  • Eight fund managers were awarded licences this year. They were Axis Asset Management (new one) and the pension arms of SBI, UTI, LIC, ICICI, HDFC, Aditya Birla SunLife and Kotak.
  • All these seven were fund managers of NPS in the erstwhile regime. The restructuring of pension funds management structure is part of PFRDA’s efforts as the overall assets under management (AUM) of NPS could increase to ₹30-lakh crore by 2030.

National Pension System (NPS):

It is a specialized division of PFRDA. It is a voluntary defined contribution pension system in India. Munish Malik is its CEO.

In 2009, NPS was opened for all Indian citizens between the age of 18 and 65. In October 2019, NPS was opened for OCI card holders and PIO's. In August 2021, entry age for NPS was increased from 65 to 70 years.    

 

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