Banking Awareness of 22 and 23 March 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 23 Mar 2024 17:13 PM IST
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Topic: World Economy

1. UK inflation declined slightly to 3.4% in February.

  • Consumer prices increased by 3.4% in annual terms in February.
  • Consumer prices slowed from 4% increase in January.
  • Inflation in February reached the lowest level since September 2021.
  • Core inflation declined from 5.1% in January to 4.5% in February.
  • Services inflation declined to 6.1% in February from 6.5% in January.
  • However, the inflation remained above Bank of England’s 2% target.
  • Bank of England has kept its main interest rate unchanged. It has kept its main interest rate at 16-year high level of 5.25%.
  • US Federal Reserve also kept its key interest rate unchanged.
  • The Swiss National Bank announced a surprise cut to its main interest rate by 25 basis points.
  • Switzerland became the first advanced economy, which has reduced interest rates after a long period of high inflationary pressures.

Topic: Reports and Indices

2. India’s direct selling industry has achieved growth of more than 12%.

  • India’s direct selling industry has achieved a gross industry turnover of ₹21,282 crore in 2022–23, as per estimates released by the Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA).
  • As per the report, the total sales have risen by ₹2252 crore as against the year 2021-22.
  • In the four year from the year 2019-20 to 2022-23, the direct selling business’s average growth has remained at 8.3%.
  • India’s ranking on the direct selling map has improved by one place to 11th place in 2022. It has increased from 15th place in 2019.
  • According to the report, about 86 lakh direct sellers are actively self-employed in the direct selling industry in India.
  • In direct selling, a party buys products from a parent organization and sells them directly to customers.

Topic: RBI

3. RBI has released the Omnibus Framework for recognizing SROs for Regulated Entities of RBI.

  • RBI said that self-regulatory organisations (SROs) shall submit annual report to the RBI within 3 months of completion of the accounting year.
  • SROs in banks, non-banking financial companies and fintechs shall inform RBI about any regulatory violations.
  • They shall keep the RBI informed about developments in their respective segments.
  • The SRO will be a not-for-profit company registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013.
  • The SRO will have to submit periodic/ad hoc returns as may be prescribed by RBI.
  • If RBI considers necessary, it may inspect the books of SRO.
  • It may also arrange to have the books of SRO inspected by an audit firm.
  • As per RBI, an applicant must be fit and proper to be recognized as an SRO.
  • Objectives and responsibilities of the applicant are also prescribed under this framework.
  • If RBI considers the functioning of an SRO to be detrimental to public interest or any other stakeholder, it will officially cancel the recognition of SRO.   

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Topic: Appointments

4. M V Rao has been elected as chairman of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).

  • He has been elected as chairman of IBA for the term 2023-24 at a meeting of the IBA Managing Committee.
  • M V Rao is the Managing Director and CEO of Central Bank of India.
  • Dinesh Kumar Khara, S L Jain and N Kamakodi would be three deputy chairman for the IBA.
  • Dinesh Kumar Khara is Chairman of State Bank of India (SBI).
  • S L Jain is MD and CEO of Indian Bank. N Kamakodi is Managing Director and CEO of City Union Bank.
  • Madhav Nair would be Honorary Secretary of the Indian Banks’ Association.
  • He is Country Head and CEO of Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait.
  • Indian Banks’ Association (IBA):
    • It was formed in September 1946. It is headquartered in Mumbai.
    • It is an association of banks and other entities in India’s banking ecosystem.
    • It presently represents 247 banking companies operating in India.

Topic: Banking System

5. Federal Bank has launched Flash Pay.

  • It is a RuPay smart key chain for contactless NCMC (National Common Mobility Card) payments.
  • To introduce Flash Pay, Federal Bank has partnered with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
  • It can be used to make payments at enabled metro stations and PoS terminals.
  • Payments up to ₹5,000 can be made without a PIN. Payments over ₹5,000 will require PIN authentication.
  • Per day limit at any PoS terminal has been kept at ₹1 lakh.
  • With the help of Flash Pay, users can make secure payments with just one tap.
  • This eliminates the need for physical cards or cash.


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Topic: Appointments

6. FSIB has chosen Girija Subramanian as CMD of the New India Assurance Company.

  • Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB) has chosen Bhupesh Sushil Rahul as chairman and managing director (CMD) of United India Insurance Company.
  • Since Satyajit Tripathy's retirement in February 2024, the position of CMD of United India has been unfilled.
  • Neerja Kapur's tenure at New India Assurance will end in April 2024.
  • Girija Subramanian is currently serving as the Agriculture Insurance Company of India’s CMD.
  • B S Rahul is the general manager of the Agriculture Insurance Company of India.
  • For the CMD positions, six general managers were shortlisted.
  • BS Rahul, Hitesh Joshi, Jayshree Bala, V Balkrishna, Sunita Gupta, and Rekha Solanki were shortlisted for the position at United India Insurance.
  • Joshi and Subramanian were the candidates shortlisted for the post in New India Assurance.
  • In addition, the FSIB has chosen nine executive directors for general insurers in the public sector for the first time.
  • Rashmi Bajpai and Amit Misra have been chosen as executive directors for the Oriental Insurance Company.
  • H J Joshi and Radhika C S have been chosen as executive directors for the GIC Re.
  • T Babu Paul and C G Prasad have been chosen as executive directors for the National Insurance Company.
  • Sunita Gupta and P C Gothwal have been chosen for the post of executive directors for the United India.
  • Dasarathi Singh has been chosen for the position of executive director of the Agriculture Insurance Company of India.
  • These names will be further sent to the Department of Financial Services (DFS).
  • The names will then be sent to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) for final approval.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

7. The insurance sector got FDI worth Rs 54,000 crore in 9 years.

  • As the government further liberalized foreign capital inflow norms, the insurance sector has received about Rs 54,000 crore as foreign direct investment (FDI) in the last 9 years.
  • The government increased the permissible FDI limit from 26% in 2014 to 49% in 2015 and then to 74% in 2021.
  • In 2019, the permissible FDI limit for insurance intermediaries was increased to 100%.
  • This has resulted in FDI worth Rs 53,900 crore in insurance companies between December 2014 and January 2024.
  • During this period, the number of insurance players increased from 53 to 70 by January 2024.
  • Insurance penetration increased from 3.9% in 2013-14 to 4% in 2022-23, while insurance density increased from US$52 in 2013-14 to US$92 in 2022-23.
  • Assets under management almost tripled to Rs 60.04 lakh crore compared to Rs 21.07 lakh crore in 2013-14.
  • Total insurance premiums doubled to Rs 10.4 lakh crore from Rs 3.94 lakh crore.
  • The insurance sector was opened to private players with applications invited for registration in August 2000.
  • Foreign companies were allowed ownership up to 26%.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

8. GRID-INDIA achieved Miniratna company status.

  • This is an important milestone that Grid Controller of India Limited (GRID-INDIA) has achieved by attaining the status of Miniratna Category-I Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE).
  • The Ministry of Power has bestowed this recognition, which underscores GRID-INDIA's pivotal role in the nation's power landscape.
  • Grid-INDIA has the critical responsibility of overseeing the flawless and uninterrupted operation of the Indian electricity system, ensuring efficient transfer of electrical power within and across regions.
  • Apart from this, there is an important responsibility to focus on reliability, economy, and stability, as well as to facilitate transnational power exchange.
  • It facilitates affordable and efficient wholesale electricity markets and manages settlement systems.
  • Grid-INDIA comprising five Regional Load Despatch Centers (RLDC) and National Load Despatch Center (NLDC) bears the responsibility of managing the All India Synchronous Grid, one of the largest and most complex power systems in the world.
  • Grid Controller of India Limited (GRID-INDIA):
    • It is a division of the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
    • Previously, it was known as Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO) changed to Grid Controller of India Limited (GRID-India) on November 09, 2022.
    • It was founded in March 2009 and is headquartered in New Delhi.
    • Mr. S.R. Narasimhan is the Chairman and Managing Director of the GRID-INDIA.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

9. South Korea hosted the third Summit for Democracy.

  • The third Summit for Democracy conference has been hosted by South Korea.
  • The third Summit for Democracy took place over three days from March 18 to 20.
  • Ministerial Conference, Multi-Stakeholder Roundtable, Civil Society and Youth Event, and Leaders' Plenary were part of this summit.
  • It is an initiative of U.S. President Joe Biden to discuss ways to stop democratic erosion of rights and freedoms.
  • Digital threats to democracy, and how technology can promote democracy and universal human rights were the main agenda of the summit.
  • It was attended by representatives from more than 30 countries.
  • South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said that fake news and disinformation based on AI and digital technology emerged as main threats to democracy.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that authoritarian and repressive governments deploy technologies to undermine democracy and human rights.

Topic: Reports and Indices

10. Finland has become world’s happiest country for the seventh consecutive year according to World Happiness Report 2024.

  • Finland is followed by Denmark, Iceland and Sweden. Israel has also found a place in the top five of the ranking.
  • As per the report, the top 10 countries in the list have not changed since before the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The United States and Germany have declined in the rankings.
  • Afghanistan is the least happy country after Congo, Sierra Leone, Lesotho and Lebanon.
  • The rank of the United States has declined from 16th place last year to 23rd place this year.
  • UK is ranked 20th place this year and Canada occupied 15th place.
  • India is ranked at 126th place. China is ranked at 60th place. Nepal and Pakistan are ranked at 93rd and 108th places, respectively.
  • Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are ranked at 128th and 129th spots, respectively.
  • According to the report, older age is linked with higher life satisfaction in India.
  • As per the report, older Indian women have reported lower life satisfaction than older men.
  • Older adults with secondary or higher education reported higher life satisfaction than their counterparts.
  • Older adults of higher social castes reported higher life satisfaction than their counterparts from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
  • The report said women were less happy than men in every region and the gender gap widened as they aged.
  • Lithuania, Israel, Serbia, Iceland and Denmark are the top five countries in ranking of happiness in young people (aged 30 and below).
  • In this, Finland is ranked at seventh place and India is ranked at 127th spot.
  • Indian occupied 121st spot in ranking of happiness in old people (aged 60 and above).
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network publishes the World Happiness Report annually. It is based on six factors.
  • These factors are GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and freedom from corruption.

The top 10 happiness rankings (worldwide)

The top 10 happiness rankings (Asia)








South Korea














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