Topic: Banking System
1. UCO Bank has become the first bank to get approval for settling trade in Indian rupees.
- RBI has given approval to the UCO bank to open a special Vostro account with Gazprombank of Russia for trade settlement in Indian rupees.
- UCO bank has become the first bank to receive such approval after RBI decided to allow Indian banks to settle trade in Indian rupee in July 2022.
- After the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the trade between India and Russia has increased.
- During the April-June quarter, India’s imports from Russia were valued at $9.27 billion, up 369% on year.
- Major items imported from Russia include crude oil, coal, soybean, fertilisers, etc.
- Earlier in 2012, UCO bank was selected as the payment bank for oil imports from Iran after US tightened the sanctions.
- In 2021, UCO bank was taken out of the PCA framework.
- UCO Bank is Kolkata-headquartered public sector bank. It was put under the PCA framework in May 2017 due to high net non-performing assets and a negative return on assets.
- Gazprombank is one of the largest multi-faceted financial institutions in Russia.
Topic: Companies/ Corporates
2. TerraPay and NPCI International collaborated to drive seamless merchant payments via UPI enabled QR codes.
- TerraPay is a leading global payments infrastructure group headquartered in UK.
- TerraPay partnered with NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) to strengthen its cross-border payment solutions.
- This partnership will allow Indian merchants and customers with an active UPI Id to accept or make cross-border payments hassle free by utilising TerraPay’s infrastructure and UPI network.
- NIP is the International arm of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It was formed on 3 April 2020 as a wholly owned subsidiary of NPCI.
- UPI is an instant real time payment (RTP) system developed by NPCI.
3. Dilip Asbe has been re-appointed as CEO and MD of NPCI.
- NPCI has approved the re-appointment of Dilip Asbe as CEO and MD for five years wef 8 January 2023.
- In January 2018, he was appointed as MD and CEO of NPCI.
- Before this, he served as Chief Operating Officer of NPCI for 5 years.
- NPCI is an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India. It is an initiative of RBI and IBA formed in 2008.
4. RailTel appointed Sanjai Kumar as Chairman and MD.
- Sanjai Kumar has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of RailTel.
- Prior to this, he was acting as the Director (Network Planning & Marketing/NPM) with additional charge of Director (Project, Operations & Maintenance/ POM) in RailTel.
- RailTel Corporation of India Limited is an Indian public sector enterprise that was found in September 2000. It is a Mini Ratna (Category-I) PSU.
5. IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich list 2022 has been released by IIFL Wealth and Hurun India.
- As per the list, Gautam Adani has bagged the richest Indian title with INR 10,94,400 crore wealth. He has overtaken Mukesh Ambani.
- Two new names have appeared in India top ten- Dilip Sanghvi of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Uday Kotak of Kotak Mahindra Bank.
- Founder of Nykaa - Falguni Nayar overtakes ‘Biotech Queen’ Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw to become the richest self-made Indian woman.
- Mumbai topped the India Rich list followed by New Delhi and Bengaluru.
- Ratan Tata is the most-followed entrepreneur from IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List 2022 on Indian social media, followed by Anand Mahindra.
- India’s rich cumulatively constitute INR 100 lakh crore of wealth in 2022.
6. BiofuelCircle, a Pune-based startup, launched its platform for biomass supply.
- India’s first e-marketplace for fuels and biomass supply has been launched.
- It took one year for BiofuelCircle to build its platform. During January-June 2021, it launched a pilot before launching its services.
- The aim of the company is to address the challenges related to bioenergy supply chain.
- A start-up under the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) has developed e-trading platforms to introduce online auction in the Indian fisheries sector.
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
7. FlyBlade has signed an MoU for introducing electric flying vehicles in India.
- Embrear’s Eve Air Mobility has signed an MoU with FlyBlade India to bring at least 200 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOLs) to India by 2026.
- eVTOL aircraft is a type of VTOL aircraft that uses electric power to hover, take off, and land vertically.
- They are designed to pick up passengers from rooftops of their apartment blocks to ferry them across the city to their respective offices or entertainment centres.
- FlyBlade India was incorporated on 26 October 2018. BLADE India is a facilitator which provides a common platform to members who wish to avail the helicopter carriage services. It is a joint venture between BLADE USA and Hunch Ventures.
8. REC Limited becomes the 12th Maharatna Company in India.
- The Department of Public Enterprises issued an order to grant ‘Maharatna’ status to REC Limited.
- The grant of ‘Maharatna’ status to REC (formerly Rural Electrification Corporation limited) will enhance the power of the company’s Board to take financial decisions.
- The Board of a ‘Maharatna’ CPSE can now make equity investments to start a joint venture company and can undertake mergers and acquisitions in India and abroad.
- REC can now invest up to ₹5,000 crores, or 15% of its net worth, in a single project after gaining Maharatna status.
- REC Limited:
- It was established in 1969 to provide financial assistance to state electricity boards, state governments, and central and state power utilities.
- It is the nodal agency for the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS).
Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors
9. Five South Asian countries, including India, have formed the Palm Oil Alliance.
- The edible oil trade associations of the five-palm oil-importing countries of South Asia have announced the establishment of the Asian Palm Oil Alliance (APOA).
- The alliance is between industry bodies from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.
- The objective of the alliance is to gain bargaining power and make imports sustainable.
- The alliance is committed to changing the negative image of palm oil by recognising palm oil as a high-quality, economical and healthy vegetable oil.
- The Solvent Extractors' Association (SEA) of India would initially manage the secretariat of the newly formed alliance.
- In the first general assembly of the alliance, SEA President Atul Chaturvedi was elected as the first President.
- Early next year, the APOA is expected to hold its next meeting in Indonesia.