Banking Awareness of 28 and 29 February 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 29 Feb 2024 18:03 PM IST
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Topic: RBI

1. The "Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox" has been updated by RBI.

  • The timelines for the different sandbox stages have been extended.
  • Prior to submitting an application for the sandbox, RBI has permitted applicants to form in-principle partnerships.
  • Based on its experience of operating four cohorts over the past four and a half years, RBI has revised the framework.
  • Sandbox entities must guarantee compliance with the terms of the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023, according to the updated framework.
  • The timelines for the various Sandbox stages have been altered by RBI from seven months to nine months under the updated framework.
  • Now, while applying for the sandbox, entities are permitted to establish partnerships in principle with a range of stakeholders.
  • In two situations, RBI may decide not to accept a proposed product or service as eligible under the sandbox.
    • If the proposed product or service resemble one that has already undergone testing in the Regulatory Sandbox.
    • If no new innovation is planned.
  • In August 2019, the original framework for the Regulatory Sandbox was released. Since then, two updates have been made.
  • The updates included lowering the applicants' minimum net worth threshold from the previous Rs 25 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.
  • The updates also involved the addition of products and services related to regulatory and supervisory technology.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

2. An agreement on new disciplines on domestic services rules has been formally implemented by the WTO.

  • All WTO members will benefit from these, even non-signatories like India who will not have to take on any new responsibilities.
  • The agreement was signed by 72 members including the US, the EU, China and Japan.
  • The agreement seeks to reduce administrative costs for service providers.
  • The agreement will ease licencing and qualification requirements, related procedures and technical standards.
  • It was announced at the on-going 13th WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi. 
  • The agreement's 72 signatory nations account for 92% of the world's services industry.
  • General Agreement on Trade in Services already existed in the WTO.
  • The existing service schedule is being altered by the signatories to the new regulations.
  • South Africa and India had first opposed the agreement.

Topic: Miscellaneous

3. The Trilateral Development Cooperation (TDC) Fund has been launched by SBICAP Ventures.

  • SBICAP Ventures has established the TDC Fund in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • The TDC Fund is an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) registered with SEBI under Category II.
  • It was founded with a ₹700 crore corpus and a ₹300 crore green shoe option.
  • MEA's capital commitments will be routed to qualified daughter funds by TDC Fund.
  • This will be started with its investment in the GIP Fund as the first step.
  • Under the India-UK Global Innovation Partnership (GIP), the MEA and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Government of the United Kingdom, will collaborate to establish the GIP Fund.
  • SVL has been named as the TDC Fund's investment manager. It will make the GIP program for Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) easier.
  • The TDC Fund seeks to support, disseminate, and scale up proven, sustainable ideas from India to a chosen group of developing nations.
  • SBICAP Ventures is the private equity arm of State Bank of India.

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Topic: MoUs/Agreements

4. NABARD and NRLM has entered into strategic alliance.

  • The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) have entered into a strategic alliance.
  • NABARD and NRLM has signed a MoU to assist Self-Help Groups (SHGs) for rural women. The MoU has been signed for 3 years.
  • It aims to align NRLM's objective with NABARD's function as an enabler and facilitator in the SHG ecosystem.
  • It aims to align NRLM's objective to advance women led development in rural areas by utilising the strengths of both organisations
  • The MoU also intends to create digital transaction pilots for SHG federations in order to bring about efficiency and transparency for members with a short turnaround time.
  • This partnership will offer online and offline marketing assistance programmes.
  • In order to encourage sustainable economic activity, it will assist SHG clusters in graduating to Producer Organisations in both the farm and non-farm sectors.
  • In the Wadi and Watershed development project regions of NABARD, it will support livelihood interventions for women SHGs and climate resilient agriculture.

Topic: Committees/Commissions/Taskforces

5. Finance Secretary TV Somanathan will lead committee on uniform Know Your Customer (KYC).

  • The committee will recommend ways to enforce uniform KYC mechanism.
  • Members from different ministries and regulators will be included in the committee.
  • Finance Stability and Development Council (FSDC) had decided to prepare a strategy to digitalise and simplify the KYC process in the financial sector.
  • The committee was formed after this decision of FSDC.
  • In 2023-24 budget, FM Sitharaman had said that the KYC process would be simplified.
  • She said it would be simplified through a ‘risk-based’ approach instead of ‘one size fits all’ approach.
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Topic: Appointments

6. Renu Sud Karnad has been appointed as independent director and chairperson of PayU.

  • Renu Sud Karnad is a director at HDFC Bank. PayU has also included four more members to the board.
  • With this, the strength of company’s board has increased to seven, including Anirban Mukherjee, Chief Executive Officer, PayU and Arvind Agarwal, Chief Finance Officer, PayU.
  • The other four directors joining PayU Board are Jairaj Purandare, Gopika Pant, Laurent Le Moal and Jan Bune.
  • PayU Payments Private Ltd (PayU) is fintech arm of Global Consumer Internet Group Prosus.

Topic: Miscellaneous

7. India advocated for flexibility in existing WTO agreements.

  • At the 13th Ministerial Conference of WTO opening day, Comoros and Timor Leste became member of the World Trade Organization.
  • The 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is taking place from February 26–29, 2024, in Abu Dhabi.
  • To address concerns related to developing countries, India emphasized on flexibility within existing WTO agreements.
  • India highlighted the need to avoid fragmentation of the multilateral trading system and the importance of remaining focused on the WTO agenda rather than non-trade issues.
  • India emphasized that non-trade issues have the potential to encourage trade-distorting subsidies and non-trade barriers.
  • India also cautioned members that mixing non-trade topics with WTO rules can lead to greater trade fragmentation.
  • The Indian delegation was led by India's Commerce Secretary, Sunil Barthwal.
  • The WTO will complete its 30 years of its establishment in 2025.

Topic: Appointments

8. Justice AM Khanwilkar has been appointed as the new Lokpal by President Droupadi Murmu.

  • He will take over as new Lokpal. Six other members have also been appointed along with him.
  • The three judges who will serve as judicial members of the Lokpal are Justice Lingappa Narayana Swamy, Justice Sanjay Yadav, and Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi.
  • Ajay Tirkey, Pankaj Kumar, and Sushil Chandra are the other members of Lokpal.
  • These appointments will be effective from the date they assume charge of their respective offices.
  • For two years, the Lokpal position remained unfilled.
  • The Lokpal is running without its regular chief after Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose completed his tenure.
  • He completed his tenure on May 27, 2022.
  • Justice Pradeep Kumar Mohanty, the judicial member of the Lokpal, is currently the acting chairperson.
  • The Chairperson and members of the Lokpal are appointed by the President.
  • President appoints them after receiving recommendations from a selection committee, which is headed by the Prime Minister.
  • Apart from a Chairman, the Lokpal can have eight members – four judicial and four non-judicial.
  • Lokpal Chairperson and members have a tenure of five years or till the age of 70 years.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

9. Mauritius government has amended the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with India.

  • For OCED’s proposal on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, the Mauritius government has decided to amend the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with India.
  • These amendments will create more challenging norms for multinationals investing in India.
  • The Mauritius Cabinet has decided to amend the agreement to comply with the minimum standards of multilateral instruments (MLI) under Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) rules.
  • The main aim of this amendment is to forestall opportunities for tax avoidance or minimisation through exploitative tactics.
  • This will elevate the India-Mauritius tax treaty to a covered tax agreement under the BEPS Multilateral Instrument.
  • The Cumulative FDI from Mauritius to India between 2000 – 2022 was $161 billion.
  • Mauritius was initially the preferred channel for foreign portfolios and foreign direct investors due to the tax advantage that accrued to them due to the DTAA between both countries.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

10. 21st edition of BioAsia started in Hyderabad.

  • Asia's premier biotechnology and life sciences convention, BioAsia 2024, started in Hyderabad on 27th February.
  • In the last two years, the life sciences sector has grown rapidly in Telangana.
  • This convention has been inaugurated by Chief Minister Revanth Reddy.
  • ‘Data & AI: Redefining Possibilities’ is the theme of the conclave.
  • Biotech & biopharma companies, research institutions, academia, investors, service providers, and policymakers are participating in the summit.


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