1. Devotees can now donate at Kedarnath shrine digitally by scanning Paytm QR code at the doorstep of the temple.
- This is possible because of the new initiative taken by Paytm.
- Paytm Super App can also be used by devotees to make digital donations to Kedarnath temple from their homes across India.
- Digitised donation is now available at Kedarnath and Badrinath.
- Paytm is also working to make the facility digitize donation available at Gangotri dham and Yamunotri dham.
- This facility of digital donations through Paytm is also available at Vaishnodevi (near Katra) and Lord Balaji Temple in Tirupati in South India.
- Kedarnath temple is located in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand.
- Paytm is an Indian financial technology company. It is based in Noida. Vijay Shekhar Sharma is its CEO and founder.
Topic: Regulatory Bodies/Financial Institutions
2. Almost 25% of filings to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) have been through the Green Channel route.
- This ensured speedy and transparent disposal of the cases.
- The Green Channel route was introduced by the CCI in August 2019 to facilitate speedy disposal of M&A cases.
- Competition Commission of India (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Regulations, 2011 were amended.
- An automatic system of approval for combinations through a ‘Green Channel’ route was introduced.
- Under the Green Channel route, a combination is taken as approved upon filing the noticed in the prescribed format and acknowledgment thereof.
- This is subject to commission’s finding that the combination falls under the ‘Green Channel’ scheme.
- Green Channel Scheme aims to facilitate speedy disposal of specific merger and acquisition (M&A) cases, which do not have underlying risk of any harm to competition regimes.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
3. Tamil Nadu has become top borrower among states for third year as per RBI data.
- As per RBI data, gross market borrowings of Tamil Nadu through State Development Loans stood at ₹68,000 crore during April-February FY23.
- Tamil Nadu has for the third year in a row come at top in the list of States with highest market borrowings.
- Tamil Nadu was followed by Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
- The gross market borrowings of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra stood at ₹51,860 crore and ₹50,000 crore, respectively.
- Tamil Nadu borrowed ₹87,977 crore in FY21 and ₹87,000 crore FY22.
- During FY23, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Karnataka significantly cut their borrowings.
- Uttar Pradesh nearly halved its borrowings to ₹33,500 crore in the first eleven months of FY23 against ₹62,500 crore in the whole of FY22.
- Borrowings by Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, and Gujarat in the first eleven months of FY23 have surpassed borrowings for the entire fiscal year in FY22.
- As per ICRA, borrowings of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh account for more than 35% of the total borrowing projection of ₹2-lakh crore for Q1 FY24.
Topic: Reports and Indices
4. Tax Transparency in Asia 2023: Asia Initiative Progress Report released on 27 April 2023.
- It is a key output of the Asia Initiative, a regional programme launched in 2021.
- It was released during the opening sessions of the Fourth Asia Initiative Meeting, which was held in New Delhi, India.
- As per the report, there is a pressing need to check illicit financial flows and tax evasion, especially by Asian nations.
- Asian nations lost an estimated €25 billion in revenue in 2016.
- OECD report said 4% of Asia’s financial wealth amounting to €1.2 trillion was held offshore.
- As per the report, Asia accounted for 38.8% of the estimated $7.8 trillion loss by developing countries due to illicit financial flows between 2004-2013.
- The report was launched at the meeting of the Asia Initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
- Presently, 167 jurisdictions are members of the Global Forum. It includes all G20 countries.
5. Siddhartha Mohanty has been appointed as LIC Chairperson till June 2024.
- Siddhartha Mohanty, interim LIC Chairman, has been appointed as regular chairperson of LIC till June 29, 2024.
- After this date, Mohanty will serve as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of LIC till June 7, 2025 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
- In March 2023, Mohanty had replaced MR Kumar as interim chairperson of LIC for three month period.
- In May 2022, centre had raised ₹20,560 crore in the LIC’s initial public offering. This was the largest ever IPO in the country till date.
- Life Insurance Corporation (LIC):
- It was formed in September 1956. It is headquartered in Mumbai.
- Its slogan is yogakshemam vahamyaham (Your welfare is our responsibility).
6. The appointment of Debadatta Chand as MD and CEO of Bank of Baroda (BoB) has been approved by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC).
- Debadatta Chand’s appointment as MD and CEO of BoB is with effect from the date of assumption of office on or after July 1, 2023, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
- MD & CEO of BoB, Sanjiv Chadha will retire on June 30, 2023.
- ACC has also approved appointment of Rajneesh Karnatak as MD & CEO of Bank of India (BoI) for three years.
- His appointment as MD & CEO of BoI is with effect from the date of assumption of office until further orders, whichever is earlier.
- The tenure of Atanu Kumar Das as MD & CEO of Bank of India ended in January 2023.
- Bank of Baroda:
- It is an Indian public sector bank. It was founded in 1908.
- It is headquartered in Vadodara, Gujarat. Hasmukh Adhia is its chairman. Its tagline is India’s International Bank.
- Bank of India:
- It is an Indian public sector bank. It was founded in 1906.
- It is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Its tagline is Relationship beyond Banking.
Topic: Banking System
7. Reliance General Insurance has become first insurer to accept Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in tie-up with YES Bank.
- It has become 1st general insurance company to accept RBI’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) e-Rupee (e₹) for premium payments.
- It has tied up with YES Bank for the collection of premiums in digital mode using the bank’s e-rupee platform.
- Customers having an active e-rupee wallet with any bank can scan Reliance General Insurance’s CBDC QR code to make payments.
- e-rupee is a digital token. It is equivalent to a banknote. It is a legal tender or a sovereign currency backed by RBI.
- Presently, Reliance General Insurance’s physical e-rupee QR code can be found at select branches only.
- It plans to make it available at all branches and on the Reliance Self-i app in the next few months.
8. Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) has received Navratna status.
- On 26 April, the Union Finance Ministry approved the upgradation of RVNL from Category-I Miniratna to Navratna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE).
- Now, the RVNL will have more autonomy in terms of investment, joint venture formation, and other financial decisions.
- Under the Ministry of Railways, RVNL is a public sector undertaking and it will be the 13th Navratna among the CPSEs.
- RVNL was incorporated in 2003 and it is engaged in planning, development and implementation of Railway Infrastructure Projects.
- RVNL is a CPSE of Ministry of Railways with an annual turnover of ₹19,381 crore and a net profit of ₹1,087 crore for the year 2021-22.
- The government held 78.2% stake in the company as on 31 December 2022.
- The company should have Miniratna status with 4 independent board directors, as per the Navratna company norms.
- In addition, the company must obtain a score of 60 out of 100 in parameters such as net worth, net profit, total production cost, manpower cost, service cost, capital employed and PBDIT.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
9. Industrialist Ratan Tata honoured with Australia's highest civilian award Order of Australia.
- Australia's High Commissioner to India presented the award to Ratan Tata.
- He received the award for his efforts to strengthen the India-Australia bilateral relations.
- He played a key role in the 2022 India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement.
- Earlier, Ratan Tata was appointed as an Honorary Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) for his effort to strengthen Indo-Australia ties.
- He is also a 2008 recipient of India’s second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan.
- Tata Group is India’s third largest employer after the Indian Railways and Indian Defence Forces. It was founded by Jamsetji Tata.
- Order of Australia is given to Australian citizens and other persons for outstanding achievement and service.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
10. Index of Eight Core Industries increased by 3.6% in March 2023 as against the Index of March 2022.
- The production of coal, fertilizers, steel, natural gas, and refinery products increased in March 2023 over March 2022.
- In March 2023, crude oil, power and cement output fell by 2.8%, 1.8% and 0.8% respectively.
- However, coal, fertilisers, steel, natural gas and refinery products output recorded growth by 12.2%, 9.7%, 8.8%, 2.8% and 1.5%, respectively.
- Government has revised final growth rate of ICI for December 2022 to 8.3% from its provisional level 7.4%.
- The cumulative growth rate of ICI during 2022-23 is reported 7.6% (provisional) in comparison with the corresponding period of last year.
- Index of Eight Core Industries (ICI) measures performance of the production of eight core industries.
- These eight core industries are Coal, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Refinery Products, Fertilizers, Steel, Cement, and Electricity.
- The eight core industries comprise 40.27% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
Topic: Reports and Indices
11. Globally the number of migrants reached 184 million: World Development Report.
- The World Development Report 2023 claimed that the income of Indians going abroad to work has increased by 120%. In the case of internal migration, income rises to 40%.
- The report estimate that low-skilled Indians migrating to the US incomes increases by 500%, followed by UAE at almost 300%.
- The increase in income is much greater for highly skilled workers.
- Around 184 million people are living outside of their country of nationality.
- World Bank recently released 'World Development Report 2023: Migrants, Refugees, and Societies'.
- World Development Report 2023 proposes an integrated framework for better migration management in destination, transit and origin countries.
- The report recommends that Origin countries should make labour migration part of their development strategy.
- The destination countries should promote migration and facilitate inclusion and resolve the social impacts that raise concerns among their citizens.
- World Bank has requested international cooperation and multilateral efforts to match the migrants’ skills with the needs of destination countries.
- Countries like Mexico, Thailand, Tunisia and Turkiye required foreign workers because their population is no longer growing.
- Migration is becoming more prevalent due to severe divergences between countries in terms of real wages, labour market opportunities, demographic patterns and climate costs.
- World Development Report is an annual report which is being published by World Bank since 1978.