Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
1. Investments by Chinese Venture Capital/Private Equity (VC/PE) investors in India decline to a third in 2020.
- Investments by Chinese Venture Capital/Private Equity (VC/PE) investors in India decline to a third in 2020.
- The investments from Chinese VC/PE investors stood at $952 million in 2020. In 2019, they stood at $3,423 million.
- Venture Intelligence data shows that investments form US doubled from $9,287 million in 2019 to $18,421 million in 2020.
- Indian companies are preferring investments from US over Chinese as geopolitical tensions increased between India and China.
- Venture Capital and Private Equity:
- Venture Capital firms buy a minority stake (less than 50%) in companies mainly focussed on technology, biotech etc. Private Equity firms acquire ownership of companies.
- Venture Capital and Private Equity are different in terms of types and sizes of the companies in which they invest, amounts of the money invested and percentages of equity claims made by them.
(Source: The Hindu Business Line)
Topic: Indian Economy/ Financial Market
2. Manufacturing PMI changes from 56.3 in November to 56.4 in December.
- Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has changed from 56.3 in November to 56.4 in December 2020.
- Along with a slight increase in manufacturing PMI, job shedding or removal of unwanted or unnecessary staff is continuing.
- IHS Markit compiles PMI based on responses to questionnaires sent to purchasing managers.
- A diffusion index is calculated. It is a sum of percentage of higher responses and half the percentage of unchanged responses.
- Headline PMI is a weighted average of five indices. They are New Orders, Output, Employment, Suppliers’ Delivery Times and Stocks of Purchases.
- Three-month PMI average increased from 51.6 to 57.2. In December, employment decreased and input cost inflation increased to a 26-month high in December. Manufacturing contributes 15% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
3. Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways to start seaplane services on certain routes through a special purpose vehicle.
- Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways will start seaplane services on certain routes through a special purpose vehicle.
- The project will be executed and implemented through Sagarmala Development Company Ltd (SDCL).
- Seaplane services are mainly proposed under five hubs. They are Mumbai hub, Delhi Hub, Surat hub, Andaman and Nicobar Island to adjoining islands and Lakshadweep to adjoining island hub.
- Sagarmala Seaplane Services (SSPS) will be developed and operated by forming special purpose vehicle with SDCL.
- SDCL comes under the administrative control of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. It was incorporated in 2016.
4. HYDXB-VAXCOR, a Vaccine Air Freight Corridor launched.
- HYDXB-VAXCOR, a Vaccine Air Freight Corridor has been launched for worldwide distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
- It has been launched by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited & GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo and Dubai Airports Corporations.
- Temperature sensitive vaccine shipments will be moved between GMR Hyderabad and Dubai Airports for further connections to various continents.
- GMR Hyderabad has also launched Cool Dolly, a mobile refrigerated unit for transportation.
- Hyderabad is also referred to as the pharma capital of South Asia, Bulk drug capital of India.
- World’s largest pharmaceuticals industrial park, Hyderabad pharma city is being set up near Hyderabad, Telangana.
Topic: Regulatory Bodies/Financial Institutions
5. FSSAI reduced the limit of trans fat levels in foods.
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has reduced the limit of trans fat in foods.
- At present, the FSSAI’s limit of trans fat content in fats and oils is 5%. After this notification, the trans-fat limit will be reduced to 3% in 2021 and to 2% by 2022.
- The revised limit will apply to edible refined oils, partially hydrogenated oils, bakery, etc.
- In 2011, the government had reduced the trans fatty acids limits from 10 % to 5 % in oils and fats.
- WHO aimed for the global elimination of trans fats by 2023.
- Trans Fats:
- These are unsaturated fats produced from vegetable oils.
- There are two forms of trans fat – natural and artificial trans fats.
- Artificial trans fats are man-made fats produced through a chemical process called hydrogenation.
- Naturally-occurring trans fats are found in many animal products.
- Trans fat increases the risk of a heart attack.
6. Comments and objections on Draft Model Standing Orders invited by Labour and Employment Ministry.
- Comments and objections on Draft Model Standing Orders have been invited by Labour and Employment Ministry.
- The drafts were issued on December 31, 2020 and comments were invited for 30 days. The final version will be prepared after 30 days.
- Draft Model Standing Orders will be legally binding documents. They will cover service conditions of workers for service, manufacturing and mining sectors.
- Draft orders have been prepared for service sector for the first time. The standing orders will be applicable to establishments having more than 300 workers.
- They were earlier applicable to establishments having more than 100 workers. Parliament changed the limit from 100 to 300 by passing Industrial Relations Code, 2020 in September 2020.
- The draft Model Orders formalise the concept of Work from Home. They allow employers to determine time for providing work from home. However, this would be subject to conditions of appointment or agreement between employer and workers.
- The draft orders provide six categories of workers and 23 categories of acts under misconduct for taking disciplinary action against workers. Six categories of workers are Permanent, Temporary, Apprentices, Probationers, Badlis and Fixed Term Employment.
- The draft orders have provisions for the suspension of workers till inquiry or investigation. Inquiry or investigation should be completed within 90 days. 50% of wages will be paid as subsistence allowance during suspension if worker does not take any employment during suspension.
- In the case of service sector, working hours will be as per the agreement between worker and employer.
- Unauthorised access to IT systems is not misconduct as per draft orders on manufacturing and mining. Rail Travel Facility is also proposed for workers in mining sector. It is currently available to coal mine workers only.
Topic: Banking System
7. Video KYC Account Opening (VAO) facility launched by IDBI Bank.
- Video KYC Account Opening (VAO) facility has been launched by IDBI Bank to open Savings Bank Accounts.
- Centralized Video-KYC hub at Mumbai has also been launched by Deputy MD of IDBI bank.
- Customers can open an account from his/her house/office through the facility. The bank had earlier launched I Quick mobile app-based account opening and WhatsApp Banking facilities launched by bank recently.
- IDBI Bank was set up in 1964. It is headquartered in Mumbai. Its CEO is Rakesh Sharma. Life Insurance Corporation is its parent organisation.