Banking Awareness of 4, 5 and 6 February 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 06 Feb 2023 18:05 PM IST
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Topic: Miscellaneous

1. 49th meeting of the GST Council will be held at New Delhi on 18th February, 2023.

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will chair the GST Council meeting.
  • The meeting will be attended by member ministers and nominated officials of 28 States and 3 Union Territories.
  • During the meeting, three reports by Group of Ministers will be taken up.
  • These reports include one report on online gaming, casinos and horse racing.
  • Other two reports deal with Appellate Tribunals and tax evasion by ‘pan masala’ and ‘gutka’ making firms.

Topic: Reports and Indices

2. Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declines to 57.2 in January 2023.

  • Services PMI stood at 58.5 in December 2022. Despite the decline, services PMI has shown expansion for eighth successive month.
  • However, this did not support job creation much.
  • Earlier, manufacturing PMI has declined to 55.4 in January from 57.8 in December.
  • PMI is released by S&P Global Market intelligence. S&P Global Market intelligence mentioned that services companies have seen a further increase in their expenses during January.
  • Services companies attributed increase in their expenses to higher costs of materials, food and staff.

Topic: Banking/Financial Schemes

3. 99 Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) have received a total investment of 7,980 crore rupees under the Fund of Funds Scheme (FFS) for start-ups as on December 31, 2022.

  • Out of this, 72 AIFs have received ₹3,400 crore. These AIFs have, in turn, invested ₹14,077 crore in 791 start-ups.
  • ₹477.25 crore has been approved to 133 incubators under the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) as on December 31, 2022.
  • Out of this, ₹211.63 crore has been disbursed as on December 31, 2022.
  • PM Modi unveiled Fund of Funds for Start-ups (FFS) on 16 January, 2016. FFS was approved with a corpus of ₹10,000 crore.
  • FFS does not directly invest in start-ups. It provides capital to SEBI-registered AIFs, known as daughter funds.
  • They in turn make investment in Indian start-ups via equity and equity-linked instruments.
  • FFS is operated by SIDBI through selection of suitable daughter funds. SIDBI also oversees the disbursal of committed capital.
  • AIFs shall invest at least 2 times of the amount committed under FFS in start-ups.
  • Startup India Seed Fund Scheme aims to provide financial assistance to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization.

Topic: Miscellaneous

4. The minimum download speed for broadband connectivity has been increased from 512 kbps (kilobits per second) to 2 Mbps (megabits per second).

  • In September 2021, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended to the Department of Telecommunication to update the minimum broadband speed to at least 2 Mbps.
  • The Department of Telecommunication has now implemented the recommendation.
  • According to the new definition, broadband is a data connection that can support interactive services including Internet access.
  • Further, as per the new definition, broadband is a data connection that has the capability of the minimum download speed of 2 Mbps to an individual subscriber from the point of presence (POP) of the service provider intending to provide Broadband service.
  • Wired broadband and wireless broadband will both be subject to the 2 Mbps limit.
  • As per December 2022 data from Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index, the median wired broadband speed in India is more than 75 Mbps.
  • As per the same index, the median speed for wireless broadband (mobile) is more than 36 Mbps.
  • India’s rank is 129 among 138 nations in terms of mobile broadband speed.

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Topic: Banking System

5. SBI has reported highest ever quarterly standalone net profit at ₹14,205 crore in the 3rd quarter of FY23.

  • It has reported highest ever quarterly standalone net profit on the back of growth in net interest income and non-interest income.
  • Its Gross Non-Performing Assets (GNPAs) declined below the ₹1-lakh-crore mark for the first time since 2016.
  • SBI’s net profit in the Q3 of FY23 increased 68% y-o-y as against ₹8,432 crore a year ago.
  • Net interest income increased 24% y-o-y to ₹38,069 crore. Non-interest income increased 32% y-o-y at ₹11,468 crore.
  • Loan loss provisions decreased 49% y-o-y to ₹1,586 crore. Standard assets provisions increased 92% y-o-y to ₹4,230 crore.
  • GNPAs decreased to 3.14% of gross advances as at December-end 2022.
  • GNPAs have declined to their lowest level in more than six years. They stood at ₹98,346.50 crore.

Topic: Miscellaneous

6. GeM has achieved a gross merchandise value of ₹1.5 lakh crore in FY23.

  • According to the Commerce and Industry Ministry, GeM is well positioned to surpass its annual target of ₹1.75 lakh crore.
  • Since its start, GeM has exceeded the 3 lakh crore GMV mark.
  • The total number of transactions on GeM has also crossed 1.3 crore.
  • More than 66,000 government buyer organisations and over 58 lakh sellers and service providers are present on GeM.
  • The portal features over 11,000 product categories.
  • NTPC has placed largest order (Rs 20,400 crore) ever placed on GeM till now.
  • This order was placed under Mine Development & Operations Service (MDO), a unique category used for the first time on GeM.
  • Government e-Marketplace (GeM):
    • It is an online platform for public procurement in India.
    • It was launched on August 9, 2016 by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.    
    • It was launched with the objective of creating an inclusive, efficient, and transparent platform for the buyers and sellers to carry out procurement activities in a fair and competitive manner.
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Topic: Banking System

7. Reliance Retail is the first Indian retailer to introduce Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

  • Reliance Retail has piloted the use of CBDC, also known as digital rupee, in one store in Mumbai.
  • It plans to offer this facility in all its stores in Mumbai within the next three to four months.
  • This facility was launched in collaboration with Innoviti Technologies, ICICI Bank, and Kotak Mahindra Bank.
  • On December 1, 2022, RBI first introduced e₹ in a pilot mode. Its access is limited to consumers of certain identified banks in select Indian cities.
  • In the starting, it was limited to Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Bhubaneswar. It was later expanded to nine other cities.
  • ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank are among the eight banks identified for taking part in the pilot.
  • Customers of these banks can transact with e₹ through a digital wallet offered by their bank.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

8. Rs 5.94 lakh crore has been allocated for Defense in the Budget 2023-24.

  • Government has allocated Rs 5.94 lakh crore for Defense, 13% more than the previous year’s allocation. It is 13.18 % of the total budget.
  • Non-Salary revenue outlay has increased from Rs 62,431 crore in Budget Estimates (BE) 2022-23 to Rs 90,000 crore in BE 2023-24.
  • The Budget has emphasized upon the modernisation and Infrastructure Development of the Defence Services.
  • The capital budget of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has been increased by 43% to Rs 5,000 crore in FY 2023-24.
  • The budget allocation to DRDO has increased by 9%. Rs 23,264 crore will be allocated to DRDO in BE 2023-24.
  • To encourage technology development and strengthen the Defense Industrial ecosystem, 116 crores and Rs 45 crores have been allocated to iDEX and DTIS respectively.
  • Rs 1.38 lakh crore has been allocated for Defense Pensions. The Defense Pension Budget registers a jump of 15.5 % in FY 2023-24.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

9. Rs 44,094 crore has been allocated for higher education in Union Budget 2023.

  • In the Budget 2023, Education Ministry has been allocated the highest ever Rs 112899.47 crore.
  • In 2022-23, budgetary allocation for higher education was Rs 40,828.35 crore.
  • 100 labs for developing apps using 5G services will be set up in higher education institutions.
  • The apps like Smart Classrooms, Precision Farming, Intelligent Transport Systems and Healthcare will be developed in labs.
  • Finance Minister proposed that a research and development grant for indigenous production of Lab Grown Diamond seeds and machines will be provided to one of the IITs for 5 years.
  • Lab Grown Diamonds (LGD) are environment-friendly diamonds. They have optically and chemically the same properties as natural diamonds.
  • The best institutions and universities in the country have been given an additional Rs 4235.74 crore to implement the National Education Policy 2020.
  • This is an increase of 12.8% over their allocation last year.
  • In 2023-24, the grant for the UGC has been increased by 9.37%. The grants to Central Universities have been increased by 17.66%.
  • An amount of Rs 400 crore has been provided for the Prime Minister Research Fellowship (PMRF) in 2023-24. In 2022-23, Rs 200 crore was provided.
  • According to the Ministry of Education, three Centres of Excellence will be established in educational institutions to "Make AI in India and Make AI work for India".
  • Prime Minister Research Fellowship (PMRF) was announced in the Budget 2018-19. It has been designed for improving the quality of research in various higher educational institutions in the country.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

10. Rs 2.4 lakh crore capital outlay provided for Indian Railways.

  • On 1 February, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a record allocation of 2.4 lakh crore rupees for the Indian Railways in her budget.
  • Sitharaman allocated Rs 1,40,367.13 crore for the rail industry in the previous budget.
  • This is the highest ever outlay in the history of Railways, nearly nine times the outlay made in 2013-14.
  • Indian Railways plans to build at least 500 Vande Bharat Express trains, achieve 100% electrification, and implement an ambitious station redevelopment plan.
  • Apart from the Vande Bharat Express, the Railways also plans to refurbish the coaches of major trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, Humsafar and Tejas.
  • Indian Railways will come up with 35 hydrogen-fuel-based trains to focus on clean energy.
  • Apart from this, the manufacture of 4,500 newly designed automobile carrier coaches with side entry, 5,000 LHB coaches and 58,000 wagons is also expected to get a boost.
  • The government plans to start at least 75 Vande Bharat trains by August 2023.
  • In 2016, the Narendra Modi government merged the Rail Budget with the Main Budget, which was earlier a separate Rail Budget.


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