1. RBI panel recommends measures to internationalise rupee.
- It recommended facilitating a Local Currency Settlement (LCS) framework for bilateral transactions in local currencies.
- It also recommended encouraging opening of INR accounts for non-residents, both within and outside India.
- Inter-departmental group (IDG) of the Reserve Bank of India was chaired by RBI Executive Director Radha Shyam Ratho.
- It also recommended recalibrating the Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) regime.
- It recommended the exporters should be provided equitable incentives for INR trade settlement.
- IDG recommended allowing banking services in INR outside India through foreign branches of Indian banks.
- Over the short-term, IDG recommended nine measures.
- IDG recommended facilitating the launch of BIS Investment Pools (BISIP) in INR.
- It recommended inclusion of government securities in global bond indices.
- Over the medium-term horizon, IDG’s recommendations include a review of taxes on masala bonds and other measures.
Topic: Banking System
2. Punjab National Bank has launched virtual branch in the Metaverse, PNB Metaverse.
- In the branch, PNB’s customers will get access to its virtual environment from their home or office through their mobile phones and laptops.
- The bank will provide an immersive 3D experience to the customers while carrying out banking activities through their digital avatars.
- The virtual branch will deliver a unique banking experience to existing and new customers.
- Customers can explore bank’s products and services and government flagship schemes.
- Metaverse is defined as a virtual world in which people can create their virtual avatars, interact, attend events and explore.
3. RBI has appointed P Vasudevan as Executive Director (ED).
- He has been appointed with effect from July 3, 2023.
- He was the Chief General Manager-in-charge of the Department of Payment and Settlement Systems.
- He will look after Department of Currency Management, Corporate Strategy and Budget Department (Areas other than that of Budget & Funds) and Enforcement Department.
- After his appointment, RBI now has 16 Executive Directors.
4. A five-member working group has been constituted by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).
- The group has been constituted for implementing the recommendations of the Reserve Bank of India’s committee on the “working of the Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs)”.
- The Group comprises Ajit Kumar, MD, and CEO, of the Secondary Loan Market Association (SLMA), and Hari Hara Mishra, CEO, of the Association of ARCs in India.
- Other members are Mythili Balasubramanian, Executive Director, Edelweiss ARC, and senior officials from the State Bank of India (Dharmendra Pali) and ICICI Bank (Anupama Ranade).
- The group has been formed on the orders of RBI.
- The central bank desires that the IBA and SLMA, in consultation with the lenders and ARCs, take appropriate measures for early implementation of the recommendations of the committee.
- Committee’s recommendations aimed at enabling ARCs to fulfil the increasing financial sector demand.
- The working group will undertake a thorough review of the assignment agreements and trust deed templates.
- This review will focus on the acquisition of stressed assets from lenders by ARCs and will include necessary updates in line with evolving changes and expectations within the ARC sector.
- On April 28, 2021, under the chairmanship of Sudarshan Sen, former ED, RBI, RBI had set up a committee to undertake a comprehensive review of the working of ARCs.
- On November 2, 2021, the report of the committee was released.
- The ARC framework is designed to allow originators to focus on their core function of lending by removing stressed financial assets.
- According to the committee, ARCs act as primary agents for recovery on the acquisition of such financial assets.
Topic: Reports and Indices
5. FDI in developing countries stood at $662 billion: World Investment Report 2023.
- The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its World Investment Report 2023.
- During 2022, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in developing countries remained at $662 billion.
- Among developing countries, 80% of FDI inflows of the region went to China, Singapore, India and UAE.
- In 2022, FDI inflows to India rose by 10% ($49 billion) while China registered a 5% yearly growth.
- Developing countries including India attracted FDI worth $544 billion in clean energy in 2022.
- FDI to Singapore and UAE grew by 8% and 10%, respectively.
- FDI inflows to ASEAN member countries grown by 41% to $222 billion.
- FDI in the Gulf region has declined and inflows to smaller developing countries remain stagnant.
- Overall global FDI has declined by 12% to $1.3 trillion in 2022. The decline in global FDI is due to the lower volumes of financial flows and transactions in developed countries.
- According to the World Investment Report 2023, developing countries are facing a growing annual investment deficit to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
- The gap in investment deficit has now increased to $4 trillion per year.
Topic: Reports and Indices
6. According to a study by People Research on India’s Consumer Economy (PRICE), 10 Indian states account for over 80% of the rich households.
- The study is titled “The Rise of the Middle Class: A Force to Reckon With”.
- Maharashtra accounts for a majority of rich households (2.62 million). Maharashtra is followed by Tamil Nadu with 0.9 million.
- The study says nearly 4% of India’s households are rich. This is 10.67 million households in 2020-21.
- It says that the proportion of aspirers and destitute are reducing in the country.
- The study categorises a household with an annual income of over ₹30 lakh as rich.
- A middle-class household has income between ₹5 lakh and ₹30 lakh. The destitute has income of less than ₹1.25 lakh a year.
- According to the study, the growth in the number of rich households between 2015-16 and 2020-21 has been 10.1%.
- According to the study, most high-income states are in South and Central India.
- People Research on India’s Consumer Economy (PRICE) is a Mumbai- based think-tank.
Topic: Banking System
7. Karnataka Bank has opened a Technology and Digital Hub in Bengaluru.
- Pradeep Kumar, Chairman of Karnataka Bank, inaugurated the hub.
- It consolidated all its technology and digital operations under one roof.
- Karnataka Bank is celebrating its centenary year in 2023-24.
- Karnataka Bank is a Scheduled Commercial Bank based in Mangaluru, Karnataka.
- It is a private sector bank. It was founded in February 1924. Srikrishnan Hari Hara Sarma is its MD and CEO.
8. Meta launched Instagram Threads, a text-based messaging app.
- Threads looks very similar to Twitter. People can use their Instagram usernames on Threads.
- Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced the launch of Threads on 05 July 2023.
- Threads is a text-based social messaging app. In this, users are able to post short messages.
- Others can share, like and comment upon the messages.
- The Threads is available for free on Apple App Store and Google Play online store in more than 100 countries.
- People can publish 500 characters long Threads posts. They can also share links, photos and videos that can be 5 minutes long.
- Threads will use decentralized technology, called ActivityPub.
- BlueSky, a rival social messaging app is built on the decentralized networking technology called the AT Protocol.
- Meta (formerly Facebook) is an American multinational technology conglomerate. It is based in Menlo Park, California.
- Instagram was released in 2010. It is owned by Meta. It is a photo and video-sharing social networking service.