Daily Current Affairs 3 December 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
PM Modi inaugurated ‘InFinity Forum’ on fintech; over 70 countries to participate
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a leadership Forum on Financial Technology (FinTech) via virtual conference.This is the first edition of the summit.
- More than 70 nations, while Indonesia, South Africa and the United Kingdom are partner countries are participated in the summit.
- The two-day summit will bring together the leading minds of the world in business and technology to come together to discuss how technology and innovation can be leveraged by the FinTech industry for inclusive growth and serving humanity at large. It is being hosted by the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) under the aegis of the Government of India in collaboration with GIFT City and Bloomberg.
India joins G20’s Troika with Indonesia and Italy
India joined the G20 ‘Troika’. With this move, India has started the procedure for taking over the G20 presidency next year.
- Troika refers to the top grouping within the G20 that consists of the current, previous and the incoming presidencies — Indonesia, Italy and India.
- As a Troika member, India will work closely with Indonesia and Italy to ensure consistency and continuity of the G20’s agenda.
Bangladesh-US commence bilateral maritime exercise CARAT
A nine-day joint maritime exercise between Bangladesh and the United States (US) has commenced in the Bay of Bengal.
- The bilateral exercise, part of the 27th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Carat), highlights the two countries mutual ability to work together to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
- CARAT exercise is an annual bilateral exercise. United States Pacific Fleet, a command of the US Navy conducts it with several ASEAN members.Currently, Exercise CARAT is conducted with navies of nine nations, which are the navies of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
BANKING & FINANCE
Federal Bank launches an exclusive feature-rich scheme for women
Private sector lender Federal Bank has launched a feature-rich savings bank product for women.
- The savings scheme is called Mahila Mitra Plus and provides a curated set of features, designed to make financial planning and investments easy for women.
- The special features include exclusive preferential interest rates on housing loans, processing fee waiver for home loans, complimentary and customised insurance cover.
Paytm signs MoU with Skill Development Ministry to train youngsters in fintech
Paytm, the digital payment company, will train 6000 individuals over three years, to make them ready for the fintech domain. The tech company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect, with the Directorate of General Training (DGT), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
- The training programme, which will last six months, is designed by Paytm, in consultation with the DGT.
- This partnership with DGT, which focuses on the vocational and skill-based training of eligible youth in India, will help increase the availability of trained talent to fulfil the needs of the fintech industry.
SBI partners with Adani Capital for co-lending to farmers
State Bank of India (SBI) has recently inked an agreement with Adani Capital Private Ltd (Adani Capital), the NBFC arm of Adani Group, for co-lending to farmers for purchase of tractor and farm implements.
- With this partnership, SBI would be able to target farmer customers in the interior hinterland of the country looking for adoption of farm mechanization to enhance productivity of crops.
SBI dual-lists $650-million green bonds on India INX and Luxembourg Stock Exchange
State Bank of India, the country’s largest commercial bank, dual listed its $650 million green bonds simultaneously on the India International Exchange (India INX) and Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE).
- This dual listing is in line with this year’s topic of World Investor Week, ‘Sustainable Finance’, as indicated by the regulatory body International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA).
- India INX, which is BSE’s international arm, had announced its memorandum of understanding with Luxembourg Stock Exchange for co-operation in financial services industry, maintenance of orderly markets in securities respective country, ESG (environmental, social and governance) and green finance in the local market. This dual listing of green bonds is the first step towards this collaborated effort.
Kotak Mahindra Bank partners Worldline to enable EMIs on its debit cards
Private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank announced a tie-up with Europe-based payment and transactional service firm, Worldline, to enable equated monthly installments (EMIs) payments via Kotak debit cards in India.
- This is expected to help over five million eligible Kotak debit card customers to pay for their purchases in easy installments via the Worldline POS (point of sale) terminals.
- The minimum purchase value to avail EMIs on the Kotak debit cards facility is ₹5,000, and customers have the flexibility to repay the loan over tenures between three months and 12 months.
States debt-to-GDP ratio worryingly higher than FY23 target, says RBI report
States have budgeted to bring down their deficits by a full percentage point from last year, as revenue improved in sync with lift in pandemic-related restrictions, but the local bodies have been badly hit by the pandemic and must be allowed functional autonomy, said a report by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- For 2021-22, the states have budgeted their consolidated gross fiscal deficit (GFD) to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio at 3.7 per cent, “a marked improvement from the level of 4.7 per cent in the revised estimates for 2020-21, the year of the first wave of the pandemic,” stated the State Finance Report of the RBI.
- As various estimates cited by the RBI report, the local authorities would lose around 15-25 per cent of their revenues in 2021, which may make the maintenance of the current level of service delivery difficult. In the survey, 22 per cent of the respondents reported revenue loss of over 50 per cent during the second wave of the pandemic, as against 16 per cent in the first wave.
- For states, the ratio of revenue spending to capital outlay (RECO) is budgeted to decline to 5.5 in 2021-22 from 6.7 in 2020-21, the RBI report noted.
West Bengal secures $135 million World Bank loan to upgrade rural power distribution network
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has approved a USD 135 million loan to West Bengal to improve the operational efficiency and reliability of electricity supply in select pockets in the state.
- The variable spread loan or floating interest loan will have a maturity of 17 years, including a grace period of seven years and will aim to strengthen distribution networks, invest in smart-grid technologies, and ensure financial sustainability of the state discom.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Unemployment Rate in India rose to 9.3% in January-March 2021
The urban unemployment rate has increased to 9.3% in the January-March 2021 period from 9.1% in the year-ago period, according to a periodic labour force survey by the National Statistical Office (NSO).
- While 9.3% is lower than the peak urban unemployment level of 20.8% recorded in the April-June quarter of last year, it is still at higher than pre-Covid levels.
- The figures, released, also showed that unemployment among women is rising as 11.3% of women in the labour force found themselves without a job in the January-March 2021 quarter compared to 10.6% in the year-ago period. Unemployment among males remained at the same level as last year, at 8.6%
India’s GDP growth projection for FY22 unchanged at 9.5%, says S&P
S&P Global Ratings said in a note that it has kept India’s economic growth forecast in the fiscal year to March 2022 unchanged at 9.5% but raised its predictions for the subsequent year on broadening out of the recovery.
- The Indian economy had shrunk by 7.3% in 2020-21 fiscal (April 2020 to March 2021) as pandemic induced restrictions battered business activity.
- Meanwhile, India’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 8.4% during the July-September quarter of 2021-22. GDP at Constant (2011-12) Prices in Q2 2021-22 is estimated at Rs35.73 lakh crore, as against Rs32.97 lakh crore in Q2 2020-21, showing a growth of 8.4% as compared to 7.4% contraction in Q2 2020-21.
OECD slashes India growth forecast to 9.4% for FY22
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) pared its growth forecast for India from 9.7% estimated earlier to 9.4% for this fiscal even as it maintained that the ongoing economic recovery is gaining traction, supported by progress in vaccination, which is boosting consumer sentiment.
- In September, while paring India’s FY22 growth projection from 9.9% to 9.7%, OECD had citied still persisting risk of lasting costs from the pandemic.
- The 38-member intergovernmental organization has projected the Indian economy to grow at 8.1% in FY23, and moderate to 5.5% in FY24.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra appointed as Chairman of ITDC
BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra has been appointed as the Chairman of India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).
- Appointment of Dr. Sambit Patra as Part-Time Non Executive Director & Chairman of ITDC for a period of three years from the date of assumption of charge, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
- The order added that 1990 batch IAS officer Ganji Kamala V. Rao will continue to hold the post of MD, ITDC, till further orders.
Film director Naomi Kawase named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador
Director Naomi Kawase, winner of several Cannes awards, was named UNESCO goodwill ambassador, becoming the first Japanese woman to hold this post, according to the permanent delegation of Japan to the UN organization.
- Kawase, 52, also the fifth Japanese to be nominated for the role, was selected in recognition of her cinematic work focused on the stories of women across generations. She should use this post to promote gender equality in cultural industries.
Gita Gopinath to replace Okamoto as IMF’s No. 2 official
International Monetary Fund Chief Economist, Gita Gopinath is set to take over from Geoffrey Okamoto as the institution’s No. 2 official. It is going to be a historic movement when International Monetary Fund has the female at its first two leading positions.
- The IMF has done some changes in the roles and responsibilities of the fund’s senior management team. In which they introduced deputy managing director for the first time and it is gone to the first female named Indian born economist Gita Gopinath.
IFFCO ranks first among top 300 cooperatives in the world
The Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) has been ranked ‘number one Cooperative‘ among the top 300 cooperatives in the world, withholding its position from last year.
- According to the statement, the ranking is based on the ratio of turnover over the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. It signifies that IFFCO is contributing significantly to the GDP and economic growth of the nation.
- It also relates the turnover of the enterprise to the wealth of the country according to the 2021 edition of the 10th Annual World Cooperative Monitor (WCM) report published by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA). IFFCO has also stepped up to 60th Position in overall Turnover ranking from 65th position in last financial year, the statement said.
HP Police Becomes 8th State Police of India to Receive Presidents Colour Award
The ‘President’s Colour Award’ ceremony was organised by Himachal Pradesh Police on The Ridge wherein state governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar was the chief guest , accompanied by chief minister Jai Ram Thakur as a special guest.
- The governor honoured the state police with the ‘President’s Colour Award’, which was received by HP director general of police Sanjay Kundu.
- The governor said HP’s was the eighth state police of the country to get this distinction.
Legendary Anju Bobby George wins Woman of Year Award from World Athletics
Legendary Indian athlete Anju Bobby George has been bestowed with the Woman of the Year Award by World Athletics (WA) for grooming talent in the country and advocating gender equality.
- The 44-year-old Anju, the only Indian to have won a medal in the World Championships with a long jump bronze in the 2003 edition, was named for the award in the world body’s annual awards night on December 1.
Bihar pavilion bags gold medal at India International Trade Fair 2021
Bihar bagged gold medal in the 40th India International Trade Fair (IITF) held at Pragati Maidan in Delhi for “excellence in display” in state government/union territory pavilion category.
- The Bihar Pavilion comprised 41 stalls exhibiting the finest products from the state to reflect the traditional folk art culture.
- IITF was organized by the India Trade Promotion Organisation with ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ as the theme and to further promote the idea of ‘Vocal for Local’. Bihar is the partner state for the 40th IITF and the focus states are Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.