RBI grade b study material

Arth Vol 32 (21-30 November 2020)

RBI committee for conversion of large NBFCs into banks –

  • An Internal Working Group (IWG) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recommended the guarded entry of corporates into the banking space, conversion of big NBFCs into banks and hike in promoters’ stake to 26 per cent from 15 per cent.
  • The IWG, headed by PK Mohanty, was constituted by the RBI in June 2020, to review the extant ownership guidelines and corporate structure for private sector banks in India.
  • Key points –
    • Large corporates and industrial houses may be allowed as promoters of banks only after necessary amendments to the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
    • Well-run large NBFCs, with an asset size of Rs. 50,000 crore and above, including those which are owned by a corporate house, may be considered for conversion into banks subject to completion of 10 years of operations and meeting due diligence criteria and compliance with additional conditions specified in this regard.
    • The cap on promoters’ stake in the long run (15 years) may be raised from the current level of 15% to 26% of the paid-up voting equity share capital of the bank.
    • On non-promoter shareholding, the panel has suggested a uniform cap of 15% of the paid-up voting equity share capital of the bank for all types of shareholders.
    • The minimum initial capital requirement for licensing new banks should be enhanced from Rs. 500 crores to Rs. 1,000 crores for universal banks and from Rs. 200 crores to Rs. 300 crores for small finance banks.
    • For payments banks intending to convert to a Small Finance Bank (SFB), a track record of 3 years of experience as payments bank may be considered as sufficient.
    • NOFHC (Non-Operative Financial Holding Company) should continue to be the preferred structure for all new licenses to be issued for universal banks. However, it should be mandatory only in cases where the individual promoters, promoting entities and converting entities have other group entities.
    • NOFHC is a financial institution through which promoter/promoter groups will be permitted to set up a new bank.

Food Processing Projects worth Rs 234.68 Crores approved –

  • Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, chaired the IMAC (Independent Management Advisory Committee) meeting to consider the proposals received under the Scheme for Creation of Infrastructure for Agro-Processing Cluster (APC) of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY).
  • IMAC approved 7 proposals with total project cost of Rs. 234.68 Crores including grants-in-aid of Rs. 60.87 Crores in the States/UTs of Meghalaya, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra. 
  • These projects are expected to generate employment for 7750 persons.
  • The scheme for Creation of Infrastructure for Agro-Processing Cluster (APC) has been approved on 03.05.2017 under the Pradhan Mantri KisanSampada Yojana to incentivize the setting up of agro processing clusters in the country.
    • This scheme aims at development of modern infrastructure to encourage entrepreneurs to set up food processing units based on cluster approach.
    • These clusters will help in reducing the wastage of the surplus produce and add value to the horticultural / agricultural produce which will result in increase of income of the farmers and create employment at the local level.
  • Under the scheme, each APC has two basic components:
    • Enabling basic infrastructure like roads, water supply, electricity supply etc.
    • Core infrastructure facilities like warehouse, cold storage, sorting & grading facilities etc.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana –
    • In 2016, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) introduced an umbrella Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters (SAMPADA), which was proposed to be implemented with an allocation of Rs. 6,000 crores for the period of 2016-20.
    • It was renamed as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana in 2017 and is central sector scheme.
    • Objectives –
      • To supplement agriculture.
      • To create processing and preservation capacities.
      • To modernise and expand existing food processing units with a view to increasing the level of processing.
      • To add value leading to the reduction of wastage.
    • Under PMKSY, capital subsidy in the form of grants-in-aid ranging from 35% to 75% of the eligible project cost subject to a maximum specified limit is provided to investors under the various schemes for undertaking infrastructure, logistic projects and setting up of food processing units in the country.

Cabinet approves Rs 6,000 cr infusion in NIIF debt platform –

  • The Union Cabinet approved the government’s capital infusion of Rs 6,000 crore in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) over two years.
  • Under the NIIF, two firms, Aseem Infrastructure Finance Limited (AIFL) and NIIF Infrastructure Finance Limited (NIIF-IFL) will be established to mobilise the funds.
  • AIFL will finance under construction green field and brown field projects with less than a year of operations.
  • NIIF-IFL will finance mature operating assets by helping infrastructure investors to replace high-cost bank finance with cheaper finance post-commissioning.
  • The Centre will invest Rs 2,000 crore for the current fiscal year and will be disbursed into the NIIF’s strategic opportunities fund.
    • However due to the prevailing economic conditions and availability of limited fiscal space due to the prevailing Covid-19, the proposed amount would be disbursed only if there is readiness and demand for rising debt. 
  • NIIF-IFL is a AAA rated company while AIFL is a AA rated.
  • The NIIF debt platform will put in Rs 7,000 crore equity while about Rs 1 lakh crore will be mobilised through global bond markets to make Rs 1.1 lakh crore available for infrastructure projects in the first tranche.
  • NIIF –
    • NIIF is a government-backed entity established to provide long-term capital to the country’s infrastructure sector.
    • It was set up in December 2015 as a Category-II Alternate Investment Fund.
    • The Indian government has a 49% stake in NIIF with the rest held by foreign and domestic investors.
    • With the Centre’s significant stake, NIIF is considered India’s quasi-sovereign wealth fund.
    • Across its three funds viz. Master Fund, Fund of Funds, and Strategic Opportunities Fund, it manages over USD 4.3 billion of capital.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launches Nafed’s Honey FPO Programme –

  • Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launched five Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) for producing honey which will be set up with the help of NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India limited).
  • It is a new Central Sector Scheme for the promotion of 10,000 new FPOs.
  • The FPOs will be one of the first sets of 2,200 FPOs approved by the government for the current financial year.
  • The task of creating these FPOs has been entrusted mainly to Nabard (600 FPOs), Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (500), National Cooperative Development Corporation (500) and NAFED which will support 50 commodities specific FPOs.
  • Benefits –
    • Skill Upgradation in scientific beekeeping.
    • State of the art infrastructure facilities for processing honey and allied beekeeping products
    • Quality control laboratories
    • Better supply chain management
  • The government has allocated Rs 500 crore towards beekeeping under Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Shri Hardeep Singh Puri launches Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge across 243 Cities –

  • Union minister Shri Hardeep Singh Puri launched the Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge at a webinar in New Delhi.
  • The Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge aims to ensure that no life of any sewer or septic tank cleaner is ever lost again owing to the issue of ‘hazardous cleaning. The initiative promotes mechanized cleaning
  • The virtual event witnessed participation of representatives from 243 cities across the country, coming together to take a pledge to mechanize all sewer and septic tank cleaning operations by 30th April 2021.
  • The initiative was launched on the occasion of World Toilet Day – 19th November 2020.
  • The initiative is in line with PM Modi’s vision, who has always placed the safety and dignity of sanitation workers at the core of the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U).
  • According to reports, India still continues to witness over hundred deaths per year due to manual scavenging.

Cabinet approves Scheme of Amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank India Limited –

  • The Union Cabinet, has given its approval to the Scheme of Amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited (LVB) with DBS Bank India Limited (DBIL).
  • Under section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, LVB had been placed under moratorium for a period of 30 days on 17th November to protect the depositor’s interest.
  • RBI, in consultation with Government, superseded the Board of Directors of LVB and appointed an Administrator to protect the depositors’ interest.
  • With the approval of the scheme, LVB will be amalgamated with DBIL from the appointed date, and with this there will no further restrictions on the depositors regarding withdrawal of their deposits.
    • DBIL is a banking company licenced by RBI and operating in India through wholly owned subsidiary model, DBIL has a strong balance-sheet, with strong capital support and it has the advantage of a strong parentage of DBS, a leading financial services group in Asia, with presence in 18 markets and headquartered and listed in Singapore.
  • The combined balance-sheet of DBIL would remain healthy even after amalgamation and its branches would increase to 600.

Cabinet approves ₹2,480 crore FDI in ATC Telecom –

  • Union Cabinet approved ₹2,480 crore foreign direct investment (FDI) in ATC Telecom Infra Pvt Ltd. ATC Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd is looking to acquire 12.32% stake in ATC Telecom Infra Pvt Ltd through the FDI route.
  • M/s ATC Telecom Infrastructure Private Limited is engaged in the business of providing telecom infrastructure services to telecom operators.
    • The company has existing FDI approval up to 86.36 % and with this approval it will rise to 98.68% (on a fully diluted basis).
  • The inflow of foreign investment to India will spur economic growth; as well as foster innovation.
  • FDI up to 100% is allowed in Telecom Services Sector wherein 49% under automatic route and beyond 49% through government route subject to observance of licensing and security conditions by the licensee as well as investors as notified by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) from time to time.

Invest India, UNDP launch ‘SDG Investor Map –

  •  UNDP and Invest India have launched the SDG Investor Map for India, laying out 18 Investment Opportunities Areas (IOAs) in six critical SDG enabling sectors, that can help India push the needle forward on Sustainable Development.
  • The six focus sectors identified in the map include education, healthcare, agriculture and allied activities, financial services, renewable energy and alternatives and sustainable environment.
  • By mapping the overlaps and gaps between public sector priorities and private sector interest, the SDG Investor Map lays out pathways that can bring together private-sector investment and public sector support for six SDG-enabling sectors.
  • The map has also identified eight ‘white spaces’, which have seen investor interest and have the potential to grow into IOAs in five to six years.

Single point information source on Climate Action “India Climate Change Knowledge Portal” launched –

  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar launched the “India Climate Change Knowledge Portal”.
  • The portal will act as a “single point Information resource” which provides information on the different climate initiatives taken by various Line Ministries enabling users to access updated status on these initiatives.
  • The portal captures sector-wise adaptation and mitigation actions that are being taken by the various line Ministries in one place including updated information on their implementation.
  • The knowledge portal will help in disseminating knowledge among citizens about all the major steps Government is taking at both national and international levels to address climate change issues.
  • The eight major components included in the knowledge portal are:
    • 1India’s Climate Profile
    • National Policy Framework
    • India’s NDC goals
    • Adaptation Actions
    • Mitigation Actions
    • Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation
    • International Climate Negotiations
    • Reports & Publications

US$28.1 billion FDI inflows into the country during the July-September quarter –

  • Total Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) inflows into India during the second quarter of financial year 2020-21 (July, 2020 to September, 2020) have been US$ 28,102 million, out of which FDI equity inflows were US$ 23,441 million or Rs. 174,793 crore.
  • This takes the FDI equity inflows during the financial year 2020-21upto September 2020 to US$30,004 million which is 15% more than the corresponding period of 2019-20.
  • In rupee terms, the FDI Equity inflows of Rs 224,613 Crore are 23% more than the last year.
  • August, 2020 has been the significant month when US$ 17,487 Million FDI equity inflows were reported in the country.
  • In terms of the Countries from where FDI Equity Inflows were reported to India, during April, 2000 to September, 2020; maximum FDI Equity inflows have been reported from Mauritius, followed by Singapore and the USA.
  • Among the sectors, Services sector has received maximum FDI equity inflows, during April, 2000 to September, 2020; followed by Computer Software & Hardware, and Telecommunications.
  • Gujarat has been the major beneficiary state of the FDI Equity inflows, during October, 2019 to September, 2020; followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka.

ARTPARK to boost Technology promotion in Artificial Intelligence –

  • The AI and Robotics Park (ARTPARK) established in Bangalore will promote the innovation of AI and robotics by implementing ambitious mission model R&D projects in the fields of healthcare, education, transportation, infrastructure, agriculture, retail and networking.
  •  ARTPARK (AI and Robotics Technology Park) is a joint initiative of the Indian Institute of Science and AI Foundry, which established Section 8 Corporation (a non-profit organization) and received a seed funding of Rs 170 crores from the Ministry of Science & Technology of India.
  • Implemented under the National Mission on Inter-disciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS), it will bring about collaborative consortium of partners from industry, academia and government bodies.
  • It is set up as the premier research translation park with a global collaborative ecosystem. It is being incubated at the Robert Bosch Cyber Physics System Centre at IISc.
  • ARTPARK is committed to using AI and robotics with a task-driven model to bring people a better quality of life.

Central Government to provide 50% subsidy for air transportation of fruits, vegetables from NE and Himalayan states –

  • The Centre announced a scheme under which 50 per cent subsidy will be provided for air transportation of 41 notified fruits and vegetables from North East and Himalayan states to any place in the country.
  • The subsidy will be provided as part of the ‘Operation Green Scheme TOP to TOTAL’.
  • Airlines will provide the transport subsidy directly to the supplier/ consignor/ consignee/ agent by way of charging only 50 per cent of the actual contracted freight charges and will claim the balance 50 per cent from the Ministry of Food Processing Industries as subsidy.
  • Earlier, the transportation subsidy was extended under Operation Greens Scheme for Kisan Rail Scheme with effect from October 12. Railways charge only 50 per cent of freight charges on the notified fruits and vegetables.

India ranks 77 in global bribery risk matrix –

  • India is at 77th position with a score of 45 in a global list that measures business bribery risks of 2020.
  • The list by TRACE, an anti-bribery standard setting organisation, measures business bribery risk in 194 countries.
  • North Korea, Turkmenistan, South Sudan, Venezuela and Eritrea present the highest commercial bribery risk.
  • Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand present the lowest bribery commercial risk.
  • In 2019, India’s rank stood 78 position with a score of 48 while in 2020 the country was ranked 77 with a score of 45,
  • The score is based on four factors — business interactions with government, anti-bribery deterrence and enforcement, government and civil service transparency, and capacity for civil society oversight, including the role of the media.
  • Apart from India, Peru, Jordan, North Macedonia, Colombia and Montenegro also have a score of 45 in the matrix.
  • India fared better than its neighbours – Pakistan, China, Nepal and Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Bhutan secured 48th rank with a score of 37.

ICICI Bank introduces ‘Cardless EMI’ facility –

  • ICICI Bank has launched a fully digital EMI plan, to be made available at leading retail stores, in partnership with Pine Labs.
  • ICICI Bank Cardless EMI, facility replaces debit or credit cards and digital wallets with mobile phones and PAN, making it easier for their pre-approved customers to purchase appliances of their choice.
  • Customers will now be able to avail of the no-cost monthly instalments by entering their registered mobile number, PAN, and the OTP on the POS machine.
  • Benefits –
    • No processing fee.
    • Digitisation of entire process.
    • Transaction limit from Rs 10,000 to Rs 10 lakh.
    • Flexible tenure from 3 to 15 months.
  • To avail this scheme the customer will have to ask for cardless emi option during purchase, enter mobile number and PAN number in the POS machine and the OTP received on the registered mobile number with ICICI bank.

$120 million loan signing between Government of India and the World Bank for the implementation of Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project (MITP) –

  • The Government of India, the Government of Meghalaya and the World Bank signed a $120 million project to improve and modernise the transport sector of state of Meghalaya.
  • This will help Meghalaya to harness its vast growth potential for high-value agriculture and tourism.
  • The project will improve about 300 km of strategic road segments and stand-alone bridges.
  • Difficult hilly terrain and extreme climatic conditions make Meghalaya’s transport challenges particularly complex.
  • The projects will provide the much-needed transport connectivity. It will also position Meghalaya as a major connecting hub for international trade through the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and the Nepal Corridor.
  • This operation will also support state government’s “Restart Meghalaya Mission” to revive and boost development activities affected due to COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The $120 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a maturity of 14 years including a grace period of 6 years.

Delhi govt inks MoU with UNICEF to help youth find jobs via govt portal –

  • The Delhi government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with YuWaah – an initiative of UNICEF.
  • The MoU was signed to strengthen its job portal Rozgaar Bazaar and focus on jobs for the younger population, the government said in a statement.
  • The partnership will make Delhi government’s Rozgaar Bazaar portal a robust one-stop solution for young people seeking jobs.
  • YuWaah is aimed at imparting skills and providing employment to young people in India in the age bracket of 10-24 years.

Mastercard and USAID partner to launch ‘Project Kirana’ for women entrepreneurs

  • Mastercard and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced their partnership to launch Project Kirana enabling women entrepreneurs to launch, grow and thrive.
  • A 2-year programme, the project will first be rolled out in select cities of Uttar Pradesh – Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi
  • It will work to increase revenue streams, expand financial inclusion and digital payments adoption of kirana shops that are owned or operated by women
  • The focus will specifically be on building financial and literacy skills and the topics will include banking, digital payments, savings and credit as well as insurance.
  • The programme will be implemented by DAI Digital Frontiers and ACCESS Development Services. It will also include outreach to men and families in order to derive meaningful impact and reach.
  • The programme aims to build financial and digital literacy skills; improve basic business management skills including inventory management, accounting, budget management and customer loyalty; addressing cultural and other barriers to women becoming successful kirana entrepreneur.

Rs. 2 lakh cr to be invested for setting up 5000 Compressed bio-gas in the country; MoU signed for setting up of 900 CBG plants –

  • MoU was signed today between MoPNG and leading oil & gas marketing companies & technology providers to establish Compressed Bio-Gas CBG) plants across India under the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) initiative.
  • Government of India, under the SATAT initiatives envisages setting up of 5000 CBG plants by 2023-24 with production target of 15 MMT, facilitating the creation of new employment opportunities and enhancing farmers’ income towards further invigorating the rural economy.
  • Under the SATAT initiative letter of intent for 600 CBG plants have already been given and with the recent MoU for 900 CBG plants, a total of 1500 CBG plants are at various stages of execution.
  • Rs 30,000 Cr of investment is envisaged in these 900 plants. A total of 5000 CBG plants with approximate investment of Rs. 2 lakh crores are envisaged. Biofuels have the potential to reduce our fuel import bill by Rs. 1 lakh crore.
  • Recently RBI has included Compressed Bio-Gas in priority sector lending framework.
  • SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) initiative for boosting production and availability of CBG as an alternative and affordable clean fuel for transportation sector was launched by Government of India on 1.10.2018.
    • The scheme envisages setting up of 5000 CBG plants by FY 2023-24. Signing of the MoUs will give a big fillip to the clean energy initiative of the Government.
    • SATAT initiative is also an important step towards fulfilment of India’s COP-21 commitments for carbon emission reduction.

LIC launches digital application tool for agents –

  • Life Insurance Corporation of India has launched a digital application for agents for onboarding to get a life insurance policy.
  • The Digital Application is called “ANANDA”, which is an acronym for Atma Nirbhar Agents NewBusiness Digital Application.
  • The Digital application is a tool for the onboarding process to get the life insurance policy through a paperless module with the help of the agent or intermediary.
  • It is built on paperless KYC process using Aadhaar-based e-authentication of the life proposed.
    • The new Business completion process has been redesigned by converting physical formats into digital.
  • With the new initiative agents will be able to complete the policy without the need to meet the customer in person.
  • The customer willing to take the policy can subscribe to it without meeting the agent.

Govt okays subsidised loans worth Rs 3,971.31 cr for micro-irrigation projects –

  • The Union Agriculture Ministry okays subsidised loans worth Rs 3,971.31 crore for implementing micro-irrigation projects, and maximum loan has been approved for Tamil Nadu.
  • The interest sub vented loans are being offered under Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) created with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for implementing micro-irrigation projects.
  • This fund with a corpus of Rs 5,000 crore was operationalised in the 2019-20 fiscal with an objective to facilitate states in availing subsidised loans for expanding coverage of micro irrigation.
  • Out of this, maximum loan of Rs 1,357.93 crore has been approved for Tamil Nadu
  • Under the MIF, subsidised loans are provided for taking up special and innovative projects and to incentivise micro irrigation beyond the provisions available under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (Per Drop More Crop) to encourage farmers to install micro irrigation systems.
  • PMKSY is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (Core Scheme) launched in 2015. Centre- States will be 60:40 per cent. In the case of the north-eastern region and hilly states, it will be 90:10.
  • Components Under PMKSY –
    • Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP).
    • PMKSY – Har Khet ko Pani
    • PMKSY – More crop per drop
    • PMKSY – Watershed Development.

RBI curbs withdrawals from Jalna-based Mantha Urban Coop Bank for 6 months –

  • Reserve Bank of India imposed restrictions on withdrawals from Maharashtra-based Mantha Urban Cooperative Bank for six months.
  • As per the directions, the bank will not, without prior approval of RBI in writing, grant or renew any loans and advances, make any investment, incur any liability including borrowal of funds and acceptance of fresh deposits, disburse or agree to disburse any payment, among others.
  • The directions will remain in force for a period of six months from the close of business of November 17, 2020 and are subject to review.
  • The bank will continue to undertake banking business with restrictions till its financial position improves, the central bank said, and added it may consider modifications of the directions depending upon circumstances.
  • RBI also imposed 1cr penalty on PNB for unauthorised bilateral ATM sharing agreement with one of the international subsidiaries of the bank naming Druk PNB Bank Ltd, Bhutan since April 2010 without prior approval from RBI.
    • The penalty has been imposed under Section 30 of the Payment and Settlement Act 2007.

RBI panel proposes to raise promoters cap to 26% in private banks –

  • An internal working group set up by the RBI has proposed to raise the cap on promoters’ stake in private banks from the current 15 % to 26 % in 15 years.
  • The group has also recommended that large corporate or industrial houses may be allowed as promoters of banks only after amendments to the Banking Regulation Act and strengthening of the supervisory mechanism for conglomerates, including consolidated supervision.
  • The Reserve Bank of India had constituted the internal working group (IWG) on June 12, 2020, to review extant ownership guidelines and corporate structure for Indian private sector banks. 
  • The panel also suggested well run large non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) with an asset size of ₹50,000 crore and above, including those owned by a corporate house, may be considered for conversion into banks – subject to completion of 10 years of operations.
  • It recommended the minimum initial capital requirement for licensing new banks should be enhanced from ₹500 crore to ₹1,000 crore for universal banks and from ₹200 crore to ₹300 crore for small finance banks.
  • It recommended a 3year experience for a Payment Bank to convert into a small Finance Bank.
  • Non-operative Financial Holding company (NOFHC) will continue to be the preferred structure for all new licenses to be issued for universal banks.
    • Once NOFHC structure gets a tax-neutral status, all banks licensed before 2013 should attain NOFHC structure within 5 years from announcement of tax-neutrality.

Himachal Pradesh CM partners with Asian Development Bank to improve infrastructure facilities –

  •  The Government of Himachal Pradesh in partnership with Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to improve the infrastructure in Mandi district of the state.
  • The estimated cost of the construction is Rs. 15 crores out of which Rs. 9 crores is being paid by ADB and the rest by the government of Himachal Pradesh.
  • Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, virtually inaugurated and laid foundation stones of various developmental programs amounting to Rs. 15 crores in Mandi district.
  • Developmental Programmes –
    • Primary health care centre in Pandoh.
    • Vehicle parking building named Bhimakali and a hall with a sitting capacity of 300 people at Mandi town.
    • Lift water supply scheme from Kangnidhar to Dudar Bharaun in gram panchayat Dudar Bharaun of Tehsil Sadar.
  • To enhance and provide better facilities and develop the towns of the state the govt has given Municipal Corporation status to Palampur, Solan and Mandi Towns.

Har Ghar Nal Yojna: PM Modi launches drinking water projects in UP’s Mirzapur, Sonbhadra –

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation stone of rural drinking water supply projects in Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The scheme worth Rs 5,555.38 crore is aimed at providing water to over 41 lakh villagers in two districts.
  • Objective – to provide running tap water for every household.
  • Benefit – To provide clean drinking water in the homes of approximately 2 crore households in the state through concerted co-operation of the people of every village and locality in UP.
  • The scheme would be completed in the next two years.

FICCI FLO inks pact with IESC, IIM Shillong to mentor women entrepreneurs –

  • FLO, the women wing of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), signed an agreement with Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Shillong and Incubation and Enterprise Support Centre (IESC) to mentor entrepreneurs.
  • Under the MoU, FICCI FLO, IESC and IIM Shillong will jointly provide guidance and mentor entrepreneurs by facilitating a nurturing, instructive and supportive environment during the initial and critical stages of starting a business, thus enabling them to reduce the initial startup costs and establish themselves in a shorter timeframe, according to a statement.
  • FICCI wished to build a sustainable ecosystem through their national incubation cell within FLO, in order to identify potential start-ups, women entrepreneurs and provide them with the necessary guidance and support.
  • This would enable them to create a self-relying entrepreneurial ecosystem for women, that empowers them, makes them self-sufficient and helps them become job creators and not mere job seekers.

NSDL Payments Bank Joins Hands with HDFC ERGO to Offer Customised Insurance Solutions to Customers –

  •  HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company and NSDL Payments Bank Limited, Subsidiary of National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL), announced their partnership to offer a whole range of general insurance products to the bank’s customers.
  • This partnership aims to bring together the deep distribution network of NSDL Payments Bank and the strong innovation pipeline of HDFC ERGO to contribute towards financial inclusion in the country.
  • This association will enable the customers of NSDL Payments Bank to access comprehensive protection solutions under one roof and ensure complete financial security.
  • Customers will reap the benefits of sophisticated digital capabilities offered by NSDL Payments Bank and HDFC ERGO through self-service and assisted channels, thereby creating a one-stop-shop for all banking and financial services.
  • HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Ltd is a 51:49 joint venture between the Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd (HDFC) and ERGO Group AG; the primary insurance entity of the Munich Re Group of Germany.

India can attract $120-160 billion FDI annually by 2025: CII-EY report –

  • India may attract foreign direct investment (FDI) of $120-160 billion per year by 2025, subject to increasing the ratio of FDI to GDP to less than 2 percent from 3-4 percent, a CII and EY report found.
  • It found that investors ranked India third in terms of attractiveness, at least 80 percent have plans for India in the next two to three years, and close to 25 percent stating investments worth over $500 million.
  • As per the report, ‘FDI in India: Now, Next and Beyond’, India’s GDP growth could also improve to 7-8 percent growth if the investments come in.
  • Traditionally, automobiles, chemicals, drugs and pharmaceuticals have attracted a majority 89 percent of FDI, but boost in manufacture of electric vehicles (EVs), manufacture of high-end machinery, and diversification of service and regionalisation of cotton textile and mining value chains would determine FDI in flows post-COVID.
  • States-wise Maharashtra remains the most attractive destination, getting 28 percent of the share, followed by Karnataka (19 percent), Delhi (16 percent) and Gujarat (10 percent). These four alone grabbed 75 percent of the FDI between October 2019 and June 2020, while the top 10 got 97 percent, it noted.
  • The report said, focusing on making low-skill sectors attractive for FDI could also increase employment opportunities for India’s “large labour force” and spread investments to untapped states – some of which also hold larger populations.

Abhayam app for safety of women passengers launched in A.P –

  • Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy launched ‘Abhayam’ mobile phone application which helps women and children travelling in taxis and auto-rickshaws, to raise alarm in case of any emergency.
  • To start with, 1,000 auto-rickshaws equipped with Internet-of -Things (IoT)-enabled GPS devices will be rolled out in Visakhapatnam city.
  • Five thousand vehicles will be brought on to the platform by February 1, 50,000 by July 1 and 1,00,000 by November 2021.
  • CM Jagan iterated that the Government accorded top priority to the safety of women and children and that Andhra Pradesh was the first State to bring out a legislation (Disha Bill) for security of women.
    • Disha police stations were set up and steps were taken for establishing special courts and posting dedicated public prosecutors to ensure speedy disposal of cases of attacks on women.
  • The app will be operated by Transport Department and will help women in alerting the police by pressing a panic button in the event of their landing in any trouble.
  • The policemen would be able to reach out to the women in need in just 10 minutes by virtue of the vehicle tracking facility provided by the IoT – based system.
  • The passengers have to scan QR codes displayed on the vehicles to facilitate tracking.

ESIC extends ABVKY scheme up to June 2021 –

  • ESI Corporation (ESIC) has announced the extension of the “Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana” (ABVKY) by another one year up to June 30, 2021and relaxed the eligibility conditions for the period between March 24, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
  • The Corporation had earlier introduced (on a pilot basis) a new cash benefit under ABVKY – effective from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020, to provide cash compensation to insured persons rendered jobless. This has been extended up to end-June next year.
  • Eligibility conditions – the insured person should have been in employment for a minimum of two years before his/ her unemployment.
    • Should have contributed for not less than 78 days in the contribution period immediately preceding to unemployment and minimum of 78 days in one of the three contribution periods in two years before losing the job.
    • Claim shall be due in 30 days after the date of unemployment.
  • ABVKY –
    • It is welfare scheme for employees covered under Section 2(9) of ESI Act 1948, in the form of relief payment upto 90 days, once in a lifetime.
    • The scheme was launched on July 1st 2018 for a period of two years and now extended for 1 more year.

HDFC Bank signs MoU with Inventivepreneur Chamber of Commerce & Industries (ICCI) to support SMEs and Start-ups –

  • In an effort to support SME and start-ups ICCI has signed an MoU with HDFC bank.
  • ICCI is operational as the biggest platform to support entrepreneurship globally.
  • . Through this association, ICCI will engage, enroll and support various Startups /SMEs /MSMEs to facilitate inter-alia financial and other facilities to/from HDFC Bank.
  • ICCI will evaluate and recommend potential Startups /SMEs /MSMEs for investments.
  • ICCI will support businesses to pitch their solutions to requisite stakeholders and will work towards providing them an opportunity to showcase their solutions.
  • HDFC Bank will offer key business support functions like shared workspaces, digital marketing, web services, Patent filing, content writing, tax, and legal advisory to ICCI recommended businesses.
  • ICCI will offer industry connections to respective HDFC startups globally and support entrepreneurship nationwide through knowledge transmission on government announced programs, Acceleration Fund, International Presence and Global Business Relations.

India Post Payments Bank partners PNB MetLife to launch Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana –

  • India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has collaborated with PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited to launch Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana.
  • The scheme launched by IPPB provides life cover of Rs 2 lakh on death of the insured member due to any reason.
  • This scheme is optional for account holders with IPPB.
  • About PMJJBY –
    • The scheme was launched in 2015.
    • Nodal Ministry is Ministry of Finance.
    • Age limit for subscribing for to scheme 18 to 50 years.
    • Premium amount is Rs 330.
    • Tax benefit can be availed on the premium paid under the policy under Section 80c of the Income Tax act.
    • The low-cost insurance scheme seeks to bring large sections of the underserved population into financial mainstream.

SEBI launches SMARTs program to strengthen investor education framework –

  • SEBI launched the Securities Market Trainers (SMARTs) program, an initiative aimed at enhancing investor education and awareness.
  • The aim of the scheme is to enhance investor education and awareness.
  • The reason for the programme launch is due to the present scenario of uncertainty in economic growth and extra ordinarily buoyant market, there is a dire need to further ramp up the investor education and awareness efforts.
  • The launch of SMARTs program comes amid World Investor Week being celebrated across the country.
  • The trainers are referred as SMARTs who were trained in National Institute of Security Market (NISM).
    • They will conduct investor education programme in their respective geographical area.
    • The first batch includes 40 individuals across 16 states and UTs, covering 31 districts on Pan-India Basis. More trainers would be empanelled in upcoming days.
    • In addition to individuals, organisations performing similar activities can enrol to the programme.

BSE signs MoU with Mission youth, Govt of J&K to spread financial literacy –

  • BSE signed MoU with Mission youth, Govt of J&K to spread financial literacy, support economic development and encourage sustainable livelihood in the UT of J&K.
  • MoU was signed with an aim to develop youngsters to develop skills to make a career in banking, Financial service and Insurance.
  • Around 400 youth will be trained in BSFI services during the first phase of programme.
  • The collaboration will enable an easy transition of youth and Women of J&K from classroom to workplace environment.
  • It will help the trained youth to enroll themselves in BSE Star Mutual Fund Programme.

RXIL’s First Trade Credit Insurance Transaction in Sandbox with Tata AIG, ICICI Bank and YES Bank –

  • Receivables Exchange of India Ltd. (RXIL) recently initiated a Trade Credit Insurance (TCI) backed transaction with Tata AIG as the insurer and ICICI Bank, YES Bank as the financiers in Sandbox environment.
  • This is the first time a TReDS platform has tested the efficacy of TCI backed transaction improving the ability of financiers in assigning credit limits to corporates. 
  • TCI, once implemented post regulatory approvals, will enable financiers to discount the invoices drawn on lower rated corporate buyers, by their MSME sellers and will improve the liquidity from lenders.
  • The adoption of Trade Credit Insurance on TReDS will pave the way for a completely digital bite-sized credit insurance model.
  • Buying credit insurance on TReDS will be as simple as buying travel insurance while buying an air ticket on a travel portal, devoid of the lengthy paperwork generally associated with trade insurance.
  • TCI on TReDS was one of the recommendations by U.K Sinha Committee report on MSME credit.
    • The working group constituted by IRDAI reviewed the guidelines on TCI, which has paved the way for testing in Sandbox environment.
  • Receivables Exchange of India is an RBI accredited TReDS (Trade Receivables Discounting System) Exchange Platform that started as a joint venture between Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) with State Bank, ICICI and Yes Bank as other stakeholders.

Sidbi partners with Tamil Nadu to bolster MSME ecosystem in the state –

  • The Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Tamil Nadu government to develop the ecosystem for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.
  • Under the MoU, Sidbi will deploy a project management unit (PMU) in the government of Tamil Nadu to design training and capacity-building programmes to be taken up by the state government in areas such as –
    • Technology transfer, promotion of innovation, intellectual property rights, research & development, leveraging of technology/technology solutions for enhancing business capabilities and collaborations between MSMEs & technology driven businesses/startups, etc.
  • The PMU will facilitate interventions, initiatives, projects, etc, for MSMEs in the state with the objective of enhancing efficacy and removal of bottlenecks.
  • Sidbi has signed similar MoUs with seven states and four more are planned in near future.
    • The setting up of the PMU with an expert team aims to bring a focused engagement in various forms leading to a stronger ‘Atmanirbhar’ state and country

RBI writes down LVB Tier 2 bonds –

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has advised the bank to fully write down ₹318 crore of its tier-2 bonds before the amalgamation with Singapore-based DBS Bank comes into effect on 27 November 2020.
    • This is the first time in India that a Tier II bond is being written off.
  • This move comes after LVB has written off its entire equity capital.
  • As per RBI guidelines, Basel III compliant Tier I and Tier II instruments can absorb losses through conversion into common equity or a write down.
  • Basel III compliant tier II bonds have a special clause that if relevant authorities have made a decision to reconstitute amalgamation of bank there is provision to write off these bonds.
  • Tier II bonds –
    • They are components of tier 2 capital, that are primarily for banks. These are debt instruments like loans.
    • They do not gove ownership and voting rights but offer interest earnings to bond holders. The bond specifies earnings as interest rates.
    • They come with higher interest rates than other bank investments.
    • Investors do not prefer these bonds due to higher risk associated with it.

India’s GDP Q2 2020: Economic contraction narrows to 7.5% from 23.9% in Q1 –

  • The Indian economy contracted 7.5 per cent from the same quarter last year, official data released by the National Statistics Office.
  • This is a significant improvement over an unprecedented 23.9 per cent year-on-year contraction witnessed in the April-June quarter of this year
  • The country’s gross value added (GVA) contracted by seven per cent during the quarter.
  • The eight core infrastructure sectors of the economy saw a 2.5 per cent contraction over the same quarter last year.
  • Even if India continues to be in a technical recession, a drop in the rate of GDP contraction signals a revival for the economy after a major plunge in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Apart from India, the UK has shown a contraction of 9.6 per cent in the July-September period. China, on the other hand, is the only country that has shown growth at 4.9 per cent during the same period.
  • Every rating agency, barring Barclays, had revised its projection for the Indian economy in the July-September quarter to reflect an improvement from its earlier forecast.
    • The Reserve Bank had earlier projected that India’s economic contraction for full 2021-20 would be 9.5 per cent.

Schemes mentioned in PIB –

UMANG’s international version launched to mark 3 years of UMANG –

  • The UMANG mobile app (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) is a Government of India all-in-one single, unified, secure, multi-channel, multi-lingual, multi-service mobile app. providing access to high impact services of various Government of India Departments and State Governments.
  • It is digital India initiative of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY).
  • It was launched in 2017 to bring government services in single mobile app.
  • Only a single mobile app needs to be installed instead of each app of each department.
  • Features –
    • Unified platform – integration of government departments and services provided by them.
    • Integration with other Digital India services like Aadhaar, Digilocker, Pay Gov.
    • Secure and scalable.
    • Single-Point Ubiquitous Access: All government services are available for citizens on a unified platform for easy access through multiple online and offline channels (SMS, email, app, and web).

Sahakar Pragya Programme –

  • Shre Narender Singh Tomar Minister for Agriculture and Farmers welfare, Rural Development, Panchayat Raj and Food Processing Industries launched the Sahakar Pragya Programmee.
  • The initiative will train the primary cooperative societies in the country.
  • It holds 45 new training modules of National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).
  • The 45 new training modules of Sahakar Pragya of the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) will impart training to primary cooperative societies in rural areas of the country along with Lakshmanrao Inamdar National Cooperative Research and Development Academy (LINAC).
  • Sahakar Pragya embodies enhancing NCDC’s training capacity by 18fold through an elaborate network of 18 Regional Training Centres across the country by the dedicated, Laxmanrao Inamdar National Academy for Cooperative Research and Development (LINAC) set up and fully funded by NCDC.
  • These 45 training modules are to be supported by the following – NCDC Schemes; 10,000 Farmer Producer Organizations; Agri Infra Fund Scheme; PM-Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprise Scheme; Dairy Infra Dev Fund Scheme; Fisheries Infra Dev Fund Scheme; PM Matsya Sampada Yojana; Schemes of Ministry of Rural Development.
  • NCDC has been created for the purpose of planning and promoting programmes for the production, processing, marketing, storage, export and import of agricultural produce, foodstuffs, industrial goods, livestock, certain other commodities and services like hospital & healthcare and education etc. on cooperative principles.
    • It extends financial assistance to cooperatives at all the three tiers, Primary, District and Apex / Multi-State.
    • NCDC has emerged as a financial powerhouse giving the client cooperatives a wide range of products and services.
    • So far it has advanced loans to the tunes of Rs 1.58 lakh crores to cooperative societies of various categories across the country.
    • Schemes by NCDC – Ayushman Sahakar; Sahakar Mitra scheme; Yuva Sahakar.

PM chairs 33rd PRAGATI interaction –

  • PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation), as the name suggests, is aimed at starting a culture of Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation and bringing e-transparency and e-accountability with real-time presence and exchange among the key stakeholders.
  • The platform was launched on March 25, 2015.
  • It is a multi-purpose and multi-modal platform that is aimed at addressing common man’s grievances, and simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Government of India as well as projects flagged by State Governments.
  • The PRAGATI platform uniquely bundles three latest technologies:
    • Digital data management
    • Video-conferencing
    • Geo-spatial technology
  • Features –
    • It is a three-tier system (PMO, Union Government Secretaries, and Chief Secretaries of the States)
    • Prime Minister will hold a monthly programme where he will interact with the Government of India Secretaries, and Chief Secretaries through Video-conferencing enabled by data and geo-informatics visuals; The programme will be held once in every month on Fourth Wednesday at 3.30 PM.
    • The system will ride on, strengthen and re-engineer the data bases of the CPGRAMS for grievances, Project Monitoring Group (PMG) and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. PRAGATI provides an interface and platform for all these three aspects.
    • The issues flagged are uploaded seven days prior to the PRAGATI day (i.e. on third Wednesday of every month). These issues can be viewed by the Union Government Secretaries and Chief Secretaries after entering into the application.
    • Union Government Secretaries and Chief Secretaries have to put their comments and updates about the flagged issues within three days (i.e. by next Monday).
    • One day – Tuesday is available to the PMO team to review the data entered by the Union Government Secretaries and Chief Secretaries.
    • The design is such, that when PM reviews the issue he should have on his screen the issue as well as the latest updates and visuals regarding the same.

Ayushman Bharat–PM Jan Arogya Yojana –

  • Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. It is an umbrella of two major health initiatives, namely Health and wellness Centres and National Health Protection Scheme.
  • Implementing ministry – Ministry of Health and Family welfare (MoHFW).
  • The expenditure incurred in premium payment will be shared between Central and State Governments in the ratio of 60:40 for all states and UTs with their own legislature, 90:10 in Northeast states and Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal and Uttarakhand and 100% Central funding for UTs without legislature.
  • National Health Protection Mission (AB-PMJAY) –
    • AB-PMJAY provides a defined benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. This cover will take care of almost all secondary care and most of tertiary care procedures.
    • There is no cap on family size and age in the scheme.
    • The benefit cover includes pre and post-hospitalisation expenses.
    • The beneficiaries can avail benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities. All public hospitals in the States implementing AB-PMJAY, will be deemed empanelled for the Scheme. As for private hospitals, they will be empanelled online based on defined criteria.
    • The beneficiaries as identified by latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data.
    • National Health Agency has been constituted as an autonomous entity under the Society Registration Act, 1860 for effective implementation of PMJAY in alliance with state governments.
  • Benefits –
    • The PM-JAY is one significant step towards the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Sustainable Development Goal – 3 (Good Health and Well-Being).
    • PMJAY is portable, which means the beneficiary can avail treatment in any of the states that have implemented the scheme.
    • It will strengthen public health care systems through infusion of insurance revenues.
    • It will enable creation of new health infrastructure in rural, remote and under-served areas.
    • The scheme will also enrich the database of hospitals registered with the Registry of Hospitals in Network of Insurance (ROHINI) System and the human capital captured under the National Health Resource Repository (NHRR) project.
  • Wellness Centres –
    • These centres will provide Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC), covering both maternal and child health services and non-communicable diseases, including free essential drugs and diagnostic services.
    • The Health and Wellness Centres will play a critical role in creating awareness about PMJAY, screening for non-communicable diseases, follow-up of hospitalisation cases among others.
    • The health and wellness centres can play a valuable role to reduce the pressure on secondary and tertiary hospitals for expensive treatments by investing in preventive and primary care facilities.

KVIC’s Honey Mission –

  • The Honey Mission was launched by Khadi and Village Industries Commission in 2017 with the aim of employment generation for the farmers, Adivasis, women, and unemployed youth by associating them with beekeeping activities and increasing the overall honey production in India.
  • Beekeeping has been carried out across several generations in India. It plays a crucial role in the livelihoods of the rural communities in four major dimensions namely;
    • It helps in generating an income.
    • It provides food and medicine.
    • It supports agricultural activities through cross-pollination and increase in yield of crops.
    • It contributes immensely to forest conservation.
    • It provides supplementary income to farmers or Tribals etc.
  • Provisions provided by KVIC under Honey Mission –
    • For the examination of honeybee colonies, practical training is provided.
    • Acquaintance with apicultural equipments.
    • Extraction of Honey and purification of wax.
    • Methods to identify and manage bee enemies and diseases.
    • Management of bee colonies in seasons like spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and winter seasons.
  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission –
    • The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament (No. 61 of 1956).
    • It took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board in April 1957.
    • It works as an umbrella organization under MSME to plan, promote, facilitate, organize and assist in the process of establishment as well as the development of khadi and village industries in the rural areas of India.
    • At the national level, it is a nodal implementation agency of Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP).