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Current affairs - CSEET

l The fifth volume of the Reserve Bank of India’s history is released. This volume encompasses the 11-year period from 1997 to 2008. With this volume, the history of the Reserve Bank of India is now updated up to 2008

l The Reserve Bank of India’s Medium-term Strategy Framework for the period 2023-2025 – ‘Utkarsh 2.0’ – was launched by Shri Shaktikanta Das, Governor, RBI.

l Public sector bank Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB) has partnered with SBI Card to launch co-brand credit cards for the bank’s customers. PSB has also entered the credit card market as a new product segment in its portfolio as a result of this collaboration. Three card variants—the PSB SBI Card ELITE, PSB SBI Card PRIME, and PSB SimplySAVE SBI Card—have been launched by both partners.

l The Reserve Bank of India said SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank remain domestic systemically important banks (D-SIBs). D-SIBs are those interconnected entities whose failure can impact the whole of the financial system and create instability.

l The Reserve Bank of India has launched the Inflation Expectations Survey of Households (IESH) which will provide useful inputs for monetary policy. In the January 2023 round, the survey will be conducted across 19 cities. It aims to capture subjective assessments of price movements and inflation, based on individual consumption baskets.

l The Reserve Bank of India gave its approval to SBI Funds Management Ltd to acquire up to 9.99% stake in Equitas Small Finance Bank through the schemes of SBI Mutual Fund, the bank said in an exchange filing. Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund and DSP Mutual Fund have also received RBI's approval to buy 9.99% stake each in the bank.

l With the end near for the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) told banks and other financial institutions to stop using the benchmark as soon as possible and mandatorily by December 31 and move to any Alternative Reference Rates (ARR). Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) and Sterling Overnight Interbank Average Rate (SONIA) are the two popular alternatives, but are nowhere near as popular internationally as Libor, which is being phased out by this year’s end.

l Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the list of six credit rating agencies that banks can use for the purpose of risk weighting banks' claims for capital adequacy purposes. The six credit rating agencies are Acuite Ratings & Research Limited, Credit Analysis and Research Limited (CARE), CRISIL Ratings Limited, ICRA Limited, India Ratings and Research Private Limited (India Ratings)\ and INFOMERICS Valuation and Rating Pvt Ltd.

l State Bank of India (SBI) has launched e-Bank Guarantee (e-BG) facility in association with National e-Governance Services Limited (NeSL). India’s largest lender said this facility will bring about a revolutionary change in the banking ecosystem, where bank guarantee is frequently used in large volumes. By using the NeSL’s platform, the bank customers and other beneficiaries will instantly get an e-Bank Guarantee without additional verification

l The Reserve Bank of India tweaked norms related to acquisition and holding of shares in banks to ensure that their ultimate ownership and control remain well diversified and the major shareholders are 'fit and proper' on a continuing basis. The central bank has issued 'Master Direction – Reserve Bank of India (Acquisition and Holding of Shares or Voting Rights in Banking Companies) Directions, 2023'. The directions are applicable to all banking companies, including Local Area Banks (LABs), Small Finance Banks (SFBs) and Payments Banks (PBs) operating in India.

l SBI said it has raised Rs 9,718 crore through its second infrastructure bond issuance at a coupon rate of 7.70 per cent per annum for the 15-year money. This is the second fund-raising since early December when it had mopped up Rs 10,000 crore via infra bonds

l Canara Bank said it plans to sell its stake in Russian Joint Venture(JV) Commercial Indo Bank LLC (CIBL) to the other venture partner State Bank of India (SBI) for about Rs 114 crore. CIBL, incorporated in 2003, is a joint venture in Russia between SBI (60 per cent) and Canara Bank (40 per cent).

l India’s international financial assets declined by $56.5 billion during July-September 2022 with valuation losses accounting for a major part. Reserve assets remained the dominant component (62.9% share) of India’s international financial assets. The net claims of non-residents on India increased by $34.3 billion during Q2 of FY23 and stood at $389.6 billion in September.

l In a major development, India has surpassed Japan in terms of auto sales last year to become the third-largest auto market globally for the first time. India’s total sales of new vehicles stood at around 4.25 million units, based on preliminary results, topping the 4.2 million sold in Japan.

l The phased roll-out of E20 (20 per cent ethanol blending in gasoline) will begin on April 1, Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said. The fuel will be available at select outlets and will not require changes to car engines. The proposed roll-out will give further impetus to the government’s plans of achieving the level of 20 per cent ethanol blending in the overall petrol supply in the country by ethanol supply year 2025-2026.

l Regulator SEBI allowed Alternative Investment Funds(AIFs) to participate in the Credit Default Swaps(CDS) market as protection buyers and sellers in a bid to facilitate the deepening of the domestic corporate bond segment. The new norms, which will come into force with immediate effect, allow business entities to hedge risks associated with the bonds market.

l India will become the first major economy to move to a T+1(trade plus one) market settlement cycle when it finally makes the transition on January 27. The Chinese market is currently partly T+1. With the move, all stock settlements will be done the next day, making financial transactions faster in the stock market.

l Zerodha-backed GoldenPi Technologies has become the first online bond platform provider to receive a debt brokerage license from market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). The Bengaluru-based fintech firm expects this development to spur greater trust in online bonds and debentures investment space.

l Fintech platform BharatPe received in-principle authorisation from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate as an online payment aggregator (PA). The company said that an in-principle nod was awarded to Resilient Payments Private Ltd, a 100 percent subsidiary of Resilient Innovations Private Ltd (BharatPe).

l China's Alibaba Group sold a 3.1% stake in Indian digital payments firm Paytm for a total of $125 million through a block deal. Shares of the company fell as much as 8.8% to 528 rupees in afternoon trading, and was last down 5.8%. Alibaba, which held a 6.26% stake in Paytm as of end-September, sold the stake at 536.95 rupees apiece. Paytm's stock has risen about 9% this year up to last close, after reporting strong preliminary figures for the third quarter.

l Bharti Airtel Group announced that it will be investing Rs 2,000 crore for setting up a large hyperscale data centre in Hyderabad. The announcement was made at the Telangana Lounge at Davos, Switzerland in the presence of Telangana Minister for IT and Industries K T Rama Rao.

l Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took office for a third term as Brazil's president, vowing to fight for the poor and the environment and "rebuild the country" after far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro's divisive administration. The 77-year-old veteran leftist, who previously led Brazil from 2003 to 2010, took the oath of office before Congress, capping a remarkable political comeback for the metalworker-turned-president less than five years after he was jailed on controversial, since-quashed corruption charges.

l China's CRRC Corporation Ltd. Launched a hydrogen urban train, and it is the first in Asia and the second such train in the world. Germany introduced green trains a few months back. The hydrogen trains have a speed of 160 km per hour and the operational range without refueling is 600 km. The trains launched by Germany have a record of 1175 km range set. The Indian Railway on the other hand is moving fast to induct the 'World's Greenest Train' soon

l The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) has launched the Prajjwala Challenge. The Prajjwala Challenge has been launched to invite ideas, solutions, and actions that can transform rural development. It will provide a platform where ideas are invited from individuals, social enterprises, start-ups, the private sector, civil society, community-based organizations, academic institutions, incubation centers, investors, etc having the potential to transform the rural economy.

l Warehousing Development Regulatory Authority (WDRA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the State Bank of India to help farmers in getting low-interest-rate loans. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to promote awareness about the new loan product called 'Produce Marketing Loan' to exclusively fund against e-NWRs (electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipt).

l Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) that markets milk and dairy products under the Amul brand has announced the appointment of Shamalbhai B Patel as its chairman and Valamjibhai Humbal as vice chairman

l Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID) has been ranked 1st in Services Sectors across categories Gross Block, Value Addition, Net Profit, Net Worth, Dividend Declaration, and Contribution to the Central Exchequer and has also been ranked 3rd among the Top 10 profit-making Closes.

l Delhi was the most polluted city in India in 2022 with PM 2.5 levels more than double the safe limit and the third highest average PM10 concentration. Among the most polluted cities with respect to PM2.5 levels, Delhi (99.71 micrograms per cubic metre) ranked first, Haryana's Faridabad (95.64 micrograms per cubic metre) ranked second and Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad (91.25 micrograms per cubic metre) third.

l Suryakumar Yadav has become the fastest player to reach 1,500 runs in T20 International cricket in terms of balls faced. The took only 843 balls to reach this landmark. In 45 matches and 43 innings, Suryakumar has scored 1,578 runs at an average of 46.41. He has three centuries and 13 half-centuries in the format, with the best individual score of 117.

l Odisha won the UN-Habitat's World Habitat Awards 2023 for Jaga Mission, a 5T initiative of the state. The awards recognise and highlight innovative, outstanding and revolutionary housing ideas, projects and programmes from across the world. The Jaga mission is the land titling and slum upgrading program that aims at empowering the lives of slum dwellers.

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