Banking and Financial Awareness – 41

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Agnihotri Ravindra

29 Nov, 2013

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1) Indian security market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 28 October, 2013 asked mutual funds to adopt different districts to increase their penetration. SEBI gave reference of a CRISIL report on mutual funds, which quotes data from Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) to disclose the fact that Indian mutual fund market has been dominated by investors belonging to large cities of the country. According to this report what percentage of the gross mutual fund market has been captured by investors of India’s five largest cities? – 74% (Another problem effecting Indian mutual fund market is the fact that mutual funds lost 8% or nearly 35 lakh retail folios over past six months ended September, 2013 according to the latest data released by AMFI. Therefore SEBI is pushing to increase mutual fund penetration in small districts of the country for which mutual funds can also adopt some districts)

  • 2) What is the name of a panel constituted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) during October 2013, which would give its recommendations for implementing a national Indian Bill Payment System so that households will be able to use bank accounts to pay school fees, utilities, medical bills and make remittances electronically? – GIRO Advisory Group (GAG) – GAG is headed by Prof. Umesh Bellur, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. The panel would submit its report by the end of December, 2013

  • 3) The Finance Ministry on 23 October, 2013 finalised the bank-wise capital allocation, which is part of the capital infusion plan for 20 public sector banks which altogether will get Rs 14,000 crore. How much capital will be infused into the State Bank of India (SBI)? – Rs. 2000 crore (SBI has got the largest share in this capital infusion initiative. The capital infusion is done with the twin objective of adequately meeting the credit requirement of the productive sectors of the economy as well as to maintain regulatory capital adequacy ratios. Banks can raise Rs 10,000 crore from markets against the Rs 14,000 crore infusion)

  • 4) The Planning Commission during October 2013 decided that the Raghuram Rajan committee report on the development index for states will not work for distribution of all central funds. The commission’s move was in response to protests made by several states at the new ordering of backwardness that has been drawn up by the committee headed by Rajan. The Planning Commission instead set up for a new two-member plan panel for a fresh look at the issues involved in transferring money to state governments from plan budget. Who are the two members of this newly set up committee? – Mihir Shah and Abhijit Sen

  • 5) Which four NBFC-Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) during October 2013 became the first MFIs to be given the ‘mfR1’ grading by CRISIL, which is the highest grading under its eight-point scale specially designed for evaluating the operations of MFIs?- Bandhan Financial Services, Kolkata, Equitas Microfinance, Chennai, Janalakshmi Financial Services and Ujjivan Financial Services headquartered in Bangalore

  • 6) The first meeting of the seven-member Tax Administration Reforms Commission (TARC) led by Parthasarathi Shome was held on 21 October, 2013 at Delhi. What is the tenure of TARC, which will act as an advisory body to the Finance Ministry? – 18 months (TARC is expected to submit its first report in six months, suggesting measures to prevent economic offences among other things)

  • 7) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 19 October, 2013 launched the new Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system for large-value funds transfer. This new RTGS system provides new functionalities like advance liquidity features, gridlock resolution mechanism and hybrid settlement facility, facility to accept future value-dated transactions and options to process multi-currency transactions. It complies with which latest ISO standard system? – ISO 20022 (The RTGS system is used to settle interbank fund transfers by banks and their customers and is critical in facilitating orderly settlement of payment obligations. With the implementation of the new RTGS system, new regulations replaced the operating guidelines and regulations of 2004)

  • 8) During October, 2013 it was reported that the public sector banks, which were required to install onsite ATMs at 34,668 branches by March 31, 2013 had set up 5,726 ATMs at the end of August 2013. Hence In the remaining days of the financial year, the 26 public sector banks will together have to set up 28,942 ATMs, or an average of 137 every day to achieve the target of ATM at every branch by 31 March, 2014. Under which drive the Finance Ministry had asked the public-sector banks to have onsite ATMs or ATMs at branches by the end of March 2014? – Financial Inclusion Drive (The government had directed public sector banks to have ATMs at all their branches as part of its financial inclusion drive)

  • 9) The Union Cabinet on 17 October, 2013 gave its approval for setting up six additional benches of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), including three at the existing locations in New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. In which three cities new bench of CESTAT would be established? – Chandigarh, Allahabad and Hyderabad (At present, CESTAT has three benches each in Delhi and Mumbai and one bench each at Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad. CESTAT was set up in 1982 to provide an independent and impartial forum to hear the appeal against orders and decisions passed by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise under the Customs Act 1962, Central Excise Act 1944 and Gold (Control) Act, 1968)

  • 10) Three American economists – Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen (both with the University of Chicago) and Robert Shiller (Yale University) won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Economics. This announcement was made by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on 14 October, 2013. What was the area of research of these three economists for which they were selected for this prestigious award? – For developing new methods to study trends in asset markets (Fama, Hansen and Shiller had laid the foundation of the current understanding of asset prices. The economics award is not a Nobel Prize in the same sense as the medicine, chemistry, physics, literature and peace prizes, which were created by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in 1895. Sweden’s central bank added the economics prize in 1968 as a memorial to Nobel)

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