Banking and Financial Awareness – 47

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13 Jan, 2014

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Financial-Inclusion-3

1) The committee constituted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI’s) to promote financial inclusion headed by Nachiket Mor in its report, presented to the RBI on 7 January 2014, recommended universal electronic bank accounts to all Indian citizens above the age of 18 years. What is the deadline for opening these bank accounts as recommended by the committee? – 1 January 2016 (The committee has recommended that an instruction to open the bank account should be initiated by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIAI) after the issue of an Aadhaar number to an individual over the age of 18. It also recommended that the RBI should issue a circular indicating that no bank can refuse to open an account for a customer who has adequate KYC proof which specifically includes Aadhaar)

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2) Which country became the 18th member of Eurozone on 1 January 2014? – Latvia (The former Soviet republic on the Baltic Sea recently emerged from the financial crisis to become the EU’s fastest-growing economy. Latvia was given final clearance to join Eurozone on 9 July 2013 by finance ministers of the 28-nation European Union. It should be noted that 28-member EU is a political entity and represents the interest of all of Europe whereas Eurozone is a currency block of 18 nations that have accepted Euro as a common currency. Not all countries of EU use Euro as currency (Britain still uses Pound as its currency))

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3) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 31 December 2013 dismissed rumours that it has stopped banks from accepting scribbled currency notes from 1 January 2014 and announced that banks will continue to accept currency notes with scribbling. However, it reiterated that writing or scribbling on banknotes works against its policy to keep currency notes clean and sought co-operation from public, institutions and others in keeping the banknotes clean by not writing anything on them. What is the name of this policy which was released during 2013? – ‘Clean Note Policy’ (RBI in 2013 had said it has been noticed that at certain branches of banks, the practice of writing/scribbling on the body of the bank notes continues to remain in vogue. Under the present system of mechanised processing of banknotes inscription or scribbling on any part of the banknote would render it to be classified as unfit for reissue)

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4) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 23 December 2013 warned users, holders and traders of virtual currencies, including bitcoins, of financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks. Why was this warning given by the RBI for bitcoins type currency, which is digital or virtual currency that uses peer-to-peer technology to facilitate instant payments? – Because bitcoins as a medium for payments are presently not authorised by any central bank or monetary authority in India (Bitcoin is an alternative currency, which uses cryptography for security, making it difficult to counterfeit. Bitcoin issuance and transactions are carried out collectively by the network, with no central authority. The central bank said it was keeping watch at the developments relating to certain electronic records claimed to be decentralised digital currency such as bitcoins, litecoins, bbqcoins, dogecoins and their usage or trading in the country)

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5) Union government during December 2013 announced decision to covert the National Institute for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NIMSME) into the National SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) University. NIMSME is situated at – Hyderabad (This decision was announced at the golden jubilee celebrations of NIMSME held on 21 December 2013 at Hyderabad)

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6) Who on 20 December 2013 was appointed as the first woman managing director of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) by the Government? – Usha Sangwan (She became the first woman MD in corporation’s history since its establishment in 1956. With this appointment, LIC is set to function at its full strength of four MDs after almost two years. These would be S B Mainak, Sushobhan Sarkar, Sangwan and V K Sharma)

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7) Indian financial markets were left surprised by Reserve Bank of India (RBI’s) mid-quarter monetary policy review released on 18 December 2013 as all key policy rates were left unchanged in this review presented by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. The short-term lending rate was kept unchanged at 7.75%, while the cash reserve ratio (CRR) remained at 4%. Why markets were left surprised with this move? – Because markets had expected another 25 bps hike in the short-term lending rate due to persistent high inflationary pressure (The RBI said it will take calibrated action in the future, based on inflationary trends and action by the US Federal Reserve)

Key highlights of RBI’s mid-quarter review of monetary policy

  • – Key policy rate, cash reserve ratio unchanged
  • – Repo rate unchanged at 7.75%; cash reserve ratio unchanged at 4%
  • – RBI to wait for more data before taking policy action
  • – Outlook on global growth continues to remain moderate

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8) According to the statistics given by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) during December 2013, the average number of policies sold by an agent of LIC was almost 10 times that of his private sector counterpart. LIC’s agents managed their outperformance last year too, when the life insurance business was on a slide. What was the average policy sale figure for an LIC agent as disclosed by the IRDA? – 29 Policies (LIC has an agency force of 11.72 lakh while private companies have 9.49 lakh agents working for them)

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9) The much-anticipated inflation indexed bonds, linked to consumer prices were made available for sale for a week beginning 23 December 2013. What was the name of these bonds which sought to protect consumer savings from price rise by offering returns over and above inflation at the retail level? – Inflation Indexed National Savings Securities – Cumulative

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10) The Ministry of Environment and Forests announced on 20 December 2013 that the ecologically-sensitive Western Ghats will remain off-bounds for mining, quarrying, sand mining and other industrial activities. This move comes after a high-level working group recommended that all destructive industrial activities, that include mining and thermal power plants, should be banned in the region. Who headed this group? – K. Kasturirangan, Member (Science), Planning Commission (The group recognised about 37% of the Western Ghats, covering about 60,000 square km, to be ecologically sensitive)

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The Swedish newspaper was recently asked it to delete the reference made by President Pranab Mukherjee to the Bofors scam in an interview to it, as a claim protested by the Indian Government on 27 May 2015. India has expressed disappointment over the disrespect shown to the President, the newspaper has defended its right to publish what was said during the interview.

Know, who is Vijay Kelkar and what is PPP !

Vijay Kelkar is a renowned economist and a former Finance Secretary. He was appointed head of newly constituted committee to give recommendations to recast the model of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model in India. India is one of the largest PPP market with over 900 projects. The Kelkar committee will review the PPP policy, suggest a better risk-sharing mechanism between private developers and the government after analysing such projects.

Know, who is Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar !

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar was crowned as the new Maharaja of of Mysuru (Mysore) royal family. He is the 23-year old grandson of Princess Gayathri Devi, who was the eldest daughter of the last Maharaja of Mysore, Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. The coronation was held at Mysuru’s famous Amba Vilas Palace, which was decked up for the occasion.

Know about Sepp Blatter!

Swpp Blatter, was re-elected as FIFA president for a fifth term at the 65th Annual Congress of FIFA held at Zurich for four year term.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan stood against Blatter in this election. It is worth mentioning that FIFA is going through a major controversy regarding corruption in the organisation with two FIFA vice presidents and a recently elected FIFA executive committee member still in custody.

 


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