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Business and Economy updates

Business and Economy updates

 

Key Updates: August  2019

 

  1. According to the Economic Survey 2018-19, what is the  Fiscal Deficit of the Central Government stood at ? - 3.4% of GDP in 2018-19

 

  1. What is the name of operating system rolled out by Huawei? - HarmonyOS

 

  1. What are the details of proposed mergers of Public Sector Banks? - Government has decided to merge 10 banks into 4 as detailed below:

  • Punjab National Bank will absorb Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India to form the nation's second-largest state-owned lender

  • Canara Bank will merger with  Syndicate Bank

  • Union Bank of India will amalgamate with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank

  • Indian Bank will merge with Allahabad Bank

 

  1. What is India’s GDP growth rate in the first quarter of FY 2019-20? - 5%


      5. How much dividend and surplus reserves are being transferred from RBI to Union Government? - Rs. 1.76 lakh crore

 

Key Updates: July 2019

 

  1. Who led the inter-ministerial panel that has recommended banning crypto currencies in India? - Subhash garg

  2. Which committee was formed to review RBI’s economic capital framework and has proposed a nominal transfer of surplus to the central government in a phased manner? - Bimal Jalan Committee

  3. Who can be the beneficiary in Pradhan Mantri Kisan Mandhaan Yojana? - Small and marginal farmers who own less than two hectares on land.

  4. India’s 7th Economic Census has started from which state? - Tripura (The census is being conducted by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) & will be held this year after a gap of five years.The ministry has partnered with CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle under the Ministry of Electronics and Information.)

  5. NITI Aayog has partnered with which social networking site to promote women entrepreneurs?- WhatsApp

  6. The GST Council has decided to reduce GST Rate on Electrical Vehicles from 12% to how much per cent? - 5%

  7. Which Indian economist has unveiled an account aggregator model “Sahamati”? - Nandan Nilekani

  8. Who has been appointed as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of World Bank - Anshula Kant (MD of State Bank of India)

 

Key Updates: June 2019

 

  • BYPL launches ‘Susthome’ energy saving app: Aiming at the cut down on electricity consumption, BYPL along with TERI have introduced Susthome which is a ‘behavioral energy saving app’. This app will track energy consumption patterns of the consumers. It will then analyze and compare it with that of similar homes and show energy saving potential.  The first phase of the project will be rolled out in selective cooperative housing societies in Delhi. BYPL is a collaboration between the Government of Delhi and Reliance Infrastructure Limited.

 

  • Sharad Kumar Saraf is the new president of FIEO: Chairman and founder of Technocraft Industries Sharad Kumar Saraf become the new president of Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO). He has also served twice as vice-president and four times as regional chairman. Federation of Indian Export Organisations was established in 1965 and works with the international trading community of India, Centre and state governments, railways, ports, surface transport, financial institutions etc.

 

  • Canara Bank’s General Manager Sarada Kumar Hota takes over as NHB MD: Former managing director of Can Fin Homes Sarada Kumar Hota takes charge as the new Managing Director of National Housing Bank (NHB). His term will be for three years. He succeeds Sriram Kalyanaraman. Can Fin home is a subsidiary of Canara Bank.

 

  • NALCO to get President’s award for excellent CSR in social development: National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO), an Odisha-based Navaratna Company has been selected for President’s award for utilisation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund in social development. NALCO was selected for its “Aliali Jhia” Scheme. The scheme was on the line of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ to adapt and promote the poor and talented girls for education. It aimed to promote the education of Girls of BPL (Below Poverty Line) families.

 

  • Oracle launches AMLXE to curb banking frauds: The Oracle has designed “Anti Money Laundering Express Edition(AMLXE)”  to detect, investigate, and report suspected money laundering and terrorist financing activity. It uses new architecture principles to offer quick deployment on premise or on cloud infrastructures allowing firms to transition at reduced implementation costs. The solution includes an in-built library with scenarios have the ability to detect money laundering behaviors.It allows visual scenario configuration, reduces coding overheads, and helps easy adaptation to fluctuate compliance demands.

 

  • Amit Agarwal, head of Amazon India appointed as the Chairman of IAMAI: Amit Agarwal, Amazon India Senior Vice-President and Country Head named as the new Chairman of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). He succeeds Rajan Anandan. He was the former Google India Managing Director (MD).

 

  • World Bank approves $147 Million Loan to the Government of Jharkhand: The World Bank approved a $147 million loan agreement to provide basic urban services to the people of Jharkhand. Their aim is to improve the management capacity of the urban local bodies (ULBs) in the state. The focus is on improving the municipal sector’s capacity to provide basic urban services. The main aim is to strengthen the capacity of the Jharkhand Urban Infrastructure Development Company (JUIDCO). They invest in urban services such as water supply, sewerage, drainage, and urban roads.

 

  • Tech Mahindra signs contract with Airbus: Tech Mahindra signed a multi-year contract with Airbus for cabin and cargo design engineering. The relationship with Airbus in consolidating their global supplier base while driving business efficiencies and competencies in this process. The main aim is to capitalize on the specialized skills and competencies in the growing cabin engineering business over the next few years. Their motto to develop innovative engineering and digital solutions for our customers.

 

  • India extended $15 million grant to Niger to organize the AU summit: India extended USD 15 million assistance to Nigeria for organizing the African Union (AU) summit scheduled to be held in Niamey. This summit is scheduled to be held in Niamey from July 7-8. It is the first time that Niger is scheduled to host an AU summit. This summit is expected to launch the historic African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). India provided Lines of Credit worth USD 96.54 million to Nigeria for projects in transport, electrification, solar energy, and potable drinking water. India also establishes the Mahatma Gandhi International Convention Centre (MGICC) in Niamey under grant assistance.

 

  • Facebook launches digital currency Libra: Facebook launched its own digital currency ‘Libra’, powered by blockchain technology, for users around the world. Facebook’s ‘Calibra’ digital wallet will let users save, send and spend Libra with a smartphone. The digital wallet, expected to launch in 2020, will be available in Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app.

 

  • FundzBazar launched ‘Selfie Wala KYC’ feature for first-time mutual fund investors: FundzBazar online mutual fund investment platform launched by Prudent, launched ‘Selfie Wala KYC’ feature. It is applicable for the first-time mutual fund investors. Investors can complete their KYC (Know your Customer) process at any place. It allows the investors to carry out the IPV (In-Person Verification) to upload a video and a selfie to speed up the KYC process. The 5 steps should be followed are Upload and enter Proof of Address, Date of Birth. Upload PAN Card. Download Signature Declaration form, sign it and upload it. To avail this feature, investors need to sign up and register on Fundzbazar which is available on the website and FundzBazar Android Mobile App.

 

  • Adani Group got its approval for the Carmichael coal mine project in Australia: Adani-led Adani Group has got its approval from the Queensland state government, Australia for the Carmichael coal mine project in Australia. The plan was approved by the central government in April 2019. The project aims to ensure energy security for India and create more jobs for Australia. Adani Group’s mining project in Australia faced various controversies for almost nine years as the environmentalists warned it of the severe damage it might cause to the Great Barrier Reef.

 

  • Japan to invest Rs 13,000 crores in Northeast India: The Government of Japan planned to invest an amount of 205.784 billion Yen equal to Rs 13000 crores to complete new projects in different states of India’s North- Eastern region. This decision is disclosed after a meeting held with Minister Jitendra Singh with Japanese delegation led by Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu. The important topics where Japan collaborates include Guwahati Water Supply Project and Guwahati Sewage Project in Assam, Northeast Road Network. The main project established all over Assam and Meghalaya and Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management Project in Sikkim and Tripura, Technical Cooperation Project for Sustainable Agriculture & Irrigation in Mizoram, Forest Management Project in Nagaland.

 

  • Max Life Insurance Company launched ‘My Protection Quotient’ Tool: Max Life Insurance company one of the famous insurance companies in India announced the launch of a unique proprietary tool, ‘My Protection Quotient’ (MyPQ) its commitment to ensuring financial protection in the country. MyPQ a smart tool designed to gauge the level of an individual’s financial protection and their main aim to promote awareness and importance of term plans in protecting the financial future of families. Its aim to help customers understand various aspects of financial planning, elements that are missing or require an upgrade to ensure that they have the right amount of life cover which helps customers to achieve their life goals with risk protection.

 

  • State Bank of India introduces Repo Rate-Linked Home Loan: State Bank of India Introduced repo rate-linked home loans July 1, 2019. The Key interest rate is reduced to 5.75%. After the move, the effective repo-linked lending rate (RLLR) for a cash credit and overdraft customers will be 8 per cent. The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) lowered the repo rate by 25 basis points and switched to an “accommodative” stance from “neutral”. The decision by the RBI to ease the monetary policy follows official data last month showing India lost its status as the fastest growing major economy to China. SBI has a share of around 35 per cent in home loans and auto loans.

 

  • Singapore topped the IMD World competitiveness Ranking 2019: Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Ranking 2019 said Singapore has dethroned the US to become the most competitive economy in the world. Hong Kong stands the second spot in the list. USA stands third followed by Switzerland and UAE with fourth and fifth respectively. Qatar entered the top 10. India ranked 43, one position higher compared to 2018. The ranking process considers a wide range of hard statistics such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), unemployment and government spending on health and education. IMD also used the soft data from an executive Opinion Survey which covers other parameters such as social cohesion, globalization and corruption.

 

  • Mahindra Group won Gold Award in South Africa: Mahindra Company has 60 dealers in South Africa secured top position out of which 29 vehicle brands surveyed for the awards. They received the award from the country’s National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and resided at Africa for 16 years and they tested dealer’s satisfaction with the way a brand supports and communicated with them. This Award is a welcome recognition of the team’s hard work in every aspect of dealer support knowing that happy dealer ultimately leads to a happy customer. It was established in 1945 as Mohammad & Mahindra and later renamed as Mahindra and Mahindra.

 

  • ICICI Bank launches centre for MSMEs in Bengaluru: ICICI Bank launched a centre in Bengaluru to provide business solutions exclusively to start-ups and MSME sector. ICICI Bank along with Viral Rupani, Retail Business Head South, ICICI Bank inaugurated the centre. The services offered include working capital loans up to Rs 20 crore, business loans (based on GST returns) up to Rs 1 crore, instant overdraft facility of Rs 15 lakh, extensive trade solutions and cash management services, among others. The centre has a legal and valuation desk to assist customers in resolving challenges pertaining to collaterals offered for various loans.

 

  • Ashok Leyland ties up with Suryoday Small Finance Bank for vehicle loans: Ashok Leyland has partnered with Suryoday Small Finance Bank for vehicle loans. The two partners have signed an initial agreement to enter a strategic financing partnership for three years. Under the agreement, the bank will provide end-to-end financial solutions to Ashok Leyland’s customers for auto loans across India. Suryoday Small Finance Bank will benefit its customers with financial products and with a hassle-free experience.

 

  • Sundar Pichai, Adena Friedman receives 2019 Global Leadership Award: Google’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sundar Pichai and Nasdaq President Adena Friedman selected for Global Leadership Awards 2019 by business advocacy group USIBC. They both are recognized for their companies contribution as the leading technology-driven platforms Washington-based US-India Business Council (USIBC) gives this award for achievements in over 30 categories for talented people who are recognized for their work by their companies. The award will be given in ‘India Ideas Summit’ next week. Google and Nasdaq at the vanguard, bilateral trade in goods and services grew by nearly 150% over the past five years to touch $142.1 billion in 2018.

 

  • RBI approved the appointment of Rakesh Makhija as chairman of Axis Bank: Rakesh Makhija, the independent director was appointed as the non-executive (part-time) chairman of the bank, for a period of 3 years, with effect from July 18, 2019, up to July 17, 2022. In March, the board of the Axis bank had approved the appointment of Rakesh Makhija as chairman subject to RBI clearance. Rakesh Makhija has held a number of top management positions within the SKF Group. Prior to joining SKF, he was the chief executive officer and managing director of Tata Honeywell Ltd.

 

  • Flipkart co-founder joins Ujjivan Small Finance Bank as Director: Ujjivan Small Finance Bank appointed Flipkart founder Sachin Bansal as its independent director. This is the second big futuristic move by Ujjivan management after it roped in HDFC Bank’s digital banking head Nitin Chugh as its next chief executive. The company was founded on 1 February 2017 by Samit Ghosh. It is headquartered in Bangalore.

 

  • Two-wheeler loan named ‘Sabse Khaas Loan’ launched by L & T Finance: Indian multinational conglomerate, L&T Finance, a subsidiary of L&T Finance Holdings, launched ‘Sabse Khaas Loan’ for two-wheeler customers. This scheme provides burden-free and low-cost finance for two-wheelers eliminates the need for hypothecation of the vehicle to the financier over the tenure of the loan. The Borrowers can choose 3 different EMI periods- 6, 12 and 18 months with the interest rates between 7.99 percent and 8.99 percent.

 

  • SpiceJet chief Ajay Singh elected to IATA board: SpiceJet’s Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh is elected to the board of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), less than three months after the airline joined the global grouping. Founder and former chairman of the now grounded Jet Airways Naresh Goyal, who was associated with the IATA for a long time, was a member on the previous board. The new board of the global airlines’ grouping would be chaired by Lufthansa Group Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr, who took charge after the conclusion of the IATA annual general meeting at Seoul, South Korea. SpiceJet became the first Indian low-cost carrier to take membership of the IATA, a grouping of around 290 airlines.   

 

Key Updates: May 2019

 

  • US removes India from its currency monitoring list: The US government has removed India from its monitoring list for currency manipulation, clearing doubts over India’s foreign exchange policies including undervaluation of currencies to gain export advantages.

 

  • Saudi Arabia lifts export ban on fruits and vegetable from Kerala: Kerala's fruits and vegetable exporters have heaved a sigh of relief following the lifting of the export ban by Saudi Arabia after the Nipah virus attack last year.

 

  • Indian delegation participates in second SCO Mass Media Forum at Bishkek: The Second Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Mass Media Forum is being held at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The Forum aims to strengthen the exchange and cooperation in the field of mass media amongst SCO countries. It offers a unique platform for active work through mass media to create an objective vision of the organization and strengthen its positive image in the global information space.

 

  • ADB to provide $750 million loan for railway track electrification Project in India: Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed an agreement to provide long-term financing of $750 million equivalent in Indian rupees — the largest single non-sovereign loan ever committed by ADB — to the Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC), to fund the Railways track electrification project.

 

  • Wirecard teams up with India to issue PAN cards: German payments company Wirecard would work with India to simplify the process of issuing tax identity cards required to open bank accounts, transfer money or complete business transactions.

 

  • India's Forex reserve rises to over $420.055 billion: Reserve Bank of India's weekly data shows that the overall forex reserves rose to $420.055 billion from $418.687 billion.

 

  • HDFC Capital Advisors launches HeART initiative: HDFC Capital Advisors Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of HDFC, has announced the launch of its new initiative termed 'HeART' that seek to promote technologies to make affordable housing more affordable.

 

  • RBI releases Vision (2019-2021) document for e-Payment system: The Reserve Bank of India released a vision document for ensuring a safe, secure, convenient, quick and affordable e-payment system as it expects the number of digital transactions to increase more than four times to 8,707 crore in December 2021.

 

  • India finds OECD index for services trade faulty: India has found problems with the current method under which the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ranks countries based on their services trade policies, indicating the outcomes are biased and counter-intuitive. Launched in 2014, the Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI), computed by the OECD, is now available for 2018 for a total of 45 economies (36 OECD and the rest non-OECD) and 22 sectors.

 

  • Sanjiv Puri appointed ITC's new chairman: The country's largest cigarette maker ITC informed exchanges that its board of directors has appointed Managing Director Sanjiv Puri as its Chairman with immediate effect following the demise of YC Deveshwar, who was the chairman and non-executive director of the diversified conglomerate.

 

  • Hinduja Brothers tops for 3rd time: The billionaire Hinduja brothers have been named as the wealthiest people in the UK for a third time.

 

  • Konkan Railways signs agreement with Nepal Railways: Konkan Railways Corporation Ltd (KRCL) signed an agreement with Nepal's Department of Railways under which the former will supply two 1600 HP DEMU train sets. The agreement was signed in Kathmandu in the presence of Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Manjeev Singh Puri, and Nepalese Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Secretary, Madhusudan Adhikari. The trains will run on the 34 km long stretch between Jayanagar in India and Kurtha in Nepal.

 

  • Jeff Bezos has unveils a new lunar lander spacecraft: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos showcased a mock-up of a new lunar lander spacecraft, it will be able to take equipment and humans to the moon by 2024. The spacecraft was built by his Blue Origin rocket company and is called Blue Moon.

 

  • Amul to sponsor Afghanistan in Cricket World Cup 2019: Amul has been announced as the principal sponsor of the Afghanistan cricket team for the upcoming World Cup, slated to be held in England.

 

  • HealthKart to raise 173 cr from Belgium's advent management: Gurugram-based health and fitness products platform HealthKart is raising about Rs 173 crore from Belgium-based Advent Management, Entrackr revealed. It has raised around Rs 346 crore worth preference and equity capital since July last year.

 

  • Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian appointed as Advisory Council Member in 15th Finance Commission: The Chief Economic Advisor to Central government, Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian has been included as the member of the Advisory Council of the Fifteenth Finance Commission. Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian will be the twelfth Member of the Council. The role and function of the Council is to advise the Commission on any issue or subject related to the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Commission, which may be of relevance and to assist in the preparation of any paper or research study which would enhance the Commission's understanding on the issue contained in its ToR.

 

  • Iraq remains India’s top crude oil supplier in 2019: Iraq has, for the second year in a row, become India’s top crude oil supplier, meeting more than a fifth of the country’s oil needs in 2018-19 fiscal year.

 

  • Netherlands emerges as 3rd largest FDI in India: The Netherlands has emerged as the third largest foreign direct investor in India during 2017-18, with investments pegged at about $2.67 billion across sectors.

 

Key Updates: April 2019

 

  • SBI General Insurance launched cyber defence insurance: SBI General Insurance has launched a product to protect businesses from financial and reputational losses due to cyber attacks.

 

  • ETMONEY becomes India's first comprehensive financial services app to integrate UPI: India’s largest app for financial services, ETMONEY announced that it has integrated unified payment interface (UPI) as a payment method on its platform as it looks to double its monthly user base by the end of the year. The integration of UPI will simplify the mutual fund payment experience for millions of ETMONEY users as the company continues its journey to simplify the financial lives of new age Indians.

 

  • Fincare Small Finance Bank won the Celent Model Bank 2019 Award: Fincare Small Finance Bank (SFB) has been awarded the prestigious Celent Model Bank 2019 Award in the category of Financial Inclusion, for 'Redesigning Lending to Reach Small Businesses'. The award recognizes LAP (Loans Against Property) D.Lite, a tab-based solution designed and developed in-house by Fincare SFB for origination and instant underwriting of loans against property targeted at micro and small enterprises.

 

  • Rajesh Kumar Yaduvanshi appointed as Executive Director of Punjab National Bank: Punjab National Bank (PNB) has appointed Rajesh Kumar Yaduvanshi as the Executive Director of the bank. Yaduvanshi brings with him a diversified experience of over 3 decades in the banking industry, having held senior positions in the banking sector both in India and abroad.

 

  • Canara Bank becomes the first PSB in India to meet RBIs EMV Mandate: Canara Bank, one of India’s largest public sector banks with nearly 6,300 branches and a network of more than 10,000 ATMs, is the first public sector bank to shift to EMV chip and PIN for card present transactions across the country’s vast ATM network. The EMV shift, as in other major global markets, is aimed at reducing lost and stolen card fraud and making counterfeit card fraud more difficult.

 

  • IMF and World Bank launched Learning Coin for in-house purposes: The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank launched a private blockchain and quasi-cryptocurrency called “Learning Coin”. The “Learning Coin” will be accessible only within the two agencies as it is created to help the staff become familiar with the distributed ledgers, look into possible use cases of smart contracts and spot potential risks relating to money laundering and financing terrorism.

 

  • Bharti Airtel Launches My Circle Safety Mobile App for Women: Bharti Airtel in collaboration with FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) launched a mobile app, My Circle, to help women in case they face any problem or a panic situation.

 

  • India turns out to be Net Steel Importer in 2018-19 Fiscal: India was a net importer of steel during the 2018-19 fiscal year, the first time in three years, as the country lost market share among its traditional steel buyers and imports jumped on demand for higher quality steel domestically.

 

  • FSS launches Voice Commerce banking solution for virtual assistants: FSS, a global payments technology company, has launched FSS Voice Commerce, a real-time voice banking platform. The solution will enable customers to conduct a range of transactions round-the-clock using voice assistants.

 

  • HDFC AMC ranks first, ICICI AMC second in terms of assets: India’s asset management companies (AMCs) own assets under management (AUM) worth Rs 24.46 trillion, according to data released by the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi). HDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd has claimed the top spot with an average AUM of Rs 3.42 trillion, overtaking ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co. Ltd with an average AUM of at Rs 3.20 trillion.

 

  • Hong Kong stock market overtakes Japan to become world’s 3rd largest: The city’s equity market has overtaken Japan to be the world’s third largest in value, behind only the U.S. and mainland China, courtesy of a rebound in Hong Kong stocks after their worst year since 2011.

 

  • Seventeenth MENA World Economic Forum held In Jordan: With 1,000 business and government leaders gathering in Jordan, there is a fantastic window of opportunity to put forward an economic vision for the Middle East and North Africa that can enable data, trade and labour flows, boosting the region’s global appeal for international investors. The World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa is being held at the Dead Sea. It is the tenth such meeting in Jordan and the 17th in the region.

 

  • India becomes YouTube's largest and fastest growing market: With substantial growth in India’s internet coverage and data growth, the country has become YouTube’s largest and fastest growing market with 265 million Indians watching the video-sharing website every month.

 

  • India’s GDP to expand 7.5 percent in FY20: India's GDP growth is expected to accelerate moderately to 7.5 per cent in Fiscal Year 19-20, driven by continued investment strengthening, particularly private-improved export performance and resilient consumption.

 

  • Emirates Islamic became world's first Islamic bank to launch banking: Emirates Islamic a bank in Dubai, UAE has announced the launch of Chat Banking services for customers via WhatsApp. With this, it will become the world’s first Islamic Bank to launch Banking Service via Whatsapp.

 

  • American David Malpass appointed as President of World Bank: Former Under Secretary of United States Treasury Department, David Malpass, was appointed as the 13th president of the World Bank Group.

 

  • ADB cuts India's growth rate to 7.2% in 2019-20: Asian Development Bank (ADB) lowered India’s growth by 40 basis points to 7.2 per cent in fiscal year 2019-20. It will be fastest growing economy in the world. The growth rate in FY 2020-21 likely to be 7.3 per cent.

 

  • European Union launched WTO cases against India, Turkey: The European Union has launched two World Trade Organization disputes against India over import duties on IT products and against Turkey over measures affecting pharmaceutical producers.

 

  • GST collections set new record Rs. 1.06 lakh crore in the month of March: GST collections for March have hit a record high of over Rs 1.06 lakh-crore. On the other hand, direct tax collections (personal income-tax and corporate tax) are likely to miss the Budget estimates.

 

Key Updates: March 2019

 

  • Singapore airport named world’s best aviation hub for the seventh time: Singapore's Changi Airport has been crowned the world's best aviation hub for the seventh time in a row, while New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport featured at number 59.

 

  • Adani becomes first Indian port operator to record 200 MMT cargo movement: Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) has recorded cargo movement of more than 200 million metric tonnes (MMT) at nine ports along the east and west coasts, becoming the first Indian port operator to achieve the milestone.

 

  • Google launches global advisory council for AI and Tech Ethics: Google has launched a global advisory council to consider ethical issues around artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

 

  • Bank of Baroda to launch Baroda Kisan: Public sector lender Bank of Baroda said it will develop an agri-digital platform called 'Baroda Kisan' in order to provide solutions for all major agricultural requirements.

 

  • India ranks 76th on WEF's global Energy Transition index: India has moved up two places to rank 76th on a global energy transition index, which has ranked 115 economies on how well they are able to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability.

 

  • Japan-based aluminium alloy plant to be set up in Sri City Andhra Pradesh: Daiki Aluminium Industry India, a 100% subsidiary of Daiki Aluminium Industry Co. Ltd. of Japan, commenced work on its new aluminium alloy recycling Sri City unit with a groundbreaking ceremony.

 

  • Shark-face plane lands at Delhi airport for the first time: A shark-themed plane, an Embraer E190-E2 commercial jet, landed at the Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport for the first time.

 

  • The BusinessLine Changemaker Of The Year award to Arun Jaitley: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has presented the BusinessLine Changemaker Of The Year award to Union Minister Arun Jaitley for successfully introducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST), giving the BJP an opportunity to heckle the Congress on social media.

 

  • RBI categorises IDBI Bank as Private Sector Bank: Debt-ridden IDBI bank has been categorised as a private sector bank by the Reserve Bank of India, with effect from January 21, 2019. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has named State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs), which in other words mean banks that are too big to fail.

 

  • HDFC Bank becomes 3rd company to cross Rs 6 lakh crore m-cap: India’s most valued lender HDFC Bank NSE 0.47 % crossed Rs 6 lakh crore-market capitalisation mark, becoming the third company to do so after Reliance Industries and Tata Consultancy Services.

 

  • Kent RO receives the Best Domestic Water Purifier Award 2019: Kent RO Systems Pvt. Ltd. has been bestowed with the Best Domestic Water Purifier Award 2018-19 for its RO+UV+UF technology at the Water Digest Water Awards organized at The Lalit, New Delhi.

 

  • Facebook unveiled Facebook Hubs to support startups: Social media platform Facebook has launched “Facebook Hubs”, an initiative to foster innovation and offer support for budding entrepreneurs. Facebook Hubs will extend support for startup community by hosting mentor hours and conducting trainings, workshops, discussions across 20 locations.

 

  • Axis Bank appoints Rakesh Makhija as new Chairman: Axis Bank has named Rakesh Makhija as its new Non-Executive Part-Time Chairman. Makhija, who is the Chairman of SKF India, will take over from current Axis Bank Chairman Sanjiv Mishra.

 

  • RBI to become World's 10th largest holder of gold: The Reserve Bank of India, which added 6.5 tonnes of gold to its reserves in January, taking its total holding forming part of its foreign exchange reserves to 607 tonnes, is set to become the tenth largest holder of the metal worldwide, displacing the Netherlands.

 

  • India launches third IT corridor in China: India has launched its third IT corridor in China that will facilitate partnerships between Indian and Chinese companies. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) entered into a partnership with China's Xuzhou city from Jiangsu Province in China to help develop the IT corridor.

 

  • RBI eases business guidelines for white label ATMs: RBI has eased business guidelines for white label ATMs allowing companies that manage these machines to source cash directly from the central bank, offer non bank services like bill payments and advertise even non financial products in their premises, increasing the revenue earning scope for these companies.

 

  • Income tax exemption limit on gratuity doubled to Rs 20 lakh: The labour ministry Santosh Kumar Gangwar has announced that the income tax exemption limit on gratuity has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh from the existing Rs 10 lakh, a move that will benefit employees who are not covered by the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.

 

  • Cabinet approved for new hydroelectric policy: The government has approved a slew of measures including providing renewable energy status for large hydel projects and new funding provisions. Earlier, hydro projects up to 25 MW capacity were considered as renewables and were eligible for various incentives like financial assistance and cheaper credit.

 

  • Google launches 'Bolo' app to help children read in Hindi, English: Google has unveiled a new app “Bolo” that aims to help primary school students learn to read in Hindi and English. Bolo features an animated character “Diya”, that encourages children to read stories aloud and helps if the child is unable to pronounce a word.

 

  • NABL launches quality assurance scheme for basic composite medical laboratories: NABL has launched another voluntary scheme called Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS) for Basic Composite (BC) Medical Laboratories. The scheme will help to bring quality at the grass root level of India’s health system where laboratories follow the imperatives of quality in all their processes. This will inculcate the habit of quality and facilitate the laboratories to achieve benchmark accreditation of ISO 15189 over a period of time.

 

  • SBI, Hitachi arm to roll out digital payments platform: State Bank of India (SBI) and Hitachi Payment Services Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, had launched a merchant-acquiring joint venture, SBI Payment Services Pvt Ltd (SBIPSPL), in Mumbai, for establishing a digital payments platform for India and other countries in the region.

 

  • OECD has reduced the Global economic growth forecasts for 2019: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development lowered its forecast to 3.3 percent for this year, down from the 3.5 percent it predicted in November, which was itself a downgrade from a previous 3.7 per cent.

 

  • Scientist Ajit Kumar Mohanty appointed as BARC Director: Renowned physicist Ajit Kumar Mohanty would be the new Director of the most prestigious nuclear research institute in the country, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

 

  • Bharat Electronics launches SWAGAT- Automatic Fare Collection Gating System: Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a defence public sector undertaking, presented SWAGAT - the Automatic Fare Collection Gating System.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the system as part of the inaugural of Phase I of the Ahmedabad Metro. SWAGAT is an initiative steered by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in collaboration with BEL and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) with the support of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and State Bank of India (SBI).

 

  • Bernard Arnault overtakes Warren Buffett to Become world's third-richest person: French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault has overtaken Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett as the world's third-richest person on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

 

  • TVS Motor Company won the Green Era Award for Sustainability: TVS Motor Company has bagged the international sustainability award - Green Era Award for Sustainability - in Lisbon, Portugal. The two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturer also won the “Quality and Business Excellence Award” for its endeavour to create new benchmarks in product quality.

 

  • Mukesh Ambani is the 13th richest person in the world: The Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani is now jumped six positions to rank 13th on Forbes World's Billionaire list, that was again topped by Jeff Bezos.

 

  • Textiles Minister launches scheme for development of knitting and knitwear sector: The Union Textile Ministry has launched a comprehensive Scheme for the development of the knitwear sector under PowerTex India. The scheme was launched simultaneously in three major clusters, Tirupur, Ludhiana and Kolkata.

 

  • Indian railways ICF Chennai becomes worlds largest rail coach manufacturer: The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai has manufactured as many as 301 coaches in the month of February, taking the total for this fiscal to 2,919.

 

Key Updates: February 2019

 

  • Govt detects Rs 20,000 cr GST evasion in April-Feb FY'19: The government has detected Rs 20,000 crore worth GST evasion so far this fiscal and will take more steps to check frauds and increase compliance.

 

  • PepsiCo former CEO Indra Nooyi joins Amazon's Board of Directors: PepsiCo India-born former CEO Indra Nooyi has joined Amazon's board of directors. Nooyi, who stepped down as CEO of Pepsico in October last year, is the second women of colour to be added on the Amazon's board of Directors.

 

  • Afghanistan begins export to India through Iran's Chabahar port: Afghanistan began exports to India through the Chabahar port in Iran. This is the first time Afghanistan has exported goods to India bypassing the Pakistan route. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani flagged off the first consignment of exports. Twenty-three trucks carrying 57 tonnes of dried fruits, textiles, carpets and mineral products were dispatched from the western Afghan city of Zaranj to Chabahar in Iran.

 

  • Govt declares currency printing presses and mints declared as public utility: The government has declared printing presses and mints as public utility service under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. The notification issued by the Ministry of Labour and Employment is valid for six months and can be reissued.

 

  • Zimbabwe banks start trading new currency RTGS dollar: Zimbabwe began formal trading of what’s effectively a new currency as it tries to ease a shortage of dollars that’s crushed the economy. The initial rate for the southern African nation’s currency, known as RTGS dollars, will be 2.5 per US dollar, central bank Governor John Mangudya told business leaders in Harare, the capital.

 

  • AstraZeneca join hands with Nasscom to set up an accelerator programme in healthcare: Global biopharmaceutical major AstraZeneca and IT industry body Nasscom has joined hands to set up an accelerator programme to support Indian start-ups in healthcare.

 

  • NIIT has joined hands with Microsoft to accelerate 'cloudification': IT firm NIIT has entered into a global collaboration with Microsoft to accelerate the "cloudification" of its enterprise clients.

 

  • BEL Signs Teaming Agreement With Hughes India for Helicopter: Navratna Defence PSU, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Hughes India have entered into a Teaming Agreement for design, development, supply, installation, integration and commissioning of Satellite Communication solutions for helicopters under the Ministry of Defence, Government of India at Aero India 2019, Bengaluru.

 

  • FDI during Apr-Dec 2018-19 falls 7% to USD: Foreign direct investment (FDI) into India contracted by 7 per cent to USD 33.49 billion during April-December in the current fiscal. Singapore was the largest source of FDI during April-December 2018-19 with USD 12.97 billion inflow, followed by Mauritius (USD 6 billion), the Netherlands (USD 2.95 billion), Japan (USD 2.21 billion), US (USD 2.34 billion), and the UK (USD 1.05 billion).

 

  • Tata Consultancy Services ranked as global Top Employer: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been recognised as a global top employer for the fourth consecutive year by the Top Employers institute, and is the only company among the top 10 IT services brands to receive the certification.

 

  • Safran aerospace major to set up plant in Hyderabad: French aerospace company Safran has announced that it was going to invest 36 million euros in Telangana to build a turbine component manufacturing facility for its advanced LEAP commercial jet engines. The new plant, set to come up near an electric wiring facility the company set up last year in GMR Special Economic Zone near the airport, will start production in early 2020.

 

  • Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) launches a new Micro Bachat plan: Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has launched a new micro insurance plan 'Micro Bachat'. It is a regular premium, non-linked, participating endowment micro insurance plan, which offers a combination of protection and savings.

 

  • India hikes customs duty to 200% on all goods imported from Pakistan: India has withdrawn MFN status to Pakistan after the Pulwama incident. Upon withdrawal, basic customs duty on all goods exported from Pakistan to India has been raised to 200% with immediate effect.

 

  • Siddhartha Lal won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2018: Siddhartha Lal, managing director and chief executive officer, Eicher Motors, has been awarded the EY Entrepreneur of the Year for 2018.

 

  • Voltas to invest over Rs 500 cr to set up new plant in Tirupati: Voltas Ltd, a Tata Group company, will invest over Rs 500 crore in a new manufacturing facility at Tirupati to manufacture and assemble air conditioners and related cooling products, with an initial capacity of over one million units.

 

  • Kerala tops state investment potential index: Kerala has emerged an achiever in the State Investment Potential Index 2018, based on the six pillars of land, labour, infrastructure, economic climate, political stability and governance and business perception.

 

  • Mukesh Ambani tops Hurun India Philanthropy list 2018: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani topped the Hurun India Philanthropy List 2018, with the highest contribution of Rs 437 crore between October 2017 and September 2018.

 

  • Government has notified eight medical equipments as Drugs: The health ministry has notified eight medical equipment, including all implantable devices, as "drugs" under Section 3 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, with effect from April 1, 2020. The medical equipment include all implantable medical devices, CT scan, MRI equipment, defibrillators, dialysis machine, PET equipment, X-ray machine and bone marrow cell separator.

 

  • RBI unlikely to transfer contingency fund to govt: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is unlikely to give in to the government’s demand of transferring funds that was set aside for contingency reserves in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

 

  • E-commerce policy to have new FDI norms: The upcoming policy to govern the country’s ecommerce is unlikely to provide for a separate regulator for the sector but will incorporate the recently updated foreign direct investment (FDI) norms.

 

  • Sanjiv Ranjan appointed as the India's envoy to Colombia: Ministry of External Affairs announced that Shri Sanjiv Ranjan has been appointed as the new Ambassador of India to the Republic of Colombia. Ranjan who is a 1993 batch Indian Foreign Service officer holds bachelors in Economics from Delhi University and an M.A. in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

 

  • RBI removes Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Oriental Bank of Commerce from PCA framework: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) removed three state-owned banks from the prompt corrective action (PCA) framework, allowing them to carry on normal business, especially lending. The three banks are Bank of India (BoI), Bank of Maharashtra (Mahabank), and Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC).

 

  • Piyush Goyal presented the Interim Budget: Union minister Piyush Goyal presented the election year Interim Budget in parliament today and announced major relief for farmers and individual taxpayers. This was the last Interim Budget of the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the Lok Sabha elections due by May.

 

Key Updates: January 2019

 

  • UAE, Saudi central banks launch common digital currency called 'Aber': The central banks of the UAE and Saudi Arabia have launched a common digital currency called "Aber", which will be used in financial settlements between the two countries through Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers technologies.

 

  • Amul launches Camel Milk in Gujarat: The Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF) has launched Amul camel milk in select Gujarat markets — Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad and the Kutch. Sourced from the Kutch, the camel milk will be available in a 500 ml PET bottles priced at Rs 50, and needs to be refrigerated, as has a shelf life of three days.

 

  • Bihar posts highest state GDP in FY18: Bihar has secured the top position among 17 non-special states in terms of GSDP growth in fiscal 2018, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. Jharkhand, Kerala and Punjab are placed at the bottom in terms of growth, CRISIL report named “States of growth 2.0”.

 

  • India’s economy to grow at 7.5% in 2019: India is projected to grow at 7.5 per cent in 2019 and 7.7 per cent in 2020, an impressive over one percentage point ahead of China's estimated growth of 6.2 per cent in these two years.

 

  • BHEL and LIBCOIN to build India’s First Lithium Ion Gigafactory: Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Libcoin are in dialogue to form a world class consortium BHEL and LIBCOIN to build India’s First Lithium Ion Gigafactory to initially build 1GWh lithium ion battery plant in India. Its capacity will be scaled up to 30GWh in due course. With this, India has finally taken steps into its energy security and clean energy commitment to the world.

 

  • Cabinet approved infusion of Rs.6,000 crore in the Exim Bank: The government has approved a capital infusion of Rs 6,000 crore in state-owned Exim Bank to expand its business. The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also approved an increase in the bank's authorised capital from Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore.

 

  • India born Dr. Rattan Lal honoured with 2019 Japan Prize: The Japan Prize Foundation has declared the laureates of the 2019 Japan Prize, who have pushed the envelope in their respective fields of "Materials and Production" and "Biological Production, Ecology". Two scientists are being recognized with the 2019 Japan Prize for original and outstanding achievements that not only contribute to the advancement of science and technology, but also promote peace and prosperity for all mankind.

 

  • Boeing Retains Crown as World's Largest Planemaker for 7th straight year: US-based Boeing has retained its position as the world's largest planemaker for the seventh year in a row, delivering a record 806 aircraft in 2018.

 

  • India set to become world's third largest consumer market: India is set to become the world's third largest consumer market behind only USA and China by 2030. Rising income will transform India to a middle class-led one from a “bottom of the pyramid economy”, with consumer spending in the country to grow from the current $1.5 trillion to $6 trillion by 2030.

 

  • CSO releases advance estimates of National Income for 2018-19: The Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released the First Advance Estimates of National Income at Constant (2011-12) and Current Prices, for the financial year 2018-19. India's GDP is expected to rise to 7.2 per cent during 2018-19 compared to 6.7 per cent in the previous fiscal.

 

  • Amazon overtakes microsoft to become world's most valuable company: Amazon has overtaken Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable listed company. The online giant was valued at $810 billion as compared to Microsoft at $789 billion.

 

  • Vijay Mallya First Tycoon to Be Named “Fugitive Economic Offender”: Vijay Mallya became the first tycoon to be charged under a new anti-fraud law, with a court in Mumbai naming him as an offender under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.

 

  • Andhra Pradesh Tops ACIs Ease Of Doing Business Index: Andhra Pradesh topped the ranking in Ease of Doing Business followed by Maharashtra and Delhi, according to a team of researchers led by Tan Khee Giap, co-director of Asia Competitiveness Institute (ACI), Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

 

  • RBI forms expert committee to rejuvenate MSMEs: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an expert committee, which will review the current institutional framework in place to support MSMEs along with examining the factors affecting timely and adequate availability of finance to them.

 

  • SCCL launches social media wall: Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), a public sector miner, launched the social media wall on the YouTube Channel Singareni Siren, Facebook application, Instagram and Twitter handles, all at one place. It aims at bringing together all the social media applications introduced to disseminate information on the developments.

 

  • Export Promotion Cell for MSMEs: The ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) has established an export promotion cell to create a sustainable ecosystem for MSMEs. The benefits likely to accrue from the setting up of the cell include integration MSMEs into global value chain, evaluation of readiness of MSMEs to export their products and services, and recognition of areas where improvements are required in order to be able to export effectively and efficiently.

 

Key Updates: December 2018

 

  • India pips China in FDI inflows for the first time in 20 years: From Walmart to Schneider Electric and Unilever on the one side and TPG Capital or KKR on the other,a tide of global capital is flooding into India from strategic investors to financial sponsors and consequently changing the pecking order of mega M&A sweepstakes in the prized market of Asia. For the first time in two decades, India has been getting more foreign investment than its neighbour China.

 

  • P. V. Bharathi appointed as MD and CEO of Corporation Bank: The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of P V Bharathi as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Corporation Bank. Prior to this elevation, Bharathi was an Executive Director at Canara Bank.

 

  • RBI launches survey to capture retail payment habits: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched a survey to understand the “Retail Payment Habits of Individuals” (SRPHi). The survey will cover a sample of 6,000 individuals from different socio-economic background across six cities, viz., Delhi, Mumbai Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Guwahati.

 

  • Indian Firm Takes over Operations of Iran’s strategic Port Chabahar: Iran formally handed over the port to India during a first meeting of the follow-up committee for the implementation of the Chabahar Agreement between Iran, Afghanistan, and India in the port city Tehran.

 

  • RBI shortlists TCS, Wipro, IBM, 3 others for setting up Public Credit Registry: The Reserve Bank of India has shortlisted six major IT companies, including TCS, Wipro and IBM India, to set up a wide-based digital Public Credit Registry (PCR) for capturing details of all borrowers and wilful defaulters.

 

  • India overtakes Germany to become seventh largest Stock Market: India’s ascent on the global stage has claimed another victory after its stock market overtook Germany to become the seventh largest in the world. The Asian giant edged past the equity market of Europe’s largest economy for the first time in seven years.

 

  • NITI Aayog releases Sustainable Development Goals India Index: The NITI Aayog has released the Baseline Report of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index, which comprehensively documents the progress made by India's States and Union Territories towards implementing the 2030 SDG targets. The SDG India Index tracks progress of all States and UTs on 62 Priority Indicators selected by NITI Aayog, which in turn is guided by MoSPI's National Indicator Framework comprising 306 indicators and based on multiple-round consultations with Union Ministries/Departments and States/UTs.

 

  • Government approved Mahindra's Rs 1,900 crore tourism plan: The Maharashtra government has approved a film-centric entertainment destination to be developed by the Mahindra Group at an investment of Rs 1,900 crore in a suburb of Mumbai. The Bollywood theme-based tourism project will be developed on 82,950.5 sqm area belonging to the Mahindra Group on its plot in suburban Kandivali.

 

  • Capital First merges with IDFC Bank to create IDFC First Bank: Capital First and IDFC Bank shares rallied 5 percent intraday after the both companies announced completion of their merger. Both shares had also gained 5 percent each in previous session.

 

  • Nasscom partnered with IIT Madras for skill development: IT industry body Nasscom has announced a partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras for reskilling students and employees in the Information Technology sector and IT-enabled Services (ITeS). The partnership is aimed at building an able workforce to support the industry and other stakeholders.

 

  • Nepal government bans use of Indian currency notes above Rs 100: Nepal’s government has banned the use of Indian currency notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 200 denominations, in a move that could affect Indian tourists visiting the Himalayan nation, where Indian currency is widely used, as well as Nepalese working in India.

 

  • Iran falls to 6th biggest oil supplier to India in November: India's monthly oil imports from Iran plunged to their lowest in a year in November with Tehran dropping two places to become only the sixth biggest supplier after New Delhi cut purchases due to the impact of U.S. sanctions, according to ship tracking data and industry sources.

 

  • India, China join hands to promote tea globally: Indian Tea Association (ITA) and China Tea Marketing Association (CTMA), have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote green and black tea consumption in major tea markets in Europe, the U.S., Russia and West Asia, besides India and China.

 

  • British telecom to set up research centre in Bengaluru: Global telecom behemoth British Telecommunications plc (BT) was setting up a research centre in Bengaluru in partnership with the premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc) for collaborative research. The Centre will focus on the development of artificial intelligence, mobility and cyber-security technologies, and utilise these in the company’s programmes, products and services.

 

  • OBOPAY launches new generation pre-payment instrument for enterprise customers: OBOPAY, the global financial technology company has launched a new generation pre-payment instrument named as OBOPAY card in partnership with Federal Bank and MasterCard. The new card will have multiple features like split transaction, multi wallet facility, ATM withdrawals, inter-card fund transfer, and many others.

 

  • Arundhati Bhattacharya appointed as the new chairman of SWIFT: Former SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya has been appointed the chairman of SWIFT India Domestic Services, the local unit of SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) global. Arundhati Bhattacharya served India’s largest bank by assets SBI as its 24th Chairman.

 

  • Government notifies four commonly used medical devices as drugs: Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has notified commonly used medical devices nebulizers, blood pressure monitors, digital thermometers and glucometers as drugs under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. It will enable the government to ensure their quality and performance. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) will regulate the import, manufacture and sale of these devices from January 2020.

 

  • World Bank assisted project SMART launched in Maharashtra: Maharashtra Government has released Planet Lender assisted Condition of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (Clever) Undertaking to renovate rural Maharashtra. This task aims to revamp agricultural worth chains, with exclusive target on marginal farmers across 1,000 villages. This initiative is in line with Union Government’s action in the direction of doubling farmers’ earnings by 2022.

 

  • Repo rate keeps unchanged at 6.5% in monetary policy: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept its policy rates unchanged as was widely expected, and cut its inflation forecast for the rest of the financial year, citing a sharp fall in crude oil prices and food “deflation”.

 

  • CCEA approves strategic sale of Rural Electrification Corporation: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ‘In Principle’ approval for strategic sale of the Government of India’s existing 52.63% of total paid up equity shareholding in Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) to Power Finance Corporation (PFC) along with transfer of management control.

 

  • Cabinet approves launch of National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the launching of National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) to be implemented by Department of Science & Technology at a total outlay of Rs. 3660 crore for a period of five years.

 

  • RBI to introduce Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions: The Reserve Bank has introduced an “ombudsman scheme” to provide cost-free mechanism to redress grievances of customers related to digital transactions.

 

  • Yes Asset Management receives SEBIs approval to launch 2 new schemes: YES Asset Management has received markets regulator SEBI's approval to launch two mutual fund schemes i.e. YES Liquid Fund and YES Ultra Short Term Fund.

 

  • Qatar to leave OPEC from January 2019: Qatar is set to leave the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), having joined the cartel back in 1961. According to the series of tweets, the withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production from 77 million tons per year to 110 million tons in the coming years.

 

  • World Bank unveils US $200 billion in climate action investment for 2021-25: The World Bank has unveiled USD 200 billion in climate action investment for 2021-25, adding this amount to a doubling of its current five-year funding.

 

Key Updates: November 2018

 

  • DRL launches Chlorthalidone tablets in United States: Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) has launched Chlorthalidone tablets, a therapeutic equivalent generic version of Hygroton (chlorthalidone) tablets used in the treatment of high blood pressure, in the U.S.

 

  • RBI eases external commercial borrowing norms: The Reserve Bank of India has relaxed norms for external commercial borrowings (ECBs) by reducing the mandatory hedging provision to 70 per cent from the current 100 per cent. The relaxed norms will apply to the ECBs with a maturity period between three and five years, the central bank said in a notification.

 

  • India and China amends Double Taxation Avoidance treaty: The Government of India and the People’s Republic of China have signed a protocol, to amend the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

 

  • 2019 Ducati launched Panigale V4 R in India: Ducati India has launched its flagship supersport motorcycle, the 2019 Ducati Panigale V4 R, at Rs 51.87 lakh (ex-showroom India). This is an introductory price and bookings for the motorcycle are now open across all Ducati dealerships in India.

 

  • Paytm partners with LIC for insurance premium payments: Paytm has announced a strategic partnership with the country’s largest insurance firm – Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) to allow users make LIC insurance premium payments seamlessly on the platform in under a minute.

 

  • Carpet city Bhadohi gets “export excellence” tag: The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has granted the export excellence tag to Bhadohi district of Uttar Pradesh which is known by the name Carpet city.

 

  • Prime Minister launches Ease of Doing Business Grand Challenge: The Prime Minister of India launched a Grand Challenge on resolving seven identified Ease of Doing Business problems with the use of cutting edge technologies. The objective of this Challenge is to tap the potential of young Indians, startups and other private enterprises to provide solutions to complex problems using current technology.

 

  • NSE launched online platform for retail investors to buy G-sec: National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) has launched a mobile application and web-based platform for retail investors to buy government securities. The launch of the app for investing in government securities is an important milestone at a time when the country is seeing a surge in digital payments.

 

  • IKEA to launch Better Air Now initiative: Ikea plans to turn rice straw, a rice harvesting residue that is traditionally burned and contributes heavily to air pollution, into a new renewable material source for Ikea products. Its main aim is to take action on one of the largest, global environmental issues by launching its “Better Air Now” initiative.

 

  • Mahindra opened its electric technology manufacturing hub in Bengaluru: Mahindra Electric Mobility has opened its electric technology manufacturing hub set up with an investment of Rs 100 crore in Bengaluru. The manufacturing hub is the next step by Mahindra in the electric technology space to increase local value addition and bring affordable electric vehicle (EV) technology to redefine mobility in India.

 

  • Government to release Rs 75 coin to mark 75th anniversary of Tricolour hoisting by Bose: The government has announced it will release a Rs 75 commemorative coin on the occasion of 75th anniversary of hoisting of Tricolour for the first time by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at Port Blair.

 

  • Google to Increase a Transparency Policy For Buying Political Adverts Ahead of Indian Elections: Google is planning to implement a policy in India that was used during the US mid-term elections, where it tried to put in place a control over who is spending on political advertisements.

 

  • IndusInd Bank launches Nexxt Credit Card in India with buttons: IndusInd Bank has launched the IndusInd Bank Nexxt Credit Card - the first interactive Credit Card in India with buttons, which provides customers with the flexibility of three payment options at a Point of Sale (POS) terminal - Credit, Converting Transactions into EMIs with 4 tenure options (6, 12, 18 & 24 months) or using accumulated Reward Points, by simply pushing a button on the card.

 

  • Twitter launches PowerOf18 campaign to boost youth engagement for 2019 polls: Twitter India has launched a new initiative titled PowerOf18, aimed at encouraging the youth to contribute in public debates and participate in civic engagement for the 2019 general elections.

 

  • India overtakes US to become 2nd largest smartphone market behind China: India has overtaken the United States to become the second largest smartphone market in the July-September 2018 quarter. Recovering from a slump in the previous financial quarter, India grew its mobile phone shipments by 23% from the previous year.

 

  • Cabinet approves setting up of Central Tribal University in Andhra Pradesh: The Union cabinet has approved the “Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh” will be set up in Relli village of Vizianagaram District as provided under the Thirteenth Schedule to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

 

  • India participates in China's First International Import Expo: India will participate in China's first international import expo in Shanghai as part of its efforts to reduce the over USD 51 billion trade deficit with the neighbouring nation. Leaders from 18 countries, including Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will participate in the six-day mega event, which is aimed at exhibiting China's import potential.

 

  • Reliance Industries receives India's first LC payment via blockchain: HSBC has executed India's first financial transaction using blockchain for a deal involving an export by Reliance Industries to an American client. The blockchain-enabled letter of credit transaction was for a shipment from the Mukesh Ambani-led company to US-based Tricon Energy, and helped reduce the time required to process the documents.

 

  • RBI initiates process to set up digital Public Credit Registry: The Reserve Bank of India has initiated steps to set up a wide-based digital Public Credit Registry (PCR) to capture details of all borrowers, including wilful defaulters and also the pending legal suits in order to check financial delinquencies.

 

  • Indian Coast Guard launches new Offshore patrol vessel ICGS Varaha: The Indian Coast Guard has launched a new offshore patrol vessel called ICGS Varaha from a corporate shipyard near Chennai. This is the third in a series of seven similar ships to be handed over to the Coast Guard. The timeline for the delivery of all the vessels is March 2021.

 

  • India moves up to 77th World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index: India has jumped 23 ranks in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index 2018 to 77. The Index ranks 190 countries across 10 indicators ranged across the lifecycle of a business from “starting a business” to “resolving insolvency”.

 

  • Government Promulgates Ordinance to amend Companies Act, 2013: The government has promulgated an ordinance to amend the companies Act, 2013. The President has assented to the promulgation of the Companies Ordinance, 2018 wherein various provisions related to change in financial year, re-introducing of commencement certificate, registered office, conversion of company, and deposit have been discussed.

 

  • India to get U.S. sanctions waiver on oil trade with Iran: The US has agreed to let eight countries - including Japan, India and South Korea - keep buying Iranian oil after it re-imposes sanctions on the OPEC producer to choke the Islamic Republic’s biggest source of income and pressure it to renegotiate a new nuclear deal.

 

  • ICICI Bank launched co-branded credit card with Amazon pay: ICICI Bank has announced the launch of a co-branded credit card in an exclusive partnership with “Amazon Pay”, the online payment platform of the global e-commerce company Amazon. Christened, “Amazon Pay ICICI Bank Credit Card”, the card offers best in the industry rewards points programme for the digitally savvy customers.

 

  • India tops as Asia’s most investment savvy economy: India is Asia's most investment savvy economy and more than two-thirds of the country's affluent class prefer to use various investment products to achieve their financial goals and greater social mobility.

 

Key Updates: October 2018

 

  • RBI to inject Rs 40,000 crores into banking system via OMO in November 2018: The Reserve Bank of India will inject Rs 40,000 crore in the banking system via open market operations in November through purchase of government securities as it looks to meet festive season demand for funds.

 

  • India doubles its presence in QS Asia Ranking 2019: Indian higher education institutes have doubled their presence in the 2019 edition of the QS Asia Rankings, but none made it to the top 20. The National University of Singapore has been assessed as Asia’s best university. IIT-Bombay remains the highest ranked institution.

 

  • BEML received Top Challengers and Best Mining Equipment Seller Award: Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), a Mini Ratna Public Sector Undertaking, under the Ministry of Defence, received the prestigious “Top Challengers Award 2018” for the excellent performance during financial year 2017-18 and Best Seller in Crawler Equipment- Dozers and Rigid Dump Truck segment for mining sectors.

 

  • Roopam Sharma Won World Health Summit Startup Award In Berlin: Roopam Sharma, a 23-year old Indian scientist, won the World Health Summit Startup award, 2018 for his invention, Manovue – the world’s first intelligent personal assisting system for the visually impaired. Sharma was awarded at an annual event of the health summit in Berlin recently.

 

  • India To Become Third Largest Aviation Market: India, currently the world’s seventh largest aviation market, is set to be among top three aviation market by 2024 according to global aviation body IATA.

 

  • Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank, Dena Bank to set up internal committees to merge operations: Bank of Baroda (BoB), Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank will be merged to create the country’s third largest lender as part of efforts to revive credit and economic growth.

 

  • India ranked 58th in WEF’s Global Competitiveness Index 2018: India has been ranked as the 58th most competitive economy on the World Economic Forum's global competitiveness index for 2018, which was topped by the US. India's rank rose by five places from 2017, the largest gain among G20 economies.

 

  • OYO Hotels launches operations in UAE: OYO has launched the operations with over 10, full inventory franchised and operated hotels in Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah in the UAE.

 

  • Structural reforms making India resilient to global shocks: Structural reforms in areas like taxation and bankruptcy are helping the Indian economy in building resilience to global shocks and maintain a robust growth rate despite challenges.

 

  • India-Azerbaijan sign protocol on trade and economic, science and technology cooperation: India-Azerbaijan has signed protocol on trade and economic, science and at the 5th meeting of India-Azerbaijan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade and Economic, Science and Technology Cooperation which concluded in New Delhi. During the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on present economic situation and reviewed the current status of bilateral trade. Trade turnover between India and Azerbaijan from January to August this year was 657.9 million dollars.

 

  • Singapore tops World Bank first Human Capital Index: The World Bank has unveiled a new system to rank countries based on their success in developing “human capital”. The index ranks 157 countries based on their education and health outcomes and the impact they are having on productivity. Singapore topped the list, followed by South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.

 

  • Indus Towers Wins Deming Prize for 2018: Indus Towers, world's largest telecom tower company has won the Deming Prize for 2018, being the first Indian company in the service sector and the fifth in the world to achieve this. The Deming Prize was bestowed on Indus Towers for distinctive performance improvements through the application of Total Quality Management (TQM) practices.

 

  • WEF launches Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution in India: The World Economic Forum has launched its new centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in India, which would aim to bring together the government and business leaders to pilot emerging technology policies.

 

  • India to be the 11th wealthiest: India will be the world's 11th wealthiest nation, ahead of countries such as Switzerland, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Taiwan. India's personal wealth will grow to $5 trillion by 2022, up from $3 trillion in 2017.

 

  • India's aluminium makers win Japan sales in market shake-up: Indian aluminium makers including Hindalco Industries and Vedanta Ltd are boosting sales to Japan as U.S. sanctions against Russia’s Rusal and import tariffs shake up traditional supply routes.

 

  • NASSCOM unveils Centre of Excellence for IoT in Haryana: In collaboration with the Haryana government, Indian IT industry's apex body Nasscom has launched its Centre of Excellence for Internet of Things (CoE - IoT). The aim of Nasscom's Centre of Excellence is to act as a perfect collaboration for innovation and high-end technologies.

 

  • India ranked 28th among 73 countries in govt e-payment adoption: 2018 Visa Survey: India’s ranking on the government's adoption of e-payments has moved up to 28th in 2018, from 36th in 2011. The country is one of the top-performing countries in terms of citizen-to-government (C2G), business-to-government (B2G) and government-to-business (G2B) transactions.

 

  • Several Indian companies debarred by World Bank in 2018: The World Bank released the World Bank Group Sanctions System Annual Report FY18, which aims to combat fraud and corruption in projects and prevent wrongdoing from happening. It also aims to reduce risk and help bring more private investment into developing countries.

 

  • Mukesh Ambani emerges richest Indian for 11th consecutive year: Reliance Industries’ Chairman Mukesh Ambani has emerged as the richest Indian for the 11th consecutive year with a net worth of USD 47.3 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

 

  • Project Utkrisht launched by Indian Railways: Indian Railways has plans to develop 640 Utkrisht rakes as part of upgradation of its mail/express trains in the next two years at a cost of Rs 4 billion. Its aim to develop 140 rakes by March 2019 after which we are planning to roll out 500 more by March 2020.

 

  • SIDBI Launches National Level Entrepreneurship Awareness Campaign “Udyam Abhilasha”: On the occasion of Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi i.e. October 02, 2018, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) had launched a National Level Entrepreneurship Awareness Campaign, Udyam Abhilasha in 115 Aspirational Districts identified by NITI Aayog in 28 States and reaching to around 15,000 youth.

 

  • BSE becomes first stock exchange to launch commodity derivative contracts: BSE has launched gold and silver derivative contracts and has applied for the launch of crude oil and copper contracts with Sebi.

 

Key Updates: September 2018

 

  • Finance Minister launches Jan Dhan Darshak app: The Department of Financial Services (DFS) under the Ministry of Finance along with the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has jointly developed a mobile application called “Jan Dhan Darshak” as a part of financial inclusion (FI) initiative. It will act as a locator app guiding common people to find financial service touch point at a given location in the country.

 

  • Union Finance Minister launches web portal for MSME banking credit space: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched a transformative initiative in MSME credit space. The web portal www.psbloansin59minutes.com to enable micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to get in-principle approval of loans within hour without need for branch visit.

 

  • Finance Minister launches Financial Inclusion Index: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched the Financial Inclusion Index in New Delhi. The index will be a measure of access and usage of a basket of formal financial products and services that includes savings, remittances, credit, insurance and pension products.

 

  • Cabinet approves National Digital Communications Policy-2018: The Union Cabinet Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018) and re-designation of the Telecom Commission as the "Digital Communications Commission”.

 

  • World Bank approves framework to support India’s transition to high-middle income country: World Bank Board of Executive Directors has endorsed an ambitious five-year Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for India which aims to support India's transition to a higher middle-income country by addressing some of its key development priorities such as resource efficient and inclusive growth, job creation and building its human capital.

 

  • PM Modi lays foundation stone of world-class convention centre in Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of India International Convention and Expo Centre (IICC) in Dwarka, New Delhi. The facilities provided at the centre will be on a par with the best in the world in size and quality, offering setting for international and national events, meetings, conferences, exhibitions and trade shows, the ministry said in a statement.

 

  • SEBI reduces KYC norms for Foreign Portfolio Investors: Securities and Exchange Board of India has revised know-your-client (KYC) requirements norms for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs). The revision follows widespread fears from several quarters that the earlier norms would lead to overseas funds exiting the Indian market.

 

  • Government proposes merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank: The government decided to merge three public sector banks (PSBs) to create the third largest lender of the country, as part of efforts to clean up the country's banking system. The merger move comes in the wake of the government’s Alternative Mechanism, after consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, recommending the amalgamation of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank.

 

  • Government takes steps to check rising Current Account Deficit, fall in rupee: The Modi government has decided to take an array of steps to check the rising Current Account Deficit (CAD), and the fall in rupee. The steps include removal of withholding tax on rupee-denominated bonds known as Masala bonds issued till March next year, relaxation for Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI), to cut down non-essential imports and also increase exports.

 

  • CCEA approves continuation of Capacity Development Scheme: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved continuation of the Capacity Development Scheme for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20 with an outlay of Rs 2,250 crore. The Capacity Development Scheme is an Ongoing Central Sector Scheme of MoSPI. The overall objective of the scheme is to augment infrastructural, technical as well as manpower resources for making available credible and timely Official Statistics for policy makers and public at large.

 

  • NITI Aayog, Intel and TIFR collaborate to set up Model International Center for Transformative AI: NITI Aayog, Intel and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, TIFR are collaborating to set up a Model International Center for Transformative Artificial Intelligence, ICTAI. This collaboration aims to bring together fundamental and applied research, innovation and technology development to solve important problems.

 

  • India, France ink agreement to collaborate for Gaganyaan mission: France, India could ink a pact with Russia for sharing of expertise on ISRO's ambitious human space mission project 'Gaganyaan' during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to New Delhi next month. The human mission project envisages sending three Indians to space by 2022.

 

  • Government launches National Mission on GeM: Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu launched the National Mission on Government e-Marketplace (GeM) for increasing awareness and accelerating the use of (GeM). It is aimed at creating awareness about GeM, train the buyers and sellers, get them registered in GeM and increase the procurement through GeM.

 

  • Google launches new search engine for scientific community: Google has launched a new search engine for the scientific community that will help them make sense of millions of datasets present online. The service, called Dataset Search, will help scientists, data journalists and geeks find the data required for their work and their stories - or simply to satisfy their intellectual curiosity.

 

  • Lockheed Martin, Tata JV to make F-16 jet wings: The wings of Lockheed Martin and India's TASL had agreed to move the entire manufacturing base of the F-16 Block 70 to India in anticipation of a sizable order for the fighter jet by the Indian armed forces.

 

  • Asia Index launches index to measure the performance of private banks: The S&P BSE Private Banks Index is designed to provide market participants with a transparent and rules-based benchmark that measures the performance of private banks listed in India.

 

  • RBI tightens ombudsman scheme: The Reserve Bank of India has tightened the banking ombudsman scheme with the objective to strengthen the grievance redressal mechanism for customers.

 

  • Mauritius remains top source of FDI into India in 2017-18: Mauritius remained the top source of foreign direct investment into India in 2017-18 followed by Singapore, whereas total FDI stood at USD 37.36 billion in the financial year, a marginal rise over the USD 36.31 billion recorded in the previous fiscal.

 

  • Prime Minister launches India Post Payments Bank: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the IPPB at Talkatora Stadium in Delhi. A payments bank operates on a small scale; it carries out most banking operations but cannot give loans or issue credit cards directly.

 

Key Updates: August 2018

 

  • Government imposes 25% safeguard duty on import of solar cells from china: Government has imposed 25% safeguard duty on solar cells imports from China and Malaysia for two years to protect domestic manufacturers from steep rise in the inbound shipments of the product.

 

  • NABARD sanctions Rs 772 crore for Water projects: NABARD has sanctioned Rs 722 crore for eight water projects in the rural areas of Haryana, which will supply water to 256 villages and 72 hamlets, are in progress.

 

  • Japan pips China as World's 2nd biggest stock market: Japan became the world’s second-largest stock market, overtaking China. The Japanese stocks were worth dollar 6.17 trillion, while Chinese stocks lagged behind with dollar 6.09 trillion.

 

  • Startup India launches startup academia alliance program: Startup India has launched Startup Academia Alliance Programme for academic scholars and startups, which aims to reduce the gap between scientific research and its industrial applications, and increase the efficacy of technologies for wide impact.

 

  • Government appoints S Gurumurthy and Satish Marathe as part-time Directors on RBI Board: The government has appointed journalist S Gurumurthy and Satish Marathe patron of Sahakar Bharati as part-time directors on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) board after an approval from the appointments committee of the cabinet.

 

  • Rupee for first time crashes historic low of Rs. 70 mark against US dollar: The Indian rupee hit the 70-per dollar mark for the first time, tumbling to a record low, as a Turkey-led rout in emerging-market currencies intensified losses. The rupee slipped as much as 0.2 percent to 70.08 per dollar in Mumbai and is down almost 9 percent this year in Asia’s worst performance.

 

  • NPCI launches UPI 2.0 with overdraft facility: The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launches Unified Payments Interface (UPI) 2.0, the new digital payment platform comes with a wide range of new features supported by all major Indian banks including State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, RBL Bank, YES Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank, Federal Bank and HSBC.

 

  • Tech Mahindra signs 4 year deal with US football team: IT firm Tech Mahindra has signed a four-year technology partnership deal with US-based football team Jacksonville Jaguars. The Indian company would provide modern tools like artificial intelligence and data analytics to enhance experience of the team's fans and front office efficiencies.

 

  • HAL becomes first PSU to transact on TReDS Platform: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has become the first public sector enterprise to make a transaction on the “TReDS platform”. TReDS is an online electronic institutional mechanism for facilitating the financing of trade receivables of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) through multiple financiers.

 

  • India revises F19 growth 7.2% in 2018-19 down from earlier projection of 7.4%: India Ratings and Research has revised downwards its forecast for the growth of the Indian economy in 2018-19 to 7.2% from the 7.4% projected earlier.

 

  • Public sector banks to come out of PCA by year end: Union government expects the public sector banks to come out of the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework by the end of this year and will provide them adequate capital when required.

 

  • Strong wage policies needed to promote inclusive growth in India: The International Labour Organisation (ILO) released a report named “India Wage Report: Wage policies for decent work and inclusive growth”, the country's economy in the past two decades has seen an annual average GDP rate of 7 percent but low pay and inequality persist. India's economic growth has resulted in fall in poverty, moderate change in employment patterns with a growing proportion of workers in services and industry.

 

  • Reliance becomes 1st Indian company to hit Rs 8 trillion market cap: Reliance Industries (RIL), Mukesh Ambani became the first Indian company to cross Rs 8 trillion in market capitalization after the company’s shares witnessed a record rally in 2018.

 

  • World Bank launches first global Blockchain bond: The World Bank launched bond-i (blockchain operated new debt instrument), to be created, allocated, transferred and managed through its life cycle using distributed ledger technology.

 

  • India's Largest Business Incubator Bhamashah Technohub Launched In Jaipur: The Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje launched India's largest business incubator “the Bhamashah Techno Hub” in Jaipur, that will provide end-to-end support to startups, ranging from infrastructure, technology, angel funding, access to venture capitalists, mentorship, exposure to national and international organisations and experts and much more.

 

  • Google launches new platform for Indic language publishers: Search engine Google has unveiled a Project named “Navlekha” to bring India’s 135,000 Indic language publications online in a hassle-free manner for Indian users.

 

Key Updates: July 2018

 

  • Govt forms panel to upgrade norms for states and districts level GDP, Economic data collection: The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) has set up a committee to upgrade the norms for computation of economic data at states and districts level in the backdrop of plans to revise the base year for National Accounts or GDP calculation.

 

  • Income Tax Department launches “Instant” PAN Card Service: The Income Tax Department has launched an “instant” Aadhaar-based PAN allotment service for individuals seeking the unique identity for the first time with free of cost. 

 

  • BSE to delists over 222 companies: India's biggest stock exchange in terms of daily turnover BSE has delisted as many as 220 companies as trading in their shares has remained suspended for more than six months. The move comes at a time when authorities are clamping down on shell companies - listed as well as unlisted-for being allegedly used as conduits for illicit fund flows.

 

  • RBI issued license to Bank of China to operate in India: The Reserve Bank of India issued license to Bank of China to operate in India, the commitment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Chinese President Xi Jinping to allow Bank of China to set up branches in India.

 

  • YES Bank gets SEBI nod to launch mutual fund business: YES Bank, the country’s fourth largest private sector lender has received a final regulatory approval from the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to start mutual fund business. This approval is subsequent to the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI).

 

  • 25 countries in Global Bank listed as “High risk jurisdictions”: China, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Cyprus and Mauritius, along with 21 other countries have recognized as “high-risk jurisdictions” by global banks acting as custodians for foreign funds which comprise the largest group of investors in the Indian stock market.

 

  • CBIC launches GST “Verify App”: The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has launched a mobile app “GST Verify” to protect interest of consumers and provides the details of the person/ company collecting GST.

 

  • Reliance Industries becomes India's largest taxpayer in the private sector: Reliance Industries has become the India's largest payer of Goods and Services Tax (GST), Excise and Customs Duty, and Income Tax in the private sector.

 

  • NSG becomes 1st central force to opt for e-ticketing: The National Security Guard became the first central paramilitary force to opt for e-ticketing instead of the railway warrant under an agreement signed with the IRCTC, a statement from the catering and tourism arm of the railways.

 

  • Mark Zuckerberg becomes the 3rd richest person in the world: Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg has become the world's third richest person with 81.6 billion dollars wealth, according to Bloomberg.

 

  • Asian Development Bank approves USD 503M worth lining project in Bihar: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 503-million lining project of the Son canal in Shahabad-Bhojpur region of Bihar which would benefit the agriculture sector immensely in the region.

 

  • India and China agreed to reduce tariffs on Indian medicines: India and China had agreed on reducing tariffs on Indian medicines, especially cancer drugs, which are in great demand in China as they are much cheaper than their western counterparts.

 

  • India and South Korea agree on framework to improve trade: India and South Korea has signed a joint statement agreeing to discuss an “early harvest” package for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) aimed at identifying key areas for enhanced trade between the two countries.

 

  • India beats France to become world's sixth largest economy: India has become the world's sixth-biggest economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), pushing France to the seventh place.

 

  • India becomes 69th shareholder of European development bank: India has become 69th shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), paving the way for more joint investment with Indian companies across the banks.

 

  • India becomes vice-chair of Asia Pacific Region of WCO: India has become the vice-chair (regional head) of the Asia Pacific region of the World Customs Organization (WCO) for a period of two years to June, 2020.

 

  • IMF cuts India’s economic growth forecast to 7.3% from 7.4% in 2018: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slightly downgrading India's GDP growth forecast by 10 basis points to 7.3% in 2018 and by 30 basis points to 7.5% in 2019, making it the fastest growing country among major economies.

 

  • India remains fastest growing major economy till 2019-20: According to Asian Development Bank (ADB), India will continue to be the fastest growing major economy, ahead of China, with a growth rate of 7.3 per cent in 2018-19 and 7.6 per cent in 2019-20.

 

  • Banks and financial institutions sign agreement to fast track bad loan resolution: Twenty-four banks led by the State Bank of India signed the intercreditor agreement (ICA) framework to speed up the resolution of stressed assets which are under Rs. 500 crore bracket.

 

  • Parliament passes Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018: Parliament passed a Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018,  that seeks to prevent big economic offenders like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi from fleeing the country and evading the legal process.

 

  • Invest India, Business France signed MoU To Promote Investment: Invest India and Business France have signed an MoU to promote investment facilitation and cooperation between startups of India and France. It will be to facilitate direct foreign investment by providing practical investment information to enterprises and support the companies pursuing those opportunities which contribute positively to economic growth of the two countries.

 

  • India places 11th at kearney FDI Confidence Index: India placed 11th position in the 2018 at Kearney FDI Confidence Index, down from 8th in 2017 and 9th in 2016.

 

  • EIL launches Electric Vehicle charging and battery swapping infrastructure: Essel Infraprojects has launched electric vehicle charging and battery swapping infrastructure to invest Rs 1750 crore in phased manner with the launch of 250 charging stations, 1000 battery swapping stations in 20 cities of Uttar Pradesh.

 

Key Updates: June 2018

 

  • India increases its ranking in global real estate transparency index: India has increased its ranking by one place to 35th in the Global Real Estate Transparency Index, driven by policy reforms and liberalization of FDI rules in property as well as retail sectors.

 

  • Lawrence Haddad and Dr. David Nabarro win World Food Prize 2018: Lawrence Haddad, who is a British economist and food policy researcher, and Dr. David Nabarro, who has worked with the World Health to improving the availability of nutritious food for pregnant women and children in an effort to reduce the effects of malnutrition in developing countries.

 

  • AIIB to invest $200 million into an NIIF for development of infrastructure projects: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is likely to invest USD 200 million in a fund of funds set up by India to take interest in infra projects.

 

  • ADNOC ties up with Saudi Aramco to build Ratnagiri Refinery: The World’s biggest oil producer, Saudi Aramco and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly develop and build an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra.

 

  • Power distribution company BYPL signs MoU with Finnish company: Power distribution company BYPL has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Business Finland, a Finnish government agency, for collaborative activities in different areas, including energy efficiency and electric vehicles.

 

  • Arijit Basu appoints as the SBI’s new Managing Director: The Reserve Bank of India has appointed Arijit Basu as the Managing Director of the State bank of India. He had to fill the position that fell vacant following the elevation of Rajnish Kumar as the chairman.

 

  • SEBI approves Buyback Regulations and Changes Timeline for IPO Pricing: The Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI) has decided to approve the amendments to buyback and takeover regulations and reduced the timeline for announcing the price band of initial public offering (IPO) from 5 to 2 days. SEBI had made a proposal to bring changes based on suggestions made by the regulator’s Primary Market Advisory Committee (PMAC).

 

  • NASSCOM launches Women “Wizards Rule Tech programme”: National Association of Software & Services Companies (NASSCOM) launched “Women Wizards Rule Tech programme” to increase the number of women in senior levels in the Information Technology (IT) industry and to support women who are moving up the career ladder, while also paving the way for potential leaders of the future.

 

  • B Sriram appoints as the IDBI new Managing Director and CEO: State Bank of India's (SBI) Managing Director B. Sriram was appointed as the IDBI Bank's CEO and managing director on an interim basis for a period of three months.

 

  • Government expands BPO scheme for rural youth to 1 lakh seats: Indian Government planned to enhance its BPO promotion scheme to one lakh seats, and will also set up India's largest National data centre in Bhopal.

 

  • Liberalised remittance scheme - RBI alters “relative” definition to check outward remittances: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has narrowed the definition of relatives to check the flow of funds under the “maintenance of close relative” category of “Liberalised remittance scheme” and prevent misuse of facility. Hence, funds under this category can be sent only to immediate relatives such as parents, spouses, children and their spouses.

 

  • TCS becomes first Indian company to cross Rs 7 Trillion Market Cap: Tata Consultancy Services, the largest IT outsourcing company created history to became the first Indian company to close the trading session with a market valuation surged past the Rs 7- lakh crore mark, making it the first company to achieve this milestone.

 

  • Paytm Tops By Volume and Axis Bank Tops By Value in mobile banking: At 17.2%, Axis Bank commands the largest value share of mobile banking transactions but it’s Paytm that tops volumes with 22%.

 

  • Government launches Rs 500-crore credit enhancement fund: The government has decided to launch a Rs 500-crore credit enhancement fund will help in upgrading credit ratings of bonds to facilitate infrastructure investments by insurance and pension funds.

 

  • “Atal Bhujal Yojana” scheme: World Bank has approved Rs 6000 crores for Atal Bhujal Yojana scheme (Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation) which aims to improve groundwater management in priority areas in the country through community participation.

 

  • Defence minister approves Equipment Acquisition proposals for Defence forces: Nirmala Sitharaman, which is a Defence Minister approved equipment Acquisition proposals valued at over Rs 5500 crore to strengthen Indian defence while encouraging indigenisation and self-reliance in the field of Defence Procurements, the DAC approved procurement of 12 High Power Radars for the Indian Air Force under “Buy (Indian) IDDM” category.

 

  • RBI to setting up Public Credit Registry to curb bad loans: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had decided to set up a public credit registry, an information repository contains all loan information of individuals and corporate borrowers. A credit repository will help banks to differentiate between a bad and a good borrower and offer attractive interest rates to good borrowers and higher interest rates to bad borrowers.

 

  • M K Jain appointed as new RBI deputy governor: The new fourth deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India appointed namely, Mahesh Kumar Jain experienced banker, MD & CEO of IDBI Bank since March 2017, RBI for a three year term.

 

  • India gets first shipment of cheapest LNG from Gazprom Russia: After US, India received cheapest Liquefied Natural Gas under a long-term deal as Russia began shipping natural gas at the cost of $7 per million British thermal unit(mmBtu) and aimed at transforming the country into a gas-based economy. Every year $25 billion worth gas will come to India and nearly $1.5 billion worth of LNG will be bought from Russia in next 20 years.

 

  • Union Home minister launches “Online analytical tool”: Union Home Minister launched a web based analytical tool to facilitate closer monitoring of the flow and utilization of foreign contributions received by various organizations registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. This tool has analytical features to conduct big data mining and data exploration and helps to monitor decision-makers in various departments of Government to scrutinize source of foreign funds and gives them capacity to take data-driven and evidence-based decisions regarding the compliance of the provisions of the FCRA, 2010.

 

  • Income Tax Department launches New Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme: Income Tax Department had launched a new reward scheme titled “Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme which aims to encouraging people to give information about benami transactions and properties as well as income earned on such properties by such hidden investors and beneficial owners.

 

Key Updates: May 2018

 

  • Baba Ramdev's Patanjali ties up with BSNL for Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards: After becoming India's most trusted Fast Moving Consumer Goods brand, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev's Patanjali entered in the telecom sector. At an event, Baba Ramdev launched Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards, in alliance with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). In addition to attractive data and call package, the card also comes with the medical and life insurance covers of Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, respectively. However, the covers could only be availed in the case of road accident.

 

  • Anubrata Biswas as MD & CEO of Airtel payment Bank: Airtel payment bank has appointed Anubrata Biswas as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. He has more than 17 years experience in the Banking sector. Earlier, he was the joint General Manager and Retail Business Head in South India for ICICI Bank.

 

  • Air India Express ranked second cheapest airlines in global: In India Indigo and Air India Express have been ranked Low-cost carriers among the top five cheapest airlines in the world, according to Global Flight Pricing report.

 

  • ICICI Bank launches innovation lab: ICICI Bank has introduced innovation labs and centres, taking the digital route for growth, by partnering fintech and offering support to them through a Rs 100-crore innovation fund.

 

  • India receives largest remittance in the world: India was the largest remittance-receiving country in the world, with migrant workers from the country sending home $69 billion in 2017, according to a report which said remittances to the Asia-Pacific region amounted to $256 billion last year.

 

  • India’s First stock exchange recognized as DOSM: The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the oldest stock exchange in Asia has become the first stock exchange in India to be designated as a ‘Designated Offshore Securities Market’ (DOSM) from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

 

  • India’s economy likely to rebound at 7.3 percent this fiscal: Indian Economic growth is expected to strengthen to 7.3 percent in financial year 2018-19 (April -March) from 6.6 per cent in fiscal 2017-18 and further to 7.6 percent in 2019-20 on the back of robust activity from construction, manufacturing, and services sectors.

 

  • India projected to be fastest growing economies for coming decade: India has the potential to be the world's fastest growing economy over the coming decade and is projected to grow at 7.9 percent annually, ahead of China and the US, according to a Harvard University report in May 2018 at New York.

 

  • NITI Aayog inks to collaborate with IBM to develop crop yield prediction model using Artificial Intelligence: NITI Aayog and IBM signed a Statement to develop a crop yield prediction model using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide real time advisory to farmers in Aspirational Districts. The scope of this project is to introduce and make available climate-aware cognitive farming techniques and identifying systems of crop monitoring, early warning on pest/disease outbreak based on advanced AI innovations.

 

  • India inks $200 million loan agreement with World Bank for POSHAN Abhiyan: India signed an agreement with the World Bank for a USD 200-million loan for the National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyan) across 315 districts of the country to achieve its goal of reducing stunting in children aged 0-6 years from 38.4 percent to 25 percent by 2022. The Nutrition Mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2018 in Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan.

 

  • September 2019 climate summit announced by UN Chief: The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced a climate summit set to take place in September 2019 in New York to review the Paris Agreement commitments. The announcement was made at the opening ceremony of the 37th session of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

  • Walmart acquires 77 percent equity stake in Flipkart: The world’s largest retailer Walmart acquires a 77 percent in Bengaluru-based e-commerce holding Flipkart Group for $16 billion. Walmart agreed to buy a controlling stake in India’s biggest online retailer, striking a blow against rival Amazon.com.

 

Key Updates: April 2018

 

  • Debjani Ghosh has taken charge as the President of NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies), succeeding R Chandrashekhar. She is the former MD of Intel South Asia. She will the first woman to head NASSCOM since it was founded 30 years back.

 

  • Jio Payments Bank Limited has commenced operations as a payments bank with effect from April 3, 2018. Jio Payments Bank is a 70:30 joint venture between Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries and the State Bank of India (SBI). H. Srikrishnan has been appointed as the MD and CEO of Jio Payments Bank. Payment Banks are part of differentiated model of Indian Banking. These banks can accept deposit up to 1 lakh per customer, can facilitate payments, issue services like ATM cards, net banking, mobile banking and can also sell third party products like insurance. Apart from basic regulatory and statutory differences, the major difference in terms of operations for Payment banks is restriction to offer loans to customers.

 

  • India has surpassed Japan and has become the world’s second largest producer of crude steel in February 2018, according to Steel Users Federation of India (SUFI). China is the current largest producer of crude steel in the world.

 

  • SBI Life Insurance Company Limited has appointed Sanjeev Nautiyal as its new MD and CEO. He succeeds Arijit Basu as MD & CEO of SBI Life Insurance. Mr. Nautiyal joined State Bank of India in 1985 as a probationary officer and has served many important roles in his more than 30 year career. His last assignment was as Chief General Manager of Ahmedabad Circle of State Bank of India.

 

  • Chandra Shekhar Ghosh has been re-appointed as managing director and CEO of Bandhan Bank for a three year term from 10th July 2018. Mr. Ghosh is also the founder of Bandhan Bank. With an asset base of Rs 30,236 crore as on FY 17, Bandhan Bank, the latest entrant to Indian Banking System, occupies the seventeenth position among private sector banks and the thirty-eighth position among all banks.

 

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to use Gross Domestic Product (GDP) instead of Gross Value Added (GVA) to measure economic activity in India. GVA gives the picture of the state of economic activity from the producers' side or the supply side while GDP provides the picture from the consumers' side or the demand side.

 

  • According to a statement by Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Indian economy would expand by 7.3 % in fiscal year (FY) 2018 and 7.6 % in the next fiscal year. In ADB’s Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018 report, it stated that the reduction in growth to 6.6 % in FY 2017 was partially due to demonetization.

 

  • The  13th edition of   ‘India Business Leader Awards’ (IBLA) was held in New Delhi. The names of the winners in different categories are: Outstanding Company of the Year Award -Motherson Sumi; Outstanding Business Leader of the Year award - Kumar Mangalam Birla; Most Promising Company of the Year award - RBL Bank; Brand of the year - Motilal Oswal; Brand of the Year (Jury special commendation) - Vicks; State of the Year - Chhattisgarh; Lifetime Achievement award - Arundhati Bhattacharya; Hall Of Fame - Late Deshbandhu Gupta; Outstanding Contribution to Brand India - India Blind Cricket team; Young Turks Startup of the Year - Blackbuck; Young Turk of the Year - Zomato; The Disruptors - JIO; Emerging Disruptors - Hector Beverages; Entertainment Leader of the Year - Ranveer Singh; CNBC Asia's India Business Leader of the Year - Ajay Piramal; CNBC Asia's India Disruptor of the Year - Keshav Murugesh; CNBC Asia's Corporate Social Responsibility - Adar Poonawalla; CNBC Asia's India Talent Management - Rana Kapoor.

 

Key Updates: March 2018

 

  • Invited by India, representatives from 50 countries are gathering for a WTO mini-ministerial meeting to be held between March 19-20. Though without a pre-announced agenda, this meet is aimed at facilitating an exchange of views on various challenges facing the multilateral trading system. This will be the second WTO mini-ministerial meeting being hosted by India, after the first in 2009.

 

  • WPI inflation at 2.48 % in February is the lowest in seven months. On the basis of Wholesale Price Index (WPI), inflation was 2.84 % in January and 5.51 % in February 2017. The previous low level was recorded in July at 1.88 %.

 

  • India’s trade deficit narrowed to $12 billion in February, its lowest in five months. But American President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum could impact it for worse in coming months. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is hosting a mini-ministerial meeting of members of the World Trade Organization next week  which is expected to discuss the impact of Mr. Trump’s decision.

 

  • Walmart Stores Inc is in the final stage of negotiations to become the largest shareholder in Flipkart, India’s biggest online retail company. This will pitch Walmart, the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer into a direct face-off with another giant American retailer- Amazon. 
    Walmart is expected to buy about 20-26% stake in Flipkart.

 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has barred all lenders from issuing letters of undertaking (LoU)- a form of credit guarantee which is supposed to be at the center of fraud in public sector bank, PNB. A LoU is a promise by the issuing bank to pay in case of default by the one on whose behalf it was issued. 

 

  • As per the government data, Industrial production growth rose to 7.5% in January from 7.1% in the previous month on the back of strong manufacturing. The simultaneously released Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed a further decline in retail inflation to 4.44% in February from 5.1% in the previous month. 
    With accelerating growth and softer inflation, experts are foreseeing signs of industry revival.

 

  • Tata Sons has sold a 1.48% stake in Tata Consultancy Services (its flagship IT services firm) to raise Rs 8,127 crore ($1.25 billion). The sale is seen as a move to settle debts and invest in group firms across sectors such as auto and steel. 

 

  • India and France has signed 14 key agreements in strategic areas of security, nuclear energy, education, environment, urban development and railways.
    Traditionally both the countries have enjoyed great bilateral relations. France is the major supplier of military equipment and nuclear fuel to India.

 

  • Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) was launched by National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog on the occasion of International Women’s Day. This platform is meant to help women in scaling their initiatives through mentorship, partnerships and help in strategy formulation.

 

  • National Company Law Tribunal has admitted Aircel’s bankruptcy petition and directed that directors, promoters and chairman and managing director of the company should not leave the country without permission until further notice. Aircel, along with Dishnet Wireless and Aircel Cellular, had filed for bankruptcy in the NCLT Mumbai bench after it failed to reach an agreement with lenders. It owes ?15,000 crore to lenders and ?35,000 crore to operational creditors.

 

  • The Union Cabinet has approved two key measures in telecom sector to enhance ease of doing business and attract investments. It includes revising the limit of the cap for spectrum holding for Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to aid consolidation of telecom licensees and deferred payment liabilities of spectrum auction of TSPs to increase cash flow for telecom service providers in immediate timeframe and provide them some relief.

 

  • The Centre has approved last week the proposal to set up the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA). It is intended to serve as an independent regulator for the auditing profession. The move comes after the discovery of multi-crore fraud at state run Punjab National Bank. As proposed, NFRA can investigate into professional matters or misconduct of any member or a firm of chartered accountants, can issue summons and examine on oath, inspect any book, registers and documents of any professional/firms probed and impose penalties and even powers to debar a member of a firm.

 

  • The seasonally-adjusted Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index fell from 51.7 in January to 47.8 in February, its lowest level since August. While a reading above 50 implies an expansion while one below 50 denotes a contraction.

 

  • The Centre has set up a steering committee under the chairmanship of the Economic Affairs Secretary to look into the development and regulation of the fintech sector in India.
    The objective of the panel is “to consider various issues relating to development of fintech space in India with a view to make fintech-related regulations more flexible and generate enhanced entrepreneurship in an area where India has distinctive comparative strengths vis-à-vis other emerging economies”.

 

Key Updates: February 2018

 

  • The first sale of electoral bonds in India will start from March 1, 2018 for period of 10 days at main branches of State Bank of India in four metro cities- Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi. The electoral bonds scheme was announced in Union Budget 2017 with an aim for increasing transparency in political funding. It makes India first country in the world to have such unique bonds for electoral funding. As per provisions of Electoral Bond Scheme, a person, who is a citizen of India or an entity incorporated/established in India can purchase electoral bonds. Only registered political parties, which have secured not less than 1% of the votes polled in the last election of the Lok Sabha or legislative assembly of the state, will be eligible to receive electoral bonds.

 

  • India is signing an Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation (DTAA) and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with different nations. The Agreement will stimulate flow of investment, technology and personnel from India to signed countries & vice versa, and will prevent double taxation. The Agreement will provide for exchange of information between the nations as per latest International Standards. It will improve transparency in tax matters and will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance. The Agreement also meets treaty related minimum standards under G-20 OECD Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, in which India participated on an equal footing. India signed this treaty with Iran and Kenya this month.

 

Key Updates: January 2018

 

  • The Government of India notified the Scheme of Electoral Bonds for political funding in the country. Electoral Bond would be a bearer instrument in the nature of a Promissory Note and an interest free banking instrument; Bond would be issued/purchased for any value, in multiples of Rs.1,000, Rs.10,000, Rs.1,00,000, Rs.10,00,000 and Rs.1,00,00,000 from the Specified Branches of the State Bank of India.

 

  • The purchaser would be allowed to buy Electoral Bonds only on due fulfilment of all the extant KYC norms and by making payment from a bank account. It will not carry the name of payee. Electoral Bonds would have a life of only 15 days during which it can be used for making donation only to the political parties registered under section 29A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or a Legislative Assembly.

 

Key Updates: December 2017

 

  • IMF and WB released the Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) and Financial Sector Assessment (FSA) respectively on their websites. India is assessed conforming to the highest international standards. The Second comprehensive FSAP has now been successfully conducted for India in 2017.
    FSAP, a joint program of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB involved in developing countries and region only), undertakes a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of a country’s financial sector. Since September 2010, it is being undertaken in 25 jurisdictions (now 29), with systemically important financial sectors, including India, every five years. Last FSAP for India was conducted in 2011-12 and the report published by IMF on Jan 15, 2013.

 

  • According to Central Board of Direct Taxes, the provisional figures of Direct Tax collections up to November, 2017 show that net collections are at Rs 4.8 lakh crore, which is 14.4 per cent higher than the net collections for the corresponding period of last year. According to the statement, the net direct tax collections represent 49 per cent of the total Budget Estimates of direct taxes for 2017-18 (Rs 9.8 lakh crore). The gross collections (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by 10.7 per cent to Rs 5.82 lakh crore during April-November, 2017.

 

  • The Government has launched Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana to provide an insurance cover to rural areas of the country. Also it helps in expansion of Postal Life Insurance. Under the Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana, at least one village having a minimum of 100 households will be identified in each of the revenue districts of the country. All households of that identified village will be covered with a minimum of one Rural Postal Life Insurance policy.

 

Key Updates: Novemebr 2017

 

  • Global rating agency, Standard & Poor's (S&P) has kept India's sovereign rating unchanged, at 'BBB minus' with a stable outlook. According to S&P, the ratings reflect the country's strong GDP growth, sound external profile, and improving monetary credibility. Also, the country's strong democratic institutions and its free press promote policy stability and also underpin the ratings. S&P added that these strengths are balanced against vulnerabilities stemming from the country's low per capita income and relatively high general government debt stock. ‘BBB’ rating is a notch above junk status.

 

  • State Bank of India has launched a new unified integrated app named as Yono App ('You Only Need One'). It will offer its all financial services and products to the customers and also will provide lifestyle related choices.

 

  • The government has notified Minimum Export Price of onion at 850 dollars per tonne to ensure its availability in the domestic market.  According to the government, it will discourage cheap export from the country and augment its domestic availability.

 

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for setting up the 15th Finance Commission which is supposed to assess the tax resources of the country and give suggestions for their distribution among states. As per Article 280(1) of the Constitution, the government has to form the Finance Commission after every five years, or at an earlier time as the President deems necessary. The recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, chaired by former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Y.V. Reddy, are valid from 2015 to 2020. The recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission will be implemented in the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2025

 

  • Moody's Investors Service upgraded India's local and foreign currency issuer ratings to Baa2 from Baa3 and changed the outlook on the rating to stable from positive. This upgrade comes after 14 years, the last time being in 2004. This one level shift in ranking from the lowest investment grade puts India in same category along with Italy and Philippines

 

  • Centre has given the go-ahead for setting up India's first mega coastal economic zone (CEZ) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra as part of a plan to develop 14 such industrial clusters to spur manufacturing and generate jobs. Coastal economic zones are spatial economic regions comprising of group of costal districts which will together a develop a business friendly ecosystem.

 

  • The RBI has asked banks to provide doorstep banking facilities to senior citizens of more than 70 years of age and differently-abled people by 31st of December this year. Banks have been directed to provide basic services like pickup of cash and instruments against receipt, delivery of cash against withdrawal from accounts, delivery of demand drafts, etc., to the customers through doorstep banking.

 

  • The World Bank has released the Doing Business (DB) Report 2018. Among 190 countries all over the world India is ranked at 100th spot, up from 130th last year. New Zealand has topped the ranking for two consecutive years. The ranking is done across 10 indicators, based on survey conducted by a team of experts. It is done to access the regulatory and business process related scenario in a country.

 

Key Updates: October 2017

 

  • To provide banks much needed support in resolving its stressed assets and boosting the credit growth, The Government has unveiled an ambitious plan to infuse Rs 2.11 lakh crore capital over the next two years into public sector banks (PSBs). Its funding will be provided by budgetary provisions of Rs 18,139 crore and sale of recapitalisation bonds worth Rs 1.35 lakh crore. The balance is to be raised by the banks themselves by diluting the government's equity share.

 

  • The Ministry of Power along with the Ministry of Textiles have launched its new initiative named Sustainable and Accelerated Adoption of efficient Textile technologies to Help Small Industries (SAATHI). Under this initiative, EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited), a public sector entity under Ministry of Power would procure energy efficient power looms, motors etc. In bulk and provide to small and medium power loom units at zero upfront cost.

 

Key Updates: September 2017

 

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA has removed restrictions on export of tur, urad and moong dal. However, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority needs to give prior approval for the same. Earlier, export of only organic pulses and Kabuli Chana was allowed. This decision will help in providing greater choice to farmers in marketing their products at remunerative prices.

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