Banking Current Affairs for 27 May 2023

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI economic activity index nowcast Q1 GDP growth forecast at 7.6%

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced its economic activity index (EAI) nowcast, forecasting a strong Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 7.6% for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2023-2024 (Q1 FY24).
  • This is against real GDP growth of 7.8% projected in the April 2023 Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement.

Key Highlights :

  • The nowcast GDP growth is based on partial data available for April 2023.
  • The nowcast GDP growth is based on assuming an implied GDP growth of 5.1% for Q4 (January-March) FY23.
  • The index of supply chain pressure for India (ISPI) remained at levels below historical average since July 2022.
  • GDP growth in the first quarter of FY24 will be driven by private consumption.
  • It will be supported by revival in rural demand.
  • Domestic service sector activity will be led by the rebound in contact-intensive services.
  • It will be led by resilience in construction activity.

About RBI :

  • Established : 1 April 1935
  • Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Governor : Shaktikanta Das
  • Deputy governors : Mahesh Kumar Jain, M. Rajeshwar Rao, Michael Patra and T. Rabi Shankar

India requests for $55-million funding in first call with Pandemic Fund

  • India made a funding request of approximately $55 million to the World Bank’s Pandemic Fund in its first call in May 2023.

Key Highlights :

  • The Pandemic Fund was created in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic by the World Bank to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response capacities in low- and middleincome countries.
  • India has requested funding from the World Bank’s Pandemic Fund to combat pandemics in both humans and animals.
  • Most zoonotic (animal-to-human and human-to-animal) diseases have been found to have their origins in animals, according to scientists.
  • The fund’s website states that its governing board approved $300 million for the first tranche of funding to assist developing nations in better preparing for upcoming global pandemics.
  • The United States and the European Union have pledged significant contributions, with total commitments exceeding $1.6 billion.
  • To enhance global pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response capabilities among donor governments, recipient countries, foundations, and civil society organizations, this fund was established in September 2022.
  • The World Bank serves as the trustee of the Pandemic Fund and hosts its Secretariat, which includes technical staff from the World Health Organization (WHO).

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Ireland to become first country in the world with Mandatory Health Warnings on Alcohol Products

  • Ireland is set to become the first country to introduce mandatory health warnings on alcohol products.
  • The new regulation has been signed by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, which will take effect in three years (May 22, 2026).
  • However, the labels will not be mandatory until May 2026.

Aim :

  • To raise awareness about the potential health risks associated with alcohol consumption.
  • Ireland will introduce mandatory health labelling of alcoholic beverages, with warnings regarding the risk of cancer, liver disease and drinking while pregnant.

Why these warnings?

  • The introduction of health warnings on alcohol bottles and cans will serve as a powerful tool for public health promotion and education.
  • It will also alert consumers to calorie and alcohol content.
  • It will provide concise information about the health hazards linked to excessive alcohol consumption, encouraging individuals to make informed decisions.
  • South Africa enacted a law requiring stringent alcohol warning labels in 2017, but repealed it in 2020.
  • Other countries also have warnings on alcohol products, but Ireland’s regulations aim to be more comprehensive.

About Ireland :

  • President : Michael D. Higgins
  • Currency: Euro
  • Capital: Dublin

NATIONAL NEWS

India hands over 20 broad gauge locomotives to Bangladesh

  • Indian Railways handed over 20 Broad Gauge (BG) locomotives to Bangladesh.
  • Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Railways virtually flagged off locomotives to Bangladesh in a handing over ceremony held on 23rd May 2023 at Rail Bhavan, New Delhi.
  • From the Bangladesh side, Minister of Railway, Md. Nurul Islam Sujan joined in virtually.
  • Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw said that as of now, five Broad Gauge connectivity are operational between India and Bangladesh.
  • They are Geda- Darsana, Benapol- Petrapol, Singhabad- Rohanpur, Radhikapur- Birol and Haldibari-Chilahati.
  • Work on two more cross border rail connectivities (Akhaura-Agartala and MahihasanShahbazpur) is likely to be completed shortly.
  • In June 2020, Indian Government provided 10 locomotives to Bangladesh as grant.
  • Presently three pairs of passenger trains between India and Bangladesh are running.
  • They are Kolkata-Dhaka Maitree Express, Kolkata-Khulna Bandhan Express and New Jalpaiguri- Dhaka Mitali Express.

SPORTS NEWS

Khelo India University games to be declared open by PM Modi in Lucknow

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the chief guest at the inaugural function of the Khelo India University games in Lucknow.
  • It is the third edition of the Khelo India University games.
  • Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and the Minister of State for Sports Nishith Pramanik will also take part in the event.
  • The inaugural function will be organized in the Babu Banarasi Das stadium.
  • On this occasion, many cultural programs will be also organized. More than 4,000 athletes in 21 sports disciple will participate in the event.
  • The KIUG 2022 Games will be held in Varanasi, Noida, Lucknow and Gorakhpur.
  • The mascot of the University Games is Jitu Barasingha.
  • ‘Shakti’ is the official torch of Khelo India University Games, Uttar Pradesh.
  • It is being organised by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in association with the Association of Indian Universities, the Indian Olympic Association and the National Sports Federation.
  • Khelo India University Games is the largest university-level sports competition in
    India.
  • The first edition of the Khelo India University Games was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2020.
  • The main aim is to identify athletes in the age group of 18 to 25 years for the Olympics and the Asian Games.
  • Jain University, Karnataka secured first sport in the 2022 edition of the Khelo India University Games.

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