RBI Imposes Penalties on Standard Chartered Bank and Credit Bureaus; Penalizes Cooperative Banks as well
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed penalties on Standard Chartered Bank, four credit bureaus, and seven cooperative banks for various violations. Standard Chartered Bank was fined ₹30 lakh for non-compliance with KYC directions. The credit bureaus, including Experian, TransUnion CIBIL, Equifax, and CRIF High Mark, faced penalties totaling ₹1 crore for inadequate maintenance of accurate credit information. Additionally, the RBI penalized seven cooperative banks, including UP Co-operative Bank, for violating certain provisions.
1. RBI Penalizes Standard Chartered Bank
1.1 Monetary Penalty of ₹30 Lakh Imposed The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a penalty of ₹30 lakh on Standard Chartered Bank-India for non-compliance with Know Your Customer (KYC) directions.
1.2 Deficiencies in Regulatory Compliance The penalty is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and does not question the validity of any transactions or agreements between the bank and its customers.
2. RBI Fines Four Credit Bureaus
2.1 Monetary Penalty of ₹1 Crore Imposed Collectively The RBI has imposed a collective penalty of ₹1 crore on all four credit bureaus for various violations, including inadequate maintenance of accurate credit information.
2.2 Penalty on Experian Credit Information Company of India Private Limited Experian Credit Information Company of India Private Limited, Mumbai, has been fined ₹24.75 lakh for non-compliance with provisions of the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005. The RBI found inaccuracies in the credit information maintained by the company.
2.3 Penalty on TransUnion CIBIL Limited TransUnion CIBIL Limited has been penalized with a monetary fine of ₹26 lakh. The RBI discovered inaccuracies in the credit information maintained by the company. Additionally, the company failed to update credit information of certain borrowers or provide them with timely information regarding discrepancies.
2.4 Penalty on Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited, Mumbai, has been fined ₹24.25 lakh for non-compliance with CIC Rules. Similar violations to TransUnion CIBIL were found during the statutory inspection conducted by the RBI.
2.5 Penalty on CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services Private Limited CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services Private Limited, Mumbai, has received a penalty of ₹25.75 lakh for non-compliance with CICI provisions. The RBI found violations similar to those discovered in TransUnion CIBIL and Equifax.
3. Monetary Penalties on Cooperative Banks
3.1 Penalties Imposed on Seven Cooperative Banks The RBI has imposed penalties on seven cooperative banks for violating certain provisions.
3.2 Penalty on UP Co-operative Bank Limited UP Co-operative Bank Limited, Lucknow, has been penalized by the RBI.
3.3 Penalty on Ujjain Nagarik Sahakari Bank Maryadit Ujjain Nagarik Sahakari Bank Maryadit, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, has also received a penalty.
3.4 Penalty on Panihati Co-operative Bank Ltd. The Berhampur Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd., Odisha, has been penalized by the RBI.
3.5 Penalty on Solapur Siddheshwar Sahakari Bank Limited Solapur Siddheshwar Sahakari Bank Limited, Solapur, Maharashtra, has received a penalty.
3.6 Penalty on The Uttarpara Co-operative Bank Ltd. The Uttarpara Co-operative Bank Ltd., West Bengal, has been penalized by the RBI.
3.7 Penalty on Textile Traders Co-operative Bank Ltd. Textile Traders Co-operative Bank Ltd., Ahmedabad, Gujarat, has received a penalty.
India’s first hydrogen-powered train to run from Jind district, Haryana
In a significant step towards embracing sustainable transportation, India is poised to launch its first-ever hydrogen-powered train. Hydrogen trains, which rely on fuel cells to convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, offer a clean and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional diesel trains. This groundbreaking initiative marks a promising stride in India’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and combat pollution.
Jind to Sonipat: The Inaugural Route
The first hydrogen fuel-powered train in India is scheduled to operate along the Jind-Sonipat route. This strategic choice for the inaugural route highlights the commitment of Indian authorities to transform regional transport networks with sustainable alternatives. By launching the hydrogen train in this corridor, India aims to demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of hydrogen technology in a real-world setting.
Prototype Details: Eight Bogies and Beyond
The initial prototype of the hydrogen train in India is expected to feature eight bogies. These well-designed compartments will provide comfortable and efficient transportation for passengers. While the first model showcases the potential of hydrogen-powered trains, future iterations may see advancements in terms of speed, capacity, and additional features.
Environmental Advantages: A Cleaner Future on the Rails
Hydrogen trains offer numerous environmental benefits compared to traditional diesel locomotives. Unlike their counterparts, hydrogen trains do not emit harmful pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, or particulate matter. By eliminating these hazardous emissions, hydrogen trains play a crucial role in curbing air pollution, mitigating climate change, and enhancing the overall quality of the environment.
Expanding the Hydrogen Train Network
While hydrogen trains have gained prominence primarily in Germany, India’s entry into this domain signifies a broader global movement towards sustainable transportation solutions. By embracing hydrogen-powered trains, India joins the league of countries actively investing in cutting-edge technologies to build a cleaner and more efficient rail network. This expansion of hydrogen train networks promises to revolutionize the future of rail travel worldwide.
Sarbananda Sonowal Launches New CSR Guidelines ‘Sagar Samajik Sahayog’
The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, unveiled the new guidelines for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) called ‘Sagar Samajik Sahayog’ by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways. The guidelines aim to empower ports to address local community issues more efficiently and collaboratively. The launch event was attended by Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Shri Shantanu Thakur, and Union Minister of State of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Shripad Yesso Naik.
Empowering Ports for Community Welfare
Shri Sonowal emphasized the government’s commitment to minimum government and maximum governance. The revised CSR guidelines enable ports to initiate, implement, and accelerate projects for the welfare of local communities. The framework encourages local communities to actively participate as partners in the development and positive transformation of their regions. The Minister highlighted the potential of CSR as a catalyst for change and progress, aligning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of empowering institutions and communities for a self-reliant India.
Scope and Implementation of New CSR Guidelines
The new CSR guidelines primarily impact projects and programs related to activities specified in Section 70 of the Major Port Authorities Act, 2021. To facilitate effective planning and execution of CSR projects, each major port will establish a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. This committee, headed by the Deputy Chairperson of the Major Port, will consist of two additional members. Moreover, each major port will prepare a Corporate Social Responsibility Plan for each financial year, integrating CSR goals with the social and environmental concerns associated with port operations.
Budget Allocation and Mandates
CSR budgets will be allocated as a percentage of net profit, requiring a Board Resolution. Ports with an annual net profit of ₹100 crores or less will allocate between 3% and 5% for CSR expenses. For ports with a net profit ranging from ₹100 crores to ₹500 crores annually, the allocation will be between 2% and 3% of net profit, with a minimum of ₹3 crores. Ports with an annual net profit exceeding ₹500 crores can allocate between 0.5% and 2% of their net profit towards CSR initiatives.
Allocation of Funds
The new guidelines specify the allocation of CSR funds for various purposes. Twenty percent of CSR expenses must be earmarked for the Sainik Kalyan Board at the district level, National Maritime Heritage Complex, and National Youth Development Fund. Furthermore, 78% of the funds should be directed towards social and environmental welfare initiatives, including drinking water projects, education, vocational training, skill development, renewable energy sources, health and family welfare, livelihood promotion for economically weaker sections, community centers, and hostels. Additionally, 2% of the total CSR expenses will be allocated for project monitoring by the ports.
American Co-Inventor of Lithium-Ion Batteries, John Bannister Goodenough, Passes Away
Renowned American scientist John Bannister Goodenough, the co-inventor of Lithium-ion batteries and a co-winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has sadly passed away. Goodenough was just a month shy of his 101st birthday. His British-American counterpart, Stan Whittingham, shared the Nobel prize with Goodenough for their groundbreaking work. Whittingham initially discovered that lithium could be stored in titanium sulphide sheets, and Goodenough perfected the concept by incorporating a cobalt-based cathode, resulting in a product that has become an integral part of people’s lives today.
Early Life and Education
John Goodenough was born in Jena, Germany, to American parents, according to the Nobel Prize website. He pursued his studies in mathematics at Yale University before serving as a meteorologist in the US Army during the Second World War. Goodenough later continued his academic journey at the University of Chicago, where he earned his doctorate in physics in 1952. He went on to conduct research at renowned institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Goodenough served as a professor at the University of Texas at Austin during his career.
Contributions to Random Access Memory (RAM) Development
In addition to his groundbreaking work on Lithium-ion batteries, John Goodenough played a significant role in the development of Random Access Memory (RAM) for computers. His contributions to the field of computer technology further solidified his legacy as a pioneering scientist.
Autobiography and the Intersection of Science and Spirituality
In 2008, John Goodenough penned his autobiography, titled “Witness to Grace,” which delved into his personal history. The book offered insights into his scientific pursuits as well as his spiritual beliefs. Goodenough explored the intersection between science and spirituality, providing readers with a glimpse into his unique perspective.
Remembering a Great Soul and Mentor
Prof Preetham Singh from the Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (IIT-BHU), who had the privilege of being one of Goodenough’s students, remembers the Nobel laureate as a remarkable individual with a deep sense of humanism. Goodenough’s doors were always open for discussions, suggestions, and assistance, reflecting his generous and approachable nature.
Prof Ramasamy Murugan from Pondicherry University, another of Goodenough’s Indian students, speaks highly of the Nobel laureate’s outstanding qualities. Goodenough was known for his kindness, integrity, sense of humor, and most notably, his infectious laughter. These defining characteristics endeared him to those who had the privilege of knowing him personally.
The Legacy of John Bannister Goodenough
With the passing of John Bannister Goodenough, the scientific community mourns the loss of a pioneering mind and an influential figure in the world of energy storage. Goodenough’s inventions have transformed the way we power and utilize electronic devices, leaving an indelible mark on society. His legacy as a brilliant scientist and a compassionate mentor will continue to inspire future generations of researchers and innovators.
Tata Technologies, SBFC Finance, and Gandhar Oil Refinery IPOs Approved by SEBI
Capital markets regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has granted approval for the IPO of Tata Technologies, a subsidiary of Tata Motors. This development marks the first public issue from the Tata group since Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in July 2004. Tata Technologies, SBFC Finance, and Gandhar Oil Refinery are set to list their shares on the BSE and NSE.
Tata Technologies IPO Details
1. Tata Technologies to Launch Offer for Sale (OFS) IPO
Tata Technologies will be offering an OFS IPO, wherein existing shareholders will sell up to 9.57 crore equity shares, representing approximately 23.60 percent of the company’s paid-up share capital. The parent company, Tata Motors, plans to sell 8.11 crore shares (20 percent), while Alpha TC Holdings Pte and Tata Capital Growth Fund I will offload up to 97.16 lakh shares (2.4 percent) and 48.58 lakh shares (1.2 percent), respectively.
2. IPO Size and Allocation
The size of the Tata Technologies IPO is yet to be disclosed, but market sources estimate it to be around Rs 4,000 crore. The offer is expected to reserve 50 percent for qualified institutional buyers (QIBs), 35 percent for retail investors, and the remaining 15 percent for non-institutional investors.
SBFC Finance IPO Details
1. SBFC Finance Plans Rs 1,200 Crore IPO
Mumbai-based non-banking financial company SBFC Finance aims to raise Rs 1,200 crore through an IPO. The offering will consist of fresh issuance of shares worth Rs 750 crore and an OFS of Rs 450 crore. The OFS portion includes contributions from Arpwood Partners Investment Advisors LLP, Arpwood Capital Private Limited, Eight45 Services LLP, and SBFC Holdings Pte. Ltd.
2. Allocation and Usage of IPO Proceeds
Around 50 percent of the net offer will be allocated to QIBs, 15 percent to non-institutional investors (NIIs), and 35 percent to retail investors. The funds raised through the fresh issuance of shares, amounting to Rs 750 crore, will be utilized to strengthen SBFC Finance’s capital base. The company primarily serves entrepreneurs, small business owners, self-employed individuals, and salaried individuals.
Gandhar Oil Refinery IPO Details
1. Gandhar Oil Refinery’s IPO Includes Fresh Issue and OFS
Gandhar Oil Refinery’s initial share sale will comprise a fresh issue of equity shares worth Rs 357 crore and an OFS of 1.2 crore shares by promoters and existing shareholders. The OFS is expected to raise Rs 500 crore, as per market sources. The proceeds from the fresh issue component will be used to repay debt, purchase equipment, and undertake civil work required for capacity expansion at the company’s Silvassa plant.
2. Utilization of Funds and IPO Structure
Additionally, the funds will be utilized for expanding the capacity of the petroleum jelly and cosmetic product division at Gandhar’s Taloja plant. The expansion of white oils capacity will involve installing blending tanks, along with funding working capital requirements.
UP launches ‘Operation Conviction’ for cow slaughter
The Uttar Pradesh Police has recently initiated a comprehensive program named ‘Operation Conviction‘ to combat criminals and organized crime in the state. This strategic initiative aims to expedite the conviction process, particularly in cases related to heinous crimes such as rape, murder, cow slaughter, religious conversion, and those registered under the POCSO Act. By ensuring immediate arrests, robust evidence collection, meticulous investigations and effective representation in courts, the authorities seek to minimize the time taken for criminals to face justice.
Crackdown on Mafias and Zero-Tolerance Policy
Since 2017, the state government has been implementing a zero-tolerance policy towards mafias and criminal elements. Building upon this approach, the government has launched ‘Operation Conviction’ to identify and prioritize 20 cases in each district. This concerted effort demonstrates the administration’s unwavering commitment to maintaining law and order, as well as curbing organized crime.
Coordination with District Judges and Forensic Science Laboratory
To facilitate expeditious trials, district police chiefs will collaborate closely with district judges in their respective jurisdictions. They will request daily trials for the identified cases, ensuring that the legal proceedings progress swiftly. Furthermore, police commissioners and district police chiefs will coordinate with the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to expedite the procurement of laboratory reports crucial to the investigation process.
Establishment of Monitoring Cell
Each police commissioner’s office and district police chief’s office will establish a monitoring cell to oversee the daily progress of cases identified under ‘Operation Conviction.’ These cells will be headed by gazetted officers who will be responsible for ensuring the timely trial of these cases. This centralized monitoring system will enhance accountability and enable swift intervention if necessary.
Development of a Web Portal for Case Review
A web portal is currently under development to facilitate the weekly review of identified cases. This portal will enable senior police officials at the Directorate General of Police (DGP) office in the state capital to closely monitor the progress of these cases. The portal’s real-time updates and comprehensive data will help identify any bottlenecks and enable prompt actions to maintain the momentum of the conviction process.
Shri Narayan Rane Launches ‘CHAMPIONS 2.0 Portal’ and Key Initiatives for MSMEs on International MSME Day
On the occasion of International MSME Day, the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) celebrated ‘Udyami Bharat-MSME Day’ with a special event. The Union Minister for MSME, Shri Narayan Rane, launched several initiatives aimed at promoting the growth and development of MSMEs in India. The event also featured the Union Minister of State for MSME, Shri Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, and highlighted the significant role of MSMEs in the country’s economy.
Importance of MSMEs
Shri Narayan Rane emphasized the crucial role of MSMEs in contributing to the country’s GDP and exports. He expressed hope that MSMEs would account for 50% of India’s GDP by 2030. Recognizing their potential, he encouraged stakeholders to work towards making India a USD 5 trillion economy.
Launch of CHAMPIONS 2.0 Portal
As a part of the initiatives, Shri Narayan Rane inaugurated the ‘CHAMPIONS 2.0 Portal.’ This platform aims to provide support and assistance to MSMEs by addressing their concerns and grievances effectively. The portal serves as a single-window system for grievance redressal, knowledge sharing, and fostering innovation among MSMEs.
Mobile App for Geo-tagging of Cluster Projects and Technology
Centers Another significant launch was the ‘Mobile App for Geo-tagging of Cluster Projects and Technology Centers.’ This app facilitates the geo-tagging of various projects and technology centers associated with MSMEs. It enhances transparency, monitoring, and evaluation processes while promoting effective utilization of resources.
MSME Idea Hackathon 3.0 for Women Entrepreneurs
In a move to empower women entrepreneurs in the MSME sector, the ‘MSME Idea Hackathon 3.0’ was introduced. This hackathon provides a platform for women entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative ideas and solutions. It encourages their participation in the growth and development of the MSME ecosystem.
Remarkable Achievements and Recognitions
During the event, Shri Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma acknowledged the significant progress of Indian MSMEs in the country’s economy. He highlighted that since 2014, India’s GDP ranking has improved from the 10th to the 5th position, underscoring the valuable contribution of MSMEs.
Certificates Distribution and Subsidy Release
Both Union Ministers distributed certificates to Gold and Silver ZED-certified MSMEs, recognizing their excellence and commitment to quality. Additionally, a digital release of 400 crore Margin Money subsidy was made to 10,075 beneficiaries of the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) units.
Several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between the Ministry of MSME and various organizations to promote collaboration and streamline processes for the benefit of MSMEs.
The key MoUs included:
a. Ministry of MSME and SIDBI: Creation of a portal for ‘PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman’ (PMVIKAS) by SIDBI.
b. Ministry of MSME and GeM: Sharing of Udyam Registration data with GeM to facilitate last-mile registration of MSMEs in the Public Procurement eco-system.
c. Ministry of MSME and the Industry Department, Government of Tripura: Sharing of Udyam Registration data through API, enabling policy-making and targeted distribution of scheme benefits.
d. Ministry of MSME and Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE): Guarantee coverage for beneficiaries of the MSME sector.
e. NSIC, LG Electronics India Private Limited, and Electronics Sector Skill Council of India: Establishment of a Centre of Excellence (CoE) by LG Electronics in NTSC Chennai and Hyderabad, in collaboration with NSIC, to promote skill development and support SC/ST entrepreneurs.