Important Current Affairs for CLAT-7th October 2022

RBI introduces Internal Ombudsman Mechanism for Credit Information Companies(CICs)

To enhance the effectiveness of its grievance redressal systems, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has urged Credit Information Companies to designate an internal ombudsman (IO) by April 1, 2023. The Central Bank made the decision in August to include CICs in the scope of the RBI-Integrated Ombudsman Scheme 2021 in order to broaden its appeal.

What The RBI Said:

Only complaints that the CIC has already reviewed but rejected in whole or in part will be handled by the IO. Direct complaints from complainants or members of the public won’t be handled by it, the RBI said in a circular. The RBI claimed that the action would give clients of regulated businesses a free alternative dispute resolution method for complaints regarding CICs. “Every CIC shall appoint the internal ombudsman for a fixed term of not less than three years, but not exceeding five years” the circular said.

Stricter Regulation:

The IO position cannot at any moment be left unfilled, hence the CIC must make sure of that, the circular said. Furthermore, it stated that the IO will not be handling any complaints involving fraud and misappropriation, with the exception of those brought about by a CIC service failure.

Who Can Be Appointed:

According to the central bank, the internal ombudsman shall be either a retired or a serving officer, not below the rank of deputy general manager or equivalent in any financial sector regulatory body, credit information companies, a non-banking financial company (NBFC) or bank, with necessary skills and experience of at least seven years in banking, non-banking finance, financial sector regulation or supervision, credit information, or consumer protection.

What is the Banking Ombudsman Scheme:

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme is an expeditious and inexpensive forum for bank customers for resolution of complaints relating to certain services rendered by banks. The Banking Ombudsman Scheme is introduced under Section 35 A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 by RBI with effect from 1995. Presently the Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006 (As amended upto July 1, 2017) is in operation.

RBI Launches DAKSH- Reserve Bank’s Advanced Supervisory Monitoring System

The Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das launched a new ‘SupTech’ initiative DAKSH – the bank’s Advanced Supervisory Monitoring System, which is expected to make the supervisory processes more robust.

What The RBI Said:

In a statement, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it has been taking various initiatives in strengthening supervision, which among other initiatives include adoption of latest data and analytical tools as well as leveraging technology for implementing more efficient and automated work processes.

Its Usage:

DAKSH means ‘efficient’ & ‘competent’, reflecting the underlying capabilities of the application. DAKSH is a web-based end-to-end workflow application through which RBI shall monitor compliance requirements in a more focused manner with the objective of further improving the compliance culture in Supervised Entities (SEs) like Banks, NBFCs, etc. The application will also enable seamless communication, inspection planning and execution, cyber incident reporting and analysis, provision of various MIS reports etc., through a Platform which enables anytime-anywhere secure access.

What Is Financial Supervision:

The Reserve Bank of India performs this function under the guidance of the Board for Financial Supervision (BFS). The Board was constituted in November 1994 as a committee of the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India. Primary objective of BFS is to undertake consolidated supervision of the financial sector comprising commercial banks, financial institutions and non-banking finance companies.

The Board Constitution:

The Board is constituted by co-opting four Directors from the Central Board as members for a term of two years and is chaired by the Governor. The Deputy Governors of the Reserve Bank are ex-officio members. One Deputy Governor, usually, the Deputy Governor in charge of banking regulation and supervision, is nominated as the Vice-Chairman of the Board.

Sevices Sector Growth Falls To 6 Months Low

Growth in India’s services industry eased to a six-month low in September, led by a cooling in demand amid high inflation, a private survey showed. The S&P Global India services Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 54.3 in September from August’s 57.2, lower than the Reuters poll expectation of 57.0.

No Contraction:

However, the September reading stayed above the 50-mark separating growth from contraction for the fourteenth straight month – the longest stretch of expansion since October 2016. Weak external demand weighed on sales of services sector, with international orders declining further in September, according to the survey. Service providers reported a further increase in their operating expenses during September, owing to higher energy, food, labour and material costs. Hiring in the sector continued for the fourth month but fewer jobs were created compared to August. Growth Moderated: Capacity pressures moderated in September, with services companies signalling the slowest increase in backlogs since February. Nevertheless, efforts to clear pending workloads and ongoing expansions in sales supported another round of job creation. Employment rose at a slower rate than in August, however,” the survey said. Pollyanna De Lima, Economics Associate Director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said: “The Indian service sector has overcome many adversities in recent months, with the latest PMI data continuing to show a strong performance despite some loss of growth momentum in September.” But “an upturn in inflation could damage consumer spending, dampen business confidence and test the resilience of the Indian service sector in the coming months but, at least for September, service providers were strongly upbeat towards growth prospects,” she said. “Currency instability poses renewed inflation worries as imported items become more costly, and undoubtedly means that the RBI will continue hiking interest rates to protect the rupee and contain price pressures,” added De Lima. Inflation: The Biggest Problem: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised interest rates by 190 basis points since May to stem inflation and offset some of the effects of aggressive U.S. Federal Reserve hikes that have weakened many currencies, including the rupee. The overall S&P Global India Composite PMI Output Index slowed to 55.1 from 58.2 in August as both manufacturing and services sectors cooled on falling demand. On September 30, the monetary policy committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised the key lending rate or the repo rate to 5.90 per cent – the highest since April 2019. The MPC also decided to remain focused on the withdrawal of the accommodative policy stance to ensure that inflation remains within the target going forward, while supporting growth, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said. What It Is Signalling: “The signal from today’s PMI data is essentially one of consolidation, which is also visible across a host of other macro variables, including tax collections, fuel consumption, and mobility data such as railways and aviation traffic. Still, the overall resiliency in services PMI should keep growth broadly on track to hit 7% for FY2022-23. Looking through the details, the decline in services PMI came amid a bit of a pull back in was driven lower activity levels, especially as pent up demand is showing signs of waning ahead of the festive season. Employment generation also saw some consolidation, but has remained above 50 for four straight months,” Barclays said in a note.


Alphabet Inc’s Google to build its first cloud region in Greece

Alphabet Inc’s Google will set up its first cloud region in Greece, the company, giving a boost to the country’s efforts to become a world cloud computing hub. The deal is estimated to contribute some 2.2 billion euros ($2.13 billion) to Greece’s economic output and create some 20,000 jobs by 2030. The investment would enable organisations to better use their data, help improve low latency and ensure users’ security in the face of cybersecurity threats.

Key points:

  • Since taking office in 2019, Mitsotakis’s conservative government has stepped up moves to diversify the economy and attract foreign investment and high-tech companies to the country which emerged from a decade-long financial crisis in 2018.

  • Google’s investment comes two years after Microsoft Corp. decided to build a data centre hub in the country. Amazon Inc’s cloud computing division also opened its first office in Greece last year to support what it said was a growing number of companies and public sector agencies using its cloud services.

Actor Pankaj Tripathi declared ‘National Icon’ by Election Commission of India

Election Commission of India (ECI) in creating awareness amongst voters, Actor Pankaj Tripathi has been declared as the ‘National Icon’ of ECI. The actor was chosen for the honour by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar for keeping in view his commitment to the cause and wide appeal across the country. An event on the ‘Voter Awareness Program’, CEC Rajiv Kumar complimented ECI state icon, Pankaj Tripathi, for his association with ECI in creating voting awareness across citizens, and henceforth declared him as the National Icon for ECI.

Interestingly: One of Pankaj’s most acclaimed roles involved the electoral process in the 2017 film Newton, for which he won the National Award. He played the role of a CRPF officer, who was tasked with conducting elections in a conflict-ridden zone in the jungles of Chhattisgarh. National Award-winner Pankaj Tripathi has been active in the industry for almost two decades. Some of his critically-acclaimed films include Omkara, Dharm, and Aakrosh among others. Further, he has also worked in various web series and other Over Top Content.

Election Commission launched Matadata Junction awareness program

The Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar launched a yearlong Voter Awareness Program ‘Matdata Junction’ during an event organized at Akashvani Rang Bhavan. The launch event was also facilitated by Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey. The Matdata Junction is a 52-episode radio series produced by the election commission of India, in collaboration with All India Radio.

Key Points related to Matdata Junction

  • Matdata Junction is produced in collaboration with All India Radio.

  • The Matdata Junction aims to connect with the voters across the country with the help of radio.

  • The programs will be a combination of information and entertainment which will help to address the lack of concern of urban people and inform the audience.

  • The information will be related to the election process in the conduct of free, fair, transparent, inducement-free, accessible, and inclusive elections.

  • Shri Pankaj Tripathi would be the National Icon for the Election Commission of India.

  • The 52 episodes will cover various aspects of the election and related processes from voters’ perspectives.

  • The programs will be for 15 minutes and will be broadcast every Friday during the 7-9 PM slot on All India Radio.

  • The All-India Radio Network covers 25 FM stations, 4 FM Gold stations, 42 Vividh Bharati stations, and 159 Primary Channels/local radio stations in 23 languages.

India emerges as largest producer of sugar in world

India has emerged as the largest producer and consumer of sugar in the world and the second largest exporter. During the sugar season in India, over 5,000 lakh metric tons (LMT) of sugarcane was produced out of which about 3,574 LMT was crushed by Sugar Mills to produce about 349 LMT of Sugar. 35 LMT of Sugar is diverted to ethanol production and 359 LMT of sugar was produced in sugar mills.

Key Points related to India as the largest producer of Sugar

  • During this season all records of sugarcane production, sugar production, sugar export, came to produce, cane dues paid and ethanol production were made.

  • In 2020-21, India made records with the highest exports of about 109.8 LMT with no financial assistance.

  • The sugar exports from India earned foreign currency of about Rs 40,000 crore for the country.

  • This achievement of the sugar industry was possible with the help of the Central and State Governments, Farmers, Sugar Mills, etc.

  • During the Sugar season, Sugar mills produced sugarcane worth more than Rs 1.18 lakh crore and released a payment of more than Rs 1.12 crore with no financial assistance.