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Important Current Affairs 27th August 2021

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INTERNATIONAL

Dubai sets up money laundering court

• Dubai Courts announced the establishment of a specialised court, focused on combating money laundering, within the Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal. This court ties into a string of initiatives aimed at reducing financial crimes and follows the recent establishment of the Executive Office of the Anti-Money Laundering & Countering the Financing of Terrorism.

• This move will enable our stakeholders to raise their efficiency in effectively implementing the National AML/CFT Strategy and National Action Plan and achieving its goals through an empowered and sustainable system.

NATIONAL

NCDEX Launches GUAREX – India's First Agri Sectoral Index

• India’s first sectoral index in the Agri commodities basket i.e. GUAREX was launched by the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX). GUAREX is a price based sectoral index that tracks the movement in the futures contracts of guar gum refined splits and guar seed on a real-time basis. This index product will offer a lot of opportunities to the value chain.

• The weightage of guarseed and guar gum refined splits in the index will be 63 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively. The index futures will be cash-settled. Initially, Guarex futures contracts expiring in September and October will be made available for trading.

• India is the world’s largest guar producer accounting for 80-85 per cent of the output, while Rajasthan is the country’s top producer with 80 per cent market share. Guar seed was sown on 1.81 million hectares so far this year, down from 2.25 million hectares logged in the same period last year.

Finance Minister unveils 4th Public Sector Bank Reforms Agenda, EASE 4.0 agenda

• Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman has unveiled the fourth edition of the Public Sector Bank (PSB) Reforms Agenda ‘EASE 4.0’ for 2021-22. The major theme for EASE 4.0 is “Technology-enabled, simplified, and collaborative banking.” EASE stands for Enhanced Access & Service Excellence (EASE).

• EASE 4.0 aims to further the agenda of customer-centric digital transformation and deeply embed digital and data into PSBs’ ways of working. EASE 4.0 sets the agenda and roadmap to transform all PSBs into digital-attacker banks working hand-in-hand with key constituents of the financial services ecosystem to offer industry-best customer experience.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Reserve Bank of India has approved the re-appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as Managing Director and CEO of ICICI

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the re-appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as the MD & CEO of ICICI Bank. This will be with effect from October 15, 2021, till October 3, 2023. The shareholders at the Annual General Meeting held on August 9, 2019 had already approved the appointment of Mr Bakhshi for a period effective from October 15, 2018, up to October 3, 2023.

• Bakshi, who was hand-picked by his mentors- KV Kamath and N Vaghul, took over the charge in October 2018, after his predecessor Chanda Kochhar’s exit following the ICICI Bank-Videocon loan controversy.

OBITUARY

Former Indian footballer Olympian Chandrasekharan passed away

• Former India footballer O Chandrasekharan, popularly known as Olympian Chandrasekharan in his home state Kerala, passed away.

• Chandrasekharan, who played as a defender, was a member of the Indian team in the 1960 Rome Olympics the last time the country participated in football at the Games.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Dog Day 2021 : 26th August

• International Dog Day is observed every year on August 26 to raise awareness about dog adoption and the importance of providing rescue dogs with a safe and loving environment.

• The day was started as National Dog Day in the US in 2004 by pet & family lifestyle expert, animal rescue advocate, conservationist and dog trainer Colleen Paige. August 26 was chosen as on this day, Paige’s family had adopted their first dog “Sheltie” from an animal shelter when she was just 10 years old.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

SBI becomes Overall winner of the EASE Reforms Index Award 2021

• Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the EASE 3.0 Awards. State Bank of India is the Overall winner of the EASE Reforms Index Award 2021 (EASE 3.0 Awards). Bank of Baroda is second and Union Bank of India is third.

• Indian Bank won the award for the best improvement from the baseline performance. SBI, BoB, Union Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Canara Bank won the top awards in different themes of the PSB Reforms Agenda EASE 3.0.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Family pension of bank employees set at 30% of last drawn salary: Govt

• Central Government has approved the Indian Banks’ Association’s (IBA) proposal to increase the family pension to 30% of the last salary drawn. The immediate benefit of this approval will be an increase of 30,000 to 35,000 in the family pension of public sector bank employees from a maximum of 9,284 per month, depending on the last drawn salary of the deceased bank employee.

• The other big announcement is an increase in the employer banks’ contribution to the pension fund of employees under the NPS (National Pension System) from the existing 10 per cent to 14 per cent. Approximately 60% of public sector bank employees are covered under NPS

RBI extends scope of tokenisation to laptops, wearable devices

• In 2019, RBI had permitted authorized card payment networks to offer card tokenisation services to any token requestor (i.e., third-party app provider) through mobile phones and tablets. Now RBI has extended the scope of tokenization to include consumer devices – laptops, desktops, wearables (wristwatches, bands, etc.), Internet of Things (IoT) devices, etc.

• The permission for tokenization extends to various channels [e.g., Near Field Communication (NFC) / Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) based contactless transactions, in-app payments, QR code-based payments, etc.] or token storage mechanisms (cloud, secure element, trusted execution environment, etc. The ultimate responsibility for the card tokenization services rendered rests with the authorized card networks.

BharatPe launched ‘12% Club’ app, eyes $50 mn lending AUM

• BharatPe has launched a “12% Club” app that will allow consumers to invest and earn up to 12 per cent annual interest or borrow at a similar rate. BharatPe has partnered with LenDenClub (RBI-approved NBFC) for this app and lending arrangement.

• Consumers can invest their savings anytime by choosing to lend money on the “12% Club” app. Apart from this, consumers can avail of collateral-free loans of up to Rs 10 lakh on the 12 per cent Club app for a tenure of 3 months.

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