According to the data released by National Statistical Office (NSO), India's GDP growth has hit an over six-year low of what per cent in July-September 2019?

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• India's Q2 GDP growth dips to over 6-yr low of 4.5%; manufacturing weighs
• India's GDP growth hit an over six-year low of 4.5 per cent in July-September 2019, dragged mainly by deceleration in manufacturing output and subdued farm sector activity, according to official data released on Friday.
• The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was recorded at 7 per cent in the corresponding quarter of FY 2018-19. In the previous quarter of the ongoing fiscal, the economic growth was 5 per cent.
• This GDP growth data for the September 2019 quarter is the lowest since January-March of 2012-13, when it was registered at 4.3 per cent.
• According to the data released by National Statistical Office (NSO), the gross value added (GVA) growth in the manufacturing sector contracted by 1 per cent in the second quarter of this fiscal from 6.9 per cent expansion a year ago.
• Similarly, farm sector GVA growth remained subdued at 2.1 per cent, down from 4.9 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

Which Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) has now become the first company to list its commercial papers (CPs) on stock exchanges?

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• Aditya Birla Finance becomes first company to list commercial papers on stock exchanges
• Aditya Birla Finance Ltd (ABFL), the Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) arm of Aditya Birla Capital, has now become
the first company to list its commercial papers (CPs) on stock exchanges. The move comes after stock exchanges- the BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) and NSE (National Stock
Exchange), came out with a framework for listing of commercial papers (CPs), in a bid to broaden investors’ participation in such securities.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs. 1.50 crore on Corporation Bank. Where is HQs of Bank located?

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• RBI Imposes Rs 1.50 crore penalty on Corporation Bank
• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs. 1.50 crore on Corporation Bank for non-compliance with certain provisions of directions issued by RBI.
• The penalty has been imposed in the exercise of powers vested in the RBI under the provisions of Section 47 A (1) (c) read with Section 46 (4) (i) and 51 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 .
• This action is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.
• Headquarters :Mangalore, Karnataka

Which has become the first financial company to be referred to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for insolvency proceeding?

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DHFL becomes 1st financial services firm to be taken to NCLT
• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has referred Dewan Housing Finance Corp. Ltd (DHFL) to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for insolvency proceedings, making it the first financial services player to go NCLT for a possible debt resolution.
• DHFL has a debt of Rrs.83,873 crore. As per the statutory inspection of DHFL conducted by the National Housing Bank, the DHFL showed a serious deterioration in its finances.
• It had public deposits of Rs.6,188 crore as on 6 July 2019, down from Rs.10,166.72 crore as on 31 March 2018.

According to CRISIL, India’s GDP growth rate would grow at what percent for FY 2020?

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CRISIL cuts India’s GDP growth for FY20 to 5.1%
• Rating Agency CRISIL has reduced the GDP growth rate projection for India for 2019-20 (FY20) to 5.1% from its earlier prediction of 6.3%.
• This comes after the official data (Government of India) shows the second-quarter growth at 4.5%.

Which bank has been removed from the second schedule of RBI Act?

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Vijaya Bank, Dena bank removed from second schedule of RBI Act
• The Reserve Bank of India on November 28 said it has excluded Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank from the second schedule of the RBI Act, with effect from April 1, 2019.
• "Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank have been excluded from the second schedule to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 with effect from April 1, 2019, since they have ceased to carry on banking business with effect from April 1, 2019

Walmart along with which bank has unveiled the co-branded credit card for 'Best Price' members?

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Walmart, HDFC unveil co-branded credit card for 'Best Price' members
• Walmart India, in partnership with HDFC Bank, on Monday launched a co-branded credit card exclusively for members of its Best Price Modern Wholesale "B2B Cash & Carry" stores, offering "free credit upto 50 days.
• The card was launched here at Best Price Storeby Krish Iyer, President and CEO, Walmart India, and Parag Rao, Country Head, Payments Business and Marketing, HDFC Bank.
• Simultaneously, the card was launched at 26 other Best Price Modern Wholesale Store locations across the country.

Fitch Ratings has forecasted India’s GDP growth forecast for 2019-20 fiscal year to what %?

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Fitch lowers India GDP growth to 4.6% in FY20
Fitch Ratings on Friday cut India’s GDP growth forecast for 2019-20 fiscal year to 4.6% on deterioration in business and consumer confidence.
Fitch said growth will gradually recover to 5.6% in FY21 and 6.5% in the following year with support from easing monetary and fiscal policy and structural measures

GST Council fixes what per cent uniform tax rate for lottery effective from March 2020?

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GST Council fixes 28% uniform tax rate for lottery effective March 2020
• The GST Council on Wednesday fixed a uniform tax rate of 28 per cent on both state and private lottery.
• Briefing reporters after the 38th meeting of the Council, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said the new rate for lottery will come into effect from March 2020.
• Lotteries run by state governments attract 12 per cent GST while those run by private entities are taxed at 28 per cent.
• GST, which subsumed 17 local taxes, was rolled out on July 1, 2017. The GST currently has four slabs — 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. On top of the 28 per cent slab, a cess is levied on automobiles, luxury, demerit, and sin goods.
• The Council also relaxed the levy of penalty for non-filing of GSTR-1 from July 2017.
• The tax rate for woven and non-woven bags was rationalised at 18 per cent, compared to 12% at present.

Which has become the third firm in the country to cross $100 billion Market Cap?

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HDFC Bank Becomes Third Indian Company to cross $100 billion Market Cap
• As per the Bloomberg data, HDFC Bank Ltd has crossed the $100 billion market capitalisation on December 19, 2019 to become the only third firm in the country to achieve this milestone.
• Reliance Industries Ltd (market cap of $140.74 billion), and Tata Consultancy Services (market cap of $114.60 billion) are the only top companies in the country in the list.
• With this, HDFC Bank now ranks 110th in the world’s most valued companies. According to Bloomberg data, currently, there are 109 companies in the list which have market cap of over $100 billion.

Moody’s has forcasted India’s GDP growth rate at what percent for Fiscal Year 2020?

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Moody's slashes FY20 growth forecast to 4.9% on weak household consumption
Moody’s Investors Service has lowered India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth projection for the 2019-20 fiscal year to 4.9 per cent from 5.8 per cent, citing weak household consumption.

The Abraham Koshy Committee was constituted by which organization?

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Sebi revamps advisory committee on Investor Education and Protection Fund
• Market regulator Sebi has revamped its advisory committee that provides suggestions on issues related to investor education and protection activities.
• The eight-member committee on Investor Protection and Education Fund (IPEF) is headed by Abraham Koshy, former professor of IIM-Ahmedabad, according to information available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
• The panel is mandated to recommend investor education and protection activities that may be undertaken directly by the market regulator or any other agency for utilisation of IPEF.
• Other members of the panel include -- N L Bhatia, President Emeritus, Investor Education and Welfare Association; A Balasubramanian, MD and CEO at Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC; M G Parameswaran, founder of brand-building.com, Ramesh Narayan, founder of Canco.

Which Bank has signed a USD 250 million loan agreement with the Centre to expand energy efficiency investments in India?

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ADB issues $250 mn loan to India to expand energy efficiency investments
• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a USD 250 million loan agreement with the Centre to expand energy efficiency investments in India, according to an official statement.
• The loan agreement to provide loan to Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) was signed on Monday.
• "The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India on December 16, 2019 signed a USD 250 million loan to Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) to expand energy efficiency investments in India that will benefit agricultural, residential and institutional consumers," according to the statement.
• In addition to this, USD 46 million financing will be provided from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) that will be administered by the ADB.

Which bank has signed a loan agreement of 277 million dollars with KfW, the German development bank for establishing an energy-efficient housing programme in India?

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SBI, KfW Sign $277 Million Agreement For Energy Efficient Housing Programme In India
• State Bank of India (SBI) said on Monday it has signed a loan agreement with KfW, the German development bank, for 277 million dollars (about Rs 1,958 crore) for establishing an energy-efficient housing programme in India.
• The facility has been signed after an agreement on financial cooperation between the two governments in October. The programme will be a part of Indo-German Development Cooperation which is guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
• Under the programme, both builders and home buyers will be financed for developing and purchasing energy-efficient residential projects that achieve at least 25 per cent energy savings in comparison to standard reference buildings.
• Hence, the programme will contribute to India's policy framework towards energy conservation in the residential building sector and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
• In addition to the 277 million dollar loan facility, KfW will also extend a grant of 1.5 million euros to SBI as a technical assistance package.
• The technical assistance funds will be used for supporting SBI in the preparation, implementation and monitoring of the programme.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has signed an MoU with which bank to develop Climate Resilient Technologies for farmers?

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• ICAR and NABARD sign MoU to develop Climate Resilient Technologies for farmers
• The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and National Board of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) signed Memorandum of Understanding on December 13, 2019.
• The agreement was signed to facilitate the research and technologies to develop climate resilient practices in the agriculture sector and hi-tech farming practices.
• Under the agreement, the organizations will take up technology transfer in integrated farming system, agro-forestry, crop intensification, horticulture and plantation. The initiative will help to strengthen the competition among NABARD officers and other working partners. The agreement will also help to upgrade technologies developed by ICAR. It includes hi-tech farming practices, climate resilient practices and models. It will also aid in evaluation of NABARD assisted projects like farm-mechanization, agri-incubation centres, and report generation for climate change projects.
• In order to develop climate resilient agriculture, GoI has launched several initiatives. One among them is the National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA)

Union Cabinet has approved the ‘Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme’ that allows public sector banks to purchase high-rated pooled assets from which among the following?

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Cabinet approves Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme
• Union Cabinet approved the ‘Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme’ that allows public sector banks (PSBs) to purchase high-rated pooled assets from financially sound non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and housing finance companies (HFCs).
• However, the amount of overall guarantee has been limited to first loss of up to 10% of fair value of assets (FAV) being purchased by banks under the scheme or Rs.10,000 crore, whichever is lower, as agreed by department of economic affairs (DEA), Union Ministry of Finance.
• About Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme
• The proposed government guarantee scheme will help NBFCs and HFCs to resolve their temporary liquidity and would enable them to continue contributing towards credit creation or cash flow mismatch issues. It will also provide last mile lending to borrowers, which will spurr economic growth.
• Scheme would cover NBFCs and HFCs that may have slipped into ‘SMA-0’ category during the 1 year period prior to 1 August 2018, and asset pools rated ‘BBB+ or higher’.
• Scheme will provide liquidity to NBFCs and HFCs concerned for financing credit demand of economy, and would also protect financial system of country from any adverse contagion effect that may arise due to failure of such entities.

Paul Volcker who passed away recently was the former chief of which among the following central banks?

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Former US Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker passes away
• The former US Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker passed away. He was appointed as the chief of the US Federal Reserve in 1979.
• He was popularly known for fighting inflation by raising interest rates. He was a legendary figure in American finance.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered India’s economic growth forecast for FY 2019-20 to what percent?

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Asian Development Bank cuts India’s growth forecast to 5.1% for FY2019-20; projects 6.5% for next year
• Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday lowered India’s economic growth forecast for FY2019 to 5.1 per cent on slowing job prospects, rural distress exacerbated by poor harvest and credit crunch.
• The multilateral bank, however, expects the growth to pick up to 6.5 per cent next year on supportive government policies.

Investor Education & Protection Fund Authority has signed an agreement with which bank to create Investor awareness in India?

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Investor Education & Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA) signs MOU with Bank of Baroda for Investor Awareness
Investor Education & Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA) signs MOU with Bank of Baroda on 4 December 2019 for information dissemination and reaching out to investors and stakeholders.
MoU Benefits:
♦ The exercise aims to help various investors who often fall prey to tempting offers for investments and Ponzi schemes.
♦ The MoU will spread customer awareness and investor education by strengthening ties with IEPFA.
♦ The MoU is expected to inculcate the habit of educating oneself among the stakeholders and potential investors.
♦ It will form a strategic partnership to help people to refrain from falling prey to fraudulent schemes.

SEBI has directed LIC, SBI and Bank of Baroda to dilute their stakes to below what percent in UTI Asset Management Company (AMC) by December 2020?

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• Sebi orders LIC, SBI, Bank of Baroda to reduce stake to below 10 pc in UTI AMC by Dec 2020
• Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has directed three public sector financial institutions — LIC, SBI and Bank of Baroda to dilute their stakes to below 10 percent in UTI Asset Management Company (AMC) by December 2020.
• In the case of non-compliance with directions, the shareholding and voting rights of these entities in UTI AMC and UTI Trustee in excess of 9.99 percent and corporate benefits will be frozen till the time they comply with the orders.
• Each of them presently holding 18.24 percent stake in UTI Asset Management Company (AMC). Private equity firm T Rowe Price International holds 26 percent stake in UTI AMC.

RBI has approved ‘on-tap' licensing of Small Finance Banks (SFBs). What is the minimum paid-up voting equity capital requirement for opening SFB?

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RBI issues final norms for 'on-tap' licensing of Small Finance Banks
• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on December 5 released final guidelines and opened the window for applicants to approach the regulator at any point of time for 'on-tap' licensing of Small Finance Banks (SFBs).
• The minimum paid-up voting equity capital or net worth requirement has been set at Rs 200 crore, up from Rs 100 crore as set earlier.
• For primary urban cooperative banks that intend to convert into SFB, RBI said that the initial requirement of net worth shall be at Rs 100 crore, which will have to be increased to Rs 200 crore within five years from the date of commencement of business.
• Payments Banks have also been allowed to apply for conversion into SFB after five years of operations, if they are meet other eligibility norms.
• Investors, other than promoters, will not be allowed to hold more than 10 percent stake in the SFB. However, in case of non-banking finance companies, micro-finance institutions and local area banks, where non-promoters hold more than 10 percent limit, RBI may consider giving 3 years time to dilute the stake.
• The listing of SFB will be mandatory within three years after it reaches the net worth of Rs 500 crore for the first time.

Who has been appointed as the MD & CEO of the Kerala based CSB Bank, formerly known as formerly known as Catholic Syrian Bank?

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• CSB Bank re-appoints Rajendran Chinna Veerappan as MD & CEO
• The Kerala based CSB Bank, formerly known as formerly known as Catholic Syrian Bank, in its board meeting held on 2 December, re-appointed Rajendran Chinna Veerappan as Managing Director and CEO of the Bank.
• Veerappan has been on CSB board since November 2016 and his tenure was to end on 8 December. The board of directors of the bank have appointed for another three years with effect from 9 December till 8 December 2022. He has over 40 years of experience in banking and finance sector and was previously associated with Corporation Bank, Andhra Bank and Bank of Maharashtra.

Which Online trucking platform has partnered with private lenders IDFC Bank and Yes Bank to provide FASTags to truck owners free of cost?

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• BlackBuck partners with IDFC Bank, Yes Bank to offer free FASTags to truckers
• The Online trucking platform BlackBuck has partnered with private lenders IDFC Bank and Yes Bank to provide FASTags to truck owners free of cost.
• Truck owners can order FASTags on BlackBuck’s Boss App, a digital services platform exclusively for truck fleet owners, and it will be delivered at their doorstep free of cost until December 31, 2019.
• The initiative is expected to help over 3 million trucks in India become FASTag compliant.

Which state government is to create land banks in rural areas to boost industrial development?

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• Punjab to create land banks in rural areas to boost industrial development
• The Punjab Cabinet on Monday gave in-principle approval to amend the Punjab Village Common Land (Regulation) Rules, 1964, to create land banks in rural areas to boost industrial development.
• The statement said the Cabinet had cleared the proposal of the Rural Development and Panchayat Department for insertion of Rule 12-B in the “Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Rules, 1964” to provide special provision for transfer of “Shamlat lands” (consolidation of land holdings for common use) for development of industrial infrastructure projects.
• The underlying objective is to facilitate the “gram panchayats” to promote development of villages by unlocking the value of such land and transfer it for industrial projects to the Industry department and the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC), said the statement.