Current Affairs 3rd April

National Affairs

1. MoF Increases Interest Rates on Most Small Savings Schemes, Except PPF, for Q1 FY24

For the third quarter in a row, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) have announced an interest rate increase for various Small Savings Schemes for the first quarter of the financial year 2023-24 (Q1 FY24) (April 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023).


There are approximately 40 crore members of Small Savings Schemes, and the basket of 12 instruments includes the National Savings Certificate (NSC), Public Provident Fund (PPF), Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP), Sukanya Samridihi Account (SSA), Monthly Income Savings Scheme, all post office time deposits, and others.


These savings instruments now have an interest rate that is 10-70 basis points (bps) higher—one percentage point is equivalent to 100 bps.


However, over the course of Q1 FY24, the interest rate for the PPF scheme has remained the same at 7.1%, and its returns have remained the same at 7.1% for the past three years.

Important Information: Small savings plan interest rates are evaluated quarterly by the Government of India.


Small savings interest rates are set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), but they are lag-linked to market yields on government securities (G-secs) and reviewed and fixed every quarter at a spread of 0-100 basis points (bps) over (100 bps = 1%) and above G-sec yields of comparable maturities.

2. Women aged between 15-29 years spend 5.5 hours more than men doing Unpaid Labour: MoSPI


The Service of Insights and Program Execution (MoSPI) delivered its

report named ‘Ladies and Men in India 2022’ which is 24th in series. According to this, an average Indian woman between the ages of 15 and 29 puts in 5.5 hours of unpaid labor each week. A man in that age group works for nothing for about 50 minutes each day.


Unpaid labor takes up four hours per day for a senior woman (over 60) and one and a half hours for a senior man.


This report is similar to an Oxfam report from December 2021 that found that women’s unpaid work taking care of their homes and children was worth 3.1% of India’s GDP.


Volunteering and training, where men spend an additional six minutes per day, are the only unpaid work areas in which they outnumber women.

3. Union Budget 2023-24: Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces Revamping of Credit Guarantee Scheme for MSE from April 1

Nirmala Sitharaman, the association pastor of money, reported in the association financial plan for 2023-2024 the redoing of the Credit Assurance Plan for Miniature and Little

Ventures (MSE) with impact from first April 2023.


It is redone with an imbuement of Rs 9,000 crore to the corpus to empower an

extra Rs 2 lakh crore in security free ensured credit and the decrease in

the expense of the credit by around 1%.


The Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) received Rs 8,000 crore on March 30, 2023. The approval of guarantees totaling Rs 1 lakh crore during the financial year (FY) 2022–23 by the CGTMSE marked a new milestone.


The ceiling for guarantees has increased to Rs 5 crore from Rs 2 crore. The initiation of legal proceedings will no longer be required for the settlement of claims regarding guarantees for loans with an outstanding balance of up to Rs 10 lakh. CGTMSE has given rules in such manner.

4. CBDT signs 95 Advance Pricing Agreements in FY 2022-23

In the fiscal years 2022-2023, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the Department of Revenue, and the Ministry of Finance signed a record 95 Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with Indian taxpayers. CBDT recorded the highest number of APA signings in any fiscal year since the APA program’s inception this year.


There are 32 bilateral APAs and 63 unilateral APAs in the agreement.


With a total of 21 APAs signed on March 24, 2023, a record for the most signings on a single day in program history was also set.


Since the APA program’s inception, 516 APAs have been completed, including 420 UAPAs and 96 BAPAs.


By defining the pricing methodologies and determining the arm’s length price of international transactions for up to five years in the future, the APA Scheme aims to provide taxpayers with clarity regarding transfer pricing.

International Affairs

1. Georgia becomes first American state to condemn Hinduphobia, passes resolution

The first state in the nation, Georgia in the United States of America (USA) adopted a resolution condemning “Hinduphobia” and “anti-Hindu bigotry.”


Representatives Lauren McDonald and Todd Jones from Forsyth County, which is located in the suburbs of Atlanta and is home to one of Georgia’s largest Hindu and Indian-American diaspora communities, introduced the resolution.


According to the resolution, the American-Hindu community has made significant contributions to a wide range of fields, including medicine, science and engineering, information technology, hospitality, finance, academia, manufacturing, energy, and retail trade.


Economy and Business

1. BharatPe Group Partners with WEP to foster Women Entrepreneurship in India

One of India’s leading fintech companies, Bharatpe Group, has joined forces with the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) to help women entrepreneurs across India become self-reliant and grow their businesses.


The organization, sent off under the ‘BharatPe Cares’, a Corporate Social

Obligation (CSR) drive by BharatPe Gathering, is in accordance with the brand reason

of BharatPe “To enable lives through comprehensive fintech arrangements”.

This particular project is part of BharatPe’s PAYBACK CSR program.




As per the sixth financial evaluation by the Service of Insights and Program

Implementation(MoSPI), ladies represent just 13.76% of the complete business visionaries

(8.05 million out of the absolute 58.5 million business people) in India.


This emphasizes the significance of empowering Indian women entrepreneurs.

About BharatPe – WEP association:




To establish an ecosystem that brings together female entrepreneurs from all over India and to provide them with the necessary domain knowledge, financial expertise, and technical expertise to accomplish their business objectives.


Areas of focus:


To make it easier to build a platform for aggregating peer support, mentorship, networking, and a variety of learning resources.

Important details:


The goal of the partnership between WEP and BharatPe is to level the playing field so that women can have equal growth opportunities and address the challenges women entrepreneurs face.


This also aims to make it easier to build a digital infrastructure that can be used by anyone to fill in the gaps and help women entrepreneurs grow.


Key Points:


The report on the industry says that by 2030, women entrepreneurs in India can create 150- 170 million jobs, which is more than 25% of the new jobs the working-age population needs.


Promoting women’s entrepreneurship is essential to developing India’s USD 5 trillion economy and will result in job creation.


Concerning the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP),


The first of its kind, WEP is a unified access portal that brings women from all over India together to create a supportive ecosystem that enables women to realize their entrepreneurial goals.


WEP is a public-private drive that targets giving a continuum of help to

ladies business visionaries by utilizing the organization of different partners who are

part of the environment.

Science and Technology

1. Sarbananda Sonowal launches Sagar Setu Mobile App of National Logistics Portal Marine 

“SAGAR SETU,” the app version of the National Logistics Portal (Marine), was launched by Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW) on March 31, 2023, in New Delhi, Delhi.


Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State (MoS), Sudhansh Pant, MoPSW, Secretary, and other senior officials attended the event.


Key Points:


The Login Module, Service Catalogue, Common Application Format, Letter of Credit, Bank Guarantee, Certification, Track and Trace, and other features are available in the app. that provide real-time information on activities that importers, exporters, and customs brokers are unable to access.


This includes information about the vessel, gate information, container freight stations, and transactions. The app makes all of this easy to access.


Additionally, it facilitates digital payments for import and export clearance procedures.


The SAGAR-SETU app speeds up approval and compliance processes, making it easier for custodians to access features on a mobile device.


The app will be beneficial to service providers because it will enable them to track offered records and transactions and notify them of service requests.

2. India & UK Scientists collaborate on SMART Early Warning Flood Alert System

Researchers from India and the Unified Realm (UK) have fostered a continuous Early

Cautioning Framework to assist with diminishing the disastrous impacts of flooding on individuals and property, especially in rocky regions where outrageous water occasions are a significant issue. A so-called SMART approach that better fits the local context was created by the team by integrating approaches led by local communities, science, and policy.


Team: Researchers from the People’s Science Institute, Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Imperial College London (UK), and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee (Uttarakhand).


The SMART strategy addresses: a shared understanding of risks that ensures that every community group is represented and that a variety of data collection methods are utilised; 

Observing dangers and laying out advance notice frameworks that form

trust and trade basic gamble data assisting with keeping up with the gauging framework.


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