GK Today: Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Preparation: 2 September 2018

Eight core industries grew 6.6 per cent during July 2018

The eight core industries, driving 40.27 per cent of India’s industrial production, grew 6.6 per cent during July against a growth of 2.9 per cent in the same month last year. The growth was largely on account of robust energy demand met by higher production by the oil refineries. Refinery production rose 12.3 per cent in July. Refinery production had declined by 2.7 per cent in July 2017 versus the same month in 2016. Domestic crude oil production, however, continued to decline and registered a 5.4 per cent fall in the month under review. Anti-dumping measures and firming up of steel prices reflected positively on the sector and steel production continued with the upward trend. It was up six per cent in July against the same month last year. Cement production was 10.8 per cent higher, while electricity generation grew by 4.8 per cent over July 2017. There was a 9.7 per cent growth in coal production during the month. Natural gas production was 5.2 per cent lower during July over the same month last year, while fertiliser production reported a 1.3 per cent increase.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches India Post Payments Bank

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a payments bank of the Department of Posts that will take banking to the doorstep of every citizen through an unmatched network of post offices and almost 3 lakh postmen and ‘Grameen Dak Sewaks’. The India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) will be like any other banks but its operations will be on a smaller scale without involving any credit risk. It will carry out most banking operations like accepting deposits but won’t advance loans or issue credit cards. The payments bank will accept deposits of up to Rs 1 lakh, offer remittance services, mobile payments/transfers/purchases and other banking services like ATM/debit cards, net banking and third-party fund transfers. The government owns 100 per cent in the IPPB, which will offer products and services though multiple channels such as counter services, micro ATMs, mobile banking app, messages and interactive voice response. The IPPB will use Aadhaar to open accounts, while a QR card and biometrics will drive authentication, transactions, and payments. Grameen Dak Sewaks will be armed with smartphones and biometric devices to handle transactions. The IPPB has teamed up with financial services providers like the PNB and Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance for third-party products like loans and insurance.