Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 18 April 2022

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 18 April 2022


QUAD summit expected to be held on May 24 in Tokyo

  • The much-awaited QUAD summit is expected to be held in Tokyo around May 24, provided the Australian general elections on May 21 do not result in an unfavorable outcome for incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
  • According to diplomats based in Washington and Tokyo, while US President Joseph Biden, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and Prime Minister NarendraModi have converged on May 24 as the date for the QUAD meeting, the Australian Foreign Ministry wants to wait for the May 21 election results before confirming.
  • HT learns that the QUAD summit will happen on May 24 unless the Australian government wants a postponement. That may happen if the incumbent loses; as things stand Morrison’s opponent from the Labour Party, Anthony Albanese, is doing better than expected, though the former is still ahead, but only just.
  • India, led by PM Modi is looking forward to the QUAD summit with Washington firmly committed to New Delhi on convergence in the Indo-Pacific and making the grouping a powerful instrument of law-abiding democratic countries. Apart from the odd friction on Human Rights, the India US two-plus-two dialogue went off well with both countries showing close convergence on most issues, the diplomats said. It is understood that the Biden administration gave a commitment that it is in for the long haul in the Indo-Pacific despite its immediate preoccupation with Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

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Unrest sparked by far-right stir sweeps Sweden

  • Unrest broke out in southern Sweden late Saturday despite police moving a rally by an anti-Islam far-right group, which was planning to burn a Quran among other things, to a new location as a preventive measure.
  • Scuffles and unrest were reported in the southern town of Landskrona after a demonstration scheduled there by the Danish right-wing party StramKurs party was moved to the nearby city of Malmo, some 45km south.
  • Up to 100 mostly young people threw stones, set cars, tires and dustbins on fire, and put up a barrier fence that obstructed traffic, Swedish police said. The situation had calmed down in Landskrona by late Saturday but remains tense, police said, adding no injuries were reported in the action.
  • On Friday evening, violent clashes between demonstrators and counter-protesters erupted in the central city of Orebro ahead StramKurs’ plan to burn a Quran there, leaving 12 police officers injured and four police vehicles set on fire. Videos from chaotic scenes in Orebro showed burning police cars and protesters throwing stones and other objects at police officers in riot gear.
  • The right of the protesters “to demonstrate and speak out weighs enormously, heavily and it takes an incredible amount for this to be ignored,” Hild said.
  • The demonstration took place Saturday evening in a central park in Malmo where StramKurs’ leader RasmusPaludan addressed a few dozen people. A small number of counter-protesters threw stones at demonstrators and police was forced to use pepper spray to disperse them.
  • Paludan himself was reported to have been hit by a stone on his leg, Swedish media said. No serious injuries were reported, according to police.


GST Council may do away with 5% rate; move items to 3% and 8% slabs: Report

  • With most states on board to raise revenue so that they do not have to depend on Centre for compensation, the GST Council at its meeting next month is likely to consider a proposal to do away with the 5 per cent slab by moving some goods of mass consumption to 3 per cent and the remaining to 8 per cent categories, sources said.
  • Currently, GST is a four-tier structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. Besides, gold and gold jewellery attract 3 per cent tax.
  • In addition, there is an exempt list of items like unbranded and unpacked food items which do not attract the levy.
  • Sources said in order to augment revenue the Council may decide to prune the list of exempt items by moving some of the non-food items to 3 per cent slab.
  • Sources said that discussions are on to raise the 5 per cent slab to either 7 or 8 or 9 per cent, a final call will be taken by the GST Council which comprises finance ministers of both Centre and states.
  • As per calculations, every 1 per cent increase in the 5 per cent slab, which mainly includes packaged food items, would roughly yield an additional revenue of Rs 50,000 crore annually.
  • Although various options are under consideration, the Council is likely to settle for an 8 per cent GST (Goods and Services Tax) for most items that currently attract 5 per cent levy.
  • Under GST, essential items are either exempted or taxed at the lowest rate while luxury and demerit items attract the highest tax. Luxury and sin goods also attract cess on top of the highest 28 per cent slab. This cess collection is used to compensate states for the revenue loss due to GST roll out.

UPI to stay on top; digital currency to drive payments in next 5 years

  • Retail online transaction platform UPI will likely continue to dominate the digital payments space in the country even as newer methods such as BNPL and digital currency are expected to define the future of payments, a study has said.
  • Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and offline payments will drive growth of digital payments in India in the next five years, PwC India said in a report.
  • UPI is expected to continue to be the major contributor in the digital payments space, followed by BNPL, it said.
  • The Indian digital payments market saw steady growth at a CAGR of 23 per cent (volume wise), and is expected to reach 217 billion (21,700 crore) transactions in FY26 from 59 billion (5,900 crore) in FY22, said the report titled 'The Indian Payments Handbook 2021-26'.
  • Partnerships with other countries in Asia to enable low-value transactions and cross-border remittances through UPI will contribute to this growth. BNPL, which is currently estimated at Rs 363 billion (Rs 36,300 crore), is expected to reach Rs 3,191 billion (Rs 3,19,100crore) by the end of 202526, according to the report.
  • "We expect the payments industry to focus heavily on enhancing customer experience and providing customer options for payment, enhancing security, undertaking innovations in technology like distributed ledger technology (DLT) and emerging tech like IoT (Internet of Things) over the next couple of years.
  • "With the efforts and initiatives of key stakeholders such as regulators, banks, payment/fintech companies, card networks and service providers, the industry is going to see tremendous growth in the coming years," Mihir Gandhi, Partner & Payments Transformation Leader, PwC India, said.


Man City fends off Atltico, reaches Champions League semis

  • Manchester City held Atltico Madrid to a 0-0 draw to return to the Champions League semifinals and keep alive its hopes of winning Europe's top club competition for the first time.
  • City advanced thanks to its 1-0 win in the first leg last week.
  • In the end, it was Pep Guardiola getting the best of Diego Simeone in the battle of styles between City's offensive-minded tactics and Atltico's more cautious approach.
  • Atltico's attack struggled to find the net again and the Spanish club managed only three attempts on target after having none in the first leg.

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