05 Mar 2018: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

Steering Committee on Fintech related issues

  • In pursuance to the announcement made by the Union Minister of Finance in his Budget Speech 2018-19, a Steering Committee has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance.

Objective: –

  • To consider various issues relating to development of Fintech space in India with a view to make Fintech related regulations more flexible and generate enhanced entrepreneurship in an area where India has distinctive comparative strengths vis-à-vis other emerging economies. 
  • The Steering Committee will also focus on how Fintech can be leveraged to enhance financial inclusion of MSMEs.

About Fintech

  • Financial technology is the new technology and innovation that aims to compete with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial services.
  • The use of smartphones for mobile banking, investing services and cryptocurrency are examples of technologies aiming to make financial services more accessible to the general public.
  • Financial technology companies consist of both startups and established financial and technology companies trying to replace or enhance the usage of financial services provided by existing financial companies.
  • FinTech has emerged as a relatively new industry in India.
  • According to the report of NASSCOM, India has a presence of approximately 400 companies in the fintech industry, with an investment of about $420 million (in 2015). The NASSCOM report also estimated the fintech software and services market to grow 1.7 times by 2020, making it worth $8 billion.
  • The Indian fintech landscape is segmented as follows – 34% in payment processing, followed by 32% in banking and 12% in the trading, public and private markets.
  • Accelerators and incubators tapping the startup ecosystem include PayPal’s Star Tank, Yes Bank’s collaboration with T-Hub, among others.
  • Visakhapatnam (Vizag) is being developed as fintech hub and the local government of Andhra Pradesh, had opened Fintech Valley Tower to promote the investments in this area
  • India FinTech Forum represents the Indian fintech firms as part of the Global FinTech Hubs Federation (GFHF).


Premium Tag for Coffee grown in Araku Valley

  • Coffee Board has applied for registration of Araku coffee under Geographical Indications to protect the unique identity of the coffee grown by the tribal communities of Araku Valley in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Central Government, through the Coffee Board, is promoting production of coffee in Araku Valley by implementing the “Integrated Coffee Development Project”.
  • Arabica coffee from the Araku Valley area has gained popularity as a high quality speciality coffee internationally. 
  • Coffee Board encourages the coffee growers to participate in the “Flavour of India-The Fine Cup Award” competition organised by Coffee Board every year.


AKASH missile

  • It is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defence system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) for Missile Systems and Bharat Electronics (BEL) for other radars, control centers in India.
  • The missile system can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m.
  • It has the capability to “neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles” as well as ballistic missiles.


NAG missile

  • It is a third generation “fire-and-forget” anti-tank missile developed in India.
  • It is one of five missile systems developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
  • Nag can be launched from land and air-based platforms. The land version is currently available for integration on the Nag missile carrier (NAMICA), which is derived from a BMP-2 tracked infantry combat vehicle.
  • The helicopter-launched configuration, designated as helicopter-launched NAG (HELINA), can be fired from Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) and HAL Rudra (ALH WSI) attack helicopter.


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