Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Current Affairs - 2019
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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted a high-level committee under Nandan Nilekani to suggest measures to strengthen the safety and security of digital payments in the country.
Members of the Committee
Nandan Nilekani will be the head of the committee which comprises of former RBI deputy governor H.R. Khan, former MD and CEO of Vijaya Bank Kishore Sansi, former secretary in ministries of IT and steel Aruna Sharma and chief innovation officer, Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad, Sanjay Jain.
Terms of the Reference
RBI has provided the following terms of reference for the committee:
- To encourage digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion through digitization.
- Reviewing the existing status of digitisation of payments in the country, identifying the current gaps in the ecosystem and suggesting ways to bridge them.
- Assessing the current levels of digital payments in financial inclusion.
- Suggest measures to strengthen the safety and security of digital payments.
- Suggest a road map for increasing customer confidence and trust while accessing financial services through digital modes.
- Undertake cross-country analysis to identify best practices to accelerate digitisation of the economy and financial inclusion through greater use of digital payments.
- Suggest a medium-term strategy for deepening of digital payments.
RBI has asked the committee to submit its report within a period of 90 days from the date of its first meeting.
India’s foreign exchange reserves declined in this week by USD 613.9 million reaching USD 393.12 billion. This decline has been attributed to the fall in foreign currency assets as per the Reserve Bank of India. The Forex reserves had increased by USD 16.6 million to reach USD 393.734 billion in the previous week.
Foreign currency assets, which form a major part of the overall foreign reserves India, declined by USD 631.6 million to reach USD 367.865 billion. Apart from US dollars, foreign currency assets also include non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen and the appreciation and depreciation of these currencies also have an effect on the reserves. As per the data, Gold reserves increased by USD 37.2 million to USD 21.187 billion this week.
There was also a decline in the special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which reduced by USD 7 million to reach USD 1.45 billion. India’s reserves position with the IMF also suffered a reduction by USD 12.5 million to USD 2.617 billion in the reporting week.
It is to be noted that the reserves have been decreasing since April 2018 when it touched a record high of USD 426.028 billion.
About Foreign Reserves
The foreign reserves are the reserve assets held by a central bank in foreign currencies. It acts as a buffer which can help the economy in challenging times and can be used to back liabilities on their own issued currency as well as to influence monetary policy. Almost all countries in the world, regardless of the size of their economy, hold significant foreign exchange reserves.
The components of India’s FOREX Reserves include Foreign currency assets (FCAs), Gold Reserves, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and RBI’s Reserve position with International Monetary Fund (IMF). FCAs constitute the largest component of Indian Forex Reserves and are expressed in US dollar terms.