1)Explained: Why India tightened FDI rules, and why it’s China that’s upset
India recently revised its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy with the objective of preventing “opportunistic takeovers” of firms hit by the lockdown induced by the COVID-19 outbreak. The move has upset China, which has termed it a violation of international trade principles.
What was the amendment:- An entity of a country that shares a land border with India can now invest in firms here “only under the Government route”.
This also applies to “beneficial” owners — even if the investing company is not located in a neighbouring country, it would still be subject to these conditions if its owner is a citizen or resident of such a country.
A Brookings India paper pegs the total current and planned Chinese investment in India at over $26 billion.
China has called for India to revise these “discriminatory practices” and treat investments from different countries equally.
“The additional barriers set by Indian side for investors from specific countries violate WTO’s (World Trade Organization) principle of non-discrimination, and go against the general trend of liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment.
More importantly, they do not conform to the consensus of G-20 leaders and trade ministers to realize a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep our markets open.
Before India, the European Union and Australia had initiated similar measures. These, again, were seen as being targeted at Chinese investments.
2) UPI :- Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a payment system launched by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
It facilitates the fund transfer between two bank accounts through a smartphone.
It converts multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood.
It also caters to the “Peer to Peer” collect request which can be scheduled and paid as per requirement and convenience.
The unique feature of UPI is that it immediate money transfer through mobile devices round the clock 24*7 and 365 days.
Also, a single mobile application may be used for accessing different bank accounts. It may also be used for Utility Bill Payments, Over the Counter Payments and Barcode (Scan and Pay) based payments.
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is an umbrella organization for all retail payments system in India. It was set up with the guidance and support of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).
It was formed in 2008.
IMPS is an innovative real time payment service that is available round the clock. This service is offered by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) that empowers customers to transfer money instantly through banks and RBI authorized Prepaid Payment Instrument Issuers (PPI) across India.
3)Iran launches first military satellite in latest show of force:- Iran has claimed it has put its first military satellite into orbit, further raising tensions with the US at a time the two countries are already facing off in the Persian Gulf.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said the satellite “Noor” (Light) was in a 425km (264 miles) high orbit, after a successful launch. Iran launched its first civilian satellite in 2009.