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Monthly GK Digest: February 2023

Published on Tuesday, March 07, 2023
Monthly GK Digest: February 2023

“Pay as you drive” vehicle insurance policy by NIA

Current Context: New India Assurance has introduced its Pay as You Drive (PAYD) vehicle insurance policy, which charges premiums based on vehicle usage.

Key Highlights

  • This type of insurance, also known as Usage-based insurance (UBI), pay how you drive (PHYD), and mile-based auto insurance, is determined by factors such as the type of vehicle, time, distance, behaviour, and location.
  • The PAYD policy offers discounts on renewals, coverage beyond distance limits, and additional protection features like zero depreciation, roadside assistance, engine protection, and return to invoice.
  • Insurance premiums are calculated based on driving, and distance traveled instead of a fixed amount in traditional car insurance.
  • This model benefits those who use their vehicles sparingly. The policy includes a third-party cover and own-damage cover.
  • Customers can save money on own-damage premiums through renewal discounts if the vehicle is driven within specified kilometres.
  • Recently, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has permitted insurance companies to launch telematics-based motor insurance covers such as PAYD and PHYD, allowing vehicle owners to pay for insurance based on usage.

GoI to launch National Data Governance Policy

Current Context: National Data Governance Policy is a policy introduced by the Government of India (GoI) to manage the usage, security, availability, and integrity of data.

Key Points

  • The policy was announced in the Union Budget 2023 presentation by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman.
  • The policy will create an Indian Data Management Office (IDMO) under the IT Ministry, which will focus on increasing access to anonymised data safely and securely.
  • The main objective of the policy is to make data secure and available to startups in India, and is considered a first step towards a digital government.
  • The policy aims to increase the availability of essential data, improve data privacy and protection standards, and enhance the public's participation in data governance.
  • Anonymised data is sensitive data that has been stripped of personally identifiable information to increase security. For example, in the case of AADHAR, a citizen's name, date of birth, and address can be made available only to the concerned party after being anonymised to prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information.

PM-PRANAM scheme launched under the GOBAR DHAN scheme

Current Context: The Indian government's top priority from 2023 to 2024 will be green growth. The Indian government budgeted Rs 5,172 lakh crores for the FAME Scheme to eliminate pollution, promote the usage of electric vehicles, and achieve green growth.

Key Facts

  • The PM-PRANAM Scheme was also introduced. This programme was introduced as part of the GOBAR Dhan programme.
  • Its full name is the PM Programme for the Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment, and Improvement of Mother Earth. The GoI intends to promote fertiliser substitutes through the programme. Additionally, it attempts to encourage the sensible use of chemicals.
  • The scheme's primary goal is to decrease the use of chemical fertilisers.
  • The GOBAR Dhan Scheme led to the launch of PM PRANAM. GOBAR DHAN is energising the Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan.
  • During the Budget, the finance minister revealed that 500 new "waste to wealth" facilities would be built as part of the GOBAR Dhan programme. Of these 500, 200 will be cluster-based plants, with 75 being compressed biogas plants (inside metropolitan areas).
  • 10 billion rupees were allotted for this.
  • From this point forward, all natural and biomass marketers must incorporate at least 5% compressed biogas.
  • From this programme, more than one crore farmers will profit.

RBI reported an increase in micro ATMs in 2022

Current Context: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reports that in 2022, there was a significant increase in the number of micro Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) installed throughout India.


  • However, after June 2022, there hasn't been a significant increase in the value of money withdrawn through these devices. In India, there were 14.19 lakh micro ATMs in use as of December 2022.
  • Micro ATMs, as the name suggests, are small, portable, handheld ATMs or card-swipe devices that also offer cardless money transfers in rural areas using the Aadhaar-enabled payment system (AePS).
  • The customer's bank account is linked to an identity proof, often the Aadhaar, which is used by the micro-ATM to identify them.
  • The RBI claims that the micro-platform will allow low-cost devices (micro ATMs) connected to banks all over India to function.
  • This would enable instant money deposits and withdrawals, irrespective of the bank associated with a particular business correspondent (BC).
  • This device, which will function through a mobile phone connection, will be accessible to every BC.
  • In December 2020, the amount of cash withdrawals was Rs. 19.67 lakh crore, which rose to Rs. 25.2 lakh crore in December 2021 but only slightly increased to Rs. 25.5 lakh crore in November 2022 when there were 13.3 lakh micro ATMs.
  • This shows a declining value of transactions per micro ATM per month.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, the value of cash withdrawals from micro ATMs saw a significant increase, rising 92% from Rs. 1,17,086 crore in FY20 to Rs. 2,25,041 crore in FY21 and to Rs. 2,99,776 crore in FY22.
  • Fino Payments Bank operates the most micro ATMs in India, with 3.55 lakh, followed by SBM Bank India Ltd with 3.3 lahks and NSDL Payments Bank with 2.25 lakh.

India’s capacity to manufacture solar module to reach 95gw by 2025:

Current Context: The capacity of India to produce solar photovoltaic (PV) modules will likely surpass 39 gigawatts (GW) by the end of September 2022, and it is predicted to reach about 95 GW by the end of the calendar year (CY) 2025, according to the "State of Solar PV Manufacturing in India" report by Mercom India Research.


  • As of September 2022, India had a solar cell manufacturing capacity of approximately 4.7 GW, which is expected to increase seven times by the end of 2024.
  • The Indian government has set a goal to have 220 GW of solar capacity by the end of the decade, which requires a significant increase in manufacturing capacity.
  • To encourage growth in domestic solar manufacturing, states have offered various fiscal and non-fiscal incentives under industrial, electronics, and solar policies. Additionally, the Production Linked Incentives (PLI) Scheme of the Government of India (GoI) provides support for the integration of new capacity.
  • The Union Cabinet approved a Rs. 19,500 crore PLI Scheme in September 2022 with the goal of attracting Rs. 94,000 crore in investment. The companies that received incentives in the first round of the government's PLI scheme will have made significant contributions to the market by the end of 2024 with polysilicon, ingots, and wafers.
  • The domestic value chain for photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing will also be improved with the pending allocations under the second round of the PLI scheme
  • The GoI is eager to establish India as a hub for solar module manufacturing, and Indian manufacturers have met the demand for solar modules in the US, South Africa, and the UAE since 2018. The majority of solar module and cell manufacturers are located in Gujarat.

RBI Digital Payment Index

Current Context: The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) Digital Payments Index (DPI), a gauge of the country's level of payment digitisation, grew to 377.46 in September 2022 from 349.30 in March 2022 and 304.06 in September 2021.


  • The RBI-DPI has improved across all categories, with notable growth in payment infrastructure and payment performance, according to the index, which shows that digital payments nationwide have grown by 24.13% in a year.
  • The RBI-DPI index series measures the changes in the deposit growth of banks in India.
  • The index has a base period of March 2018, which has been set at 100. In March 2021, the index stood at 270.59, reflecting an increase of 170.59 points from the base period. By September 2021, the index further increased to 304.06. The following data point, in March 2022, saw a significant rise to 349.3. Finally, in September 2022, the index reached its highest point at 377.46.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) created the RBI-Digital Payments Index (DPI) on January 1, 2021, to track the expansion of digital or cashless transactions nationwide.
  • For the index, the RBI has set the base year 2018, i.e. DPI score for March 2018 is set at 100.Since March 2021, RBI has published DPI semi-annually with a lag of four months.
This digest is not complete. Read the complete digest on the General Awareness Course.

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