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Hello everyone! Good day! 

Let us dive into some news from past week 

Dive in!

Lok Sabha Elections Enter Phase 2 as Voters Turn Out to Shape the Nation's Future 

In the first phase of Lok Sabha Elections on April 19, voting took place in 109 constituencies, with a voter turnout of around 62%. The counting of votes for all seven phases will occur on June 4. 

On April 26, Phase 2 of the elections will cover all 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in Kerala, 14 in Karnataka, 13 in Rajasthan, eight each in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, seven in Madhya Pradesh, five each in Assam and Bihar, three each in West Bengal and Chhattisgarh, and one each in Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, and Tripura.

 

More than 16 lakh polling officials will be stationed at 1.67 lakh polling stations for this phase. Webcasting will be available at over 50% of these stations, and micro-observers will be present at all locations. In total, voting for 543 Lok Sabha seats will occur across seven phases. The second phase of Lok Sabha elections included 1,200 candidates running across 12 states, with a total of 2,633 nominations submitted. 

 

 

 

 

 

G7’s diamond checks can raise costs for Indian diamond manufacturers

 

G7 nations apparently decided to set up diamond traceability centers in Belgium to determine the origin of diamonds. Such centers are expected to prevent Russian-origin diamonds from reaching G7 nations. Starting from September 1, 2024, Indian diamond manufacturers are expected to send the rough diamonds to Belgium for traceability. Indian diamantaires currently process more than 90% of the world’s rough diamonds and the G7 move is expected to raise the cost of diamond processing significantly. 

India, on the other hand, has proposed a traceability center in Surat or Mumbai, which are the major processing hubs. India earlier used to source 30% of diamonds from Russia, which has stopped due to sanctions post Russia-Ukraine war. As a result, the diamond exports fell by 27.6% in FY24 vs FY23. 

 

RBI Approves PayU for Payment Aggregator Role 

Last year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) returned fintech firm PayU's application to operate as a payment aggregator, citing its complex corporate structure and instructing the company to reapply. Consequently, PayU paused the onboarding of new merchants for its online payment aggregation business. Similar restrictions were placed on other firms such as Paytm, Razorpay, and Cashfree. Razorpay and Cashfree were approved in December last year, but Paytm is still awaiting approval. 

On Wednesday, PayU announced it received in-principle approval from the RBI to function as a payment aggregator. This approval allows PayU to begin onboarding new merchants and offer them digital payment services. PayU provides payment gateway solutions to online businesses, serving a broad network of over 450,000 merchants and supporting more than 100 diverse payment methods. 

More news from the week ...

  • 51% Top Companies Disclose Scope 3 data: In fiscal year 2023, over half of India's top 100 listed companies by market capitalization voluntarily disclosed their Scope 3 data for their Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR). Additionally, 89% of these companies provided information on leadership indicators, 44% conducted life-cycle assessments, and 31% disclosed their net-zero targets. 

  • Kotak Bank restricted from adding New customers: The RBI Has barred Kotak Mahindra Bank from new issuance or onboarding of new customers with immediate effect due to deficiencies in the bank's IT system in 2022 and 2023, this has made existing customers have second thoughts about the safety of money in their existing accounts. Once the bank responds to and satisfies the RBI findings, the curbs will be removed. 

  • TikTok to be banned in USA – President Joe Biden signed a law to ban TikTok owned by Chinese company Bytedance unless it is sold within a year. The lawmakers have cited security issues for this move and the company is expected to challenge the measure legally.

  • Record military spending by countries in 2023 – Military spending hit $2.4 trillion in 2023, a 6.8% increase from the previous year. The 3 biggest military spenders are the USA, China, and Russia

  • Bitcoin halving is complete – On April 19, 2024 bitcoin’s fourth halving was completed. This happens when the mining reward is cut in half usually during a span of 4 years which is the time to mine 210,000 blocks. 

Check out the awesome content from Ambrela 

Visual of the Week

WhatsApp Image 2024-04-26 at 5.58.00 PM.jpeg

Source: hindustantimes.com

With gold prices on the rise, many imagine a scenario where gold falls from the sky. Remarkably, this is a reality in Antarctica. Mount Erebus, an active volcano, emits bursts of gas that contain tiny crystals of metallic gold, surprising scientists. The volcano releases about 80 grams of gold daily, valued at around $6,000. Traces of gold dust have been discovered up to 621 miles away from Mount Erebus, carried by the ambient air. 

Test you knowledge !

Which country holds the top position in diamond mining ?

[A]   Russia 

[B]   Botswana  

[C]   Canada 

[D]   South Africa

Russia produces the most diamond globally in terms of weight. In 2022, the country produced 41.9 million carats vs the second spot holder Botswana which produced 24.7 million carats.  

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