On March 22, 2021, the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) set up a five-member Standing External Advisory Committee (SEAC) which is headed by former RBI Deputy Governor Shyamala Gopinath, for evaluating applications for universal banks and small finance banks(SFBs).
- Tenure: The tenure for SEAC will be for 3 years
- Key Function: Applications for universal banks and SFBs will first be evaluated by the RBI to ensure prima facie eligibility of the applicants, after which SEAC will evaluate the applications.
- Shyamala Gopinath, former Deputy Governor, RBI, has been appointed as the chairperson of the SEAC.
Note – Prima facie eligibility is preliminary scrutiny for all the applications which includes the ability to raise the minimum initial capital and the status of ownership and control by residents.
Key points about the committee:
- SEAC comprising eminent persons with experience in banking, financial sector and other relevant areas, to evaluate the applications
- Secretarial support to the committee would be provided by RBI’s Department of Regulation.
- The SEAC will set up its own procedures to screen the applications and will then submit its recommendations to the RBI for consideration.
- RBI has already indicated the constitution of SEAC in the guidelines for “on-tap” licensing of universal banks in the private sector, 2016, and “on-tap” licensing of SFBs, 2019.
i.it means the RBI will accept applications and grant licences for banks throughout the year. The policy allows applying for an SFB/Universal bank license at any time, subject to the fulfilment of the conditions laid down by the RBI.
ii.Under the new on-tap licensing guidelines, the RBI has increased the minimum paid-up voting equity capital at Rs 200 crore, from Rs 100 crore for SFB
Other members of the panel:
- RBI Central Board Director – Revathy Iyer,
- National Payments Corporation of India’s Chairman – B Mahapatra,
- Canara Bank’s, former Chairman – T N Manoharan and
- Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, former Chairman – Hemant Contractor.
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The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has formed a 14-member committee to review its information and cybersecurity guidelines. The committee is headed by Prof Janakiram, chairman of the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT). A R Nithiyanantham, CGM-IT, IRDAI will be a member convenor of the working group.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Other than the Government of India(GoI), the RBI is the sole body authorised to issue banknotes in India.
Facilities used by RBI for printing notes:
- The Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL), a wholly-owned company of the GoI, has printing facilities at Nashik, Maharashtra and Dewas, Madhya Pradesh.
- The Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL), owned by the RBI, has printing facilities in Mysore, Karnataka and Salboni, West Bengal.
- For the minting of coins, SPMCIL has four mints at Mumbai, Noida, Kolkata and Hyderabad for coin production.
- GoI mint coins and also issue Rs 1 notes