1. Which public sector bank has been selected as Most Efficient public sector bank?





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MCQ-> The current debate on intellectual property rights (IPRs) raises a number of important issues concerning the strategy and policies for building a more dynamic national agricultural research system, the relative roles of public and private sectors, and the role of agribusiness multinational corporations (MNCs). This debate has been stimulated by the international agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), negotiated as part of the Uruguay Round. TRIPs, for the first time, seeks to bring innovations in agricultural technology under a new worldwide IPR regime. The agribusiness MNCs (along with pharmaceutical companies) played a leading part in lobbying for such a regime during the Uruguay Round negotiations. The argument was that incentives are necessary to stimulate innovations, and that this calls for a system of patents which gives innovators the sole right to use (or sell/lease the right to use) their innovations for a specified period and protects them against unauthorised copying or use. With strong support of their national governments, they were influential in shaping the agreement on TRIPs, which eventually emerged from the Uruguay Round. The current debate on TRIPs in India - as indeed elsewhere - echoes wider concerns about ‘privatisation’ of research and allowing a free field for MNCs in the sphere of biotechnology and agriculture. The agribusiness corporations, and those with unbounded faith in the power of science to overcome all likely problems, point to the vast potential that new technology holds for solving the problems of hunger, malnutrition and poverty in the world. The exploitation of this potential should be encouraged and this is best done by the private sector for which patents are essential. Some, who do not necessarily accept this optimism, argue that fears of MNC domination are exaggerated and that farmers will accept their products only if they decisively outperform the available alternatives. Those who argue against agreeing to introduce an IPR regime in agriculture and encouraging private sector research are apprehensive that this will work to the disadvantage of farmers by making them more and more dependent on monopolistic MNCs. A different, though related apprehension is that extensive use of hybrids and genetically engineered new varieties might increase the vulnerability of agriculture to outbreaks of pests and diseases. The larger, longer-term consequences of reduced biodiversity that may follow from the use of specially bred varieties are also another cause for concern. Moreover, corporations, driven by the profit motive, will necessarily tend to underplay, if not ignore, potential adverse consequences, especially those which are unknown and which may manifest themselves only over a relatively long period. On the other hand, high-pressure advertising and aggressive sales campaigns by private companies can seduce farmers into accepting varieties without being aware of potential adverse effects and the possibility of disastrous consequences for their livelihood if these varieties happen to fail. There is no provision under the laws, as they now exist, for compensating users against such eventualities. Excessive preoccupation with seeds and seed material has obscured other important issues involved in reviewing the research policy. We need to remind ourselves that improved varieties by themselves are not sufficient for sustained growth of yields. in our own experience, some of the early high yielding varieties (HYVs) of rice and wheat were found susceptible to widespread pest attacks; and some had problems of grain quality. Further research was necessary to solve these problems. This largely successful research was almost entirely done in public research institutions. Of course, it could in principle have been done by private companies, but whether they choose to do so depends crucially on the extent of the loss in market for their original introductions on account of the above factors and whether the companies are financially strong enough to absorb the ‘losses’, invest in research to correct the deficiencies and recover the lost market. Public research, which is not driven by profit, is better placed to take corrective action. Research for improving common pool resource management, maintaining ecological health and ensuring sustainability is both critical and also demanding in terms of technological challenge and resource requirements. As such research is crucial to the impact of new varieties, chemicals and equipment in the farmer’s field, private companies should be interested in such research. But their primary interest is in the sale of seed materials, chemicals, equipment and other inputs produced by them. Knowledge and techniques for resource management are not ‘marketable’ in the same way as those inputs. Their application to land, water and forests has a long gestation and their efficacy depends on resolving difficult problems such as designing institutions for proper and equitable management of common pool resources. Public or quasi-public research institutions informed by broader, long-term concerns can only do such work. The public sector must therefore continue to play a major role in the national research system. It is both wrong and misleading to pose the problem in terms of public sector versus private sector or of privatisation of research. We need to address problems likely to arise on account of the public-private sector complementarity, and ensure that the public research system performs efficiently. Complementarity between various elements of research raises several issues in implementing an IPR regime. Private companies do not produce new varieties and inputs entirely as a result of their own research. Almost all technological improvement is based on knowledge and experience accumulated from the past, and the results of basic and applied research in public and quasi-public institutions (universities, research organisations). Moreover, as is increasingly recognised, accumulated stock of knowledge does not reside only in the scientific community and its academic publications, but is also widely diffused in traditions and folk knowledge of local communities all over. The deciphering of the structure and functioning of DNA forms the basis of much of modern biotechnology. But this fundamental breakthrough is a ‘public good’ freely accessible in the public domain and usable free of any charge. Various techniques developed using that knowledge can however be, and are, patented for private profit. Similarly, private corporations draw extensively, and without any charge, on germplasm available in varieties of plants species (neem and turmeric are by now famous examples). Publicly funded gene banks as well as new varieties bred by public sector research stations can also be used freely by private enterprises for developing their own varieties and seek patent protection for them. Should private breeders be allowed free use of basic scientific discoveries? Should the repositories of traditional knowledge and germplasm be collected which are maintained and improved by publicly funded organisations? Or should users be made to pay for such use? If they are to pay, what should be the basis of compensation? Should the compensation be for individuals or (or communities/institutions to which they belong? Should individual institutions be given the right of patenting their innovations? These are some of the important issues that deserve more attention than they now get and need serious detailed study to evolve reasonably satisfactory, fair and workable solutions. Finally, the tendency to equate the public sector with the government is wrong. The public space is much wider than government departments and includes co- operatives, universities, public trusts and a variety of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Giving greater autonomy to research organisations from government control and giving non- government public institutions the space and resources to play a larger, more effective role in research, is therefore an issue of direct relevance in restructuring the public research system.Which one of the following statements describes an important issue, or important issues, not being raised in the context of the current debate on IPRs?
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MCQ-> Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given at the end.Passage 4Public sector banks (PSBs) are pulling back on credit disbursement to lower rated companies, as they keep a closer watch on using their own scarce capital and the banking regulator heightens its scrutiny on loans being sanctioned. Bankers say the Reserve Bank of India has started strictly monitoring how banks are utilizing their capital. Any big-ticket loan to lower rated companies is being questioned. Almost all large public sector banks that reported their first quarter results so far have showed a contraction in credit disbursal on a year-to-date basis, as most banks have shifted to a strategy of lending largely to government-owned "Navratna" companies and highly rated private sector companies. On a sequential basis too, banks have grown their loan book at an anaemic rate.To be sure, in the first quarter, loan demand is not quite robust. However, in the first quarter last year, banks had healthier loan growth on a sequential basis than this year. The country's largest lender State Bank of India grew its loan book at only 1.21% quarter-on-quarter. Meanwhile, Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank shrank their loan book by 1.97% and 0.66% respectively in the first quarter on a sequential basis.Last year, State Bank of India had seen sequential loan growth of 3.37%, while Bank of Baroda had seen a smaller contraction of 0.22%. Punjab National Bank had seen a growth of 0.46% in loan book between the January-March and April-June quarters last year. On a year-to-date basis, SBI's credit growth fell more than 2%, Bank of Baroda's credit growth contracted 4.71% and Bank of India's credit growth shrank about 3%. SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya said the bank's year-to-date credit growth fell as the bank focused on ‘A’ rated customers. About 90% of the loans in the quarter were given to high-rated companies. "Part of this was a conscious decision and part of it is because we actually did not get good fresh proposals in the quarter," Bhattacharya said.According to bankers, while part of the credit contraction is due to the economic slowdown, capital constraints and reluctance to take on excessive risk has also played a role. "Most of the PSU banks are facing pressure on capital adequacy. It is challenging to maintain 9% core capital adequacy. The pressure on monitoring capital adequacy and maintaining capital buffer is so strict that you cannot grow aggressively," said Rupa Rege Nitsure, chief economist at Bank of Baroda.Nitsure said capital conservation pressures will substantially cut down "irrational expansion of loans" in some smaller banks, which used to grow at a rate much higher than the industry average. The companies coming to banks, in turn, will have to make themselves more creditworthy for banks to lend. "The conservation of capital is going to inculcate a lot of discipline in both banks and borrowers," she said.For every loan that a bank disburses, some amount of money is required to be set aside as provision. Lower the credit rating of the company, riskier the loan is perceived to be. Thus, the bank is required to set aside more capital for a lower rated company than what it otherwise would do for a higher rated client. New international accounting norms, known as Basel III norms, require banks to maintain higher capital and higher liquidity. They also require a bank to set aside "buffer" capital to meet contingencies. As per the norms, a bank's total capital adequacy ratio should be 12% at any time, in which tier-I, or the core capital, should be at 9%. Capital adequacy is calculated by dividing total capital by risk-weighted assets. If the loans have been given to lower rated companies, risk weight goes up and capital adequacy falls.According to bankers, all loan decisions are now being assessed on the basis of the capital that needs to be set aside as provision against the loan and as a result, loans to lower rated companies are being avoided. According to a senior banker with a public sector bank, the capital adequacy situation is so precarious in some banks that if the risk weight increases a few basis points, the proposal gets cancelled. The banker did not wish to be named. One basis point is one hundredth of a percentage point. Bankers add that the Reserve Bank of India has also started strictly monitoring how banks are utilising their capital. Any big-ticket loan to lower rated companies is being questioned.In this scenario, banks are looking for safe bets, even if it means that profitability is being compromised. "About 25% of our loans this quarter was given to Navratna companies, who pay at base rate. This resulted in contraction of our net interest margin (NIM)," said Bank of India chairperson V.R. Iyer, while discussing the bank's first quarter results with the media. Bank of India's NIM, or the difference between yields on advances and cost of deposits, a key gauge of profitability, fell in the first quarter to 2.45% from 3.07% a year ago, as the bank focused on lending to highly rated customers.Analysts, however, say the strategy being followed by banks is short-sighted. "A high rated client will take loans at base rate and will not give any fee income to a bank. A bank will never be profitable that way. Besides, there are only so many PSU companies to chase. All banks cannot be chasing them all at a time. Fact is, the banks are badly hit by NPA and are afraid to lend now to big projects. They need capital, true, but they have become risk-averse," said a senior analyst with a local brokerage who did not wish to be named.Various estimates suggest that Indian banks would require more than Rs. 2 trillion of additional capital to have this kind of capital adequacy ratio by 2019. The central government, which owns the majority share of these banks, has been cutting down on its commitment to recapitalize the banks. In 2013-14, the government infused Rs. 14,000 crore in its banks. However, in 2014-15, the government will infuse just Rs. 11,200 crore.Which of the following statements is correct according to the passage?
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MCQ-> Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions based on it. Some words have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.Notwithstanding the fact that the share of household savings to GDS is showing decline, still this segment is the significant contributor to GDS with 70% share. Indian households are among the most frugal in the world However, commensurate capital formation has not been taking place as a lion's share of household savings are being parked in physical assets compared to financial assets. The pattern of disposition of saving is an important factor in determining how the saved amount is utilized for productive purposes. The proportion of household saving in financial assets determines the channelisation of saving for investment in other sectors of the economy. However, the volume of investment of saving in physical assets determines the productivity and generation of income in that sector itself. Post-Independence era has witnessed a significant shift in deployment of household savings especially the share of financial assets increased from 26.39% in 1950 to 54.05% in 1990 may be on account of increased bank branch network across the country coupled with improved awareness of investors on various financial / banking products. However, contrast to common expectations, the share of financial assets in total household savings has come down from 54.05% to 50.21% especially in post reform period i.e. 1990 to 2010 despite providing easy access and availability of banking facilities compared to earlier years. The increased share of physical assets over financial assets (around 4%) during the last two decades is a cause of concern requires focused attention to arrest the trend. Traditionally, the Indians are risk-averse and prefer to invest surplus funds in physical assets such as Gold, Silver and lands. Nevertheless, considerable share of savings also owing to financial assets, which includes, Currency, Bank Deposits, Claims on Government, Contractual Savings, Equities The composition of household financial savings shows that the bank deposits (44%) continue to remain the major contributor along with the rise in the Contractual Savings, Claims on Government and Currency. Though there was gradual decline in currency holdings by the households i.e. 13.79% in 1970s to 9.30% in 2007, still the present currency holding level with households appears to be on high side compared to other countries. The primary reasons for higher currency holdings could be absence of banking facilities in majority villages (5.70 lakh villages)as well as hoarding of unaccounted money in the form of cash to circumvent tax laws. Though, cash is treated as financial asset, in reality, a major portion of currency is blocked and become unproductive. Bank deposits seemed to be the preferred choice mainly on account of its inbuilt features such as Safety, Security and Liquidity. Traditionally, the Household sector has been playing a leading role in the landscape of bank deposits followed by the Government sector. However, the last two decades has witnessed significant shift in ownership of Bank deposits. While there was improvement in Corporate and Government sectors' share by 8.30% and 7.20% respectively during the period 1999 to 2009, household sector lost a share of 13.30% in the post reform period. In the post independence era, Indian financial system was characterized by poor infrastructure and low level of financial deepening. Savings in physical assets constituted the largest portion of the savings compared to the financial assets in the initial years of the planning periods. While rural households were keen on acquiring farm assets, the portfolio of urban households constituted consumer durables, gold, jewellery and house property.Despite the fact that the household savings have been gradually moving from physical assets to financial assets over the years, still 49.79% of household savings are wrapped in unproductive physical assets, which is a cause of concern as the share of physical assets to total savings are very high in the recent years compared to emerging economies. This trend needs to be arrested as scarce funds are being diverted into unproductive segments. Of course, investment in Real estate sector can be treated as productive provided construction activity is commenced within reasonable time, but it is regrettably note that many investors just buy and hold it for speculation leading to unproductive investments. India has probably the largest fascination with gold than any other country in the world with a share of 9.50% of the world's total gold holdings. The World Gold Council believes that they are over 18000 tonnes of gold holding in the country. More impressive is the fact that current demand from India alone consumes 25% of the world's annual gold output. Large amount of capital is blocked in gold which resides in bank lockers and remain unproductive. Indian economy would grow faster if the capital markets could attract more of the nation's savings and channel them into more productive areas, especially infrastructure. If the Indian market can develop and evolve into a more mature financial system, which persuades the middle class to put more of its money into equities, the potential is mind-boggling.Which of the following statement (s) is/are correct in the context of the given passage? I. The GDS percentage to GDP has shown considerable improvement from 10% in 1950 to 33.7% in 2010, which is one of the highest globally. II. The saving rate however shows an increasing trend, marginal decline is observed under tic use hold sector. III. The share of financial assets in total household savings have come down from 54.05% to 21% especially in post reform era.....
MCQ-> Directions : Study the following information carefully and answer the given questions. Representatives of eight different banks, viz A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H, are sitting around a circular table, facing the centre, but not necessarily in the same order. Each one of them is from a different bank, viz UCO Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank, Punjab National Bank, Bank of India and Dena Bank. F sits second to the right of the representative of Canara Bank. The representative of Bank of India is an immediate neighbour of the representative of Canara Bank. Two person sit between the representative of Bank of India and B. C and E are immediate neighbours. Neither C nor E is an immediate neighbour of either B or the representative of Canara Bank. The representative of Bank of Maharashtra sits second to the right of D. D is the representative of neither Canara Bank nor Bank of India. G and the representative of UCO Bank are immediate neighbours. B is not the representative of UCO Bank. Only one person sits between C and the representative of Oriental Bank of Commerce. H sits third to the left of the representative of Dena Bank. The representative of Punjab National Bank sits second to the left of the representative of Syndicate Bank.Four of the following five are alike in a certain way based on the given arrangement and thus form a group. Which is the one that does not belong to that group?
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MCQ-> Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given at the end. The second issue I want to address is one that comes up frequently - that Indian banks should aim to become global. Most people who put forward this view have not thought through the costs and benefits analytically; they only see this as an aspiration consistent with India’s growing international profile. In its 1998 report, the Narasimham (II) Committee envisaged a three tier structure for the Indian banking sector: 3 or 4 large banks having an international presence on the top, 8-10 mid-sized banks, with a network of branches throughout the country and engaged in universal banking, in the middle, and local banks and regional rural banks operating in smaller regions forming the bottom layer. However, the Indian banking system has not consolidated in the manner envisioned by the Narasimham Committee. The current structure is that India has 81 scheduled commercial banks of which 26 are public sector banks, 21 are private sector banks and 34 are foreign banks. Even a quick review would reveal that there is no segmentation in the banking structure along the lines of Narasimham II.A natural sequel to this issue of the envisaged structure of the Indian banking system is the Reserve Bank’s position on bank consolidation. Our view on bank consolidation is that the process should be market-driven, based on profitability considerations and brought about through a process of mergers & amalgamations (M&As;). The initiative for this has to come from the boards of the banks concerned which have to make a decision based on a judgment of the synergies involved in the business models and the compatibility of the business cultures. The Reserve Bank’s role in the reorganisation of the banking system will normally be only that of a facilitator.lt should be noted though that bank consolidation through mergers is not always a totally benign option. On the positive side are a higher exposure threshold, international acceptance and recognition, improved risk management and improvement in financials due to economies of scale and scope. This can be achieved both through organic and inorganic growth. On the negative side, experience shows that consolidation would fail if there are no synergies in the business models and there is no compatibility in the business cultures and technology platforms of the merging banks.Having given that broad brush position on bank consolidation let me address two specific questions: (i) can Indian banks aspire to global size?; and (ii) should Indian banks aspire to global size? On the first question, as per the current global league tables based on the size of assets, our largest bank, the State Bank of India (SBI), together with its subsidiaries, comes in at No.74 followed by ICICI Bank at No. I45 and Bank of Baroda at 188. It is, therefore, unlikely that any of our banks will jump into the top ten of the global league even after reasonable consolidation.Then comes the next question of whether Indian banks should become global. Opinion on this is divided. Those who argue that we must go global contend that the issue is not so much the size of our banks in global rankings but of Indian banks having a strong enough, global presence. The main argument is that the increasing global size and influence of Indian corporates warrant a corresponding increase in the global footprint of Indian banks. The opposing view is that Indian banks should look inwards rather than outwards, focus their efforts on financial deepening at home rather than aspiring to global size.It is possible to take a middle path and argue that looking outwards towards increased global presence and looking inwards towards deeper financial penetration are not mutually exclusive; it should be possible to aim for both. With the onset of the global financial crisis, there has definitely been a pause to the rapid expansion overseas of our banks. Nevertheless, notwithstanding the risks involved, it will be opportune for some of our larger banks to be looking out for opportunities for consolidation both organically and inorganically. They should look out more actively in regions which hold out a promise of attractive acquisitions.The surmise, therefore, is that Indian banks should increase their global footprint opportunistically even if they do not get to the top of the league table.Identify the correct statement from the following:
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