The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) board is scheduled to meet on 19 November. In what could ease the prevailing tension between the RBI and the government, The Economic Times reports “there is progress on two fronts — on lending a helping hand to small businessmen and a selective loosening of lending curbs on some of the weaker banks”.
The government has been pressing the RBI to take measures to help the MSME sector and some relaxation in lending norms.
In a lecture Friday in the United States, former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan blamed the GST and demonetisation for slowing down growth in India.
Later, without taking Rajan’s name, finance minister Arun Jaitley weighed in on the criticism, reports Hindustan Times.
Jaitley was quoted as saying that “India has made some monumental economic changes over the last four years and that you will always have critics who will come up and say it has slowed down India’s growth”.
Meanwhile, on the eve of the first phase of voting in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region, a series of IED blasts killed one BSF trooper, reports The Hindu. Voting takes place Monday for 18 of the 90 seats of the Chhattisgarh assembly. Of the 18 seats, the Congress won 12 in the 2013 assembly election.
Emphasising the political importance of the region in Chhattisgarh politics, The Indian Express reports, “Chhattisgarh polls: More violence as Bastar votes today, may hold key to next govt”. It also writes, “The 18 seats that will vote in the first phase, 12 of them in the extremely sensitive Bastar region, could hold the key to who forms government in the state.”
The Hindu also reports about the deployment of drones to track the movement of Maoists in the state.
The Uttar Pradesh government seems to be on a name-changing spree these days, with Allahabad, Faizabad and Mughalsarai already rechristened and more reportedly in the offing.
Historian Irfan Habib has suggested that the BJP ought to first change the name of its president, Amit Shah, as the surname ‘Shah’ is of Persian origin, reports The Telegraph.
Quoting Habib, The Telegraph writes, “Shah was also used as a surname by the Iranians at the time. All I am trying to say is that there was no trace of the Shah surname in India before the arrival of Muslims here.”
Quoting Sanskrit scholar Tapan Sankar Bhattacharyya of Jadavpur University, it writes, “The word shah… does not even figure in standard Sanskrit dictionaries like the Shabdakalpadrum and Bachaspatyam by Taranath Bachaspati.”
Mining baron G. Janardhana Reddy, a former Karnataka minister and BJP leader, has been arrested in a case of alleged money laundering, reports The Hindu.
In the recently concluded by-poll in Karnataka, the BJP lost the Ballari seat to the Congress, its first defeat here since 2004.
Ballari is the stronghold of Reddy.
Union parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar lost the battle against cancer in the early hours of Monday in Bengaluru, reports The Indian Express.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief in a tweet, writing “Extremely saddened by the passing away of my valued colleague and friend, Shri Ananth Kumar Ji. He was a remarkable leader, who entered public life at a young age and went on to serve society with utmost diligence and compassion. He will always be remembered for his good work.” The five-time Member of Parliament was suffering from cancer and was undergoing treatment in a private hospital in Bengaluru.
Congress to ban RSS shakas if elected
The Congress’ promise in Madhya Pradesh, that it would ban RSS shakhas on government premises if voted to power, dominated prime-time debates Sunday night.
On Times Now, the panellists included political analyst Abdul Razzack Khan and political observer Zainab Sikander on the one hand, and RSS member Sandeep Mahapatra and BJP member Sudesh Verma on the other.
Khan said, “Rang badalna chhodiye, kabhi aap political party ho jaate hain toh kabhi NGO (Stop changing colours. Sometimes you are a political party, and sometimes an NGO.”
Sikandar said, “You cannot deny the fact that the RSS and its affiliates… have been charge-sheeted in almost 17 terror cases.”
Mahapatra said, “There has been an agenda going on in the country to somehow portray RSS in the wrong light.”
Verma added, “The RSS is an NGO trying to preach its ideology and we love that ideology, we all come from that ideology.”
A similar discussion was carried out on Aaj Tak, where panellists were asked if the real fight in Madhya Pradesh was between the Congress and the RSS.
Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said the party’s promised ban is not aimed at RSS as a whole, while BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra commented that the Congress was afraid of the RSS but not “urban Naxals”.
Chaturvedi said, “We are not going to ban the social work which is going to be done by RSS, the way in which the news of RSS ban is presented is false.”
Patra added, “It is hilarious that they (Congress) don’t see a threat from urban Naxals in the country but a social body like the RSS.”
News it’s just kinda cool to know
NASA will soon be sending small devices containing human cells in a 3D matrix — known as tissue chips, and made of plastic – to the International Space Station (ISS) to test how they respond to stress, drugs and genetic changes in space, IANS reports.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.