The Reserve Bank of India on Thursday lowered its projection for the economic growth rate in 2019-’20 financial year from 6.1% to 5%. The central bank cited weak domestic demand and a slowdown in global economic activity as the reasons for the downward projections. However, the top bank kept interest rates unchanged.
This came at a time when India’s economy is faltering. Figures released last week showed that Gross Domestic Product growth slumped to a six-year low in October even as industrial output contracted.
Former Union minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said that the “government was wrong” about the economic slowdown and “clueless” about measures needed to improve it.“We will be lucky to end the year if growth touches 5%,” the Congress leader said during a press briefing.
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday described the cases filed against him across the country as a “medal on my chest”. Gandhi said there were 15 to 16 cases registered against him, and that the rise in their number made him “happier”.
Protests against alleged corruption in a government recruitment exam in Gujarat continued on Thursday, a day after the police in capital city Gandhinagar detained more than 700 students following demonstrations by more than 1,000 job seekers. Several demonstrators sustained injuries when the police beat them with batons.
The National Commission for Women on Thursday sought a detailed report on the action taken by the Uttar Pradesh police after five men set on fire a rape complainant earlier in the day in Unnao. Two of the men had allegedly raped her some months ago. One of them was on the run while the other was released on bail only last week.
Indian Air Force chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria was at the Pearl Harbour-Hickam military base in the United States on Wednesday, when an American Navy sailor shot dead two people there before killing himself. The air chief marshal is in Hawaii to attend a conference of the air chiefs of 20 Pacific Ocean littoral countries. The security situation in the Indo-Pacific region will be discussed at the meeting.
Indian journalists, human rights activists and civil society organisations were not only targeted through the Pegasus spyware but also through email malware, Amnesty International has claimed. These emails were sent out between September and October, and were customised to appeal to the interests of individual users, reported The Wire on Thursday. Amnesty International’s “Technology and Human Rights” programme discovered the digital attacks last month.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Thursday said he was forced to wait outside the state Assembly as the gate from which he was supposed to enter was locked. The governor’s remarks came amid a two-day adjournment of the House after bills slated to be tabled in the Assembly were still awaiting Dhankar’s approval.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday alleged that Congress leader P Chidambaram had violated his bail conditions by claiming he had a clean record during his tenure as Union finance minister. He was referring to the comments Chidambaram made in a press conference in New Delhi.
The Supreme Court on Thursday said its 2018 verdict on the entry of women into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple was not the “final word” as it had already referred review petitions against it to a larger bench. “There is [an order] for a much larger bench to decide the matter,” the bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said. “There is no final word as yet.”
Diamond merchant Nirav Modi was declared a fugitive economic offender by a Mumbai court on Thursday. The Enforcement Directorate had sought the tag for him under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, which came into effect last year.
Supreme Court Justice Arun Mishra on Thursday apologised for his conduct in court after a group of senior advocates urged him to be patient while dealing with lawyers. On Tuesday, Mishra had threatened Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan with contempt while hearing a land-acquisition case involving Indore Development Authority.
Former Union minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said that the “government was wrong” about the economic slowdown and “clueless” about measures needed to improve it. The Congress leader addressed the press conference after he walked out of Tihar Jail in New Delhi on Wednesday night.
“We will be lucky to end the year if growth touches 5%,” the Congress leader said during the briefing. “Please remember Dr Arvind Subramanian’s [former chief economic advisor] caution that 5% under this government, because of suspect methodology, is not really 5% but less by about 1.5%.”
The Haryana School Education Department is planning to shut down pre-primary classes in private schools across the state, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. State Education Minister Kanwar Pal said the decision was taken as studying in pre-primary classes allegedly affects a “child’s mental abilities and growth patterns” at a young age.
India was the fifth worst-hit country due to climate change in 2018, primarily due to the devastating Kerala floods and cyclones Titli and Gaja, according to a global climate risk index. In 2017, the country was 14th on the list. The latest Global Climate Risk Index was released by environmental think tank Germanwatch on Wednesday.
The Reserve Bank of India on Thursday lowered its projection for the economic growth rate in 2019-’20 financial year from 6.1% to 5%. The central bank cited weak domestic demand and a slowdown in global economic activity as the reasons for the downward projections.
However, the top bank kept interest rates unchanged. The repo rate, or the interest rate at which it lends to commercial banks, will remain 5.15%. The reverse repo rate is unchanged at 4.90%.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, who left Tihar jail after getting bail in the INX Media case on Wednesday, is in Parliament to attend Thursday’s Rajya Sabha proceedings. The Upper House will discuss The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
Five men set ablaze a rape survivor in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao on Thursday. The woman has been taken to Trauma Centre in Lucknow, reported Hindustan Times. The woman had filed a rape complaint in March.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the 1984 anti-Sikh violence could have been managed better if the government had paid heed to late Congress leader IK Gujral’s advice, reported ANI. Singh, who attended a function to mark the 100th birth anniversary of Gujral, said the former prime minister had suggested deploying the Army at the earliest.
Seven Opposition-ruled states and Union Territories held a meeting with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday to demand pending compensation under the Goods and Services Tax regime. They urged that funds due for four months since August be released as soon as possible. Kerala even warned of approaching the Supreme Court over the matter.
Voting began on Thursday morning to fill 15 of the 17 vacancies created by the mass resignations of rebel Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs in Karnataka in July. The bye-elections are crucial to the survival of the Bharatiya Janata Party government that replaced that coalition. Twelve of the 15 constituencies were earlier held by the Congress and three by JD(S).
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday drew parallels between the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s two-nation theory, saying the legislation would bring dishonour to freedom fighters, if passed.
Former Union minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday night walked out of Delhi’s Tihar Jail, hours after the Supreme Court granted him bail in connection with the Enforcement Directorate’s charges in the INX Media case, NDTV reported.