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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Daily Briefing: RBI stays with forecast, says surge won’t impact growth; SC backs Shillong Times editor

From the Supreme Court hearing a batch of petitions filed by women officers for Permanent Commission in the Indian Army and Navy, to the latest on the upcoming assembly elections in four states and one UT.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 26, 2021 8:37:03 am
Daily Briefing: Amid Covid second wave, govt rethink on offline CBSE Board exam; 102 test positive at KumbhA look at the top news today, April 14, 2021.

Good morning,

Big Story

Amid apprehensions about surging new Covid infections and lockdowns being clamped in many cities, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said it is unlikely there would be any impact on the economic recovery. Even as the Sensex shed 1,600 points and went below the historic 50,000-mark in the last two sessions, Das stuck to the RBI’s recent 10.5 per cent growth forecast for the coming fiscal year. 

Only in the Express 

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh—his first overseas trip during the pandemic— Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina’s foreign affairs advisor Gowher Rizvi spoke to The Indian Express on bilateral ties between the two neighbours, the Rohingya issue and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

From the Front Page

In its latest attack on former Commissioner of State Intelligence Rashmi Shukla, whose letter to the then DGP set off a political row, the NCP alleged that Shukla had pressured an Independent MLA, who is now a Minister, to align with the BJP after the Assembly poll results. Shukla, in her letter, said her department had intercepted communications of several persons allegedly engaged in postings of senior police officers in exchange for money. 

The Supreme Court quashed an FIR against the editor of Shillong Times, Patricia Mukhim, saying disapproval of a government’s action “cannot be branded as an attempt to promote hatred between different communities”. Patricia was booked over a social media post about an incident of assault on some non-tribal youth in Meghalaya last year. The court also said “free speech of the citizens of this country cannot be stifled by implicating them in criminal cases”.

(Left) An apartment in Lucknow was sealed after four residents tested positive for Covid-19. (Right) Students from an Arts college in Lucknow celebrate Holi on campus. (Credit: Vishal Srivastav)

Must Read 

In a world created “by males for males”, adjustments in thought and letter are necessary to build an equal society, the Supreme Court said Thursday as it held that the Army’s evaluation criteria for granting permanent commission to women short service officers systematically discriminated against them.

With the the Assembly polls in four states and Puducherry inching closer, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were on Thursday adjourned sine die, 13 days ahead of schedule, following requests from parties to cut short the Budget Session after essential business so that MPs can concentrate on election-related work in constituencies. The session was earlier scheduled to go on till April 8.

Decision 2021

Every election, for a brief time, the tea garden workers of Assam — otherwise marginalised both economically and socially — become the state’s most important group. Comprising around 17% of Assam’s population with influence in at least 35 Assembly seats, they are flooded with campaigns and promises by all parties. “Politicians have been saying about increasing our wages forever,” said Manoj Karmakar, a 25-year-old worker at Rangagora tea estate in Tinsukia.

Since he was released from prison in February 2020 after 11 years behind bars, former convenor of the Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), Chhatradhar Mahato, has been working to win back for the Trinamool the former Maoist belt of Jangalmahal, whose majority tribal population favoured the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. 

As both the LDF and BJP woo the Christian community, one of the issues being raised is “discrimination” in distribution of minority student scholarships by the Kerala Directorate of Minority Welfare. But what are these scholarships? The Directorate offers eight types of student scholarships, amounting to around Rs 14 crore a year. They were first set up by the UPA government in 2007 to address backwardness among the Muslim community. 

And Finally 

By the time he turned 14, Prasidh Krishna had to take a difficult call. Whether to pursue volleyball or cricket. Advice from former Karnataka first-class cricketer Srinivas Murthy, who was Krishna’s coach at Carmel School, made Krishna follow in his father, a fast bowler’s footsteps. Krishna’s progression through age-group cricket was seamless. We trace his journey from spiker to fast bowler

Delhi Confidential: Rajya Sabha members on Thursday conveyed their best wishes to former Union minister and Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala Vayalar Ravi. Delivering his farewell speech, Ravi broke down.

Until tomorrow,
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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