India appeared to have broken the long spell of stagnation, near-stagnation or even slide backwards. According to the World Bank, this achievement was mainly due to a good crop in 1975 and the success in improving exports, even during a period of worldwide recession. Hollis Chenery, vice president of the World Bank, said he expected India’s growth rate to reach 4 to 4.5 per cent in 1975.
Bansi Lal Rises
Bansi Lal was appointed minister of defence in the second reshuffle of her cabinet carried out by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in three weeks. Bansi Lal had been minister without a portfolio. P.C. Sethi, chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, was also inducted into the Union cabinet as the minister for chemicals and fertilisers. A separate department was created in the ministry of finance for banking and revenue. This would be headed by Pranab Mukherjee, the minister of state for revenue. An accompanying report said Shyama Charan Shukla was the front runner for the post of Madhya Pradesh CM.
Bedi To Lead India
Bishen Singh Bedi, the left-arm spinner, was appointed the captain of the Indian cricket team for the twin tours of New Zealand and the West Indies.
Trains On Time
The frontpage ran a feature with the headline, ‘General punctuality in the running of trains’. K. Sreenivasan’s report said: “Not only mail and express trains, but passenger trains have also maintained punctuality in the last few months.” The punctuality drive was initiated before the Emergency by Railway Minister Kamalapati Tripathi. After Tripathi assumed charge, the report said, his personal staff called for daily reports about the running of trains. He found there was substance in the public complaints. The daily reports now show that except for unavoidable reasons like accidents or floods, trains start on time and reach destinations on time.