Get your weekend started with the top 5 stories from today’s edition: RBI goes for 3rd rate hike this year; a lost and found Mumbai story; how CWG medallist Tejaswin Shankar’s coach spotted high jump talent in a cricket enthusiast; and more.
1) Citing elevated levels of inflation, which remains above RBI’s upper target band of 6 per cent, the Monetary Policy Committee on Friday decided unanimously to increase the repo rate — the rate at which the RBI lends funds to commercial banks — by 50 basis points to 5.4 per cent with immediate effect.
Why? In its statement, the RBI said that with inflation expected to remain above the upper threshold in Q2 and Q3, the MPC stressed that sustained high inflation could destabilise inflation expectations and harm growth in the medium term.
Impact: Despite the 50 basis point hike – the second such hike in two months and an aggregate of 140 basis point hike in three months — stock markets stood strong and the benchmark Sensex at the BSE closed the day at 58,387, a gain of 89 points.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said: “In an ocean of high turbulence and uncertainty, the Indian economy is an island of macro-economic and financial stability. The economic growth is resilient and this is there despite two black swan events and multiple shocks.”
2) Of the 166 girls who went missing between 2008 and 2015, Assistant Sub-Inspector Rajendra Dhondu Bhosle of D N Nagar Police Station in Mumbai was able to track down 165. She remained Girl No. 166, whom Bhosle kept trying to find for two years as a cop, and seven years after retirement. On Thursday at 8:20 PM, the girl, who was just seven when she went missing on January 22, 2013, was finally reunited with her family. The 16-year-old was found living 500 metres from her home in Andheri (West). Here’s how it happened.
3) Meet the man who first discovered 23-year-old high jumper Tejaswin Shankar’s athletic potential — his coach from school, Sunil Kumar. “The year I joined the school, students of class 8 were running and I noticed him. He was very tall even then. I spoke to him and asked him what he does. He said he plays cricket,” he recalled. “I asked him about athletics and told him he has the qualities. We started training during the games period.” On Thursday, Shankar bagged the bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games, making him the first Indian to win a medal for high jump at the international multi-sport event.
4) Nine months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a few headline-grabbing promises at the climate change conference in Glasgow last year, the government, on Wednesday, converted two of those into official targets, which would now be part of India’s international climate commitments for 2030.
India’s NDC, or nationally determined commitments, have been updated with these two promises, both of which are enhancements of existing targets, and would be submitted to the UN climate body. India’s first NDC was submitted in 2015, just before the Paris Agreement was finalised.
* A 33 to 35 per cent reduction in emissions intensity (or emissions per unit of GDP) from 2005 levels
* At least 40 per cent of total electricity generation to come from non-fossil renewable sources
* An increase in forest cover to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent
* India will now reduce its emission intensity by at least 45 per cent, instead of just 33 to 35 per cent, from 2005 levels by 2030.
* Also, it would now ensure that at least 50 per cent of its total electricity generation, not just 40 per cent, would come from renewable sources by 2030.
* The forestry target has not been touched.
🍿 What to watch this weekend
5) This week, Shubhra Gupta reviews the Alia Bhatt’s latest OTT release ‘Darlings’: Alia Bhatt, Vijay Varma, Shefali Shah and Roshan Mathew deliver excellent performances in a film that is aware of what it is. A few forced comic touches spoil the effect though. (2.5 ⭐)
The Express Saturday Quiz
A long-lost Banksy painting from Bethlehem, one of several works created in secret around 2007, has been found. Its relocation raises ethical questions about removal of artwork from the occupied territory and display of politically-charged art in different settings from where they were created. Where was it found?
Rahel Philipose and Vidya Gowri