◾ In an unscheduled press conference on Wednesday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the Monetary Policy Committee had voted unanimously to raise interest rates. Citing inflationary pressures and geopolitical tensions, the central bank announced a 40 basis point (bp) hike in the repo rate to 4.40 percent, effective immediately.
◾ With the rate hike, PMIs for home, auto and other personal and corporate loans are likely to rise. The surprise move also sent markets into a tailspin, with the BSE Sensex closing 1,306.96 points, or 2.29 percent, lower from a two-month low of 55,669.03.
◾ Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Europe on a three-day visit, attended the second Indo-Nordic summit in Denmark on Wednesday, which mainly focused on post-pandemic economic recovery, climate change, renewable energy and the evolving global security scenario concerned. Before attending the summit, PM Modi held separate bilateral talks with the prime ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
◾ As the row over speaker removal continues across the country, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chairman Raj Thackeray has announced his party workers will continue to play Hanuman Chalisa in front of mosques until all speakers are removed.
◾ Uttar Pradesh Deputy Prime Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya justified his government’s decision to remove unauthorized speakers, saying they would cause inconvenience and noise pollution, adding: “Everyone either removed (the speakers) voluntarily or theirs Consent to remove.”
◾ And now for the big sporting story of the day: The BCCI has banned journalist Boria Majumdar for two years for ‘threatening and intimidating’ Indian wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. The Indian Express reported on April 23 that the BCCI was poised to ban Majumdar after its three-man committee found Majumdar guilty of “bullying” Saha.
◾ #ExpressView: A possible reversal of Roe vs Wade in the US will not only limit abortion rights. It will signal a dangerous relapse into hard-won freedoms.
◾ Days after Prashant Kishor rejected Congress’ offer to join the party, he prepared the ground for a new political front in Bihar. However, some see Kishor letting his ambition run away with him, believing he can now win elections with his “seminar model” of politics.
◾ An administrative order prohibiting a mutt ritual at Mayiladuthurai near Trichy has sparked a controversy with rationalists and Hindutva groups taking sides on both sides. While K Veeramani, President of the Dravidar Kazhagam, called the ritual a “human rights violation,” rationalists in the state called for the practice to be abolished, as in the case of hand-pulled rickshaws.
◾ New data from the Office of the Registrar General of India shows that in 2020 about 4.75 lakh more deaths were registered in the country than in the previous year. The data is part of the information contained in the 2020 civil registration system. What does the data say about coronavirus deaths and why doesn’t it tell the full story of India’s Covid toll? We explain.
◾ After three unsuccessful divestment attempts of the stake in Pawan Hans Ltd. the government approved the sale of the helicopter service provider, including management control, to Star9 Mobility Pvt Ltd. approved. What is Pawan Hans, why is it being sold and what is going on here? read here
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