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RSS ideologue, Swadeshi Jagran Manch convenor S Gurumurthy is RBI Director

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RSS ideologue, Swadeshi Jagran Manch convenor S Gurumurthy is RBI Director

The Modi government on Tuesday, August 7, appointed S Gurumurthy – the editor of Thuglak and a chartered accountant who is also convener of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), an outfit affiliated to the right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – to the board of the Reserve Bank of India.

The Centre also approved the appointment of Satish Marathe, a banking industry executive with decades of experience, founder of Sahakar Bharati, an NGO that works to support cooperatives and a former member of RSS and BJP’s student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), to the RBI’s board.

Both Marathe and Gururmurthy will serve as “part-time non-official directors” on the RBI’s central board and will have a four-year term.

“The Appointments Committee Of The Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Department of Financial Services for the appointment of Shri Swaminathan Gurumurthy, as part-time non-official director on the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India under Section 8(1)(c) of the RBI Act 1934, for a period of four years from the date of notification of the appointment…,” said the government notification.

The RBI board has official and non-official directors. Officials directors include the RBI’s governor and not more than four deputy governors. Non-official directors are appointed by the government, with the RBI Act allowing for up to ten directors to be nominated.

Generally speaking, in the past, non-official directors have included people without publicly-declared political leanings, said media reports. The appointment of non-official directors usually include well-known economists, experts, captains of industry in addition to two government officials.

The candidates appointed in the present case, however, have clear political leanings. While Gurumurthy is an economist, chartered accountant and a longtime commentator on economic and political affairs, he is also a prominent supporter of the current BJP government at the Centre and of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Marathe, on the other hand, has had stints at Bank of India, the United Western Bank Ltd, Janakalyan Sahakari Bank among others over the last 20 years and is the founder of Sahakar Bharati, an NGO that works to support cooperatives. His focus and experience has been on cooperative banks and their impact on the rural and agricultural sector.

In his younger days, Marathe was associated with the right-wing ABVP, a large pan-India student organisation that is affiliated to the RSS. According to media reports, he served as the ABVP’s treasurer for four years.

Gurumurthy is part of a small group of swadeshi economics thinkers whose views are given considerable importance by Modi and key finance ministry bureaucrat Hasmukh Adhia, reported The Wire. These proponents of ‘economic nationalism’ are generally opposed to foreign capital and businesses and instead believe that India’s 50-million small and medium businesses can create jobs and transform the Indian economy.

Gurmurthy is believed to have played an important role in suggesting and supporting the Modi government’s demonetisation move, its MUDRA scheme and the Niti Aayog’s position of focusing on a “Bharatiya approach to development”.

India Today magazine ranked him at number 30 in India’s 50 Most powerful people of 2017 list. S Gurumurthy has never contested any election so far.

S Gurumurthy is also said to have advocated the replacement of the Planning Commission with a new body, like the NITI Aayog favouring an Indian approach to development, according to a report in The Indian Express.

After reportedly providing consultation on demonetisation before it happened, Gurumurthy defended the move, calling it a much-needed attack on excessive liquidity and a “fundamental corrective to the economy”, The Wire report said.

In his long career, Gurumurthy has written and spoken on monetary policy, jobs, RBI and such macro-economic issues, including why Raghuram Rajan was not given a second term.

In September 2017, he criticised the Central bank’s provisioning norms, noting that it did not take into account “non-convertibility, no foreign investments in banks, govt ownership and 30% deposits being in government securities”. He lashed out at RBI, noting that it was “agenda-driven” and trying to destroy Indian business.

The RBI’s central board is not normally a decision-making body and instead serves as a forum or venue for discussion. However, it does serve as a platform for important public-facing decisions such as demonetisation or a move to change the central bank’s dividend policy.

Other policy decisions, such as interest rate cuts, are handled by the separate monetary policy committee.

With these appointments, the Modi government has filled its quota of ten directors to RBI’s board.

India News

DGCA fines Go First Rs 10 lakh for leaving behind 55 passengers at Bengaluru airport

The incident took place on January 9 at 5:45 am when the passengers were about to board Go First flight G8-116 from Bengaluru to New Delhi.

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GoFirst flight

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Friday fined Go First Rs 10 lakh for leaving behind 55 passengers at the Bengaluru airport earlier this month and violating the rules.

The incident took place on January 9 at 5:45 am when the passengers were about to board Go First flight G8-116 from Bengaluru to New Delhi. Reports said a total of airbuses were sent to pick up the passengers for the aircraft. While the first two buses went ahead, the other two were left behind.

Following the incident, the DGCA issued a show cause notice to the responsible manager of the airlines and directed them to take enforcement actions against Go First for the dereliction of their regulatory obligations.

Replying to the DGCA, the airline released a statement saying the airline had launched an inquiry into the matter assuring it is being investigated. The airlines also offered a free ticket for travel on any domestic route to all the affected passengers.

A senior DCGA official reacted to the reply and said the airline failed to provide adequate ground arrangement handling, flight dispatch and passenger and cargo handling, and preparation of load and trim sheet.

DGCA further enforced action and penalised Rs 10 lakh for violation of CAR Sections 3, Series C, Part II of the Air Transport Circular 02 of 2019, reports said.

Sharing her inconvenience through a tweet, an affected passenger called it her most horrifying experience with Go First airlines. She shared her ordeals on Twitter and called the incident the heights of negligence.

Watch the video of the incident here:

Earlier a similar incident took place wherein Singapore-bound Scoot Airlines left behind more than 30 passengers at the Amritsar Airport. The DGCA sought a report of the incident and also slammed the airlines.

In a reply to DGCA, the airlines informed that the passengers were updated about the rescheduling of the flight, however, their travel agents failed to convey them. The airlines also offered free tickets to all the affected passengers.

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Who is Suhani Shah? Everything you need to know about the internet sensation

Shah entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s youngest magician at the age of seven.

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Suhani Shah

If you are an avid social media user, you might have come across the name, Suhani Shah. The 32-year-old is hogging headlines for her ability to read people’s minds. Prime Time news channels couldn’t stop covering her and tagging her as a Jadu Pari or a magician.

Shah came into the limelight amid the Bageshwar Dham row. The mentalist ripped off the 26-year-old Dham Trust chief Dhirendra Shastri’s false claims about magic and divine power.

Who is Suhani Shah?

Shah is not just a mentalist but also a social media sensation. She has a verified Instagram account with 1.2 million followers and her bio reads ‘Mentalist.’

Apart from being the cover story of magazines like Be Attractive, L’utopia, Fashion Herald, and others, she has collaborated with several Bollywood stars like Kareen Kapoor Khan, Rajkummar Rao, Boman Irani, and others.

Shah entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s youngest magician at the age of seven. An illusionist, a clinical hypnotherapist, an author, a corporate trainer, and a mentalist, she has been honoured with several awards and the title Jadoo Pari by the All India Magic Association.

Shah also owns a YouTube channel where she keeps uploading videos on mentalism, magic, vlogs, and others. Other than her social media appearance, she also runs a web shoe That’s My Job wherein she invites guests. Public figures like Zakir Khan, Triggered Insaan, Munawar Faruqui, Tanmay Bhat, Samay Raina, Nischay Malhan, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and several others have been a part of her web show.

Born in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, Shah discontinued school in Class 2 to pursue her passion for magic. As she started her career at the age of seven and toured across the world, she was home-schooled.

In 1997, she performed on the stage for the first time at Thakorbhai Desai Hall in Ahmedabad and up until now has done over 5,000 shows in and across India.

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Madhya Pradesh: Four men creep into coal mine to rob scrap iron, die of asphyxiation

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Four men, who crept into a coal mine to allegedly steal scrap iron from the place, died of asphyxiation inside in Shahdol district of Madhya Pradesh, reports said.

According to reports, the now-deceased men broke into a closed coal mine in Kalri under Dhanpuri police station to rob scrap iron by stripping junked machines, while one of their partners stood outside to stand guard.

However, the man standing guard became anxious when his gang members didn’t return for a long time and there was silence from inside. The man fled the spot and fearing the worst, returned back and informed his friends and family of the incident.

Reports said police got wind of the incident, and sent a rescue team inside the mine who managed to pull out the bodies of the four thieves.

Police said that four men were already when the rescue team found them inside the mine.

The deceased have been identified as Raj Mahto, Hazari Koul, Rahul Koul and Kapil Vishwakarma, police said, adding that they suspect the men died due leakage of methane gas inside the coal mine.

The mine had been shut since 2018 and the four men had reportedly dug a tunnel to get inside the coal mine.

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