1. What’s the story?
India’s economy seems to be in trouble. In June, eight core sectors slowed to a growth of 0.2 per cent, leading credit rating agency CRISIL has lowered its gross domestic product (GDP) forecast for India to 6.9 per cent due to weak monsoons, and Indian banks may be in for a major disaster. (Quick recap: GDP of a country is the sum of all its economic activities over a fixed period of time.)
2. Where else should I be looking at?
The city of Vadodara, that’s where. Torrential rains have made the nearby Vishwamitri river flood the city, leading to extensive damage to properties and livelihoods. Astonishingly enough, crocodiles have begun surfacing in residential areas of the city. The Forest Department has rescued three crocodiles to date. Apparently, “the instances of spotting crocodiles will increase once the water starts receding!”
3. What more?
Last week, Indian Government announced that the nation’s tiger population has increased 33% since 2014. However, things may not be as rosy as all that. A review of the official data also throws up a startling picture – a bizarre number of “unnatural” tiger deaths.
4. Anything else?
Pakistan is not a secular country. However, small pockets still retain charming glimpses of pre-Partition culture based on religions other than Islam. Here is a fascinating account of a pilgrimage in search of Goddess Durga in Balochistan.
5. Is that all?
In Saudi Arabia, last week saw another small step towards gender equality. The notoriously conservative country has finally agreed to let women travel without their male guardian’s approval.
6. Before you leave …