A new monetary policy panel amid central banking flux.Soon after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) ended its legal tenure at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 6 August with a clinical decision to hold interest rates, all focus shifted to the selection process for a new lot of members. Coincidentally, the new MPC, its members and its immediate remit—which includes finalizing a flexible inflation target for the next five years—are all in a flux at a time when central banking globally is also at a crossroads. And though the challenges are very different, it will be interesting to see how these global trends influence Indian central banking and its inflation targeting regime. Three external members will be selected to join three existing RBI nominees. The process involves intense negotiations between the central bank and government on identifying candidates with fealty to monetary policy. For example, the last MPC’s voting patterns clearly revealed the government nominee’s identity and policy stance. The MPC framework is governed by the RBI Act, which also lays down the composition of the search committee: cabinet secretary, RBI governor, economic affairs secretary and three external experts handpicked by the government. Clearly, the skew favours New Delhi. This comes when the pandemic has shown the limits of central bank action in the absence of fiscal intervention. The government and market expect RBI to single-handedly jump-start the economy, which has been almost comatose since demonetization in late 2016. RBI has slashed rates severely, poured inordinate liquidity into the system and indulged in extraordinary regulatory forbearance. Yet, the economy has barely responded. RBI governors have even used the term “heavy-lifting" to describe their unfair burden. Lesetja Kganyago, South African Reserve Bank governor, remarked mordantly about central bank shortcomings: “…most of our growth problems should be addressed through structural reforms and confidence-boosting measures… the central bank cannot stop electricity load-shedding with interest rates."