The race is hotting up
The race for the appointment of a new chief economic adviser (CEA) in the ministry of finance has begun in the right spirit. Among the front-runners is Ajay Chhibber, former United Nations Development Programme assistant secretary and now head of
Planning Commission's independent Project Evaluation Office. Chhibber joined the office last week amid speculation that he would resign to take over as the new CEA. Chhibber, who has worked in the World Bank and is an alumnus of Delhi School of Economics, had been in consideration for the CEA's job when Raghuram G Rajan was appointed. Watch this space for updates.
Not writing the right way
The Centre is yet to pay its share of Rs. 3.5 lakh of the total Rs. 5 lakh compensation that has been promised to families of each victim of the Uttarakhand tragedy. The reason for this delay: bad drafting of a note sent by the state government to the central government. The Union government was so upset with the "badly drafted and confusing" note that it asked chief minister Vijay Bahuguna to prepare a fresh detailed note.
Casting the Net wider
According to a recent study, social media is likely to influence 160 Lok Sabha seats out of the total of 543 in the next general elections. This makes Facebook and Twitter users the nation's newest voting bloc. The UPA has given its nod for a new social media department, a brainchild of information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari, in bid to ramp up its online presence. To do the job, Tewari has picked young employees of his ministry who are active social media users themselves. The party is weaving a new web.
A battle of words
Taking a dig at Farooq Abdullah, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav last week claimed in the Lok Sabha that the National Conference leader had once told him that he could have become prime minister of Pakistan if he had gone there after the Partition. Pointing towards Abdullah, Yadav added, "You would have been hanged…Pakistan has a history of hanging prime ministers." Amid heated discussion on the killing of Indian soldiers along the LoC in the Poonch sector, Abdullah retorted, "I never felt I committed a mistake by staying back in India."
Lost in translation
A frequently used Hindi cuss word was used on the floor of the Rajya Sabha by a member who thought it meant "stupid". After he shocked the House, most members sympathised with his inadequate grip over Hindi and the chair expunged the reference from the proceedings.
The Congress rolls up its sleeves
The Congress recently appointed SV Ramani and Deepak Amin as its national media coordinators. While Ramani is an AICC member from Tamil Nadu and has informally worked with Union minister M Veerappa Moily when he headed the party's media department, Deepak Amin is a Gujarati NRI from Seattle and heads the Gujarat Congress's economic affairs department. Both are ticket aspirants. Amin was sulking for some time after he was denied a ticket from Patan in the 2012 assembly elections. He had also worked at the Congress war room during the Bihar and UP assembly elections. The two coordinators will be the main link between TV channels and party spokespersons and media panelists. TV news organisations will have to specify their time and topic to either Ramani or Amin by noon everyday and the two will then decide whom to send to which channel.