A BJP member on Wednesday left many faces red in the treasury benches when he questioned education minister Smriti Irani on the quality of learning in the country, adding the government should be ashamed that UNESCO had placed India at par with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea.
Jharkhand MP Nishi Kant Dubey quickly clarified that he was referring to the previous UPA government, and not the NDA government that has just come to power.
But Speaker Sumitra Mahajan advised him to be careful with his choice of words. “We are representatives of people...Please be little careful when asking a question or while making a reply,” Mahajan said.
In course of his question, Dubey had also raised questions over the government’s ability to raise the quality of education in the face of budgetary cuts.
“How would the government be able to raise literacy levels in such circumstances?” asked the Godda MP — who had minutes earlier sought the Speaker’s protection to ensure that the minister gives a complete answer.
A peeved HRD minister remarked that the MP had given a long speech when he should have just asked the question. Irani said efforts were being made to improve literacy and pointed to the increase in literacy from 64.84% in 2001 to 72.98% in 2011.
‘indian envoy subject to surveillance in pak’
Pakistani intelligence agencies subject Indian diplomats to “intrusive surveillance” and “tailing”, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told the Lok Sabha on Thursday. Responding to a question on “ill treatment of Indian diplomats”, she referred to several incidents in Slovenia, Romania, Albania and Pakistan but added that such actions had not been repeated in these countries “except Pakistan”.