Students across the country offered solutions to 340 complex software problem statements during the Smart India Hackathon 2018, organised by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). But its organisers could not fix a simple technical glitch when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing the students through video-conferencing. When the PM finished addressing students from Pune, he asked the organisers to connect him to Coimbatore. Because of the glitch, Modi asked if they could connect him to students in Mumbai. But then he made light of the awkward situation by saying: “I think they don’t want to leave Pune because Prakash Javadekar comes from there.” Union HRD Minister Javadekar was watching the event from Noida as the host for the hackathon.
Former Union minister Manish Tewari and Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien seemed to be plotting breach of privilege and contempt charges against the government throughout Friday — on Twitter. Tewari first tweeted an article on Air India disinvestment and then responded to a tweet from O’Brien the day before with “My dear Derek you should summon them for breach of Privilege & Contempt of Parliament. As Chairperson of Standing Committee you have the powers to do so. If there is no pushback subversion would continue. For tyranny to succeed all good men have to do is nothing.” The conversation went on for some time until O’Brien responded with what sounded like finality. “Parliament reopens on Monday. This conversation about #AirIndia now needs to move beyond tweets. Let’s.” A damp squib of a session could see some last-minute excitement, it seems.
The Prime Minister’s pet Swachh Bharat project, which until now had its outreach in schools through painting and essay competitions, will be formally offered as an elective. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation along with the HRD Ministry has decided to start Swachh Bharat summer internship to involve college students in 100 hours of cleanliness work, including helping create sanitation infrastructure and awareness campaigns. To make the mission a “jan andolan”, the UGC will offer two credit points as an elective under the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) to college students who complete the internship.