THE CENTRAL government is all but ready to roll out the new programme on building 20 world-class institutions. The HRD Ministry has drafted the regulation, got Expenditure Finance Committee’s approval, and is ready with the Cabinet note. In fact, the proposal was slated for Cabinet’s approval last week. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar was briefed on the matter. However, curiously, the agenda item was not taken up at the last minute. Although the reason for postponement is not clear, the buzz is that the ministry may be asked to make further changes to the proposal.
ELECTION COMMISSION is having a difficult time verifying the credentials of the two factions of AIADMK which are fighting to claim the party’s two-leaves symbol. The Commission office is being flooded with documents, records and statements from both the factions — the one supporting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and the other owing allegiance to general secretary K Sasikala’s nephew T T V Dinakaran who had been arrested for attempting to bribe an Election Commission official. The Commission has been unable to keep up with the almost daily bunch of “evidence” it has been receiving from one faction or the other. Some of these bunches of documents are arriving in trucks. The poll panel is still to scrutinise several of these documents.
Change of Guard
NEARLY A month after his appointment in the Home Ministry as Additional Secretary, 1984-batch Jammu and Kashmir cadre IAS officer B R Sharma has finally been given charge of UT, Police-I and Judicial divisions. In another change of guard, Additional Secretary Bipin Mullick, a Maharashtra cadre IAS officer, has been allocated Border Management and Internal Security divisions handling communal violence besides Disaster Management, a charge which he was handling earlier. Joint Secretary V Shashank Shekhar, a Nagaland cadre IAS officer, has been made in-charge of Internal Security division under Mullick. Shekhar was earlier posted as Joint Secretary, Border Management.