After a short break, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s team for his NRI outreach has become busy again. The team, led by Vijay Chauthaiwale, is preparing for another meeting of the Indian diaspora, this time in Brussels on March 30, during Modi’s trip to attend the India-EU summit. The organisers are expecting at least a 4,000-strong crowd at the Brussels Expo out of 10,000 or 12,000 members of the Indian community in Brussels and Anderlecht. The Europe India Forum is organising a “community reception from diverse backgrounds” during Modi’s visit. The event has been themed “Stronger Together.”
A photograph of Chhattisgarh Congress unit president Bhupesh Baghel and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly T S Sinhadev is being circulated by their aides on social media. The photograph, the aides point out gleefully, was clicked by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on his phone during his recent visit to the state. An innocuous gesture of clicking a photograph has been converted into a power tool that, people are being told, confirms the proximity of the Baghel-Sinhadev duo to the high command, and their status in the state Congress.
When the Culture Ministry had taken over the Lalit Kala Akademi and sacked its chairperson last year, several artists had expressed apprehension that the government would not let go of its control before three years, the maximum period it can keep the Akademi’s constitution under suspension. In less than a year, the ministry is said to be aggressively searching for a new chairperson. A panel of three names is being finalised, which, after the PMO’s approval, will be sent to the President. The ministry is yet to reach a consensus.
Veterans On Board
The EX-servicemen may have communicated their satisfaction with the first part of arrears, released on Thursday, but the scene was in complete contrast only a few days ago. At a hush-hush meeting held in Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s office, the veterans were told that the scheme in its present form is the “maximum” the government can do. The meeting, held in the presence of former Army chief and Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh, was attended by a group of veterans who led the protests at Jantar Mantar, and they did not take the words kindly. “We were told to convey our concerns to the one-member judicial commission,” says one veteran.
Health On Track
The overcrowded local trains of Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and other cities will undergo a healthy makeover soon. The Railways will put up permanent instructions on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), in all local train coaches, complete with step-by-step pictorial descriptions. The coach factories have been asked to fit this into all new coaches, and zones have been asked to put them up in the existing ones. After the Standing Committee on Railways recently made noise about the lack of first-aid and health-related emergency information in local trains, the Railways was forced to give an assurance that it would put up the CPR information at the earliest.