DURING THE hearing of the case related to President’s Rule in Uttarakhand, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi repeatedly brought up the issue of BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi’s arrest on the charge of assaulting police horse ‘Shaktiman’. Justice Dipak Misra asked the AG why he was referring to the horse so many times. At this point, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, representing former CM Harish Rawat, retorted: “There is horse on one side and horse trading on the other. You will have to keep referring to horses in this hearing.” The alleged horse trading of MLAs is a ground for imposing President’s Rule in the state.
CULTURE MINISTER Mahesh Sharma has been talking about the revival of cultural institutions. He clearly has a daunting task ahead considering that even routine work is delayed. The latest issue of the journal of Sangeet Natak Akademi, which came out recently, is dated 2013. The journal, incidentally, is only a compilation of papers presented during a dance conference held in 1950s. “Too much backlog,” Akademi officials complain, hoping the journal will become regular soon.
FOR ITS size, the Environment Ministry, till recently, was extremely top heavy. It had one Secretary, two Special Secretaries, and one Additional Secretary rank official. But two reshuffles have sought to restore the balance. Some time ago, Hem Kumar Pande, who had been in the ministry for almost eight years, having risen from Joint Secretary to Special Secretary, was moved out. He wasn’t replaced by any officer of his rank. On Tuesday, Secretary Ashok Lavasa and Special Secretary Susheel Kumar were transferred. While a new Secretary has been named, a replacement for Kumar is unlikely to be announced.
Waiting For Signal
IT HAS been over two months since the President fired Visva-Bharati V-C Sushanta Dattagupta. Although the university advertised the post seeking applications, the HRD Ministry hasn’t been able to constitute a selection panel to screen candidates. Turns out the panel needs a nominee of the university ‘court’, which, in the case of Visva-Bharati, is headed by the PM since he is the Chancellor of the institution. Apparently, the ‘court’ hasn’t been able to convene as it needs the PM to chair the meeting. Going by his busy schedule, it unlikely the PM can find time for this. So the ministry has written to the PMO, requesting it to authorise someone else to summon the meeting.