South Block is burning the midnight oil to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Australia a success, and it has roped in the Board of Control of Cricket in India to make a scheduled mega banquet at Melbourne a star-studded event. The Indian cricket team will also be touring Australia during that time and the MEA is banking on the BCCI to get some of its top stars for the event. While the Australian Cricket Board has already promised to bring some of its cricketing greats, BCCI, it is learnt, has assured the presence of at least two cricketing legends, Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar. It is said to be making efforts to get Mahendra Singh Dhoni as well.
Minutes after an official message that he will take charge of his new office in the afternoon, Shripad Naik, Minister of State (independent charge) of AYUSH, sprang a surprise by sending a revised message saying he will not join on Monday. The sudden decision left Health Ministry staff clueless and gave rise to speculation that Naik, who was earlier in charge of Culture and Tourism, is not happy with his new job. It later became known that Naik had decided to enter his new office on Tuesday.
Conspicious by her absence during the swearing-in ceremony Sunday, HRD Minister Smriti Irani will attend a high-profile public event Tuesday. Irani will preside over the National Education Day event, where President Pranab Mukherjee would be the chief guest. Irani is expected to announce several new initiatives, including the launch of the ‘Know Your College’ portal, the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan as well as two new scholarships, along with the release of the skills credit framework developed by the AICTE. It remains to be seen if the two new Ministers of State in the ministry, neither of who took charge Monday, will attend the event.