After having received a carefully drafted response to its show-cause notice to Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh, and realising the legal implications of any stringent action against him, the Human Resource Development Ministry is in no hurry to send its final recommendation to President Pranab Mukherjee, who is also the Visitor of all central universities. The ministry is now seeking legal advice from Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, and will take a decision only after receiving his inputs. Meanwhile, indications are that if the decision goes against him, Singh will seek legal recourse, which is why the ministry wants to ensure the matter is studied meticulously.
The Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN), a key education project which was tentatively slated to be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Canada’s capital Ottawa during his visit, will not get the high profile launch this time. While India has already signed an MoU with US under which 1,000 visiting US academics will take up short-term teaching and research programmes in Indian universities under the initiative, the idea was to expand its scope and rope in other developed countries to collaborate on the programme. While the Ministry of External Affairs was pushing for the launch to happen during the PM’s Canada visit, the Human Resource Development Ministry it seems said it did not have sufficient time to work out the modalities and hence, the launch needed to be deferred.
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AS BJP decided to celebrate the 125th birth centenary of B R Ambedkar as Samajik Samrasta Divas (Social Harmony Day) across the country, every state unit of the party is exploring novel ways to present itself as close to the Dalits. The Himachal Pradesh unit has decided to take a cue from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Party MLAs, former MLAs and block presidents in the state will go to houses of Dalits to share a meal with them. Excited over the political impact of such a move, party secretary Shrikant Sharma decided to do the same in his native place Mathura in Uttar Pradesh where the Dalit votes are very crucial for the BJP. Interestingly, BJP had made fun of Rahul’s visits to Dalit homes.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the NDA government to probe the anti-Sikh riots has started work but the members are working from their respective offices. The Home Ministry is yet to provide an office to them. The three-member SIT, constituted on February 13, is headed by Pramod Asthana, an IPS officer of 1986 batch and has Rakesh Kapoor, a retired district and sessions judge, and Kumar Gyanesh, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police in Delhi Police, as members. It has a six months deadline.