Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha informed the Lok Sabha on Friday that more than 2,000 companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange had not yet fulfilled the mandate of appointing at least one woman on their board. Sinha gave this information in an oral reply to a question. A day earlier, however, he was said to be extremely reluctant to field this question. He had requested his senior minister Arun Jaitley to reply to this question instead. Sinha apparently told Jaitley that since his own wife was serving as a director on boards of more than one company, there was a conflict of interest. Jaitley, however, saw no conflict of interest in it and told Sinha there was no problem if he replies to this query.
Soldiers stationed in the forward areas have been offered help from an unlikely quarter. The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Friday wrote to the Adjutant General of the Indian Army, stating that the lawyers would want to lend a helping hand to the forces deployed under difficult conditions by according to them free legal aid. The letter said that the lawyers, after interacting with the personnel, would take care of the legal disputes bothering their families back home. Preferring such an interaction during the ensuing summer break, the SCBA has said the event could find its parallel with the interaction of soldiers with the movie stars that help motivate them.
Instead of giving strict instructions to MPs to limit their speeches to the allotted time, Deputy Speaker M Thambi Durai tried to use a different tactics on Friday. When BJD’s Tathagata Satpathy rose to speak on demands for grants on Human Resource Development, Thambi Durai told him not to take more than 10 minutes because in an examination the time is fixed. But Satpathy’s colleague Bhartruhari Mahtab came to his rescue saying, “but HRD’s scope is vast”.
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju Pusapati has had a blown-up map of India dotted with locations of all domestic, international and customs airports put up in his office in Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan and Parliament.
Apparently, the numerous requests that the minister gets from MPs for development of various airport projects in their states forced the minister to put up the map for ready reference. “They help me get some sense of infrastructure we already have in place as against the requests being made,” he recently said.
On a day Rajya Sabha passed the first private member’s bill in over three decades, one could only sympathise with East Delhi MP Maheish Girri. He had his own private bill listed in the Lok Sabha on the same subject — transgenders’ rights. But that could not even be taken up for discussion, while Tiruchi Siva of the DMK stole the show in the Upper House. Girri was not sad, though. Far from it. In an email he circulated later, he claimed credit for “creating history” by tabling the bill in the Lok Sabha.