STEPPING ASIDE

By: Express News Service | Published: September 11, 2014 2:35 am

The 10 years of UPA rule saw year-long celebrations being held for the 150th anniversary of the 1857 war of Independence, 150th birth anniversaries of Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekanand and Madan Mohan Malviya. Without much fanfare, it also celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Motilal Nehru, albeit a year late. Last year, it had set up a high-powered national committee to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru. Like the committees constituted for other celebrations, it had Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as its head, with Sonia Gandhi, A K Antony, P Chidambaram, Salman Khurshid, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari as members, among others. This committee had met only once during the UPA rule. Sonia Gandhi is said to have quit the panel after the UPA had been defeated in this year’s Lok Sabha results. A section within the Congress is now wondering whether the Narendra Modi government is at all interested in marking the occasion. The 125th anniversary is already in, and there is no indication yet on the reconstitution of the national committee or any plans for celebrations.

STUCK AT HOME

The government’s plan to appoint the resident commissioner of J&K as the protocol officer for coordination between the state and the Centre hit a hurdle when they found that the officer concerned could not be reached as he was also stuck in the floods in his home state. The officer, Lokesh Dutt Jha, had gone to J&K on a weekend trip but got stuck there instead. The Chief Minister’s Office kept on dialling him only to find him incommunicado.

SHADOW ON PROBE

According to Additional Solicitor General L Nageshwar Rao, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has already finished its investigation on 2G. He made this submission to the court while opposing investigating officer Rajeshwar Singh’s absorption in the ED. Subramaniam Swamy, the petitioner in this case, is learnt to have complained to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that ASG is misleading the court. Meanwhile, the other investigating officer Himanshu Lal wants repatriation to his parent cadre Orissa, which in effect means that no officer is going to be available in the ED for 2G investigation.

PRIZE FOR PROMOTION

Taking a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s use of Hindi for all official purposes, the Department of Revenue has taken initiative to promote the same amongst its officials. The department has announced a reward scheme for writing original books and reviews in Hindi on subjects pertaining to income-tax, excise, customs, service tax and narcotics between April 1 and March 31, 2015. The department will give first prize of Rs 30,000 and second prize of Rs 20,000 for books originally written in the language in these subjects while it will give first prize of Rs 10,000 for books reviewed in Hindi. The notice regarding the same has been put on the department’s website.

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