Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajans absence from the CCI meeting earlier this week is learnt to have been sorely felt as there were quite a few items on the agenda that had environmental implications. That Secretary,Environment,was also absent from the meeting did not help either. While Natarajan is in Finland,her secretary is in Brazil. Their defence is that the PMO was kept informed about the visits. Why Natarajan was missed specifically had to do with green clearance hurdles faced by an ultra-mega power project in Jharkhand for which green nod is pending for a while. The MoEF Additional Secretary who filled in for her clearly came ill prepared and without the mandate to clear key projects.
Former Delhi High Court Chief Justice D Murugesan,who retired on June 8,is all set to become a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). While there were serious differences between the government and the Opposition members of the panel headed by the Prime Minister that selects the members of NHRC over two other choices former Supreme Court judge Cyria Joseph and former NIA chief S C Sinha there was apparently no confrontation over Justice Murugesans candidature.
About 10 days after the land Bill was passed by Parliament,it was finally sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for his assent on Tuesday. The delay,it seems,was caused after several typographical and other errors were spotted in the Hindi draft of the Bill,which had to be rectified. Such mistakes are becoming quite frequent. Law Minister Kapil Sibal had to apologise to Rajya Sabha during the Winter session for the governments failure to get a Constitution (amendment) Bill passed by Lok Sabha due to an error in the title of the Bill.
In select company
Nitish Kumar,whose increasing proximity to the Congress has been the subject of much speculation,will deliver the 6th annual lecture of the National Commission of Minorities on Friday. The programme will be presided over by Union Minority Affairs Minister K Rehman Khan. Incidentally,while the first four editions of the lecture were delivered by non-political entities like Dalai Lama and A P J Abdul Kalam,the annual event has,of late,got a political tinge with Shashi Tharoor doing the honours last year. He he is being followed by Kumar this time.