Actor Aamir Khan has gone to town with his recommendation on the use of generic drugs. The Health Ministry,as usual,has found itself late and out of the debate. The ministry had received a Cabinet approval eight months back to set up a procurement agency that would ensure that genuine generic drugs are made available in the market. After all the buzz that has been created because of the actors television show,the ministry is learnt to be finally starting the consultation process to evolve a regulatory framework and set standards for generic drugs. The first meeting in this consultation process is likely to be convened soon.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari had personally visited leaders,including Congress president Sonia Gandhi,to invite them for his sons wedding some time back. But on July 2,the day of the post-wedding reception,he will also be preoccupied with a lot of party work. The internal crisis of the BJP in Karnataka is said to be taking his mind off from the preparations for the reception. On Monday,he will be additionally tied up with the meeting of the partys national office-bearers,followed by a meeting of BJP chief ministers to finalise the strategy for the presidential elections. Amidst all this activity,it is the warring faction in Karnataka that has given him some respite,postponing its deadline for leadership change in the state from June 30 to July 5.
Training in Music
The government seems to have finally decided to put to some good use the huge collection of classical music in the archives of All India Radio. The Railways has been asked to play instrumental classic music both Hindustani and Carnatic in its premium trains the Rajdhanis,Shatabdis and Durontos. Akashvani has given the Railways two CDs to start with. New collections would be provided depending on the passenger response. The Railway Board is learnt to have instructed all the zonal railways to advise the train-running staff to take care about the timing and the location of the train while choosing the music to play. The Rajdhanis have been playing Brian Silass piano renditions of old Hindi films for quite some time now. It remains to be seen whether the passengers appreciate the change to classic music.
The cartoon controversy is not going to end with the mere removal of offensive cartoons from textbooks. Accountability is to be fixed as assured by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal in Parliament. The HRD Ministry last week set up a committee under former education secretary B S Baswan to hold an inquiry and find out which NCERT officials were responsible for the lapses that allowed such inappropriate cartoons to get into the textbooks. Incidentally,former higher education secretary R P Agarwal was initially chosen to head the committee but he excused himself from the job. The single-man Baswan committee has its task cut out considering the fact that NCERT texts under the new curriculum are far from being the work of one or two authors. The textbooks are the result of a collective effort of large number of scholars and go through several rounds of vetting. It would be interesting to see just how far the ministry would be willing to go and how many academic experts and NCERT officials it would haul up for selecting the offensive cartoons.
Former President A P J Abdul Kalam has tried to explain how he could sign the order dissolving the Bihar Assembly in 2005 while being in Moscow,a decision for which he came under criticism. In his new book,Kalam has said that he was using e-governance liberally in India and abroad. For those who move only physical files,it is very difficult to understand the power of e-governance. In dissolving the Bihar Assembly (which was in suspended animation) I did what my conscience said was appropriate,regardless of where I was, he writes.