Sam Pitroda probably did not fully understand the question,but his remarks clearly led to much amusement amongst those present. At an event to present awards to winners of an innovation competition,Pitroda was asked,in Hindi,about the efforts to rope in innovators in the smaller towns and villages,many of whom happened to be illiterate,into this competition. Well,I think,they can go to the website and learn about this competition, Pitroda replied. As his audience had a good laugh,Pitroda was at a loss to understand what was so funny about his remark.
Doordarshan director general Tripurari Sharan is a frequent traveller abroad. In the last few months,he has been on six international trips. A few days back,he sent a request to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry which clears his foreign travel seeking approval for another tour. But this time,the ministry was not convinced. It raised questions on the need for such frequent travel and the output from them. Last heard,the request was still pending with the Ministry.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardaris private visit is definitely not going to be a strictly private affair,considering that he will be accompanied by a 40-member delegation,which is likely to include Interior Minister Rehman Malik. It will almost certainly become a public and media spectacle. Pakistan also seems to have realised this,since they are coming with two eight-member media teams one of them will be stationed in Delhi and the other in Ajmer.
The BJP itself is not yet sure about projecting Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate,but its ally in Punjab,the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD),seems totally convinced of the idea. At a breakfast meeting organised by visiting US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman for a group of parliamentarians on Tuesday,when the issue of Modis possible pitch for prime ministership cropped up,SAD MP Harsimarat Kaur Badal started elaborating on how the country needs a strong leader who can provide governance,give jobs to the youth,et al. As Congress MP Manish Tewari interjected asking whether she meant Modi,the SAD MP said,Yes,Modi.
Lobbying over Lunch
US candidate for World Bank presidency Jim Yong Kim was in New Delhi on Tuesday to seek support for his candidacy. In between his meetings with PM Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee,Jim had lunch with Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh. Also at the lunch was Srinath Reddy,president of Public Health Foundation of India,who is a good friend of Jim. Reddy is learnt to have had a detailed conversation with Jim,a physician himself,on the state of public health and the governments plan to launch a universal health insurance coverage scheme.