THE frenetic fashion in which secretaries to the Government of India and ministers have taken to heart Narendra Modi’s instructions to clean up their offices is largely because they have got feedback from Gujarat of Modi’s fury when a similar order was taken lightly in his home state. When Modi first took over as the chief minister in 2001, he requested his ministers and secretaries to improve their working environment.
After 10 days, he telephoned one of the ministers to find out whether the cleanliness drive had taken place. The minister, who had not taken the order seriously, immediately asked his secretary to accompany him to all offices in his ministry. To the minister’s surprise, he discovered that his secretary was unaware of the location of some sections of his ministry and had to ask for directions. When the CM learnt about the secretary’s ignorance about his own office and his lethargy in the clean-up drive, he pulled him up severely in front of everyone at the next meeting.
Strange home truths
AS A follow-up of an IB report on the suspicious funding of some NGOs, the Home Ministry has issued a directive that its permission has to be obtained before banks can accept any remittances to Greenpeace India from ClimateWorks Foundation. An IB investigation zeroed in on a donation of Rs 1 crore last year to Greenpeace India by ClimateWorks Foundation. The Foundation in question is funded by Hewlett Foundation, Packard Foundation and McKnight Foundation.
The former two foundations are trusts set up by the well-known company of the same name which manufactures computers and printers. McKnight Foundation gets its money from Minnesota Mines and Minerals Corporation. Since Greenpeace India campaigns for disposal of e-waste generated by Indian IT service providers and is against coal mining, the IB finds it odd that its donor should be engaged in the very same activity in its own country.
Independence Day eye-catcher
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi is already focussing on his Independence Day address to ensure that it is out of the box. An advance team has examined the Red Fort grounds to explore how best 3D images can be introduced to make the show glitzy. Modi’s speech will reinforce his plea for development and include material from campaign speeches.
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Navy ship not in shape
THE SPG is furious with the naval authorities, who tried to pin the blame on the PM’s security setup for the Navy’s goof up in guiding 25 journalists on the INS Vikramaditya into a separate room, with the result that they missed the PM’s speech.
For some reason the media party, which was specially taken on board to cover the PM’s visit to the warship, was asked to remain in the tiny room while only the Doordarshan team was permitted access to the hangar when Modi made his speech dedicating the ship to the nation. The media was, understandably, agitated and the Navy, in turn, tried to blame the lapse on the SPG, which had nothing to do with the instructions.
Gag order on colleagues
During the recent Parliament session, Mukul Roy, chairperson of TMC’s parliamentary party, sent an SMS to his colleagues asking them not to speak unnecessarily in the House. He was not referring to speeches on the floor of the House, which are scheduled by the party, but chit-chat with the media and other MPs
Modi effect on Capital’s golfers
Members of the Delhi Golf Club have noticed that of late senior government officials have stopped visiting the club on weekdays. Word has got around that an officer complained to Modi that some bureaucrats were taking time off to play golf, instead of sitting in their offices. Due to instructions that they must be in their offices at 9 am sharp, golf has become difficult for the babus.