The External Affairs Minister, Y.B. Chavan, told the Lok Sabha that Bangladesh in its communication had neither accepted nor rejected India’s invitation for talks on the utilisation of the Ganga waters at Farakka during the lean season. Chavan took the view that whatever the official spokesman might have said about Bangladesh stipulating preconditions for talks, he would not treat the Bangladesh communication as laying preconditions. Assuring CPM members, who had expressed concern over the threat to Calcutta port as a result of what they termed a “deadlock” over the sharing of the Ganga waters, the minister made it clear that there was no question of giving up Farakka under any circumstances.
West UP As Granary
The UP cabinet met in Bulandshahr and decided to develop the western region as a granary for the whole country in five years. Investments in the power and irrigation sectors would be given top priority to achieve the target.
Charan Eyes RS Charan Singh, chairman of the Bharatiya Lok Dal, was likely to contest Rajya Sabha elections from UP, a report said. The BLD, with a strength of 89 MLAs in the UP assembly, could send two persons to the RS.
UGC On Quotas
A fixed quota of lecturers’ posts in colleges and universities would be reserved for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates, the UGC announced in Delhi. The UGC, which had resisted this recommendation for some time, made it policy after insisting on some conditions. The UGC held the view that these reservations should not be operated on a roster system or carried forward from year to year in the event of non-availability of candidates belonging to these communities in a particular year. This was to prevent teaching jobs remaining vacant for too long.