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Delhi Confidential: Celeb Power

News from Delhi that India Express is tracking.

New Delhi | Published: December 7, 2015 2:06:15 am


Having had a run-in with the country’s food regulator over the launch of the Patanjali brand of noodles recently, yoga guru Ramdev appears to be banking on star power to market some of the other products being launched under his brand. In television commercials that have just started hitting the screens, actor and Lok Sabha MP from Mathura Hema Malini can be seen endorsing Patanjali biscuits. The ad shows the BJP MP talking about the qualities of these biscuits, highlighting why they should be the preferred choice of the people.

Bad Taste

It was supposed to be a mere formal gesture but a dinner recently hosted by Secretary, Urban Development, for IAS probationers after they completed their probational attachment with the ministry turned into a sour affair. Directors and deputy directors, some 15 of them from the ministry, were excluded from the guest list, making the dinner hosted at the India International Centre an affair only for the so-called elite officers. These directors and deputy directors were the ones who had been hand-holding the probationers during their stint with the ministry. The directors have now lodged a protest with the Secretary for the humiliating treatment.

Vacant Position

Ever since Sunil Jakhar resigned as the Congress legislature party leader in Punjab on the direction of the high command, there has been speculation about who would be his successor. And many of the senior MLAs have thrown their hat in the ring. The party has since appointed Amarinder Singh as the state chief but there is no word yet on the CLP leader. The high command has now decided to hold a meeting of the CLP next Monday in Chandigarh. Apart from general secretary in charge Shakeel Ahmed, senior leaders Satyavrat Chaturvedi and R P N Singh would be observers at the meeting. It is to be seen whether in true Congress tradition the MLAs would authorise the party president to nominate the CLP leader or actually pick one.

Promotion Fever

With just about three months to go for the International Fleet Review, the Navy has been gripped by promotion fever. While the official theme song — ‘Ahoy Hello Namaste’ — and videos of Navy Chief Admiral R K Dhowan speaking on the event have already been screened countless number of times at almost all Navy events, the latest addition is a caller tune of the theme song. As if the repetitive playing of the videos and the tune was not enough, those contacting Navy officers are now compelled to hear the song ‘Ahoy Hello Namaste’ even on their cellphones reminding the callers about the February 2016 IFR.

Feedback Time

The big part of bureaucracy in the HRD Ministry has been busy holding discussions and consultations for the new education policy. The officers, for a change, found themselves on the other side of the table last month when the drafting committee for the new education policy held its first meeting on November 27. The five members of the committee, four of whom are retired bureaucrats including former cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian, met all ministry officials working on school education. Insiders say the panel members spent a lot of their time seeking views of the officers present at the meeting. The committee also promised to send them a formal questionnaire soon to collate their feedback officially. The next meeting of the committee is going to be with officers dealing with higher education.

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