THE VISITOR’S conference this year is slated to be like no other in terms of scale. Unlike previous years, when President Pranab Mukherjee, in his capacity as the Visitor of all centrally funded institutions, would meet the heads of central universities, IITs and NITs separately, this time it is a grand meeting of all of them over three days, starting November 4. Mukherjee expects them to put their heads together to come up with ways to make Indian institutions compete internationally and to promote gender equity and inclusion in higher education.
ASSAM CHIEF Minister Tarun Gogoi’s recent meetings with AUDF’S Badruddin Ajmal had triggered speculation that Congress and AUDF could form an alliance ahead of the assembly elections in 2016. But it seems the Congress is exploring both possibilities — a pre-poll tie-up as well as a post-poll arrangement. One gets to hear that top Congress leaders had one round of informal talks with Ajmal already. An informal group of three leaders could continue the discussions. Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi is set to meet the members of all the poll-related panels set up by the party this week to assess the preparations.
NOT EVERYTHING is running like clockwork for the Africa summit, as the media found on Friday. Although accreditation badges were to be distributed on Friday, they were delayed and given Sunday. In the meantime, those looking for the phone numbers of MEA officials — displayed on the ministry website — were left frustrated. Due to some reason, they found some 15 digits added to the numbers.
WHEN A group of writers held a protest march ahead of Sahitya Akademi’s emergency meeting last week, the split was wide open as well as symbolic. When those considered as “Left wing” or backed by Leftists marched from Sri Ram Centre and entered through the Akademi’s exit gate at Feroz Shah Road, those who believed to have the backing of the Cultural Ministry entered the building from the main gate at Copernicus Marg. ABVP activists had joined the second group who questioned the motive of the other set of writers. Some said the gate each group chose to enter was indicative of their future — who would be in and would be out.