Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will visit Karnataka’s Mandya, which has been hit by farmer suicides, later this month. There has been criticism that he was holding kisan padayatras only in states ruled by BJP and non-Congress parties — Maharashtra, Telangana and Rajasthan — while ignoring the Congress-ruled Karnataka. Rahul, sources said, had been keen to visit Mandya, an hour’s drive from Bengaluru, and meet the families of farmers who have committed suicide but it seems Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wanted to visit the region first and announce some sort of relief package. He is planning to visit the region after the ongoing Assembly session, which was also rocked by a spate of farmer suicides. The session was in Belagavi for 10 days and now back in Bengaluru. Rahul, sources said, would visit Mandya by the end of this month.
Officials in the ministries under M Venkaiah Naidu were quite disappointed when dhoklas were distributed at a high-level meeting recently. When Naidu is present in the meetings, he would ensure that officials are treated with south Indian snacks, especially those from Andhra Pradesh. But when they met without the minister, they were served dhokla along with tea. Some officials were keen to find out who was behind the decision.
Race For Top Post
Hectic lobbying is going on for the new director of NCERT. The interview is scheduled on July 24 in Bengaluru and sources said 19 candidates have been called. Sources said at least six of the 19 applicants are from within NCERT and some of them have been part of the former director’s team against whom an inquiry was initiated by the Human Resource Development Ministry in May last.
Former cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth may have retired, but he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Birmingham this week. Seth was an alumnus of the University of Birmingham. He did his Master’s in Development Finance in 1993 and was also awarded the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce prize for his academic performance.
Israel ambassador Daniel Carmon is an innovative diplomat. He learnt and practised speaking Urdu in July, and recorded a message in Urdu to wish “Eid mubarak”. His video on “Eid ka Chaand” has gone viral on social media. In the video, he wishes friends in Urdu. Insiders say he practised bits of Urdu daily before Eid.