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Monday, February 17, 2020

Delhi Underground: No magic stick

As Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung sparred over the appointment of Swati Maliwal as the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson, she called a press conference last week.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: July 27, 2015 2:50:08 am
delhi underground, Haryana govt, NHAI, Arvind Kejriwal, AAP, AAP delhi, Swati Maliwal, NGT, DCW, delhi news, Indian Express A hoarding by the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena in the capital. (Ravi Kanojia)

Irked at the Haryana government’s sluggish pace of awarding work for the Western Peripheral Expressway, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) said, “The Tribunal doesn’t have a magic stick that it will rotate and bypasses will be erected immediately.” It then summoned top officials of the Haryana government and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to appear before it and explain the delay.

Cow at conference
As Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung sparred over the appointment of Swati Maliwal as the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson, she called a press conference last week. The venue, however, was not what the journalists had expected. Tucked away behind a bridge near the Monastery Market near ISBT, Kashmere Gate, the press conference was held in an open space near a pipeline. Camera persons from TV channels placed a table where Maliwal was expected to address them. Reporters placed chairs strategically so that tree branches blocked the punishing sun. Minutes before she arrived, however, a cow appeared behind the chair Maliwal was expected to take. Reporters tried to drive it away as it moved lazily about, finally moving out of the camera frame just before Maliwal arrived.

Where is the news?
Last week, the Indian Society of Clinical Research called a press conference at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on the subject of clinical trials. But this is what the journalists attending it took away with them: Confusion and no news. A senior doctor from a leading private hospital tried explaining why sponsors of a trial he was a part of withdrew after uncertainty in government policies, but he was interrupted by an AIIMS professor, who said such sponsors should not be allowed in India.When the former tried to complete his point, the latter again stopped him, saying he “would not allow such a discussion”.
Again, when the doctor from the private hospital, in response to a question, said investigators felt uneasy with the stringent rules which was discouraging trials, the professor interrupted him yet again.There was more.A patient and two relatives of patients, who were to take part in trials or were part of trials that were stopped, were asked to “speak briefly” and “hurry up”. At the end of the conference, an AIIMS professor said for “these success stories, there are hundreds who face problems due to trials”. Finally, when journalists asked the reason for calling the conference, two of the experts said it was “just a gathering, this was never a conference” and “there is no news”.

An oversight?
Delhi University’s decision to form a committee to look into the implementation of the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) just a day before the beginning of the academic session has not gone down well with teachers, who said the name of the committee should be changed from CBCS Oversight Committee to CBCS Overnight Committee.

Plant selfies
Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “#SelfieWithDaughter” campaign, a group from DU undertook a “SelfieWithPlant” campaign and planted 100 saplings in Kamla Nagar, north Delhi. It said the initiative was to promote afforestation.

Late & happy
Arriving late on the first day of college proved lucky for some students, who were greeted by celebrities, among them MTV Roadies host Raghu Ram, at the gates. “Here I was, cursing myself for getting late on the first day of college, when guess who walks towards me, shakes my hand and says, ‘Welcome to DU’. None other than Raghu Ram. I was as surprised as happy for getting late. If the first day of college was like this, I’m pretty sure the three years will be a great roller-coaster ride,” exclaimed a student.

Ad war
In the ad war being waged by the AAP government in the capital, most amused are those who are part of the government. An official pointed out that as the government came out with ads on Meenakshi, the woman who was murdered in Anand Parbat, the Delhi Police, which has come under criticism for not being able to safeguard women, launched ads on the Himmat app that alerts police when a woman is in danger.Likewise, the official said, the moment the government faces charges of creating an unnecessary controversy, it comes out with ads on its “achievements”.

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