Pen not a palhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/pen-not-a-pal/

Pen not a pal

Pawar feels this is done even for trivial matters that essentially require their consent and not the minister’s.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has decided to get rid of his pen. Pawar,who also holds power and finance portfolios,is upset with bureaucrats at Mantralaya. He claims they are increasingly making ministers sign files at every stage,to steer clear of controversies. Pawar feels this is done even for trivial matters that essentially require their consent and not the minister’s. A file under process is by routine brought to a minister’s table only for final consent and not for remarks or preliminary approvals. But post the Adarsh scam,every file ‘under process’ now bears ministers’ signatures. Recently,when a senior babu came with a file,Pawar urged him to make good use of the pen “he displayed in his shirt pocket”. The official was reluctant but had to obey the minister. Pawar,with a broad smile,said,“I no longer keep the pen. You will have to make more use of yours.”

Marital Logic

Rajya Sabha MP Bharatkumar Raut of Shiv Sena is wondering why the provision of marriage has been introduced in the Registration of Birth and Deaths (Amendments) Bill,2012. Raut said,“There is no logic of marriage in birth and death. “Individuals have no control over their birth. And death is inevitable once you are born. If marriage is clubbed between birth and death,the title of the Bill should also change. It should have read ‘Registration of Birth,Death,Marriage & Divorce Bill’. Also,there should be provisions to ensure that along with registration of marriage,there are divorce rights as well. Some marriages that take place in remote or tribal areas are not registered. How does the Act deal with this?”

Taking note

With Praja Foundation releasing its annual ‘report card’ on the performance of MLAs and corporators for the third year,politicians have finally started paying heed to the NGO’s analysis. A member of the Praja team said legislators and corporators study press coverage of the report cards and are consulting them this year to find ways to better their performance. MLAs Abu Azmi and Baldev Khosa —- both of whom have been ranked poorly—- sent their sons to the Praja office to find out the rating parameters and asked them to suggest ways for improvement. “They wanted to know if we were politically affiliated. After making sure we are neutral,they started seeking tips on how to improve their ratings,” said a member. In 2011,when Praja released its first report,Prakash Mehta,ranked the lowest,spent two hours at their office to understand why. Praja team claimed he went back satisfied.

Art of speaking

While defending Mirza Himayat Baig,who is facing the death penalty for his role in the conspiracy behind Pune German bakery bomb blast of 2010,his counsel Mehmood Pracha complimented the prosecution for their gift of the gab. “The prosecution is trying to do the impossible with their eloquence and intelligence. I have faced them only because truth and science are on my side,” Pracha told the court animatedly. The court,however,told Pracha that he was no less eloquent than the prosecution. Pracha then said,“Shading is important. I am of a lighter shade.”

Self-appraisal

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With the state elections coming up next year,political leaders are using every public platform to market themselves. One such example is NCP’s Prasad Lad,chairman of MHADA’s repair board,who recently organised a grand function to release a report titled ‘Pratisad’ on completing a year at the helm,detailing MHADA’s achievements under him. At the function,a presentation was running in the background,describing Lad as ‘a people’s person’,’having strong interaction capabilities,‘excellent organisational skills’ and ‘having an inclusive and influential decision-making style.’ The glossy report did have information about MHADA’s activities in the past year,but it also displayed pictures of Lad’s public appearances,his meetings with senior party leaders and newspaper cuttings with his name highlighted. Before releasing the report,the compere said,“A dull child will always hide his report card from his parents and peers,whereas an intelligent child always wants to show it to everyone. Prasad Lad is like the intelligent child in this case.”

Decorum quotient

On Wednesday afternoon,15 hours after multiple explosions sunk INS Sindhurakshak,the media was allowed access to the Naval Dockyard for a briefing by Defence Minister A K Antony and Navy chief D K Joshi. Post-site inspection,with Antony expected to hurriedly leave for New Delhi to update the government and the Opposition on the status of the catastrophe,the Naval hierarchy kept asking camerapersons,from both print and electronic mediums,to maintain decorum and silence. Things worsened when a bunch of mediapersons broke the glass structures in the conference room. This prompted a senior Navy officer to point out that the hall was essentially the Western Command’s data room,where strategies and operations are discussed. When the commotion refused to die down,with the clock ticking and the sombre mood of the occasion,defence ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar yelled,“Media,we have met in happier times,today is not such a day.” Silence was restored.