Even as Unlock 2.0 is underway, MPs are unclear about the shape Standing Committee meetings will take amid the pandemic. Congress Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh has written to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, asking him to permit proceedings for the Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change — scheduled for July 10 — via videoconferencing. Ramesh has written that without a virtual meeting, it may be impossible to “muster up a quorum”.
The pandemic may have prompted many politicians to close ranks and stand united with the government. But a development at VP House, where many Left and smaller party MPs are put up, seems to have irked some opposition MPs. According to sources, a Union minister, who got guest accommodation in VP House, sent a personal staffer who had tested positive to this room for isolation. MPs in nearby rooms have requested the minister to arrange his stay elsewhere. One Lok Sabha MP, who is stuck in VP House with his family including small children, approached the Lok Sabha Speaker. On Tuesday, Speaker Om Birla promised immediate action.
The government on Tuesday announced names of five people who will join the Prasar Bharati board as part-time members. Over half of the 13-member board has been vacant for a while, including the position of chairperson, after A Surya Prakash retired earlier this year. The tenures of the new members will be different, though. Two of them — including Ashok Tandon, former media adviser to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who has been reappointed after his term ended in November — will get to serve till 2025, two others will finish their terms in 2023, and one will see his tenure end next year. This is because the appointments are for the remainder of the six-year tenure for each of these posts.
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