Some of the top political leaders from opposition parties were surprised on Thursday when they got a call from Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, inviting them for the Prime Minister-convened all-party meeting on Friday and seeking their cooperation. Singh is number two in the Cabinet, and a call from him signals the seriousness the government attaches to the meeting. The government had come under criticism from some opposition parties, particularly the Congress, for not keeping them informed about the ground situation in Ladakh. Heads of almost all political parties, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, are likely to attend Friday’s meeting. But there were some curious omissions. The Aam Aadmi Party did not get an invite, leaving it furious. The RJD also did not get the invitation. Its president Lalu Prasad is in jail.
Pushed into a dilemma on how to react to developments along the LAC with China, the BJP leadership has told party leaders that only a few of the senior lot would comment on it. Spokespersons have been asked to adhere to the official party position on the issue and be careful even while taking on Opposition leaders on this. Now BJP president J P Nadda has announced a two-day break from the party’s ongoing campaign with digital rallies. Nadda, who was scheduled to address a digital rally on Thursday, said his party would mourn the death of the soldiers by cancelling all political activities for two days. The digital rallies were announced to mark the first year of the Narendra Modi government’s second term.
The coronavirus pandemic has had an unusual positive outcome for the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Having for the first time created and launched the summer research training programme, the CSIR has received an overwhelming response: 16,000 applications for the course. Officials see this enthusiasm as a result of the stalled academic session, as also a sudden spurt of interest in scientific learning and research, spurred by the pandemic itself. The course is likely to begin later this month.
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