July 23, 2020 4:10:27 am
The pandemic may have interrupted physical hearings in the Supreme Court, but courtroom humour is still alive. Justice Arun Mishra, holding a videoconference hearing, was amused by Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi’s stark red background. Rohatgi said it was a portrait, and pointed to the rain outside that was visible on a part of the screen. Agreeing to an adjournment, Rohatgi said he would like to enjoy the weather. Intervening, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said in a lighter vein, “Since he said he would like to enjoy the weather, I was looking at his table to see what is on it.” Justice Mishra asked if it was something Mehta could not afford, to which Mehta said, “No my Lord, but I come from a different state of Gujarat.”
Opposition parties have novel ways of making a political point. BJP general secretary Saroj Pandey sent Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel a rakhi and tilak to remind him about his promise of prohibition. “In your party manifesto you had promised the mothers and sisters… The women in Chhattisgarh blessed you with both hands in the election,” Pandey recalled. She said that by sending him the rakhi, she was entitled to ask for a gift. Pointing out that women had suffered during the lockdown and the opening of beverage shops has worsened the situation, the BJP Rajya Sabha MP said that she along with other sisters in the state were expecting a gift from the CM on Rakshabandhan.
A NITI Aayog-led conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and technology experts gave a sneak peek into the PM’s ideas for using technology to help alleviate what he called a “mismatch” between people who have skills and the places that need them. He suggested using artificial intelligence to help companies and job seekers sift through options, especially when many Indians are not willing to travel far from home. Participants from Youth Affairs, Health, Labour and Employment Ministries, the PMO, the Principal Scientific Adviser, National Health Authority, and technology industry experts sought the PM’s advice on features for such an algorithm, like adding educational options for children of job seekers, availabilities for both members of a couple, and a global mapping of job seekers and opportunities matched to India’s.
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