During his press conference on the eve of his first Army Day as Army chief, General M M Naravane mentioned how empowering the service chiefs has helped the Army, Navy and Air Force. However, he did not mention that it has been over a week since he took over as Army Chief on January 1 but the position he left behind, vice-chief of the Army, has since been vacant — one of the longest periods when India has not had a vice-chief of the Army. There is growing concern in the Army brass, since the vice-chief is responsible for planning and acquisitions, as well as day-to-day handling. Sources said that ideally the government should have started preparing the day Naravane’s name was announced as the next chief on December 16, as the file with potential names was sent to the government immediately, but there is no word on the vice-chief’s appointment yet.
On Thursday, the Chinese embassy hosted the second youth dialogue, which was the first event in a series to follow to mark 70 years of the India-China relationship. During the inauguration of the event, the Chinese ambassador to India, Sun Weidong, was asked whether he watched Bollywood films and if he had a favourite. He said that Raj Kapoor’s Awara was the first Hindi film he watched, and that Dangal and Secret Superstar, both produced by Aamir Khan, are among his favourites.
A series of meetings of the Council of Ministers may conclude next week. According to the initial plan, the Council was scheduled to meet on the 13th, 17th and 20th of this month. While three groups of secretaries made their presentations at the last meeting on Wednesday, two such groups are yet to present their draft recommendations. It is, however, learnt that the group of secretaries on finance will not make its presentation to the Council. Which means that the remaining group will make a presentation at the last meeting on January 17.
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