Paying heed to demands from MPs, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has declared December 24 and 26 as holidays. This means the Upper House, which has conducted scant business so far, will now be off from December 22-26, with the first two being the weekend. Trinamool Congress’s Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien had, in a letter to Naidu, cited past precedence of the House being adjourned sine die before Christmas and asked for leave.
During a debate on The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, TMC member Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar took a swipe at a “film star” without naming the person. Dastidar, who lauded the government for bringing in the Bill to regulate surrogacy, asked the government to see that “fashion surrogacy” does not take place. Maintaining that she is “vehemently”against “some celebrities” who opt for surrogate pregnancy, Dastidar, a gynaecologist by profession, said this takes place because they do not want their figures to be “destroyed.”
Finding The Chiefs
The HRD Ministry has set in motion the process to find the next directors of IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Guwahati and IIT-Bombay. A shortlist has been prepared and candidates are likely to be interviewed in the first week of January. The incumbent directors of Kharagpur and Guwahati — Partha Pratim Chakrabarti and Gautam Biswas, respectively — and former head of IIT-Kanpur Indranil Manna are rumoured to be on the interview shortlist. Interestingly, another ex-director was among the applicants but didn’t make it to the shortlist. Prof R Shevgaonkar was nominated by former IIT-Delhi chairperson Vijay Bhatkar. Shevgaonkar had resigned in 2014 as IIT-Delhi director amid speculation of differences with former HRD Minister Smriti Irani. He has not been called for the interview this time.