August 23, 2021 5:03:59 am
DURING A book launch event in Delhi on Saturday, Jammu and Kashmir L-G Manoj Sinha spoke at length about various development and welfare schemes launched by the Centre for the Union Territory. While speaking about Ayushman Bharat scheme having been extended to all residents in Kashmir, when Sinha spotted Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari in the audience, he said, “The scheme can now be availed by anyone, poor and rich alike. Even Altaf Bukhari saab can avail of it, no matter how rich he is.” He also took potshots at journalists when Bashir Assad, the author of the book launched by Sinha, said the L-G really liked him. “I don’t love writers and journalists. No one knows what they will write when,” Sinha said.
SPECULATION IS rife that for the first time the government may appoint an officer from IB Hardcore as the next chief of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Although the Intelligence Bureau (IB) takes officers from state cadres on deputation, those who get absorbed in the agency are called IB Hardcore. With the incumbent chief of IB, Aravind Kumar, having recently got a one-year extension of tenure, many senior DG-ranked officers are likely to lose a chance to head the central intelligence agency. Sources said appointing one of them as NIA chief will not only accommodate ambitions but also bring domain expertise to the nation’s premier counter terror agency.
RESEARCH SCHOLARS have lost at least a year’s worth of research time because of the pandemic. Recognising the problems being faced by their PhD scholars, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) had approached Education Ministry this year with a proposal to revise stipend to the scholars for at least another semester, if not an extra year. This extra time and stipend, the IITs felt, would help the PhD candidates, especially those in fourth or fifth year, to make up for lost time. The proposal was also discussed in the standing committee of the IIT Council and it now lies with the government. The buzz has it that the ministry is not keen to provide additional funds to the IITs for this purpose. Given the silence on government’s part, some IITs are planning to disburse the extra stipend from their internal funds.
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