To ensure that the discussion on Delhi riots starts on time, at 2 pm in the afternoon, the Upper House quickly conducted legislative business in the morning session. But as the Indian Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill was being passed, CPM leader Elamaram Kareem demanded a division vote, which takes longer than voice vote. The demand left the treasury benches and almost all of Opposition surprised and upset, with Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad appearing visibly irritated. The Opposition barely had the numbers and the Bill passed with 83 to 12 votes. The voting ended by 2.15 pm and the House was adjourned for 30 minutes and the awaited discussion on the riots was delayed by 45 minutes.
Dammu Ravi, a 1989-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, has been appointed coordinator for COVID-19 in the Ministry of External Affairs in the rank of additional secretary. Ravi, who was joint secretary in the Commerce ministry, has recently been repatriated to the Ministry of External Affairs. He was earlier joint secretary in charge of Latin America and has earlier served as private secretary to Congress leader Ambika Soni, when she was Tourism minister in the UPA. A speaker of Spanish language, he has served in Mexico, Cuba and Brussels in the past.
The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) recently made headlines for improving their performance in the QS subject-wise rankings. While their performance in QS Rankings have been consistent, the premier engineering schools haven’t been too happy with the outcome of the Times Higher Education Rankings. Last year, many of the old IITs were bested by newer institutions like IIT-Ropar and IIT-Indore. The IITs, it is learnt, have had an opportunity to flag their grievance and concerns with senior representatives of Times Higher Education this year. The institutions have flagged problems with the research impact criterion in which Times Higher Education considers global research projects. The IITs pointed out that these projects/papers have multiple partners and are cited often and eventually end up benefitting smaller institutions who are part of such projects but have little to show for overall research productivity. Times Higher Education is learned to be considering a tweak to this criterion now.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines