The government’s notification on Monday extending the term of the country’s two top legal officers took many in the fraternity by surprise. While Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehra’s tenure has been extended by another full term of three years, Attorney General for India K K Venugopal’s term has been extended only for a year. The truth is, although the government was keen on retaining the veteran for a full term, Venugopal himself had expressed doubts owing to his advanced age. He turns 90 next year.
Although lockdown has put a spanner in many plans, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is hoping to not let this pause its plans for August. ICCR president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe had planned to install a life-size portrait of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at ICCR headquarters on his second death anniversary in August. While the lockdown threatened to upset his plans, it appears on course again after Unlock 1.0 was announced. In fact, the trickier issue was making a case for the portrait. But this issue was negotiated on a technical ground — that Vajpayee was a former ICCR president who went on to become the Prime Minister. Vajpayee had served as ex-officio president of ICCR under its then rules when he was Foreign minister in the post-Emergency Janata government. Incidentally, P V Narasimha Rao is the other former ICCR president to become the PM. One wonders whether the Congress will next push for Rao’s portrait to be put up.
Even as the coronavirus outbreak rages in Delhi, there are murmurs within the Railways that its central hospital treating Covid-19 patients in the capital is plagued by a power tussle between the two top doctors. A position in the hospital was recently elevated without approval of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, whereas a similar position in the medical department was not given that elevation. The elevation, officials say, resulted in creating two administrative power centres in the hospital and is now creating problems in micro-management of issues even as cases rise.
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