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Sunday, November 01, 2020

Delhi Confidential: Waiting On

The government's silence on the proposal is interesting given that it was the BJP that had suggested an increase in poll expenditure limit in its feedback to the EC on campaigning amid the pandemic.

By: Express News Service | Ne Delhi | October 16, 2020 2:06:15 am
Sunil Arora

The Election Commission had recently asked the government to amend the Conduct of Election Rules to increase campaign expenditure limit by 10 per cent for all future elections. This proposal was made keeping in mind the constraints posed by the pandemic, as candidates will have to spend more on Covid-related precautions. With Bihar elections around the corner, the EC, led by poll panel chief Sunil Arora, wrote to the Law Ministry more than a month ago. However, there has been no response from the government. The government’s silence on the proposal is interesting given that it was the BJP that had suggested an increase in poll expenditure limit in its feedback to the EC on campaigning amid the pandemic.

Controversial Choice

The Ministry of Education is currently in the process of finding the next vice-chancellor for the central university in Himachal Pradesh. One of the frontrunners for the post is said to be the incumbent V-C of Mahatma Gandhi Central University (MGCU) in Motihari, Sanjeev Sharma. The fact that the ministry is considering his candidature is interesting, as Sharma has been a controversial university head. Earlier this year, the Chancellor of MGCU had written to President Ram Nath Kovind, requesting an inquiry against Sharma for allegedly violating the Central Universities Act. Over the past year, the ministry has received several complaints questioning the Vigilance clearance given by Sharma’s parent universities for his appointment as MGCU V-C since an inquiry into his appointment as a professor during his tenure at another university is still pending.

Firm Focus On Farm

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, which is in news due to farmers’ protests against the new farm laws, organised the Mahila Kisan Diwas through video-conferencing. While Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh could not attend the event, as he was out of town, Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala attended it and interacted with the women farmers. During the event, an e-book — ‘Inspiring Stories of Progressive Women Farmers’ — was released and two short video films — ‘Mahila krishak and her contribution in agriculture’ and ‘Global examples of successful women farmers’ — were launched.

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