Polls plus talks
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav may have his hands full these days, what with the party gearing up for elections in the Northeast, but being a foreign policy expert in the party, Madhav is scheduled to speak at two sessions of the third edition of the geopolitical conference ‘Raisina Dialogue’ in Delhi, which was inaugurated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Madhav, who was supposed to take part in one discussion, now has to be part of two sessions due to some last-minute changes. He will discuss “Emerging Security Dynamics in the Indo-Pacific” along with defence ministers of Australia and Singapore, and “Towards a New Framework for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific” on Wednesday.
Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi will hold a special screening of Akshay Kumar-starrer Pad Man a couple of days before the film’s release next week. The minister’s invitation states that the film’s theme of menstrual hygiene has the potential to initiate conversations and influence mindsets on the issue. Akshay, who was conferred the National Award in 2017, had found an official endorsement of his last film Toilet Ek Prem Katha in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The movie, in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission, was screened for a select audience in Delhi last year.
Prince Raj, 28, may have lost his first Assembly election in Bihar in 2015 but he is set to play a significant role in the LJP, an NDA ally. Party chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday appointed Prince president of LJP’s students’ wing. Prince is son of party MP from Samastipur Ramchandra Paswan, who is younger brother of Ram Vilas. Prince is fourth member from the family to hold a post in the party organisation. His father is party national vice-president, and Ram Vilas’s son Chirag is MP from Jamui and also chairman of LJP’s parliamentary board.
No taste of tests
The National Testing Service (NTS) will not, after all, conduct two of the most competitive entrance tests in higher education in India. NTS is envisioned to be the largest agency conducting all major entrance examinations in the country. First, the IITs expressed their unwillingness to hand over JEE (Advanced) to NTS. The Centre reluctantly agreed. With the IITs dropping out, it now seems that the chances of NTS conducting CAT are also very bleak. The HRD Ministry, it is learnt, has decided to not broach this topic with either the IITs or the IIMs for the first three years after NTS becomes fully functional.