It is not always that pilots get to see their service chief inside the cockpit. Helicopter pilots flying the Mi17 choppers of the Indian Air Force were in for a big surprise when Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, who was on a visit to Srinagar to monitor the flood situation, got up from his designated seat and sat behind the two helicopter pilots. Wearing headphones, the Air Chief was seen taking keen interest not only in the flood situation on the ground, but also in the action inside the cockpit. The helicopter was being flown by a Group Captain — the Commanding Officer of the helicopter unit that the chopper belonged to — and another junior officer.
The Congress has not yet announced its list of candidates for the October 15 elections in Haryana and Maharashtra, apparently because it does not want to do so during the ongoing period of ‘pitripaksha’ — a fortnight considered inauspicious by Hindus for making new beginnings. However, the party identified with Hindutva had no such qualms in announcing its list for Haryana. The central election committee of the BJP, chaired by party chief Amit Shah and attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, met for about four hours on Saturday afternoon, after which it announced the names of its remaining 47 candidates. It had announced 43 candidates earlier this month.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh was given a rousing reception by Nepal when he was in Kathmandu to attend the SAARC interior ministers’ meeting. When the minister went to visit the famous Pashupatinath Temple, traffic on the entire stretch was brought to a halt. People queued on both sides of the road to have a glimpse of the Indian Home Minister . Unlike Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had got down from his car to shake hands with people and talk to them during his visit to Kathmandu, Rajnath Singh just waved at the crowds as he drove by. Nepalese people have been slightly awed by the high-profile Indian visits in the last few months.
OFFICER IN DEMAND
The Election Commission has been trying hard to retain the services of Indian Information Service officer Akshay Rout whose tenure in the Commission got over in the middle of August. A proposal for extension of his services had been rejected by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet in keeping with the government’s policy. But Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath has now written to Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Nripendra Mishra seeking an extension for the officer in view of the Assembly polls.