Delhi Confidential: Extra work

Irani has directed officers of DS/Director rank to devote “at least one hour everyday” in the facilitation centre for redressal of public grievances

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 10, 2015 1:39:13 am

HRD Minister Smriti Irani seems to have found some additional work for officials in her ministry. An office order dated February 6 says the Minister has “observed that citizens from various parts of India are coming to Shastri Bhawan to seek information, enquire about action taken on their grievances and seek guidance from MHRD”. Irani has, thus, directed officers of DS/Director rank to devote “at least one hour everyday” in the facilitation centre for redressal of public grievances, with an objective of streamlining the grievance redressal system in the ministry. For this, officers of relevant ranks have been assigned duty in pairs for two consecutive days, and a roster for the next two months has been prepared and circulated.

Anil Baluni, the newest among the BJP spokespersons and so far the calmest in television debates, has changed his style all of a sudden. Those who wonder what has changed him and put more zeal into him, here is a story party insiders narrate. Last week, at a TV debate, Baluni became aggressive at one point. Party chief Amit Shah, who happened to watch this, was pleased and commented that Baluni has become aggressive. Those who were in the room promptly conveyed it to Baluni, who was handpicked by none other than Prime Minister Modi.

The Gujarat government was in for a snub as it sought to take a legal battle to the Supreme Court against an order to make additional payments to teachers. A bench led by Justice Vikramjit Sen questioned what happened to the “vibrant Gujarat” if it could not even pay its teachers well. Pointing at the state-run “Vibrant Gujarat” campaign to attract investment in the state, the court asked why the teachers were being denied decent salaries “in a state which is so vibrant”. It added: “We want to tell the vibrant state to pay its teachers well.” The state government’s appeal was dismissed.

The latest issue of ‘India-2015 Reference Annual’ published by the Publications Division of the I&B Ministry has Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stamp all over it. While the last year’s issue had the launch of Mangalyaan as its cover photograph, this year a photograph of Modi’s Independence Day speech from Red Fort has been used on the cover. Not just that, while the logo of Swachh Bharat Mission has found place on the cover, the “cleanliness pledge” for the mission has been reproduced inside. Earlier, the ministry’s annual calendar had featured a photograph of the PM using a broom as the picture for the month of January.

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