Following the controversy about DD Kisan allegedly paying Rs 6.31 crore to get Amitabh Bachchan to endorse the channel and Bachchan’s subsequent denial, Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley recently pulled up the Prasar Bharati top brass. At a meeting at his residence, Jaitley did not hide his annoyance at the fact that Prasar Bharati had allowed such a lapse.
The Trinamool Congress had a special reason to mourn the death of former President A P J Abdul Kalam. Minutes after Trinamool MPs met to pay tribute to the former President, Sudip Bandopadhyay, leader of the party in the Lok Sabha, recalled how he had accompanied party supremo Mamata Banerjee, then a part of the NDA government, to former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee’s residence to support Kalam’s candidature for the top office.
Some Rajya Sabha members wanted to pay tribute to former President A P J Abdul Kalam, but convention came in the way. During informal talks before the House assembled, the MPs, said to be from the SP and JD(U), expressed their desire to say a few words after the customary obituary reference by Chairman Hamid Ansari. But others pointed out that the existing practice was that the chairman alone would make a reference. Some years ago, the general purposes committee had recommended that an obituary reference should be made only by the chairman on behalf of the House. It had, however, added that in exceptional cases, the Prime Minister or Leader of the House may initiate the reference, and leaders and representatives of various parties may also participate. But given the sombre mood on Tuesday, nobody wanted to dig out the rules and procedures.
The HRD ministry has decided to celebrate the “millennium anniversary” of Rajendra Chola-I of the Chola dynasty. A letter from the ministry to the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan directs KVs to organise programmes on the “great king of the Chola empire” so the “children of the new generation are inspired by the legacy of rich history of the country they belong to”.
While the country remembered the Kargil martyrs, the Army’s Additional Director General Public Interface (ADGPI) paid a filmy style tribute to the men in uniform. According to the Press Information Bureau, the ADGPI brought out a poster of the martyrs posing with the national flag, titled “16th Kargil Day – 1999 Indo Pak War, Remembering the Bravehearts of Operation Vijay”. The poster was an instant hit on Instagram.