South Block is appointing an author and a poet, both trained diplomats, to fill up two key positions. The 1986-batch IFS officer, Vikas Swarup, author of Q&A which was later adapted for Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire, will be the new official spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs. Swarup, who has served in the US, UK and Japan, is currently the head of UN-political desk in the MEA. Abhay K, a 2003-batch diplomat based in Kathmandu, is now set to become the Director of Nehru Center in London. Abhay’s latest book of poems, The Seduction of Delhi, created a a buzz in this year’s Jaipur Literature Festival.
This year’s Independence Day may still be more than four months away but public broadcaster Doordarshan has already launched full-scale preparations to cover the day. And in a bid to add some freshness to the multi-camera production it proposes to execute, it has started looking out for a fresh set of musical items, song and dance capsules and choreographed presentations in regional languages. All the regional Kendras have accordingly been directed to send in their programmes latest by June 30.
In a fix
A recent Supreme Court order cancelling inclusion of Jats in the Other Backward Castes (OBC) category has left the UPSC in a fix. When it had conducted the civil services examinations, Jats were recognised as OBC. Some of the Jat candidates who got selected in the preliminary examination under the OBC quota would not have made it under the general category. But they were selected and a few of them have probably made it to the final list as well. It would be difficult to make them ineligible retrospectively and cancel their final selection. The UPSC therefore has reached out to the government seeking a direction
before it declares its final results.
Raising the bar
On Friday, members of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) will participate in a secret ballot to elect two members of the Supreme Court Gender Sensitisation and Internal Complaints Committee (GSICC). Among the contestants is senior advocate and woman rights activist Indira Jaising. The panel was set up in 2013 after two law interns levelled allegations of sexual harassment against retired Supreme Court judges.