Just before the model code of conduct comes into effect, HRD Minister Pallam Raju held three back-to-back press conferences on Monday. He sat through two hours of programmes of his ministry, and cleared a spate of appointments. Some new members have been appointed to the UGC, including A Shantih and Mohammed Miyan. Raju also approved a second term for IIT Hyderabad director U B Desai and may also clear a new term for IIT Gandhinagar director Sudhir Jain.
Thank NSUI for small mercies
Desperate for a glimmer of light in a dark prognosis for the general elections, the Congress tom-tommed NSUI’s victory in the Gujarat University elections. The AICC declared seat-wise results, and announced that the university had over 3.5 lakh voters in eight districts. And in Ahmedabad, the Congress said the university’s reach was spread over 10 districts and seven Lok Sabha seats.
Desperately seeking support
Vying for the Muslim vote in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress has managed to rope in a couple of clerics associated with influential Darul Uloom Deoband. The party’s minority wing has inducted Mufti Arif Qasmi and Maulana Salim Ashraf Qasmi, along with former Samajwadi Party leader Saad Siddiqui and their supporters.
Crack cop to disaster expert
Former Central Bureau of Investigation special director K Saleem Ali, who was the driving force behind the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter investigation, has been appointed member, National Disaster Management Authority, in the home ministry. It is a high-profile post equivalent to that of minister of state, and Ali will report directly to the Prime Minister, who is the chairman.
Narendra Modi had shown great interest in disaster management at the time of the Bhuj earthquake; it will be interesting to see how he runs National Disaster Management Authority in case he does come to power.