BJP president Nitin Gadkaris fascination with biofuels and new technology is well known. He is now learnt to have got an E-85 car conversion kit from Bangkok that helps vehicles run on ethanol. In a discussion on Friday,Gadkari managed to steer the conversation away from politics and UP elections to biofuels and revealed how this new E-85 kit was working wonders on his car. He suggested that it was time that such energy efficient systems were embraced by the Indian government as well.
Members of the Indian delegation accompanying Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to Islamabad were in for a surprise when they called on Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. The host turned inquisitive about a number of Indian public figures who no longer play such a prominent role as they once used to. The Indians were comfortable replying to queries regarding Shivraj Patil,former Home Minister and now Governor of Punjab,but they appeared clueless when Gilani inquired about V S Rama Devi,a former Governor of Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh. It turned out that Gilani,who was the Speaker of the Pakistan National Assembly from 1990 to 1997,had got to know some functionaries of Indian Parliament at that time. Patil was the Lok Sabha Speaker between 1991 and 1996,while Rama Devi served as the Rajya Sabha Secretary-General from 1993 to 1997.
THERE seems to be unusually low excitement levels in the ministries ahead of the annual Budget this year. The ministries and departments are learnt to be reconciled to the belief that there is unlikely to be much increase in their budgetary allocation for the coming fiscal. At best,there could only be a nominal increase from last years allocation. The reason for the pessimism: the impending Right to Food legislation that will require a huge amount of funding.
DURING one of the hearings on the case relating to decriminalising homosexuality,a lawyer representing an anti-gay group argued that even Gandhi had reservations about same-sex relationships. Interrupting him abruptly,the Bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhyay sought to know who the Gandhi being referred to was. When the lawyer replied that he was talking about Mahatma Gandhi,the court pointed out that for Gandhiji,many things were immoral,even the consumption of alcohol. It advised the lawyer not to bank on an individuals perception of morality to argue a case as that varies from person to person.
THE proposal to impose tariff on imported power equipment was withdrawn from Thursdays Cabinet agenda at the proverbial last minute. So much so that even Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde was taken by surprise. It is learnt that the Power Secretary informed the minister about the withdrawal of the proposal just as he was about to leave his office to attend the Cabinet meeting. The official explanation says that it was considered better to have such an important decision announced in the Budget,which is just around the corner. However,the grapevine has it that a Cabinet decision to impose the tariff on a day when Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jeichi was in town on official visit would have been bad timing. It would also have sent out a wrong signal ahead of a BRICS summit later this month. A 19 per cent duty on imported equipment,as proposed,is likely to render Chinese equipment more expensive compared to domestic products.