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Chilli blast

Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh displayed his adventurous streak during a visit to the Defence Research.

Written by The Indian Express | Published: August 27, 2013 1:01:16 am

Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh displayed his adventurous streak during a visit to the Defence Research and Development Establishment in Gwalior on Sunday. The minister,who went to the institute to see some of its innovations including the bio-toilet,was eager to see a live demonstration of the “chilli grenade”. One of the institute’s staff threw the grenade a safe distance away from onlookers,including the minister. While everyone quickly stepped back on seeing the huge cloud of smoke,Ramesh continued to look on with amusement. After a while,he was heard complaining of irritation on his face.

Back to college

When Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi visited colleges and universities to interact with the youth,the BJP sought to make light of the move,But the party seems to have taken the cue after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s rather successful interactions with the youth at college campuses in Pune and Delhi. Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj has tweeted that she will be addressing “youth meetings in universities/ colleges after parliament session”. However,one response to her tweet suggested that Swaraj should not “confuse the youth” and appealed to her to allow them to “see a united BJP”.

Rupee re-write

With the rupee touching a new low every day,top policy makers in New Delhi have to take extra care about what they say. C Rangarajan,chairman of the PM’s Economic Advisory Council,realised this on Monday when he spoke at a conference organised by PHDCCI. A press release sent after the seminar had to be hastily withdrawn at Rangarajan’s request. The reason: he was quoted in the release as saying that the $ 70 billion target for the current account deficit is “unlikely to be met” in 2013-14. The modified statement,however,quoted the PMEAC chief as more optimistic,and said the CAD target would be met.

House effect

With parliament session exended by another week,Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has cancelled her trip to South Africa to participate in a Commonwealth Parliamentary Union (CPU) event. However,presiding officers of some state legislatures,who are also scheduled to attend the programme,will go to Johannesburg. This is not the first time that Kumar has been unable to undertake a trip to South Africa. In January this year,she called off her visit to that country after the nationwide uproar over the Delhi gangrape case.

Real(i)ty check

The armed forces,which are the largest holders of real estate in the country,are battling demands for land under their control all over the country. There was one demand lately though that stumped them — a request from local journalists in Ranikhet for land to set up a press club. While it was ultimately rejected by the cantonment board,the matter came up in parliament in the form of a Lok Sabha question by Samajwadi Party MP from Machhlishahr on Monday.

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