After a successful foreign trip as Sports Minister to Lausanne in Switzerland,where he negotiated Indias re-entry into the Olympic fold,Jitendra Singh will be off to Singapore at the end of this month on his first foreign assignment as MoS Defence. The minister is to participate in the Shangri La dialogue,a forum to discuss strategic issues in Asia. Singhs address at the event is likely to be watched keenly,given the special interest in this years dialogue because of the security situation in the region,including maritime disputes in the East and South China sea.
After becoming the first defence service to debut on Twitter,the Army has added another first by launching its official page on Facebook. The page,which was silently launched on Wednesday evening,got over 4,000 likes within a few hours. Interestingly,the very first post on the page is about a border personnel meeting with the Chinese side at Nathu La. The post noted that viewpoints of both delegations were discussed in a cordial and friendly atmosphere!
Almost the entire HRD Ministry top brass is absent from Shashtri Bhawan these days. Minister M M Pallam Raju is leading a delegation to the United States for the India-US Strategic Dialogue. Rajus private secretary,two Additional Secretaries from departments of Higher and School education,two joint secretaries and some other officers are accompanying the minister.
A week after writing to the Cabinet Secretary alleging wrongdoings in appointments in the Railways Ministry,the Federation of Railway Officers Association has tried to nuance its stand. It has written again to the Cabinet Secretary,saying its earlier letter was not meant to paint all officials as corrupt. It said the earlier letter was wrongly interpreted to suggest that all postings and transfers involve payoffs. It says that Railway officials are an honest and hard-working lot and a few aberrations cannot be seen as representative of the cadres.
Journalists who went to meet Faridabad Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara on his invite were in for a surprise. After an informal meeting,a lunch was served and before they left the venue,all of them were handed a plain white envelope. Curious,the journalists opened to find thank you note,bearing the signature of the Archbishop,and a crisp Rs 1,000 note. Angered,the journalists confronted the priest who was distributing it and told him it was humiliating. All of them returned the envelopes. The Archbishop later clarified that the gesture had been misunderstood. The idea,he claimed,was to compensate the reporters,many of whom had not come in their official vehicle,for their conveyance.