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No minister

Her mandate may be to empower women but Woman and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath herself seems powerless at times.

Written by Express News Service |
April 12, 2013 12:37:45 am

No minister

Her mandate may be to empower women but Woman and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath herself seems powerless at times. Some weeks ago,she was overruled by Cabinet colleagues on the issue of deciding the legal age for consensual sex though she finally managed to prevail,thanks to the adamant stand of other political parties. Now her own officials seem to be defying her orders,and getting away with it. Tirath wanted her ministry’s plans to tackle the dipping sex ratio made public. However,despite repeated instructions,her OSD Rashmi Singh refused to release the document. Tirath promised that the information would be uploaded on the website in a couple of hours,but that never happened.

Foxes and monkeys

JUST ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Thursday,the security personnel found a fox roaming inside the Chancellery,the office of German Chancellor and the venue of the meeting. No damage was done and the fox was chased away in time for the meeting to begin as scheduled,but the incident immediately reminded the Indian side of the monkeys that keep frequenting the corridors of power in New Delhi,including the North and South Blocks.

Conference call

B A Aggarwal,Secretary in the Department of Legal Affairs,is away in South Africa these days,attending a training programme on legislative drafting. Ideally,Legislative Secretary P K Malhotra should have been attending this conference. Aggarwal happened to be holding additional charge of Legislative Secretary a few months back. It was at that time that his name was forwarded for this prestigious event,even though it was clear then that by the time the event took place,a new Legislative Secretary would have taken over,and Aggarwal would have to relinquish the additional charge. In his current role,Aggarwal has no role to play in legislative drafting.

Travel advisory

TELECOM Minister Kapil Sibal had to call off a scheduled visit to South Korea,apparently on the advice of the Ministry of External Affairs. Sibal is learnt to have been told that there was a possibility of North Korea launching an attack on South Korea and therefore it would not be safe for him to travel to Seoul during this time. Sibal has heeded the advice and postponed his visit to a later date.

The safe path

TRUE to reputation,Defence Minister A K Antony has gone the extra mile to stay away from any corruption-like crisis. He has formally given up the powers of a Defence Minister to approve deviations in qualitative requirements set for the purchase of a new weapon system. These powers had been vested,keeping in mind situations when even the best available system falls short on a few parameters. Antony has conveyed that this power will now rest only with the Defence Acquisition Council,which he heads but comprises other participants also.

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