The Supreme Court has just started hearing the appeal of Mumbai terror accused Ajmal Kasab. The case is likely to go on in the apex court for at least the end of this month,prompting a light-hearted comment from Justice Aftab Alam who wondered whether the Judges Holi holidays were likely to become a casualty. Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium,appearing for the Maharashtra government,cheekily remarked that judges,according to popular notions,do not take holidays. Justice Alam acknowledged Subramaniums comment with a laugh and thanked the lawyer for reminding us of that.
Opening new windows
With the Prime Ministers Office itself going on Twitter,it is now the turn of the governments official spokespersons to embrace newer technologies and publicise the governments efforts. The Indian Institute of Mass Communication is currently organising workshops for officials of the Press Information Bureau,who are spokespersons of their respective government departments,on the world of social networking and how to use these sites to communicate effectively. The PIB has already been working for some time to put itself on Twitter and the training to officers is another step towards that.
Waiting for take-off
Air India will have to wait even further to get its hands on the Dreamliner aircraft it has ordered from Boeing. The acquisition has already been delayed by over three years and it is learnt that Boeing has sought another extension for the delivery. The company is believed to have indicated that it would deliver the planes by March,to coincide with the India Aviation Week in Hyderabad.
While New Delhi continues to put pressure on Oslo to reunite the two children who were separated from their Indian-origin parents by the Norwegian Child Welfare services on grounds of emotional disconnect,Norway has initiated its own counter efforts to explain its position to policy-makers in Delhi. Norways visiting Environment Minister Erik Solheim,at a meeting with his Indian counterpart Jayanthi Natarajan,is learnt to have explained how the organisation that has taken custody of the children was an autonomous body not reporting to the Norwegian government. Norways ambassador in India has also been meeting important leaders,even from the Opposition parties. Recently,the ambassador sought a meeting with Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj to explain the context and backdrop of the action.
Farewell functions are occasions where only good words are exchanged,both for and by the outgoing functionary. So it seemed to be for Rural Development Secretary B K Sinha who retired on Tuesday. But Sinha surprised quite a few by revealing that he has had at least one serious altercation with his minister Jairam Ramesh. Jairam quickly intervened to clarify that the two of them did have differences on some issues but that never affected their cordial functioning. Indeed,the two were known to share an excellent relationship in the six months that Jairam has been in the ministry. Some officials in the ministry were therefore left wondering why Sinha had chosen to mention one isolated incident in his speech.