Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March 3, 2014

When better sense prevailed

In choosing not to adopt the ordinance route to bring in anti-corruption measures, the United Progressive Alliance has managed to avoid questions about propriety and legality. It is unlikely that President Pranab Mukherjee could have been persuaded to promulgate ordinances to introduce laws that Parliament had the opportunity, but not the will, to enact. If the government had gone ahead, Mr. Mukherjee might have asked for reconsideration of the advice, causing embarrassment to the ruling party, especially its vice-president Rahul Gandhi. In the circumstances, it was surprising that the ordinance route was considered at all. It is true that several good measures fell by the wayside in the din and chaos of the final Parliament session. Yet, the undemocratic ordinance route is not a proper substitute for sound legislative management to which both the government and the Opposition have to contribute. With the Opposition not ready to keep Parliament in session indefinitely, the Houses adjo…

Sindhuratna and beyond

Submarining has always been a dangerous profession, meant only for volunteers drawn from serving navy personnel. It is also a relatively young man’s profession, with commanding officers of conventional submarines going “over the top” in their late thirties, into staff jobs. The selection is strict and the training rigorous. New entrants are carefully screened in psychological tests to survive in close proximity, under difficult conditions, with other human beings, for long periods of time. Not surprisingly, the camaraderie is close and submariners make friends for life. The Indian submarine service commissioned its first submarine in 1967 and the pioneers realised the imperative of laying down the strictest standards of safety right at the beginning. The explosion on Sindhurakshak occurred in 2013, after years of accident-free service. The Sindhuratna fire, close on the heels of the earlier explosion, poses a huge leadership challenge to senior naval officers in assuring serving subma…

Will enrol with Congress in two days: Nilekani

Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India Nandan Nilekani on Monday said he would enrol for primary membership with the Congress in the next two days. Expressing confidence on contesting the general elections from Bangalore South constituency, he said: “The public wants to see new faces. I am clean and capable; a local candidate with a good track record. Bangalore needs an ambassador who fights for the cause, and I will provide that. I have already started my work and have been visiting colleges and apartments to interact with the public.” Mr. Nilekani was speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of the inauguration of a solar research and development facility in the Global Academy of Technology here. The Infosys co-founder also batted for renewable energy, emphasising that subsidies must be provided on hybrid products to make renewable resources more popular. The facility is a collaboration between the academy and SunEdison, a solar technology manufacturer, and will b…

BIMSTEC summit a building block for "forward march of Asia".

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will on Tuesday meet with Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa for the first time since 2012, on what will likely be his last official foreign visit, a two-day summit of leaders of the seven nations participating in the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, BIMSTEC. The meeting comes just days ahead of a scheduled vote on a resolution calling for an international enquiry into alleged Sri Lankan war crimes at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Dr. Singh had declined to travel to Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit, amidst intense criticism of the country’s human rights record. Tamil Nadu politicians have criticised the meeting, with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader K. Karunanidhi writing in a party journal that while Tamils were “seeking a resolution for an independent probe into war crimes in Sri Lanka, Singh is holding talks with Rajapaksa, ignoring sentiments of Tamils”. Khurshid sl…

Paswan, Modi back each other against barbs

Gujarat Chief Minister is man of development, says LJP leader   Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) president Ram Vilas Paswan cemented his renewed alliance with the BJP by addressing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as “Vikas Purush (man of development)” and “future Prime Minister” at a rally in Muzaffarpur district in Bihar on Monday.   Sharing the dais with the prime ministerial candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Mr. Paswan, who resigned from the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in the wake of the 2002 Gujarat riots, denied the charge of communalism levelled against Mr. Modi.   “At present, Gujarat is a State where there has been no communal incident since 2002, whereas in Bihar, there is one every month. There is no rigid caste structure today. Everyone has become one community. India is a garden with floral variety. The person who tends all the flowers is a good gardener,” he said.   The rally showcased the NDA’s strength in Bihar, where the LJP and the Rashtriya Lok…

K.T. Thomas refuses to head Lokpal search panel

In yet another embarrassment to the government, former Supreme Court judge K.T. Thomas on Monday turned down the offer to head Lokpal search committee, days after jurist Fali Nariman opted out of the panel.“I have written to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) expressing disinclination to head Lokpal search committee,” former Judge Thomas told PTI on phone from Kottayam, Kerala.“The reason is when I went through the rules, our committee which is called the search committee was to recommend names to select committee. The select committee need or need not to accept those names. So it was not worth while to have this search committee,” the former judge said.When asked whether the recent refusal from Nariman to be part of the search committee had any role to play in his decision, former Judge Thomas said, “It was not for the same reason”.“It (Nariman’s refusal) became a point to go through the rules whether it was worth while to be on the committee or not,” he said.Justice Thomas was a judge in…

Governor snubs Kiran, clears three for Council

Ignoring the letter written by the former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan is understood to have cleared three names for nomination to the Legislative Council under the Governor’s quota.Highly-placed sources in the Raj Bhavan said the file with the names of Nandi Yellaiah, T. Ratna Bai and Kantethi Satyanarayana Raju was forwarded to the Chief Secretary P.K. Mohanty for further action. The government order is expected to be issued once the Election Commission gives the clearance in view of the model code of conduct.The former Chief Minister, while sending proposals to fill the nominated quota, had recommended the above three along with his close aide Raghuram Reddy. The Governor is said to have first given his nod to the three names, but Mr. Reddy refused to issue the relevant orders as the fourth name was kept in abeyance. Before resigning his post, Mr. Kiran Reddy, in a four-page letter, reportedly clarified to the Governor that the reco…