IN HIS second letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in little over a month, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday sought her personal intervention in resolving “long-pending” land acquisition issues holding up the setting up of two Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas in the state. While one JNV was sanctioned in 2007, another got approved in 2016, Pradhan pointed out. In his previous letter, written on August 2, Pradhan had raised the issue of “irregularities” in the state’s teacher recruitment process. Incidentally, the Centre had told Lok Sabha in the last session that West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are the only states, which have not shared the status of implementation of the National Education Policy with it. Earlier this year, West Bengal set up a panel to examine the policy.
WHAT KIND of courtesy or importance VIPs must get is enshrined in directives from the government from time to time. Of late, the government has circulated among all ministries and departments the official line on the courtesy to be extended to former Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Prime Ministers. The policy is that when these VIPs visit states and Union Territories, even during a night halt or transit halt, after demitting office, they should be given the same protocol and courtesy that is reserved for Union Cabinet Ministers.
THE PUBLIC Accounts Committee of Parliament headed by Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has selected additional subjects for its scrutiny this year, based on audit reports of several ministries and departments. The additional matters the panel will now look into includes, among others, management of spectrum assigned to government departments, reliability of GST data, preservation and conservation of monuments, procurement and supply of drugs in the CGHS, and even waste management in Indian Railways.