Opinion

Below the Line: Network blues

Our Bureaus | Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on August 28, 2016

Cool customer That’s Cyrus Mistry   -  PAUL NORONHA



A top-notch banker who was in Delhi to demonstrate his bank’s unified payment interface app which would make transferring money a breeze, only ended up red in the face. The reason? Poor internet connectivity meant long minutes of waiting before a transaction could be put through the UPI-based app.

“Surprising this is happening in Delhi, which is the backyard of the country’s largest cellular services provider,” he said, trying to prevaricate in light of the embarassment that resulted. Really? Hardly.

Public reprimand

Paddy farmers in Bihar have got a bit of time to subscribe to the Prime Minister’s Fasal Bima Yojana (till August 31) despite the delay in implementation of the scheme by the State thanks to the extension of the cut-off date.

However, the show of generosity by the agriculture ministry was not free of barbs. “The Bihar government has given many wrong statements related to the PMFBY over the past days. It has finally implemented the scheme today. I don’t know whether to congratulate the Bihar government on this or thank God almighty which gave it good sense,” Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said after the State government notified the scheme earlier this month.

If you thought this comment to be part of an internal classified document, think again. It was part of a press release! Clearly, fighting in public is no problem in India.

Round 1 for diplomacy

During a press conference on the upcoming Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) that is going to be held in Bengaluru this year, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was asked if participants from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) would attend. No, she didn’t say PoK residents were not pravasi, she said a call would be taken later. Touché!

The Tata wall

The Tata Group boss, Cyrus Mistry, may soon earn the sobriquet ‘The Wall’. They more journalists try to make him talk, they more they are frustrated. In what they thought was a tactical move, scribes asked a female journalist to take the lead in shooting questions after the Tata Global AGM in Kolkata. All Mistry said was, “Nice to know you!” and skipped the scene.

Dogs’ own country

Critics of Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi in Kerala claim that she is not bothered about the welfare of the people she is charged to protect as much as she cares about street dogs.

Gandhi may have a well argued point in the context of the massive ‘kill dog’ campaign in the State let loose following a wave of dog-bite incidents. What seems to have infuriated her critics is the “ridiculous” logic she advanced while responding to a gruesome incident in which an old woman lost her life. She had gone to the beach in Thiruvananthapuram one night, and was fatally attacked by a pack of stray dogs.

Gandhi suggested the old woman may have been carrying “a piece of meat” on her person. This, her critics argue, is as much a barb against meat-eating as it is an indirect war cry to Sangh Parivar activists to get more aggressive with the ‘Gau raksha’ campaign in the State.

Shifting strategies

One of India’s e-commerce companies may witness some more top-level exits in the next few weeks, not necessarily because it is in a not-so-happy-state of financial health, but because the management apparently keeps changing its business model every now and then. It appears this practice is a alien to the honchos who are used to working with rock steady organisations. But then, who said startups are anything but solid? Then again, this particular e-commerce company , which has been around for nearly a decade, can’t really be called a startup even though the management thinks otherwise.

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Published on August 28, 2016
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