So when’s Jaitley back?

| Updated on August 05, 2018 Published on August 05, 2018


Is it August 8, 10, or 16? When Arun Jaitley is going to resume office is the buzz in every corner of corridors of power — North Block, South Block, Parliament, and other Bhawans.

Ask those close to him and the answer is ‘soon’. Meanwhile, Jaitley, who has been convalescing at home, has been receiving files, doing the occasional video conferencing, and is active on social media with his blogs on key issues.

Those who know him say he is not inclined to ever take leave, as he continues to work from home. Jaitley, who underwent a renal transplant mid-May, had to follow three-month quarantine period as prescribed by his doctors that ends mid-August.

PR firm for Ayushman Bharat

The Union Health Ministry has engaged the services of a private public relations (PR) firm, Avian Media for publicity of Ayushman Bharat. Ironical as it may sound it is the same firm that handles the PR for certain hospitals of the Fortis group.

After a meeting with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to try and rope in the body for this government scheme, which aims to insure 10 crore poor families, the PR company sent out slick well-drafted press releases to all newspapers to promote the Union Health Ministry, even as IMA is dragging its feet.

Now this is a smart move at image building by the Ministry!

Witty Pradhan

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan shows his witty side at public gatherings. During a recent event to mark the 5 crore Ujwala LPG connection disbursal, Pradhan was asked by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to jointly give the connection to the recipient. To this Pradhan quipped, “You give the connection this time. I keep doing this all the time.”

‘Tearing’ into Indian soaps

Indian soap operas, especially the ‘saas-bahu’ family sagas, seem to have become a big favourite with women in Vietnam.

“Many Vietnamese ladies wait the entire day for Indian serials to be aired on their television sets in the evening. They sit glued to their sets watching the soaps and do not like being disturbed,” said Vietnamese Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh in a recent interaction with journalists in New Delhi.

Thanh added with a laugh that the serials have cast such a spell on Vietnamese women that some even forget to eat. That is food for thought indeed!

This time for MCA

At a recent meeting on the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), a top Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) official quipped that the MCA was faring better than SEBI in the T20 match between the two. How, you may wonder? Well, the MCA has resorted to more legislative changes to the IBC in its formative years than what may have been done to the SEBI Act post 1992 in the initial years of the capital market regulator.

The MCA official seems to be right. Already, on the insolvency front four legislative efforts — two ordinances and two Bills to replace these ordinances — have been moved. In the case of SEBI one saw one ordinance a year at the most. Clearly, the MCA has a better strike rate in this T20 match!

Thanks to Modi

During a recent JNU teachers’ association conference on commercialisation of education and increase in the government’s role in higher education, a CPI (M) leader on seeing Yashwant Sinha — as one of the main speakers at the event — said that though landscape is bleak, the silver lining is that thanks to Narendra Modi, people from diverse backgrounds are coming together.

He said that in the past, he and Sinha had exchanged heated arguments in Parliament, but today he is pleased to see Sinha sharing the dais with him.

Our Delhi Bureau

Published on August 05, 2018
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