Opinion

Below the line

| Updated on November 17, 2019 Published on November 17, 2019

Disappointed Javadekar

Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, was recently disappointed when he found out that the directory of the Press Council of India (PCI), did not carry his photograph. He is also said to have expressed his displeasure when he released the directory during the National Awards for Excellence in Journalism held last Saturday.

Javadekar, a journalist’ son himself, has been a nominated member of the PCI in earlier stints. He skimmed through the directory when releasing it and noticed that photographs of multiple members, including his were missing, despite being freely available in the public domain.

Secure future at WHO

From being the Number Two in the Ministry of Health to Director of Health Systems in the South-East Asia Regional Office of the World Health Organisation, it has been a smooth transition of roles for the IAS officer Manoj Jhalani.

Jhalani chose to take up a two-year deputation, and accepted the plum posting at the WHO — next only to the Regional Director’s office — drawing little less than ₹1 crore annually as salary. After having worked in the Indian bureaucracy for 32 years, whispers are that Jhalani is unsure if he will return to the Ministry at the end of this stint.

Breaking through the SBI ceiling

Several bankers in public sector banks are mighty thrilled about a recent development, even though it was only a moral victory and not much to brag about.

At the recently concluded interviews for the SBI Managing Director post, nearly half (including executive directors) of those interviewed were from other PSBs. Many see this as a half victory, as traditionally, the SBI has been stubbornky against allowing outsiders to occupy top positions in the country’s largest commercial bank.

It’s a different matter that CS Setty (an SBI insider) has finally bagged the post, but at least this time the doors were opened to others.

You never know, if all goes well and the Department of Financial Services gives its blessing, PSB executives may even get a chance to take a shot at the post of the SBI Chairman when incumbent Rajnish Kumar completes his term in October 2020, quipped a banker.

When the SBI top guys can spread their wings to occupy top positions in other banks, why can’t the reverse happen is the question, ask seasoned bankers. Valid point!

Where to find the best tap water

Ram Vilas Paswan, the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, always speaks his mind. No surprises then, that while releasing the Water Quality Report for 20 State capitals and Delhi as analysed by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Paswan said that the objective is not to demotivate anyone; but to encourage State governments to ensure quality potable tap water to all citizens.

In the first phase, the samples were drawn from various locations across Delhi, and in the second from 20 State capitals and sent for testing as per Indian Standard 10500:2012 (Specification for Drinking Water) set by the BIS. A vast majority of the samples have failed to comply with the requirements of IS 10500:2012 in one or more parameters.

All the 11 samples drawn from various places in Delhi did not meet the requirements and failed on several parameters, while all 10 samples drawn from Mumbai were compliant.

In Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Ranchi, Raipur, Amravati and Shimla, one or more samples failed to meet the standard. None of the samples drawn from 13 of the State capitals — Chandigarh, Thiruvananthapuram, Patna, Bhopal, Guwahati, Bengaluru, Gandhinagar, Lucknow, Jammu, Jaipur, Dehradun, Chennai and Kolkata — complied with the requirements.

In the third phase, samples from capital cities of northeastern States and smart cities identified by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs have been drawn and are being tested.

The fourth phase proposes testing of samples from all the district headquarters of the country.

Our Delhi Bureau

Published on November 17, 2019
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