In line with a recent Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) order extending Child Care Leave (CCL) benefits to single male civilian officers, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved extension of the benefits to single male service personnel as well. He also relaxed certain CCL provisions applicable to women officers of the defence forces.

Till recently, only women officers in defence forces enjoyed CCL benefits. The DoPT, through certain amendments, has extended the benefits to single male government servants as well.

Galaxy of stars

The stakeholder consultation meeting that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held with Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) was a grand success from the point of view of economy-watchers if the numbers of those who attended were a criterion. Top FPIs (about 20) were all there, and some flew in from the US, Hong Kong, London and Singapore just for the meeting. This clearly reflects their keenness to escape the 42 per cent tax levy in India. Who says India has lost its appeal among global investors? Here's hoping that Sitharaman would not disappoint them in the coming days.

Beating the system

Indian officials who recently attended negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership pact in China were advised in their pre-departure dos and donts list not to expect Google and WhatsApp to operate smoothly in the country. However, knowing how important it was for negotiators to use both apps to communicate with each other and search for relevant information to strengthen their arguments in the negotiating room, the officials were also advised on how to deal with it.

They were informed about a website through which both apps could be accessed provided the groundwork was done in India itself. Being well prepared to handle eventualities is indeed half the battle won.


Health Minister Harsh Vardhan is a doctor himself and he became nostalgic while discussing the National Medical Commission Bill with newspersons last week. He slipped into the past while describing the scene of medical education as he had experienced first hand 25 years ago.

Harsh Vardhan recounted how he had to give half a dozen or so entrance exams in different institutes for getting a medical seat.

He also recounted how if the dates of exams overlapped it was a tough decision for him and many like him to choose which exam to give.

Also, the results of institutes would be declared on separate dates, so if a seat in a less preferred institute was secured because the results arrived early, it would leave a sour taste in the mouth.

Palliative rather than curative

A cut in GST rate on automobiles (now subjected to 28 per cent GST) would be a far better antidote for the slowing Indian economy than the recently effected sharp reduction in GST rate on electric vehicles. This is how an NBFC honcho put it when asked what medicine could serve well for the current ailing Indian economy. “We need immediate cure and not long term health benefits that EVs may bring,” the honcho quipped. Interesting thoughts, but the GST Council it, appears, knows best on the right cure for the economy.

Transporters’ need for cash

It’s official. Transporters need cash as they cannot use credit cards or Fastags to make unofficial payments. Simply put, pay for the “unholy demands” of many “bribe seekers”, including RTOs and tax officials.

The All India Transporters Welfare Association had said so in a press statement, when protesting against the Budget proposal of tax deduction at source for cash withdrawals of above ₹1 crore.