Taking a cue from Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh'sreligion-based reservation in Aligarh Muslim University for Muslims, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Culture S. Jaipal Reddy has also announced an Urdu channel for Muslims. Doordarshan'sUrdu channel would start beaming from January next year with a daily transmission of seven hours of programmes, including news as well as entertainment. UPA government has doled out an amount of Rs 65.70 crore in the annual budget for the software for the proposed channel, whereas Rs 20 crore have been sanctioned for the current year.
Comedy of errors
Sheila Dikshit'sCongress government in Delhi may boast of its high-fly ?E-governance? policy, but for the weaker section of the society in the capital it is still living in the past, especially if one goes by the form it has brought out for applying for the Scheduled Caste certificate. The application form for Scheduled Caste certificate, that one could download from the Delhi government'sofficial website, requires the form to be attested by a Member of Parliament, a Member of Metropolitan Council, a Member of Delhi Harijan Welfare Board or a Member of Municipal Corporation of Delhi. Truth is that neither the Metropolitan Council nor the Harijan Welfare Board are functional. The Metropolitan Council had been replaced by the Delhi Legislative Assembly under the National Capital Territory of Delhi Act 1991, when the national capital became a state from a Union Territory. The Harijan Welfare Board ceased to exist after the word ?Harijan? was done away with by an Act of Parliament. The form could also be attested by a police officer not below the rank of DSP?again a rank that existed only under the earlier police system in Delhi.
The real reason behind the protest tamasha by Left parties in the capital against high fuel prices and disinvestment in Bhel was not concern for the people'sinterest but the second-grade treatment meted out by the Prime Minister to the CPM general secretary Prakash Karat. Karat was angry with the Congress because Manmohan Singh was, at least apparently, giving more importance to former CPM gerneral secretary H.K.S. Surjeet. Recently, Prime Minister personally went to see Surjeet but not Karat; he only made a phone call to Karat. Annoyed by the second-grade treatment, Karat decided to boycott the coordination committee meetings!
Bungling in transfers
The Central Bureau of Investigation has taken up the case of alleged bungling in the recent transfers of Commissioners in the Customs and the income-tax departments, which come under Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. Not only this, the central investigative agency has also sought the new transfer policy from both the CBEC and the CBDT.
For three years, the former head of surgery, PGI, and Department of Radiotherapy, CMC, Ludhiana, Dr Kuldip Singh has been spreading the message of Gurbani and the work of Guru Nanak among the masses, particularly the people unaware of the great Sikh tradition. In his attempt, he has authored five booklets highlighting the significance of Gurbani and one book on the finer aspects of all world religions. For this, Dr Singh has also hired the best artists of the region to lend visual forms to Sikh history as his house in Chandigarh is as good as any museum of Sikh history, depicting paintings, posters and placards, which delineate the finer aspects of Sikh history?from creation of the Khalsa to the relevance of five Ks.
Storehouse of information
India has developed a database known as DEV INFO INDIA, in collaboration with the UNICEF, identifying the social indicators for the collection, compilation and transmission of data based on the country. A CD prepared by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation contains a software package comprising data on a large number of development indicators upto sub-district level. This package evolved in collaboration with UNICEF will go a long way in providing reliable official statistics and information on India.
The database contains nearly 300 social sector indicators with different sub-populations and units, for various geographical levels. It is capable of mapping 5464 blocks of 579 districts in 35 states and Union Territories. It also has a separate section, which contains global statistics compiled by UN organisations.