by Harish Gupta, National Editor, Lokmat Group
Javadekar Kicks Teachers' Awards lobbyists out
After Lutyen's Delhi was banished from the list of Padma Awards, the time is up for teachers to lobby for most prestigious National Awards. For the first time in Independent India, the practice of seeking names of best teachers from states for these awards has been abandoned. Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar decided to invite applications from teachers from all over India online directly. The only condition was that the teacher seeking National Award must have done something innovative or made extra-ordinary contribution to qualify for such an award. There were protests from the states as they felt that their powers have been curtailed. But Javadekar's answer was simple- states can also nominate if they so desire but the parameters will remain the same. Perhaps, Javadekar had discussed with the PM this innovative idea before over-hauling the time-tested lobby system. The PM gave the go-ahead as he himself must have been unhappy as he used to witness huge pressure as Chief Minister of Gujrat with recommendations. Javadekar constituted a high-powered committee to select 50 awardees from amongst 6000 applications. These 50 will be awarded on at Vigyan Bhawan. A senior HRD ministry official said there is a Lutyen's Zone in every state Capital and all awards were reserved for toppers living in such zones. Surely, if Modi disbanded Lutyen's Zone wallas from the list of Padma awards, Prakash Javadekar sent them for a six in the teachers category. Watch out other ministries in the years to come. Now it may the turn of the doctors.
Atal makes maiden entry in JNU
When Atal Behari Vajpayee was Prime Minister, he wanted the party to make inroads in the Left-controlled Jawaharlal Nehru University. Barring a success here and there, the Sangh Parivar failed to crack the Left bastion. However, his dream was fulfilled without any murmurs by HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar last week. Vajpayee was rehabilitated in death. Javadekar met a large number of people and convinced them that the government was willing to walk an extra-mile to make JNU a world class institution. It is willing to grant new courses including the School of Management and Engineering. The Executive Council of JNU was convinced that starting these courses would go a long way in enhancing its stature. Then came the plea that the Management Centre be named after late Atal Behari Vajpayee. Marathon discussions took place at various levels as Javadekar didn't want any controversies. He wanted matters to be resolved through negotiations rather than bull-dozing his way. The end result - Executive Council paid its fulsome tribute to Vajpayee and proposed to name it as 'Atal Bihari Vajpayee School of Management and Entrepreneurship." Of course, some felt that this would "dilute the research-oriented nature of JNU". But Atal made the entry, finally.
Timing of removal surprised N N Vohra
N N Vohra who had been holding the fort in Jammu & Kashmir for more than ten years, left the Raj Bhawan on an unhappy note. Though an appointee of Dr Manmohan Singh in 2008, PM Modi decided to retain the seasoned bureaucrat. But Vohra had realised for the past some time that his days are numbered and started taking up cudgels on issues which were alien to him. During the last two months, friction between the Raj Bhavan and the Centre and Army increased. Raj Bhavan officials say that for the past ten years Vohra hardly had any differences with the Army over the killings of the “innocents”. But suddenly his heart started bleeding for them and he raised voice at meetings with the top army officials which didn't go down well with New Delhi. Vohra also opposed the any dilution of Article 35A which defines State subject laws, in the Supreme Court until an elected government was in place. This annoyed Modi so much that he decided to send Malik at a very short notice giving no time to Vohra to do any “further damage.” The Union Home Ministry informed him over the phone that his successor had been chosen and Satya Pal Malik will take charge from him. But Vohra did not wait for Satya Pal Malik to come to Srinagar. He decided to leave in the morning itself though Malik was expected from Patna in the afternoon. Vohra was conspicuous by his absence during the swearing-in of the new Governor on August 23. This surprised political observers because Vohra has been stickler of protocol. Vohra had expressed his willingness to manage the Amarnath Yatra and ensure the smooth conduct of the panchayat elections by the end of the year. But Modi was unwilling to give any leeway.
Why Satya Pal Malik to J&K ?
Most political leaders in the BJP are eyeing to become Bihar Governor these days though Lalji Tandon has been put in place for the time being. Bihar Raj Bhawan is considered Touch Of Gold; whosoever occupied it, got a huge promotion. If Ram Nath Kovind rose to become the President of India, Satya Pal Malik hogged the national limelight by moving to Srinagar Raj Bhawan. Both came from UP and originally didn't belong to the BJP either. But both became integral part of the BJP. Modi picked them for key posts though he had no personal contact with them either. While Kovind was always a low profile and humble person, Satya Pal Malik was in the forefront of political events. He had played a key role in the fall of the Morarji Desai government and making Charan Singh as PM with the help of the Congress. Though Congress pulled the plug and Charan Singh lost power within months, Satya Pal Malik dumped his mentor. He joined the Congress which nominated him to the Rajya Sabha twice, in 1980 and 1986. Later, Malik deserted Rajiv Gandhi and joined hands with V P Singh and became a minister in his government. He later joined Samajwadi Party and finally landed in BJP. Modi picked up Malik for the post as he was very close to Mufti Mohammed Sayeed who was Home Minister in the V P Singh government. It was during this period that relationship grew and both came close. Malik considers Mehbooba as his daughter. It seems Modi may do business with PDP once again in Jammu & Kashmir. Perhaps, Malik may be of some help.