Games bureaucrats play
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Games bureaucrats play
All work and no play would make the bureaucrats dull. So over the next two months, there are a number of sports events coming up for central government employees. An inter-ministry chess championship will be held in Delhi from November 5 to 15, followed by a two-day inter-ministry athletic meet on November 8 and 9. The most prestigious of them all would be held in Bhopal that will host the All India Civil Services Lawn Tennis tournament from December 10 to 14. Professional sportspersons amongst the civil servants are not allowed to participate. And in case, you are wondering about the prize money, well it's not much. According to the rules, the first prize is a cash award of Rs 2,500 while the second and third fetch Rs 1,000 each.
The show goes on
That the Russian President Vladimir Putin was scheduled to come on November 1 was quite well planned. But Moscow, reportedly not happy with India's decision on Kudankulam nuclear power plant to be brought under the nuclear liability law, deferred his visit and set a new date in December last week. While South Block played it down by saying that Russian heads have always come in December and that there was nothing unusual about it, ICCR had planned a massive cultural performance of the Russian Bolshoi Ballet in the Capital, which was to be attended by Putin and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. While Putin's visit was cancelled, it was decided that the ballet performance by the reputed Russian troupe should not be deferred. And therefore, New Delhi and Moscow both agreed that people in Delhi should enjoy the show—despite this brief irritant in the relationship.
Taking his advice
Considering the backlash it has been facing over the limit of only six subsidised gas cylinders per household per year, the government recently decided that it would be better off increasing the limit to nine per year, despite the additional fiscal burden this would entail. But by then the Election Commission had already announced the poll schedule for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, which meant that the government needed to seek the approval of the EC for such a move because of the model code of conduct. While a desperate Centre wanted to approach the Election Commission for its permission to increase the limit, it is learnt that Pulok Chatterji, Principal Advisor to the Prime Minister, advised against it. His argument was that if the EC declined to give its permission, the government would cut a sorry figure and its image would be damaged further. The advice was taken seriously.