Lessons Learnt

Delhi Confidential

Newly anointed Minister of State in the HRD Ministry, Shashi Tharoor, is trying hard to make sure that his second stint in the government is more productive than the first which was abruptly cut short because of numerous controversies. Part of a young team of ministers that has been given the charge of this large and important ministry, Tharoor has been bouncing off several ideas to improve the education system. The latest of them is a suggestion to give preference to coastal areas while locating new Navodaya Vidyalayas. Himself from the state of Kerala, it pays to take up the cause of fishermen. Tharoor has argued that with fishermen away at sea most of the day, there is need to open fully residential Navadaya Vidyalayas in these areas to ensure quality education to their children.

Special Service

EVER since Pawan Kumar Bansal became the Railway Minister, the on-board staff of the Chandigarh Shatabdi express train has been taking special care to serve up quality food items during the short journey and make sure that the train is spick and span. Bansal as an MP from Chandigarh has been a frequent traveller on this route and has been taking this train for years. Instructions have also gone out to make sure that the Shatabdi is never late. While as a regular passenger, Bansal was never known to be a big fan of the food served during the journey, officials now don't want to give him any reason to complain. Sources said the matter is being directly handled by a senior official of the relevant directorate in the Railway Board.

Search for an Issue

THE Trinamool Congress is looking for a new issue to raise before the government almost every day and its MPs start their days by waving banners and demonstrating in front of Parliament. Till now it was the demand for increasing the number of subsidised cylinders to 24. On Friday, though, after Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily gave an assurance that the matter would be looked into, Mamata's party has started searching for a new issue. That could be the Assam violence as banners have already been designed. The problem is, they are yet to find an issue that would gain some resonance in the current political environment and give them some clout in Delhi, which has been missing since their withdrawal of support from the Centre.

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