Here is what should be on your weekend bucket list

From Manish Sisodia's role as Delhi's Dy CM to the unknown sources of income of political parties, from the role of NHRC to the responsibilities of the Sahitya Akademi. Here is the picklist of stories for this weekend

GN Bureau | January 27, 2017

#Indian Railways   #Manish Sisodia   #Sahitya Akademi   #NHRC  

The NHRC, however, has steadily become more busy. From 496 complaints it received in 1993-94, in 2015-16, the commission registered more than one lakh cases of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. The moot question is whether the NHRC is effective in successfully tackling those complaints.

Read: Hands tied!

In September last year, the Sahitya Akademi invited media baron Subhash Chandra along with Hindi poet Ashok Chakradhar to its annual observation of Hindi Divas. They were asked to talk on the present status of Hindi language and the challenges ahead. While there can hardly be a debate over the credentials of Chakradhar – a Padma Shri awardee, the introduction of Chandra, a Rajya Sabha MP, as a ‘widely discussed scholar’ in the Akademi’s invitation card was met with raised eyebrows, irking several literature lovers and writers. The reason was obvious: Search engines suggest that Chandra has only one book to his credit, ‘The Z Factor: My Journey as the Wrong Man at the Right Time’, an autobiography, which puts him nowhere near the cream of India’s literary talent.

Read: Chipped nib, dried ink  

"Mai hoon Manish Sisodia aapke saath, aur ye hai Zero Hour show..." With these words, the present deputy chief minister of Delhi had burst upon the airwaves on his signature All India Radio programme in July 1996. There was nothing dramatic about the voice, like the person himself, but the enunciation cut clean so that listeners would not miss a single word. In a decade dominated by television, Sisodia’s radio programmes, discussions, interviews – entertaining, but mellow – turned him into a mini-celebrity who received fan-mail. At present, Dy CM Manish Sisodia, the face of the Delhi government, is a mediator, meditator and the man CM Arvind Kejriwal trusts completely

Read: What makes Manish Sisodia the man in charge of Delhi

As much as 69 percent of the income of six national political parties and 51 regional parties has come from unknown sources. The total income of these parties between FY 2004-05 and 2014-15 was a whopping Rs 11,367.34 crore. However, their total income from ‘unknown sources’ (that is, income specified in the income-tax returns whose sources are unknown) was Rs 7,832.98 crore or 69 percent. For the Bahujan Samaj party (BSP), all of its income is from unknown sources.

Read: Why any fight against black money is pointless unless it targets political parties

The growing consumption of diesel has been a matter of concern for the Indian Railways. Not only does its emission cause environmental damage, buying diesel involves huge  foreign exchange outflows. To tackle  these problems, the railways has decided to promote alternative fuels to run its fleet of over 4,000 locomotives.

Read: A green train of thought



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