Economy and Politics | Government forced to defer education tribunal bill

Economy and Politics | Government forced to defer education tribunal bill

New Delhi: The central government was Tuesday forced to defer the education tribunal bill following strong oppositions from several parties including the ruling Congress in the Rajya Sabha.

Members from Congress, BJP and BSP argued that the government should not rush the bill and criticized the human resource development ministry for neglecting the standing committee report over the draft law. Senior Congress leader K Keshava Rao said the Standing Committee is like a ‘mini-Parliament’. He said the committee report was rejected but the parliament was not even informed about it.

“Standing Committee did talk about 20 to 22 subjects, which you said you do not agree," Rao said. He added that the standing committee is “not to indulge in fashion dialogue or talks for talks sake".

Three days after the HRD related standing committee suggested few points including consultation with states, the union cabinet approved the education tribunal bill on 23 Aug. The bill aims to solve higher education related disputes quickly.

Prashant K. Nanda


Spot fixing casts its shadow on Malayalam film

Kochi: The cricket spot-fixing controversy that came to light last week in England has scuttled Pakistani pace bowler Mohammed Asif’s chances as a lead actor in a Malayalam film.

Kaithapram Damodaran Namboodiri, a lyricist in the Kerala film industry, had cast Asif as the lead in his directorial debut. The film, titled Mazhavillinattamvare (Up to the Rainbow End), will also launch Kaithapram’s son Deepankaran as a music director and playback singer.

However, shooting for the film, supposed to start in October, will continue as scheduled.

“It was shocking to see all that on television. I don’t want Asif in my film when his own countrymen have turned against him as shown in the TV," Kaithapram said in a telephone conversation from Kozhikode, adding that he would continue to look for a Pakistani replacement because “that is a must for the film which has a message of universal brotherhood".

The film, he said, is about a Pakistani player who comes to Kannur in northern Kerala for a coaching camp, and deals with the story about his journey to his roots. “I initially tried for Wasim Akram who owing to health reasons was not willing to take up the role," Kaithapram said.



BAE Systems to bid for howitzer tender

New Delhi: BAE Systems on Tuesday announced that it will again bid for the towed 155mm howitzer deal for which a Request for Information (RFI) was re-issued after the previous tender was canceled. "The company’s offer will be based on the FH77 B05 155mm howitzer, and a significant proportion will be manufactured in India to meet the specific needs of the Indian Army," an official company release said on Tuesday. In India, BAE operates in a joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra, in which it has a 26% stake.

Last month, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had canceled the tender for procuring 1181 howitzers following the blacklisting of the Singapore based ST Kinetics (STK) which was one of the six companies implicated in the Ordinance Factory Board (OFB) scam. STK’s blacklisting had left BAE as the sole bidder. Following this, the MoD had cancelled the tender on the pretext that a tender could not be awarded since a lone bidder was in contention. It may be recalled that the Indian army operates the aeging Bofors guns, which were embroiled in a major corruption scandal in the 1980s. Bofors was later acquired by United Defense, which was in turn acquired by BAE Systems.

Aman Malik