In a departure from the trend, the Government of India calendar for 2019 highlights the government's flagship schemes and the corresponding dates when they were launched instead of highlighting festivals and gazetted holidays. Government calendars usually mark holidays, festivals, among others. Some of the schemes featuring on the calendar are Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Startup India and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. These calendars are usually distributed in ministries and to government officials.
Breaking a rule
Rashtrapati Bhavan sources did not say whether it was the subject matter of the film or the presence of senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani that made President Ram Nath Kovind (pictured) break one of the rules — that have come to mark his presidential tenure at Rashtrapati Bhavan — late last week. That rule is not spending more than an hour at film screenings and film award functions. In March 2018, this rule had caused controversy when artistes had protested against the President distributing National Film Awards only to a handful of the winners, and not everyone. On January 18, the Rashtrapati Bhavan held a screening of upcoming period drama Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, with Kovind, his wife, the entire crew of the film, including actor Kangana Ranaut, watching it. Ashok Malik, press secretary to the President, confirmed that Kovind "was there for the entire length of the film". Advani, a self-confessed movie buff, also watched the film.
Brewing a change
A senior tax official’s experience at a tea shop at Bhopal’s Raja Bhoj Airport will have an unintended, yet welcome, consequence for travellers to follow — more affordable cups of their favourite beverages. Recently, when the chief income tax (I-T) commissioner of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, R K Paliwal, went to buy a cup of tea at the shop, he was shocked to learn that a cup of tea was for Rs 143 and a cup of coffee was for Rs 171. The 1986-batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, who is known for his simplicity, found the rates unacceptably high. He is said to have asked the shop owner to stop “looting the public as many lower- and middle-class people use flights these days”. Concerned officials of the airport have now decided to install eight vending machines to make tea and coffee more affordable for travellers.