Prime Minister Narendra Modi
As Opposition parties continue to sledgehammer the government over the Punjab National Bank fraud perpetrated by a group of companies belonging to merchants Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, the buzz in the bureaucratic circles is that the government will soon present a counter-narrative of the whole episode to put pressure on the Congress that led the previous government at the Centre. The NDA government is waiting for the Karnataka Assembly polls to get over to present a “factual” account of the Modi-Choksi scam showing how the loans were issued by PNB to these firms since 2011, a senior government official said. PNB issued over 1,200 fraudulent letters of undertaking to Nirav Modi firms since 2011, of which around 400 were issued during the previous government's regime. The PM has not spoken on the issue himself till date.
Pichai keeps his promise
Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google, opened the annual I/O developer conference by announcing that the cheeseburger emoji had been fixed. Wrong placement of cheese in the burger emoji unveiled last year had kicked up a storm. The Indian-born Google chief had expressed surprise over so many people expressing concern over placement of the cheese below the patty. He had even sarcastically tweeted in October last year that Google would drop everything else and address that issue. On Tuesday, Pichai, in his opening remarks, said, “Towards the end of last year it came to my attention that we had a major bug in one of our core products. It turns out, we got the cheese wrong in our burger emoji,” he said adding that he was a vegetarian.
Missing in action
May 11 is recognised in India as National Technology Day to commemorate the first of the five nuclear tests carried out on that day in 1998. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be in India on that day to celebrate the occasion. He will be in Nepal, and is scheduled to fly to Janakpur to announce a direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh). Janakpur is revered as the birthplace of Sita, and Ayodhya is recognised as the birthplace of Ram. There is some consternation in Nepal that the Indian PM is using his visit for political gains back home. There is, however, some uncertainty over the Centre's plans to celebrate 20 years of the Pokhran nuclear test.