Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday set in motion the process to appoint the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. Current Deputy Chairman and Congress leader P J Kurien's Rajya Sabha term ends on July 2. The combined Opposition has more members in the Rajya Sabha compared to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The NDA's numbers have suffered after the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) walked out of the alliance. The Opposition is currently looking at fielding a consensus candidate, preferably a non-Congress candidate that can help even Congress rivals like TDP and Biju Janata Dal to vote for him or her. Sources say Trinamool Congress leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, who has a good knowledge of the House rules and procedures, could be the Opposition's consensus candidate.
Every year, the Sangeet Natak Akademi sends out letters to artistes who are conferred the institute's award for their contribution to the world of performing arts. This year, the Akademi has sent out the letters earlier than usual, but the hurry has resulted in a strange goof up. A few of the letters have got the gender of the awardee wrong. So, the Mrs has become Mr, while the Mr has become Ms or Mrs. Seems the Akademi is yet to know its meritorious artistes well.
In a bid to reduce dependence on the financial support provided by the government, the Centre has asked several of its departments to boost their revenues. One such department that has been asked to ramp up its revenues is the programming division of the state-owned broadcaster Doordarshan. To date, major part of its funds came from the budgetary allocations. However, the government has now asked the officials to step up and seek advertisements from outside in order to boost its income. The broadcaster, which operates 23 channels across the country, recorded the highest-ever revenue from its free-to-air DTH platform — DD Free Dish — in 2016-17, amounting to ~2.6 billion. However, it still lags behind many of the other private channels.