The national bird and the state animal are getting the flak for damage to crops in Goa. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday told the Goa Assembly that peacocks and monkeys had become a menace for horticulture in the state. Even some years ago, peacocks, along with monkeys and the state animal bison, were on the state agriculture ministry’s list of vermin. In a written response tabled in the Assembly, Sawant also put down the steps taken by the administration to mitigate the damage. “Fruit-bearing local forest species are being planted in forest areas and other lands available for plantations. Water holes are also maintained inside forest areas for the use of wild animals.”
When life imitates art
A newly installed bust of Mahatma Gandhi has generated much controversy in Madhya Pradesh. The reason? It resembles British actor Ben Kingsley more than the father of the nation himself. Kingsley portrayed the freedom fighter in the 1982 biopic of Gandhi, directed by Richard Attenborough. The bust has been put up at Model Science College, Rewa. Students of the college have started protesting, alleging the installation doesn’t look anything like the Mahatma; the college administration has washed its hands of the matter, saying it was selected by the higher education department of the state government. In a veiled dig at the state government after it was announced that the IIFA Awards 2020 would be given in Bhopal and Indore, former chief minister and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan said Chief Minister Kamal Nath and his Congress colleagues were so enamoured of movies that they had forgotten what the Mahatma looked like.
Acting DGP, acting chief secy
After appointing R K Tiwari acting chief secretary last year, the government of Uttar Pradesh has selected Hitesh Chandra Awasthi as acting director general of police (DGP). The fact that the government has still not been able to zero in on regular appointees to the posts of head of the bureaucracy and the police has given much fodder to opposition parties to take it on. A lot of political and caste calculations go into such appointments, and they can be expected only after the Budget session of the Assembly is over later this month.