Congress president Rahul Gandhi turns 48 on Tuesday. Birthday wishes started pouring in from Monday itself. Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy met Gandhi to wish him. Gandhi has generally been reticent about celebrating his birthdays with any fanfare, and is known to leave Delhi to celebrate it with his close friends. But this will be his first birthday as the Congress president and he plans to spend the day with Congress workers at the party headquarters in New Delhi. Party units, including the Youth Congress and Congress women’s wing, have also planned events.
All the beneficiaries of the new National Health Protection scheme, which has been touted as the biggest health care programme in the world, will get a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The letter that will go in the name of the prime minister is being designed by a separate team handling the roll-out of the Ayushman Bharat scheme. The scheme will be formally rolled out on Independence Day by the PM. It will give coverage of up to Rs 500,000 per family.
Storm in a teacup?
While bureaucrats in the Delhi government have decided to boycott their meetings owing to alleged safety issues, at least a few of their brethren in the central government have now also threatened the same, but for a far more existential reason. Senior officials at Udyog Bhawan — which houses ministries of commerce, textile, steel, among others — are miffed with high tea and coffee prices that are now being charged regularly. Following an official order from the powers that be, tea and coffee prices have been raised in all four of the government-run canteens in the building where more than a thousand people work. Babus who prefer to keep their cups full throughout the day have also been blindsided as a result of stricter record keeping. With even the senior most official not escaping a large monthly bill, for which the servers accept only cash, last week a textile ministry official apparently lost his cool and decided to blow off work for the rest of the day. He has been promised an uninterrupted supply hence.