Friday, November 27, 2009
ON Wednesday night, Indian Ambassador to US Meera Shankar hosted a reception in Washington's Marriot Wardman Park Hotel in honour of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. Ms Shankar who has been the newsmaker-bureaucrat this week thanks to her perfect execution of the behind-the-scene preparation for PM's most high-profile visit to US as President Obama's state guest, made it a point to convert the party into a meaningful dialogue between Prime Minister of India and prominent Indian Americans coming from across the continent. Prime Minister Singh on his part said how metaphors such as salad bowl, melting pot and the rainbow are used to describe Indian and American societies. "I want to see a true intellectual and business partnership between Indians and Americans in years to come. We are similar in so many ways. We are both free and open societies. We are both plural, multi-ethnic, multi-racial and multi-religious societies. Metaphors like salad bowl, melting pot and the rainbow have been used to describe both our societies. We are constantly dealing with issues like coalition building, dealing with civil society organizations, non-governmental activism and the free consumer – of goods and ideas", he said. The PM also said how India needs more "brain gain". "More than the resources, however, we will require imagination and innovation to succeed. People of Indian origin worldwide can contribute mightily to this effort. In the past few years we have already experienced what has been called a “reverse brain-drain”. I would prefer to call this “brain gain” or, indeed, a meeting of minds," he said. Significantly, in July this year, Senate India Caucus gave a rare reception for the Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar for which nearly two-dozen Senators turned up. (In picture: Ambassador Ms Shankar (in middle) with PM and his wife; on extreme right is Ambassador's husband and India's industry secretary Ajay Shankar) Read: Follow-up of Meera Shankar's letter: Who are officials in the Indian Railway Board who took dollar bribe? (October 16, 2009) Also Read: BoI Ranking: India’s Top 3 Most Powerful Woman Bureaucrats are Nirupama Rao, Meera Shankar & Sudha Pillai (October 19, 2009) Also Read: Full text of PM's speech Ministry of culture to appoint non-bureaucrats in important posts The ministry of culture has changed its recruitment rules in respect of the posts of heads of eight attached and subordinate offices so as to induct professionals at the helm of affairs. The rules have been changed to provide a search-cum-selection procedure in place of selection procedure earlier and ensure appointment on contract basis in addition to the existing modes of promotion and deputation basis. The recruitment rules in respect of posts of director general, Archaeological Survey of India, director general, National Museum, director general, National Archives of India and director, National Library have already been revised and that of director, Anthropological Survey of India is under revision, minister of state for planning and parliamentary affairs V Narayanasamy said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on Thursday. At present, the post of director general, Archaeological Survey of India is held by an officer of additional secretary level on regular appointment basis and the post of director general, National Museum is held by a joint secretary in the ministry of culture on additional charge basis.