Friday, December 10, 2010

Pat-Down: Was Ambassador Meera Shankar singled out for wearing a sari?

THE US might have expressed concerns over the patting down of Indian ambassador to US Meera Shankar after India’s external affairs minister SM Krishna showed his anguish over the incident, but the question remains – was the 1973 batch IFS singled out for her sari, not-so familiar dress in US. Ms Shankar who is a batch-mate of foreign secretary Nirupama Rao and one of the most high-profile Indian diplomats, was subjected to a “pat-down” in public view in an airport in Mississippi last week despite she presented her diplomatic credentials.
Media reports quoting eyewitnesses say that Shankar was the only passenger to be singled out for secondary screening among 30 odd in the line and her sari could be the reason for the alert. According to eyewitnesses observing her face, said that she felt humiliated when the “pat-down” was done in public view.
For the record, pat-down is an act of passing the hands over the body of a clothed person to detect concealed weapons, drugs, etc., but passengers who have undergone that process in US say it could at times be very humiliating.
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Action and Appointments
a) Dr Sharmila Mary Joseph K, a 1997 batch Kerala cadre IAS, presently working as deputy secretary in the department of higher education, has been appointed as deputy secretary i n the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for the balance period of her central deputation tenure i.e. up to July 11, 2014).
b) Suresh Kunhi Mohammed, a 1992 batch Karnataka cadre IPS, who was recommended for Central deputation by the ministry of home affairs, has been selected for appointment as director in the ministry of health and family welfare, New Delhi.
c) Veena Tamta Bhatia, a 1988 batch IOFS, has been selected for appointment as director in the department of bio-technology under the ministry of science and technology.
d) The government has approved a proposal for discontinuation of the Managing Directors of SAIL Steel Plants at Durgapur, Rourkela, Bokar, Bhilai and IISCO from the SAIL Board and selection and appointments of plant Managing Directors by the SAIL Board as is in case for below Board level appointments. The Managing Directors would now be re-designated as Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of respective plants in the existing pay-scales.

RTI Fellowships
The government is looking for applications for 5 RTI Fellowships of Rs 2 lakh each. For details, log on to: 

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