PM endorses Nadda’s special PM-CARES guidelines
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could contribute a massive sum of Rs 73,800 crore to the PM-CARES fund if workers strictly follow the guidelines issued by BJP president J.P. Nadda on the party’s 40th foundation day Monday. They have been asked to “encourage” 40 people to donate Rs 100 each to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) fund, set up to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The BJP claimed to have enrolled 7 crore new members last year, taking the party’s total membership to 18 crore.
Addressing party workers Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to the guidelines issued by Nadda and exhorted them to contribute to the PM-CARES fund and also inspire 40 others to do the same. If 18 crore members were to get 40 people to contribute Rs 100 each, the total amount would work out to Rs 72,000 crore. And if the BJP workers’ own contributions of Rs 100 each were to be factored in, the total would come to Rs 73,800 crore, almost three-fourth of the additional expenditure the government would incur due to its Rs 1.7-lakh-crore relief package announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. ThePrint’s calculation had suggested earlier that the relief measures would increase the government expenditure for 2020-21 by around Rs 1 lakh crore.
The BJP’s targeted contribution may not be the only windfall for the government. Nadda has also asked the BJP workers to arrange “five-seven face covers” each following an appeal by the PM. If the BJP workers were to implement his instructions, there would be no dearth of masks to fight Covid-19 as the ruling party workers would be providing 90-126 crore masks, almost enough for the entire population of the country. The 18 crore workers are also supposed to be making “non-stop” arrangements for food for the needy, as desired by PM Modi in his address.
Here is a catch, though. There has been a mystery surrounding the BJP’s membership figures. In the last membership drive, the BJP had announced enrolment of 7 crore new members and added it to the 2015 membership figure of 11 crore, ostensibly with the presumption that each of the old members continued to remain with the party. The amount of money collected by the BJP for the PM-CARES fund is likely to clear the air.
In the first week since its launch on 28 March, PM-CARES received Rs 6,500 crore in donations, a figure that would pale in comparison to what the BJP could end up contributing.
China offers lotus to commemorate 70 yrs of diplomatic ties with India
China released a series of 1,000 commemorative covers last week to celebrate the 70th anniversary of India-China diplomatic ties even as both countries continue to suffer the unprecedented wrath of the coronavirus that originated from Wuhan.
On the occasion, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said in a tweet that he would be signing 100 such covers that would be sent to those interested in obtaining them as a memento. “To share special commemoration of #70th anniversary of #China-#India diplomatic ties, my Embassy will send 1000 commemorative covers to Indian friends on first-come-first-served basis. Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will sign first 100. Good luck & Shubhkamnaye!,” Weidong said in a tweet Wednesday.
To share special commemoration of #70th anniversary of #China–#India diplomatic ties, my Embassy will send 1000 commemorative covers to Indian friends on first-come-first-served basis. Please send email to email@example.com. I will sign first 100. Good luck & Shubhkamnaye! pic.twitter.com/hHXRscDMsO
— Sun Weidong (@China_Amb_India) April 1, 2020
India and China established diplomatic relations on 1 April 1950. The covers, which have been issued by the China National Philatelic Corporation, depict a Chinese Opera performance and India’s Bharatnatyam. The opera is the Liyuan Opera that originated in Quanzhou in Fujian Province of China, and Bharatnatyam originated from Tamil Nadu.
The idea was to showcase the informal summit that took place between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi last November in Mamallapuram near Chennai.
During the summit, both Modi and Xi had announced that Quanzhou city and Chennai, as well as Fujian Province and Tamil Nadu, can become sister cities and states, respectively.
Historically, about 1,000 years ago, a large number of Indians did business in Quanzhou and settled there. The postmark on the commemorative covers has also been carefully depicted with the concept of “twin lotuses” as lotus holds special significance in both countries. “It (lotus) symbolise the deep cultural origin of China and India and reflects each other,” Weidong said in a video message, which he concluded by saying “Shubhkamnaye (Best wishes)”.
Governance switches to eOffice as officials work from home
eOffice, a software popularised by the Narendra Modi government in its first term, has received a new lease of life due to the Covid-19 lockdown across the country. With most senior officers working from home, there has been a near complete switch in governance to eOffice, a virtual private network that seeks to minimise the use of paper for official work.
All files are being processed through this software, with some officers saying work is in fact completed more promptly than before. While the Modi government had made efforts to popularise eOffice down to the junior most levels for years now, officers feel the Covid-19 crisis would lead to a complete adoption of this technology.