Delhi Confidential: Change and churn in Congress as Jairam Ramesh takes over communication department

Jairam Ramesh, the newly appointed AICC general secretary in-charge of the Congress’s communication department, is said to be planning to bring in many new faces as spokespersons. Many of the fresh faces would be domain experts and charismatic young faces. And efforts are said to be on to ensure gender balance as well. The first signs of change with continuity came on Friday when the party elevated Vineet Punia, who was a secretary in the department, as AICC secretary in-charge of internal communication. Ramesh has also brought in Amitabh Dubey, the son of Suman Dubey, as in-charge of research and monitoring in the department. Amitabh, who was president of the Delhi chapter of the Shashi Tharoor-headed All India Professionals’ Congress, is a close friend of Rahul Gandhi. Ramesh has also brought in a youngster, Vaibhav Walia, who was heading the social media wing of the Youth Congress, as a secretary in the department attached to him. Clearly, the winds of change is blowing in the communication department.

Wellness centre: Before demitting office, one of President Ram Nath Kovind’s last commitments has been the inauguration of an upgraded Ayush wellness center on the President’s Estate. Set up in 2015, the center has been catering to the medical needs of the President, officials of his Secretariat and its residents. It offers treatment facilities in the Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathic treatment. President Kovind on Friday also released a book documenting the setting up of the centre, in which he wrote how it benefited a large number of people, especially during the pandemic.

Right to safe water: During the ongoing 50th regular session of the Human Rights Council, the Permanent Mission of India, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, and other International Organizations in Geneva co-organised a side event on ‘Realising gender equality in the realisation of the rights to safe drinking water and sanitation’ on June 24. The side event received “cross-regional support” from the Permanent Missions of several countries, including Germany, Spain, Bolivia, Mexico, Gabon, Namibia, the Gambia, Republic of Korea, Fiji, and the UAE. On the occasion, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, Indra Mani Pandey, said that the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation are “some of the most crucial of the economic, social and cultural rights”.

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