Ashwini Vaishnav
Ashwini Vaishnav

New Delhi

Jodhpur-born Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, 50, has used his brief stint of two years in the corporate sector after quitting as an IAS officer of Odisha cadre has decided that the Railways as a commercial organisation must work for 18 hours a day in two shifts.

The first shift will be from 7 am to 4 pm and the second from 3 pm to midnight. A new government culture introduced by Vaishnav may be adopted by other commercial ministry, including the ministry of electronics and information technology, which is also headed by him as a minister in the reshuffle effected last week.

The work schedule ordered by him will ensure social distancing and the ministry staff will work with only half the capacity during this Covid-19 period, whereas he would be able to function for 18 hours to give maximum time to work. He wants other ministers to also adopt such a schedule to enable them to devote maximum time in office.

Vaishnav told the staff the new schedule will help them implement PM Modi’s goal of “minimum government and maximum governance”. His earlier connection with the railways was in dealing with it as the vice-president of locomotives and head urban infrastructure strategy at Siemens.

An engineer-turned-MBA and the former chairman of the Mormugao Port Trust, Goa, for two years, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha as a BJP member unopposed, with the support of the ruling Biju Janata Dal. He came in contact with PM Modi during his tenure as the private secretary to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He also worked as a deputy secretary in the PMO during the Vajpayee’s regime.

Scindia visits AI HQ, briefed on VBM, air bubble, national carrier’s financial status

The new Union Minister of Civil Aviation (MoCA) Jyotiraditya M Scindia on Monday held a meeting with Air India officials at the office of the national carrier in Delhi. MoS General VK Singh was present during the session in which both the ministers were briefed by officials.

“Participated in a briefing session today by the senior officials of @airindiain Was joined by my colleague, MoS for Civil Aviation, Sh @Gen_VKSingh ji.” MoCA Scindia tweeted.

In a detailed presentation by the top management of AI, led by the CMD, the national carrier highlighted its role during the Covid-19 pandemic. Further, the ministers were briefed about details of operations of Air India including evacuation flights from China and cargo flights for Covid-related material around the world.

“The management has given a detailed presentation and has also shown a short video film on Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) flights, air bubbles, aircraft status, and financial position of the company,” an Air India official told ANI.

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