Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel who were part of the February 26 last Balakot air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror training camp in Pakistan and the air engagement a day after have been awarded gallantry medals on the eve of Independence Day. Abhinandan Varthaman is a wing-commander in the Indian Air Force. In the 2019 India-Pakistan standoff, he was held captive for 60 hours in Pakistan after his aircraft was shot down in an aerial dogfight. During a dogfight with Pakistan Air Force jets on February 27, he shot down a Pakistani F-16 but his jet was shot down soon after. He was handed over by Pakistan to India at the Wagah-Attari border crossing on March 1. His act of bravery and the subsequent poise and perseverance showed by him in Pakistani camp all made him a hero overnight. He deserves the gallantry award on Independence day. Kudos Abhinandan Varthaman for your bravery displayed in enemy’s camp.
O.K. Subbu Ramani
Prime Minister calls for consolidated poll reforms
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to nation from ramparts of Red Fort on Independence Day 2019 has once again called for need of simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and all state-assemblies, but without elaborating how it can be practically done in present outdated poll-system. Prime Minister has taken many drastic steps boldly like abolition of irrelevant portion of article 370 of the Constitution. It is utmost necessary that Prime Minister boldly takes initiative for consolidated and massive poll-reforms till now deferred for decades in name of never-to-be-achieved political consensus
Chief Minister (or Prime Minister) should be simultaneously elected with Speaker and Deputy Speaker by secret and compulsory votes through EVMs equipped with VVPAT on nominations signed by at least 34-per cent members with abstaining members losing right to vote in the House though retaining its membership. Such elected incumbents may be removed only through same process but with compulsion to name alternate leader in the same motion. This is the only way to prevent hung legislative bodies and unstable governments to pave for simultaneous elections.
A sitting MLA, MLC or MP must resign first from earlier seat before filing nomination for other. An MP may automatically lose membership of Parliament on taking oath as minister in a state. Likewise any state-legislator may lose membership on taking oath as minister at the centre. Legislators in states and centres may be disqualified for contesting elections for life in case of mid-term resignation from the legislative body. Any candidate getting votes less than NOTA may also be disqualified for life to contest any election. Absolutely useless concept of state legislative councils may be abolished even though Rajya Sabha may be retained.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
Faulty govt policies responsible for slowdown in Indian economy
Indian economy is in the doldrums and faulty government policies as well as laws are responsible for it. Most sectors are bleeding which now is being reflected in the stock markets which are falling like nine pins over the past few weeks. Unemployment is on the rise and this would have social repercussions as theft and social crimes rise in the coming years. Inflation too is high as citizens struggle to make both ends meet. Global slowdown too has hit India hard as it has acted like a double sword on our wounds.
Modi government and FM should speak to top economists to frame policies that are beneficial for our country. Job opportunities should be created and that can happen if we invest in new projects and control our imports. Foreign investments on Indian shores should be encouraged but that can happen if outsiders are dolled out incentives as they are not here for charity. A dose of several measures are needed to keep the economy healthy and hope the government is listening!
Auto sales at its lowest
All is not well with Auto sector is an open secret. But the extent of malaise was not known and made open so far. Hit by poor consumer sentiment, the automobile industry saw its monthly sales decline 18.71 per cent last month, the worst ever in nearly 19 years, forcing the industry to resort to job cuts. The sector reiterated its demand for a stimulus to arrest the continued downturn, particularly ahead of the festive season. The vehicle sales across categories fell to over 18.25 lakh units in July 2019, down from more than 22.45 lakh units in the year-ago month. Previously, the biggest slump of 21.81 per cent was seen nearly two decades back in December 2000. The decline in July was led by the passenger vehicles segment, which saw sales plunge almost 31 per cent to a little over two lakh units. This too was the steepest since the decline of 35.22 per cent in December 2000. Sensex takes a note of it and closes 624 points lower in the wake of overall slump.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)