Kudos to Indian govt for assisting Maldives
It was pleasing to learn that India is going to give an amount of $1.4 billion of financial assistance to the Maldives as budget support, currency swap and line of credit for the social and economic development of Maldives. It is a highly appreciated step taken by the PM Modi to assist a neighbouring country. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to PM Modi for such a heart touching move which shows India’s generosity and humanity. Also this move will provide India with an opportunity to undertake high profile infrastructure projects as China does. I expect that the government of Maldives will be immensely pleased to receive such amount from India and it will lead both the countries to form a better relationship.
Making most of the Metro dream
Prime Minister’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is a rejoinder about the metro services lacking in the city. Bhoomipujan in Kalyan took place with much fanfare, thus putting the metro project on the right track. Now that Mumbai has truly become India’s commercial hub, the quality of life, quality of infrastructure, quality of security and attitude—all need improvement. It is time to expand the radius of these Metro trains beyond and have a twin city concept. We look at Mumbai as an example. Mumbai metro did make an impact on the educational system as well. Even parents have a tough time when they switch over to tier-two cities and thus change the schools of children. PM has taken up the right initiative for the BJP-led government to show infra growth in the metro city.
It is heartening to note that Versova lad Hamid Ansari returns after six years and it is a welcoming news. Indian Foreign Ministry is working round the clock to bring back the stranded Indian citizens from the countries they are trapped in for various reasons. Sushma Swaraj has taken the right steps in this direction and brought back many stranded persons and that too from Pakistan. In the six years his parents could only hear his voice once and now he is back to the city after the efforts taken by the Indian government. Hamid was in Pakistan’s police custody from 2012 and now he is back to Mumbai. It is a happy welcome back home.
Reduce the maximum time to change boarding point
The recent move by the Honourable Ministry of Railways to introduce hand held terms to TTEs to allocate berths is welcome. In an age of rapid technological development, advanced changes implemented in the Indian Railway’s computerised reservation system is highly appreciated, especially if it is an environment friendly move. The Railways now should not waste much time and quickly implement such a system to allocate RAC/Waitlisted passengers automatically across all the categories of trains for the booked tickets.
Further, the Railway Board is suggested to do away another archaic rule which has no essence in today’s busy world. The online booking system and an offline mechanism allow a reserved ticket holder to change the boarding point only 24 hours prior to the departure of the train. Such a rule now holds no value as it is not practically possible to make a decision just within 24 hours prior to the departure of a train, to change the boarding point from the original station. Such a decision needs at least 6 to 12 hours maximum time than the existing 24 hours rule. Many passengers, especially who travel for business and on official purpose find such a rule infeasible and it is hard for any passenger to make a decision within a day to change the boarding point. Hence, the concerned Honourable Ministry of Railways and the Railway Board is suggested to look into advancing the maximum time required to change the boarding point from the existing 24 hours to at least 6 to 12 hours prior to departure of the train. Such a move will certainly give benefit of doubt to the passengers and enable them to take a judicious decision to board at a selected destination within short notice of the train’s original departure time.
Rs 2 coins should be discontinued
It refers to the media reports that the Central Government is going to discontinue minting of Re 1 coin because of high minting cost of Rs 1.11. Any such decision is anti-consumer, and will tend to raise prices of many such commodities which are presently priced at Re 1. Minting cost is the one time cost spent on a coin with an extra long life. It is ridiculous that the Central Government despite adverse opinion of Reserve Bank of India, re-introduced Re 1 note on March 6, 2015, which has a high printing cost of much more than Re 1 and a very short life — only for the bureaucratic craze of having a signature on the note which is signed by an officer of Secretary rank, while the notes of all other denominations bear the signature of the RBI governor. The Central government and the RBI should produce coins only in denominations of Re 1 and Rs 5 discontinuing coins in denominations of Rs 2 and Rs 10. Traders force unwanted items like candies etc. in the place of Re 1 coin forcing coin bags of Rs 2 to falsely exhibit popularity of Rs 2 coins. Rs 10 coins are unpopular and people fear accepting these because of fake Rs 10 coins largely in circulation. If needed, the size of Re 1 coin can be further reduced to that of earlier 10 paise coin to reduce minting cost. Likewise, the size of Rs 5 coins can also be reduced. Since Re 1 notes re-introduced on March 6, 2015, have never come in practical circulation and sold only on premium multiple times the face value, further printing of Re 1 notes should be stopped with immediate effect. Existing stock of Re 1 notes may be sold as collector item in attractive plastic packing rather than allowing to be sold on premium by private dealers of new currency notes and coin bags.
JPC must be formed to check on Defence dealings
We do need modern aircraft to strengthen our defence capability. Some of these crafts could be purchased complete in ready to operate condition. Rest of them could be partially made or assembled here in India. The cost of the craft will depend upon what weaponry is installed and what systems are fitted on board. Obviously, the government can’t disclose these for strategic reasons. They can declare the total cost of it. A small Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) can be formed by the Parliament under the Oath of Secrecy to speedily check on this and if the Chairman of JPC gives a thumbs up signal indicating ” All is well”, the matter must end then.
Congress should move on
Congress should move on now that the Rafale deal has been dusted, sealed and given a green signal by the Supreme Court. The highest court’s verdict should be respected and the political parties should not waste the precious time of the nation further to debate on an issue that needs no further investigations. It is we the people who elect a government and we must have faith in the representatives we elect, more so on matters that are sensitive and cannot be disclosed due to security reasons. Rafale deal made a lot of noise in the media but I hope that the aircrafts remain silent and we never ever have to use them for warfare and most of our border disputes get settled with peace talks. Wishful hoping peace returns and we concentrate on development and progress rather than on arms and warfare in future!