1) Lifetime comprehensive insurance cover for vehicles
It refers to welcome observation of a bench of Madras High Court that the center should amend Motor Vehicles Act to make it mandatory for every vehicle to purchase comprehensive insurance policy rather than just third-party one so that each occupant is eligible for compensation in case of death and injury, further giving an idea for a lifetime comprehensive policy at the time of purchase of vehicle to avoid people forgetting renewal of insurance policies.
The system will be like paying one-time road-tax abolishing the cumbersome practice of paying road tax quarterly or annually. People buying vehicles will also not mind paying extra at the time of purchase of vehicles to avoid the renewal of insurance policies every year. It will be also in the interest of road-users especially pedestrians where claims for accidental-victims will be quickly settled because of lifetime comprehensive insurance cover of the vehicles involved in accidents.
– Subhash Chandra Agrawal
2) Secret election needed for Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson
Elections are to take place for the post of Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha after the retirement of outgoing PJ Kurien. Instead of political bargains, the system may be evolved whereby next incumbent may be elected by a secret and compulsory vote of all Rajya Sabha members through VVPT equipped Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) on nominations signed by at least 34 per cent members to ensure direct election between two candidates. Such a Deputy Chairperson may only be removed by a no-confidence motion passed in the same manner but with a condition to name next Deputy Chairperson in the same motion.
A similar system should be adopted for the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha and state-assemblies. Then only perfect neutrality much required from persons seated on these responsible posts may be ensured at least to some extent. Both ruling and opposition parties will try their best to field candidates who may attract votes from other sides also thus having a sort of compulsory consensus.
It is time to amend the constitution to abolish provision of the useless upper house in states which serve absolutely no purpose other than politically employing favourites and relations of political heavyweights. However, provision of the upper house at the centre (Rajya Sabha) must be retained which of course has proved its worth by having a check on ruling party at the centre passing any legislation only because of the majority.
– Madhu Agrawal
3) City’s crumbling infra
Three days of incessant rains brought city infrastructure crumbling. The rain readiness claim by BMC appears a thing of the past and there is no ultimate solution to the persisting problems. Bombay High Court has taken a serious note of the blame game that has ensued between the Western Railway and the BMC over the Andheri bridge collapse. The road bridge at Grant Road was closed after a long meandering fissure was spotted and after repairs, the road was reopened. It was felt that it was only a surface crack and it is not a big deal for BMC to act. But the fear factor came up after a part of the bridge linking Andheri east to west collapsed on railway tracks following heavy rains. The government machinery failed to come up with their promises and the citizens facing all kinds of problem with the initial burst of rains. Bridges are collapsing and the corporation is not able to do anything because it has not bothered to carry out audits. In the wake of incessant rains, the roads became bad and the railways suffered a major setback and potholes and craters gave horrible time to road users. Rain readiness is just in the papers of BMC and no serious effort was taken to meet pressing problems during monsoon rains. It is total infrastructure failure in Mumbai.
– C.K. Nikhil Maniam
4) Motorman Sawant deserves ‘Bravery award’
Motorman Chandrashekhar Sawant’s heroic fete of applying emergency brakes of a packed local train a second before the Andheri Bridge collapse deserves applause from all. His efforts were no less important than our soldiers who save our lives from the enemies at the borders. It was his presence of mind and alertness that saved a tragedy that could have killed many innocent commuters on a terrible Tuesday that brought the city to its knees. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was kind enough to applause his action by sanctioning a Rs 5 lakh purse for his efforts.
The government of India too should honour Sawant by bestowing National bravery award on the motorman for his efforts. Such awards and honours inspire government servants to give off their best and I am sure Sawant’s great efforts would inspire many of his colleagues to emulate his deed whenever the situation demands in future.
5) The role of women in Indian society
Here in India, women have been enjoying a better position in the society than in any other countries of the world. Their presence can be felt in every walk of life. From the topmost constitutional position of Prime Minister and President to constables and air hostesses, they have marked their presence. Now women are police officers, judges, bank managers, army officers and pilots too. They have infiltrated into the traditionally exclusively men’s domain. They are efficiently handling banking operations, share markets, space research, etc. They are holding positions of responsibility in various fields of life. They are successful in the field of business and commerce as well. More and more women are coming out of the four walls of their houses into the open. Literacy rates in women have witnessed a sharp rise during the post-independence era. But there is a dark side of the story too.
The rise in the social and economic status of women has added to their burdens and responsibilities. They are still slaves as they have to do double duty — as employed women and as working housewives. Despite all achievements and progress, women still have to depend on the male members of their family for protection. At times, they have to depend on their father, husband and sons too. They can’t take decisions on their own. In our male-dominated society, women are still regarded as inferior to men. They are paid less than their male counterparts for the same work. Their participation in the democratic process and elections has been quite impressive. In a large number of constituencies, women voters outnumber male voters on the days of polling. They contest elections at various levels in far greater numbers. Their political wisdom and social sagacity have now been fully recognised. The status of women in India in modern times has undergone a total change. During the last few decades, India has produced many great women leaders, social workers, freedom fighters, administrators, reformers, sportswomen and literary personalities like Sarojini Naidu, Vijay Lakshmi Pandit, Sachet Kripalani, Indira Gandhi, P.T. Usha, MC Mary Kom, Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur, Padmaja Naidu, Kalpana Chawla, Mother Teresa, Mahadevi Verma, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, Madam Bhikaji Cama and Mithali Raj.
From Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi to Irom Sharmila, Indian women have always stood up and fought their battles despite restrictions and limitations. They are the shining beacons of hope and have displayed exemplary dedications in their respective fields. India really feels very proud because of these great women and their great achievements in various fields. Their contribution in the fields of arts, culture, science, and sports has also been equally significant and memorable.
– Jubel D’Cruz
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)