1) ISRO has made the country proud
It is an important milestone for the Indian space programme towards achieving reliance on launching heavier satellites and India slowly and steadily masters rocket science. Heartiest congratulations to ISRO team. We are proud of your every success and failures no matter how big or how small it is. If the rocket is significant for its muscle, satellite GSAT-29 is equally heady. If its transponders are to serve remote regions of Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East, it also features three hi-tech gadgets — a Q/V-Band communications payload, an optical communication payload and a high-resolution camera. All the three are demonstration gadgets. The first two are used mainly for inter-satellite and space-to-space communications. The significance of the Mark-III is that it considerably reduces India’s dependence on foreign launchers for taking up its heavy satellites. Now that the two developmental launches of the Mark- III have been completed, the rocket has been declared fit for operational runs, the first of which is likely to be in January, for the Chandrayaan-2 moon mission. ISRO has made the country proud.
– Nikhil Krishnan
2) Ram Temple issue – a ploy to win 2019 election
All the propagations by the leaders of Sangh and other organisations, that the government must bring in an ordinance to commence the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya is nothing but a ploy to win the upcoming elections in 2019. It is a reality that the BJP government has failed to fulfil most of its promises which it made in 2014 before it came to power. Whenever the election comes close they raise their voice as once again the Sanghs are raising this issue intentionally to divide the people in the name of religion. The people must understand this “divide and rule” policy and should not let the leaders divide our country.
– Mohd Rahmani
3) Trash collectors strike crippled the city
Trash collectors strike has crippled the city and hence, Garbage had piled up in central Mumbai. The Garbage menace is causing lots of discomfort and the accumulation is causing many health diseases in the city as well. Mumbai Garbage is dumped in one place and with the strike, the accumulation has increased to an enormous proportion. The waste management team should work in coordination with BMC and find an amicable solution. Housing Societies should be given guidelines to act in a safe way is disposing of garbage rather than just dumping in another place till the strike called off.
– C.K. Subramaniam
4) Security lapse of Delhi CM is a serious concern
Throwing chilly powder in the eyes of Delhi Chief Minister on November 20, 2018, by an unknown person in a highly secured building of Delhi Secretariat at Indraprastha Estate in New Delhi is a matter of serious security lapse and concern. Security officials providing security in Z security cover have a duty to take perfect care of the secured person, and can even ask the person under security to follow certain measures. It is unfortunate that a spokesperson of the ruling party at the centre without realising security norms, gave an irresponsible political statement terming the unfortunate incident as a pre-scripted drama of ruling party in Delhi State Assembly. However, the President of Delhi chapter of the ruling party at the centre commented with responsibility by terming the incident as undesirable.
Delhi Police and Union Home Ministry should investigate the matter in a politically unbiased manner, and to ensure perfect security to Delhi Chief Minister even though he may be asked to follow certain norms set for persons under Z security cover.
– Madhu Agrawal
5) Transparency audit of public authorities by CIC
Transparency audit report of compliance by public authorities now put on Central Information Commission (CIC) website is shocking with just 838 out of total 2,092 registered with CIC having responded till October 31, 2012, to the questionnaire sent by CIC on July 12, 2018, despite repeated reminders. Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and CIC should take the matter of not responding to the CIC questionnaire as a serious non-compliance to RTI mechanism through CIC issuing show cause notices to public authorities having deliberated avoiding responding to the CIC questionnaire.
It is also a cause of worry that only 19 per cent of responding public authorities could qualify for A-grade with a score above 90 per cent while majority 35 per cent of public authorities were placed in lowest category E with a score less than 60 per cent with some public authorities even getting zero percent score. For motivating top scorers and shaming low scorers, DoPT and CIC should give media advertisements about top ten public authorities having scored highest and lowest scores respectively. DoPT and CIC should call a meeting of departmental heads of public authorities put in E grade to ensure improving performance in a timebound manner. Otherwise, such constituting study committees is a mere wastage of public money.
Improving compliance of section 4-1-b of RTI Act can result in saving of huge public resources because various study reports reveal that number of RTI applications can be reduced by 60-70 per cent if there is a complete compliance of section 4-1-b of RTI Act by public authorities.
– Subhash Chandra Agrawal
6) Govt remains isolated from Tata-Jet merger issue
The recent move of Jet Airways takeover by Tata-SIA JV under Tata brand is an interesting development but is stuck with the ownership control tussles. Since the merger of Air Deccan with Kingfisher Airlines, Mergers and Acquisitions of airlines in the Indian aviation industry hasn’t tasted much success owing to board and ownership control issues, brand and legacy yardstick, FDI norms, high operational factors including oil prices, financial bailout obligations, regulatory issues like 5/20 rule, high ATF issues etc . No airline has been able to achieve a success to run with a merged entity; with the exception of Jet-Ethidad and whose partnership will cease shortly. Also, of late some airlines have avoided a complete control of an Indian run airline entity but have instead formed a code-sharing agreement to thrive on operational cost savings and protect the image.
The Tata’s demand made to Jet Airways for a non-compete agreement along with complete exit of Naresh Goyal’s helm at Jet board indicates the brand’s desperateness to fly and dominate across the Indian skies. The takeover if successful, will give the Tatas a major brand boost and great market share with all four airlines (i.e. Air Asia, Jet Airways, Vistara and Singapore Airlines) on board. This move will further make the existing LCC operators isolated in the market share and fend for themselves in the Indian skies. Also, as Air India has been isolated yet again with a status-quo related to its stake sale, it is obvious that the government has distanced itself from Tata-Jet merger issue and has even remained isolated in the markets.
If this big-ticket airline stake sale is successful, the Indian skies will witness be a major comeback of a new popular aviation brand under the aegis of Tata Sons. As the yet to be merged entity has two international carriers already on board, it needs to seen as to how the DGCA’s 5/20 rule to fly on international routes will be complied. The consumers, on the other hand, are however only bothered about safer planes to fly with well-trained pilots onboard, better services, wider reach with new destinations and cheaper flying options.
– Varun Srinivas
7) Kohli’s cry for better batsmanship
It is indeed a strange situation that the Indian team captain touring Australia looking for the batsmen to step up and come out of the rut. We have a suspect opening pair, the middle order caves in if the pace bowlers get the right areas to pitch and the tail rarely wags on an overseas tour and it was always fighting back to the ball. A team not capable of facing new ball and fast bowlers on seaming wickets is the number one side in Test Cricket. Fear of facing fast bowling on seaming overseas wickets is the root cause for all the worries in recent times. Sledging or no sledging, our batsmen should play with a straight bat and put up a brave front and not look for excuses all the times. Touring teams coming to India face such tough situations but still win test series in India and upset the apple cart. It is time to think and plan positive rather than disillusioned with the pace race in the International cricket.
– Akhilesh Krishnan
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)