Quantum of punishment will depend on gravity of
offence; it will be harsher for repeat offenders
Air passengers can now be banned for a lifetime for
unruly behaviour on flights by both domestic and foreign airlines, the Union
The unruly passenger will be put on a no-fly list,
which will be made public and maintained by the Directorate General of Civil
The ban will range between three months and a
lifetime depending upon the gravity of the offence.
For physical gestures, verbal harassment and being
unruly while inebriated, there will be a ban on passengers for up to three
months; for physically abusive behaviour including pushing, kicking, hitting or
sexual harassment, up to six months; and for life-threatening behaviour the ban
may range from two years to a lifetime.
In case a passenger is a repeat offender, the
duration of the flying ban will be twice that of his previous ban, according to
the DGCA rules.
Airlines, on receiving complaint of unruly
behaviour by the pilot-in-command, will refer the matter to an internal
committee chaired by a retired district and sessions judge and members would
include a representative each from different airline and passenger associations
or consumer forums.
The internal committee will decide the quantum of
ban based on evidence produced by both airline and passenger including
eye-witnesses, within a period of 30 days failing which the passenger will be
free to fly.
The passenger will not be allowed to fly till the
decision of the internal committee. However, there will be no compensation in
case the allegations by airlines are proven wrong.
However, other airlines will not be bound by the
no-fly list of an airline, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said. Aggrieved
passengers can appeal within 60 days to an Appellate Committee constituted by
the Ministry of Civil Aviation chaired by a HC judge.
The no-fly list provisions will be applicable with
immediate effect to all citizens, including Parliamentarians. The no-fly ban
will be in addition to any statutory legal action that can be taken against the
offender under existing laws
A year after the West Bengal Assembly passed a
resolution to change the name of the State, the Mamata Banerjee government
was compelled to have one name for the State after the Centre rejected the
earlier proposal of having three names in three different languages.
On August 29, 2016, the Assembly had passed a
resolution changing the name of West Bengal to Bengal in English, Bangla in
Bengali and Bangal in Hindi.
The issue of change of name was lying with the
Centre, which had raised objections about having different names in different
At the Cabinet meeting held, it was decided that
that the name will be Bangla in all the languages.
While the resolution was being debated in the State
Assembly in August 2016, certain members of the Opposition, including Leader of
the Left Front Legislature Party Sujan Chakraborty, had said that a State cannot
have different names for different languages.
In yet another significant step towards
inducting women into the military, the Army said it would admit nearly 800
women into the Corps of Military Police in non-officer ranks over the next
While the decision had been in the pipeline for
some months now, the announcement came a day after India’s first full-time woman
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman assumed office.
Adjutant-General Lt.Gen. Ashwani Kumar told a
conclave of retired Army chiefs that the decision has been taken to introduce
women in the ranks, starting with the Corps of Military Police. The Army, at
present, has women only in the officer ranks, and that too just a few thousand
In the light of increasing requirement for
investigations into gender-specific crimes and allegations, it was felt
necessary to introduce women in the Corps of Military Police
The Army had established two artificial
reproductive technique centres for the benefit of childless couples in the
force. The centres in Bhopal and Guwahati are in addition to the existing ones
in Delhi, Pune and Mumbai.
The three-day conclave, hosted by the Chief of the
Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, and attended by eight former chiefs, was
informed of a proposal to upgrade the rank structure, which would benefit
approximately 1.45 lakhs junior commissioned officers and other ranks over a
span of five years.
The Army will set up two residential Army Public
Schools, with a capacity of 2,000 children each.
The Army had opened a fund to cater specifically to
battle casualties and to which citizens from any walk of life could contribute.
The first tranche of Rs. 3.24 crore was disbursed in July.
Based on the order of the Supreme Court
allowing her to ‘terminate’ her pregnancy in the 32nd week, a 13-year-old
gave birth to a boy at the State-run JJ Hospital.
The delivery was via C-section, and the infant was
immediately shifted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, doctor. The child,
weighing 1.8 kg, was born prematurely with underdeveloped organs.
As per the court’s order, the girl was taken into
surgery around 1.30 p.m. The delivery went well without complications. The baby
will do fine with good NICU care for a few weeks.
The girl, a rape survivor, found out about her
pregnancy only in the 27th week. The family first approached Dr. Kartik Bhagat,
who directed them to gynaecologist Dr. Nikhil Datar to see if the SC could be
approached for an abortion. As per law, foetuses older than 20 weeks cannot be
By the time a petition was filed in the SC on
August 28, the girl was in the 31st week. The apex court allowed termination to
relieve the girl of the mental trauma of carrying the pregnancy. While a full
term is between 36 and 40 weeks, the girl delivered in the 32nd week.
While Dr. Datar hailed the SC decision as
‘historical’ and ‘path-breaking’, some doctors feel that in the zest to do good
for the girl, the order has caused her much harm.
C-section at 31-32 weeks is risky and affects
future fertility, albeit marginally. This is apart from the harm to the
otherwise completely healthy foetus, which will probably still survive the
prematurity but with difficulty.
Section 5 of The Medical Termination of Pregnancy
Act, 1971 allows a doctor to take a decision in good faith for terminating a
pregnancy beyond 20 weeks to save the life of the pregnant woman.
India’s decision to reject a joint statement by
the World Parliamentary Forum in Indonesia, that included references to
human rights in Myanmar in its ‘Bali declaration’, was a major show of
support for the Suu Kyi government after Prime Minister Narendra Modi ended
his bilateral visit.
The move, however, has put India on the other side
of the Rohingya refugee debate from Myanmar’s other neighbours and countries in
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Pakistan
and Sri Lanka were all among countries that joined the Bali declaration at Nusa
Dua, that India disassociated from.
In their explanation, the Indian delegation headed
by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had said the reference to Myanmar had been
“proposed at the eleventh hour” and was unjustified as the Parliamentary forum
was meant to focus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and not a particular
At the drafting committee India raised its
objections, especially after Turkey inserted clauses specific to one country
(Myanmar), which Bangladesh supported. But the host country went ahead and
adopted the declaration despite our objections
In two separate paragraphs, the Bali Declaration
that was eventually made by 49 countries, expressed concern about the recent
violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where the UN says at least 1,000 Rohingya
Muslims have been killed, and 2,70,000 have fled, mainly to Bangladesh, in the
past two weeks.
The statement “called on all parties to contribute
to the restoration of stability and security, exercise maximum self-restraint
from using violent means, respect the human rights of all people in Rakhine
State regardless of their faith and ethnicity,” as “there can be no sustainable
development without peace”.
India’s statement followed PM Modi’s visit to
Naypyitaw where he expressed his support for the NLD government’s crackdown on
terror groups in the Rakhine.
After agreeing to list Pakistan-based outfits
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as international terror
groups during this week’s Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS)
summit, China reassured Pakistan that there was no shift in its policy of
recognising Islamabad’s role in countering global extremism.
During a press conference with his Pakistani
counterpart Khawaja Asif, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed that Beijing
saw Islamabad as a close ally that is a key part of the battle against
Much of the press conference was devoted to the
joint role of Beijing, Islamabad and Kabul to ensure durable peace in
China had played a crucial role in bringing
Pakistan and Afghanistan together. To support that initiative Pakistan has
already undertaken many steps and will pursue those steps for improving
relationship with Kabul.
Islamabad is working on a substantive and robust
engagement with the Kabu(at the) political level, security level, military
level, intelligence level.
The Chinese have escalated their engagement with
Kabul, especially after the collapse of the four-party talks involving the
United States, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In June, Mr. Wang had visited
Kabul and Islamabad to reinforce a Beijing-driven initiative in Afghanistan.
Beijing was “exploring” hosting a
China-Pakistan-Afghanistan conference later this year. “strategic communication,
security dialogue and practical cooperation” would be the pillars of the new
platform for regional cooperation.
If banks cannot be provided the required
capital from government funds, then they should be privatised, Reserve Bank
of India Deputy Governor Viral Acharya said..
He added that while lending excesses happen all
over the world, the problems arising from them should be dealt with swiftly. Mr.
Acharya, however, pointed out that these were his personal views and did not
reflect the views of the RBI.
If we cannot attract the right leadership or
structure the boards (of banks) as needed, then we need to ask the questions as
to whether we should have fewer banks or if we need to privatise them.
Lending excesses do happenall over the world,” he
added. But once the problem has occurred, one should look to fix it quickly.
Mr. Acharya also said that the act of merging
stronger banks with weaker banks must be done carefully.
The Telecom Commission (TC) sought
clarification from the inter-ministerial group (IMG), looking into the
financial stress in the sector, on some of its recommendations, including
extending the timeline for deferred spectrum payment by telcos to 16 years
against 10 years at the present.
The Commission, which is the highest decision
making body in the Department of Telecom, discussed the report submitted by IMG,
prepared after detailed deliberations with stakeholders, including telcos and
The Commission has asked for clarification and more
details on some of the recommendations mainly on the deferred payment period for
spectrum bought as well replacing PLR with MCLR.
The IMG had suggested shifting from prime lending
rate (PLR) to marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) for interest and
penalty payments with regard to licence fee and spectrum usage charges.
The TC cleared a project to provide mobile coverage
in North-Eastern states under which about 3,835 telecom towers will be set up in
4,502 unconnected villages in various states, except Arunachal Pradesh and
Meghalaya. Bharti Airtel and its subsidiary had won the tender for this project.
According to a research paper by renowned
economistsThomas Piketty and Lucas Chancel, income inequality in India is at
its highest level since 1922, the year the Income Tax Act was passed.
In December, they will release the first ‘World
Inequality Report’ where they will compare India’s inequality trajectory with
other emerging, industrialised and low-income countries and suggest ways to
tackle global and national inequality.
The share of national income accruing to the top 1%
income earners is now at its highest level since the creation of the Indian
Income Tax [Act] in 1922. The top 1% of earners captured less than 21% of total
income in the late 1930s, before dropping to 6% in the early 1980s and rising to
Over the 1951-1980 period, the bottom 50% group
captured 28% of total growth and incomes of this group grew faster than the
average, while the top 0.1% incomes decreased.
Over the 1980-2014 period, the situation was
reversed; the top 0.1% of earners captured a higher share of total growth than
the bottom 50% (12% versus 11%), while the top 1% received a higher share of
total growth than the middle 40% (29% vs. 23%). These findings suggest that much
can be done to promote more inclusive growth in India.
Since the 1980s, India did not only open-up and
liberalise its economy, it did it in a way that was very favourable to top
income earners and capital owners.
Top tax rates which were very high in the 1970s (up
to 98%) decreased to 30% in the 1980s. Wages set by governments in government
enterprises were liberalised after privatisations and the dispersion increased.
It is also likely that privatisations principally
benefited richest income groups, those who already had capital, rather than the
majority of the population which didn’t access equity.
On the other hand, growth at the bottom of the
distribution was notably lower than average growth rates since the 1980s.
China also liberalised and opened up after 1978,
and in doing so, experienced a sharp income growth as well as a sharp rise in
This rise, however, stopped in the 2000s so that
inequality is currently at lower level there than [in] India (top 1% income
share at 14% versus 22% in India, according to our estimates).
In Russia, the move from a communist to a market
economy was extremely brutal and today has a similar level of inequality as in
India. This shows that there are different strategies to transit from a highly
regulated economy to a liberalised one.
In the arrays of possible pathways, India pursued a
very unequal way but could probably have chosen another path. All this data is
available on an open-access website, WID.world.
Some commentators argue that without extreme growth
at the very top of the distribution, there wouldn’t have been high growth in
India. There is, in fact, little evidence supporting this claim. The top 0.1%
captured more total income growth as the bottom 50% since 1980.
The highest growth period in Western Europe, after
the second world war, was also a period of equitable redistribution of the
fruits of growth. Europe grew as a market economy but it was not a market
society. It had institutions, rules, norms limiting the power of capital
accumulation and of income concentration.
There are many options and we do not claim to put
an end to debates. Regarding rising inequality at the very top of the
distribution, we show that after 1980, in India, top Income Tax rates were
brought from extreme levels to much lower ones.
Land concentration is also an issue in India. where
agriculture remains a key sector. Indeed, access to free and quality education
and health is crucial to raise bottom 50% incomes.