Jaitley professes to stay strong on border issue
Ever since the new government came to power there have been 19 instances when the ceasefire has been violated from the Pakistan side of the international border. Arun Jaitley, the union defence minister, believes in all those instances India has replied in a justifiable way. While speaking on the issue at the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley noted that so far in 2014 there have been 56 instances of ceasefire violations by Pakistan. In 2013, there were 199 cases of violations at the line of control and marginally less – 148 – in the international border.
While Jaitley stated that situation is slightly better compared to 2013, which was the worst year in terms of violations, the government would be strong when it comes to dealing with these issues. It is common knowledge that Pakistan seeks good relations with India but it is also surprising to see that it is so powerless to stop the repeated incursions emanating from its territory, which continue to pose a serious threat to any effort of rebuilding an amicable relationship between two neighbours, who have been at a war of sorts ever since they were carved out of the same piece of land back in 1947.
UN hints at serious consequences owing to decreasing number of girls in India
The United Nations has stated that instances of crime such as trafficking and kidnapping of girls in India have been happening owing to the critical situation of ratio of girls to boys in the country. The global body says that the gradually decreasing number of girls has become an emergency. One of the major reasons for this predicament is the unbelievable amount of abortion of girl foetuses across the country that is done in an illegal way. It is also legally sanctioned to have tests to know the gender of the coming child but that has been happening resulting in unmitigated female foeticide.
India has always been a patriarchal country and the burning desire of most parents in the country seems to have a boy – the situation is especially acute in the rural regions of northern India, where sex ratio is the worst. Perhaps the Indian government needs to look at this issue as well and accord it due importance. Proper measures – be it punitive steps, extra benefits to couples with girl child or a combination of both – need to be taken to address the situation before it gets out of hand.
Indian government calls for more transparency in the appointment of judges
Now that the situations surrounding the appointment of judges in India have come to the fore the Indian government, headed by Narendra Modi, has called for greater levels of transparency when it comes to the appointment of the judges. This issue has already has had a disruptive element on the proceedings of parliament on July 22. RC Lahoti, the erstwhile chief justice of India, has already faced some tough questions on the issue from Markandey Katju, the chairman or Press Council. In fact, it was Katju who made the allegations to start with that shed light on this critical issue.
It was the members of AIADMK who brought the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha to a grinding halt. Katju, it may be said in this context, has been a judge of the Supreme Court as well as the Madras High Court. This is why it is strange to see him raise these issues. He has stated that during his tenure there had been a judge, who had certain charges brought against him but still received an extension owing to political pressure in his favour. At the Lok Sabha, Ravi Shankar Prasad, the union law minister, accepted that such an incident had indeed taken place when the UPA was in power.
Civil aviation ministry allows 6 companies to start airline operations
In the recent past, the Indian aviation industry had been affected owing to the economic conditions all around the world. However, things seem to be looking up right now with the news that 6 companies have been given the permission to start their own operations. These companies had applied for permission a long time back. This decision of the union civil aviation ministry shows that the government is perhaps indeed committed to reviving the business scenario in the country.
The companies in question are Air One, Zexus Air and Premier Air, which are from India and Turbo Megha, Zav Airways and Air Carnival, which will operate on a regional basis. The joint venture between Singapore Airlines and Tata is also supposed to start working by the end of 2014. It is expected that with the availability of new service providers the passengers shall have more options and the influx of new companies will also generate some employment. Both are indeed optimistic situations for a country that is still finding its feet from an economic perspective.
Government assures building of mobile network in Naxal areas within 15 months
One of the major problems faced by people in areas with significant Naxal presence has been the lack of sufficient communication infrastructure. It has had an adverse effect on the common people in these areas as time and again the Maoists have compromised these facilities in order to achieve their goals. However, those things could now be a thing of past as the NDA government is looking to install mobile networks in these areas by the next year and 3 months. Ravi Shankar Prasad, the union communications and information technology minister, has said that the reason behind the government taking the decision is the fact that the quality of coverage in these areas is not at par with expected standards.
As per the proposal, mobile towers are supposed to be installed at 1,836 locations across states where Naxalism had made its presence felt. The USOF or Universal Service Obligation Fund is expected to provide the financial support that is necessary to execute this project. USOF is also expected to provide the funding for the mobile towers it has installed at 363 locations in states affected by Naxalism.