Aviation, Home Ministries spar over regulating drones
The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has raised a few objections to the Home Ministry’s bid to frame a new law to regulate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), loosely referred to as drones.
- The Home Ministry circulated a draft law to regulate the low-flying objects for inter-ministerial consultations.
- The regulations were circulated more than a year after the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) put out draft guidelines for obtaining unique identification numbers for citizens to use drones in the public domain.
Issues Behind the move:
- Last month, operations at the IGI airport in Delhi were held up for two hours after an Air Asia pilot spotted a low-flying object while landing.
- Civil aviation officials informed the Home Ministry that as per International Civil Aviation Organisation guidelines, aircraft, whether manned or unmanned, does not affect its status as an aircraft and the safety oversight is the responsibility of the DGCA.
- Need for a new law arose after it received representations from a couple of industrial houses who wanted to use UAVs to monitor oil pipelines and coalfields.
India to further aid Afghan troops
- India agreed to enhance existing assistance to Afghan security forces, including in capacity building and training of Afghan soldiers in India, during a Partnership Council meeting.
- Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister suggested a larger role for India in regional diplomacy.
- This was done during the second such meeting since the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) was signed in 2011, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the strategic relationship is an “article of faith”.
- The meeting was the first high-level engagement between India and Afghanistan since the announcement of a new ‘South Asia policy for Afghanistan’ by U.S. President Donald Trump.
- Trump recently vowed to take tough action against Pakistan if it fails to crackdown on terror groups, a policy that was welcomed in both Kabul and New Delhi.
[Op-Ed]New strategy, old game
This is all about trumps afghan policy which were covered several times in current affairs.Refer previous dates if you are new.
A textbook example of ethnic cleansing: UN rights head.
- The situation in Myanmar is a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”, the United Nations rights chief said on Monday, as the number of Rohingya Muslims fleeing the country for Bangladesh topped 3,00,000.
- The UN warning came as it emerged the Dalai Lama had written to Aung San Suu Kyi urging her to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.
- UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein accused Myanmar of waging a “systematic attack” on the Rohingya and warned that “ethnic cleansing” seemed to be under way.
- latest violence may have left more than 1,000 dead, most of them Rohingya.
- A further 27,000 ethnic Rakhine Buddhists as well as Hindus have also fled violence that has gripped northern Rakhine, where international aid programmes have been severely curtailed.
Deadline for bullet train advanced by a year
- The NDA government is aiming to advance the date of rolling out the first bullet train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai by about a year to August 2022.
- The official deadline set in consultation with the Japanese side is 2023 but we would like to complete it by 2022.
- Reason is that ,The Prime Minister believes the country’s engineers and workmen have it in them to complete the project a year in advance.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with visiting Japanese PM Shinzo Abe will lay the foundation stone of the project at a function in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
- The year 2022 coincides with 75 years of India’s Independence and Modi is likely to mention that in his speech while declaring the intent of advancing the completion date.
- The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project is being financed through a “soft loan” from Japan International Cooperation Agency with around 80 per cent of the Rs 1.08 lakh crore total cost.
- The 50-year-period loan is being given to India at 0.1 per cent.
In the air
- This is all about the Centre’s decision to put unruly air passengers on a no-fly list ranging from three months to a lifetime, depending upon the gravity of the offence.
- The list will be maintained by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, and be put in the public domain.
- The quantum of punishment is to be decided by an internal committee of the airline in question based on evidence produced by both the airline and the passenger within 30 days, during which time the passenger would not be allowed to fly.
- No compensation will be offered to the passenger in case the allegations of the airline are proven wrong.
- Aggrieved passengers can appeal within 60 days to an appellate committee. Other airlines will not, however, be bound by one airline’s no-fly ban.
- The no-fly list provisions look stringent, empowering airlines to impose strict penalties in case of alleged misbehavior or graver offences by passengers.
But in the case of India, these appear necessary in particular because of a widespread culture of entitlement, especially among ‘VIPs’, and growing incidents of air rage.
- The new rules are, specifically, a response to the recent case of unruly and violent behaviour by Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad on board an Air India plane six months ago.
- There have been other recent incidents of ‘VIP’ misbehavior with airline staff — both in the air and on the ground.
- In Mr. Gaikwad’s case, Air India had imposed a temporary no-fly ban, which was subsequently withdrawn after a grudging apology from him.
- Existing guidelines and rules on unruly behavior did not have provisions for a no-fly ban, necessitating these rules.
Death of a student
- Ryan International School, Gurgaon, failed to follow several safety guidelines issued by the city’s police department which resulted in death of seven-year-old was killed within the precincts of an upmarket Gurgaon school.
- The bus conductor who allegedly murdered Thakur, used the same washroom as the students. This is in clear violation of the Gurgaon Police’s Guidelines for Safety of Children in Schools.
- It allowed the alleged murderer to bring a knife into the school premises.
- “For bus drivers and conductors, whether employed by the school or contracted out, access area must be limited to just the bus area, and specific instructions must be given to them on which areas are out of bound for them”.