The Pioneer : 2020-09-25

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( ! "#$ "%"% !! # & 5 6 !01 - $ " 8 " " 0 The Ministry of Civil Aviation ( MoCA) has amended provisions regarding baggage limit on domestic flights, giving airline carriers the freedom to decide on it as per their internal policy. Ahead of this, passengers flying domestic routes were only allowed to take one hand baggage and one check- in luggage. Issuing a new memorandum, the MoCA said, “Baggage limitation would be as per the airlines’ policies.” “The matter with regard to check-in baggage has been reviewed based on the feedback/inputs received from the concerned stakeholde­rs,” the ministry noted. Following the notice, airlines will be able to reset the domestic check-in baggage limit back to 15 kg as it will help them slightly increase their revenues. When the domestic passenger flights resumed on May 25 after a gap of two months due to the coronaviru­s pandemic, the ministry had stated that only one check-in baggage and one &+ # " ' drugs, medical consumable­s, and protection and test kits to the region, and a video conference of health profession­als from the region to share informatio­n and best practices on the pandemic. India had also launched a Covid- 19 Informatio­n Exchange Platform (COINEX) to facilitate exchange of specialise­d informatio­n, helped the developmen­t of an innovative website by the Saarc Disaster Management Centre to provide reliable informatio­n and updates on the evolving situation, and activated the Saarc Food Bank mechanism to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, he said. In his address, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke of his country’s “willingnes­s to host the 19th SAARC Summit and for obstacles created in its way to be removed for SAARC to function as an effective instrument of regional cooperatio­n”. The summit was scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November 2016 but was called off after an attack on an Indian Army camp at Uri in Kashmir that was blamed on Pakistanba­sed terrorists. Since then, SAARC has largely been dormant. peace, prosperity and security in our South Asia region,” he added. The Minister said, “Over the last 35 years, Saarc has made significan­t progress. But our efforts towards collective collaborat­ion and prosperity have been hampered by acts of terrorism and threats to national security. “Such an environmen­t impedes our shared objective of realising the full potential of our collective endeavour. It is, therefore, crucial that we collective­ly resolve to defeat the scourge of terrorism, including the forces that nurture, support and encourage it. This will generate the much needed trust and confidence to collective­ly build a stronger and prosperous Saarc.” India holds Pakistan responsibl­e for cross-border terror in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). Jaishankar said he had also reaffirmed India’s commitment to its “neighbourh­ood first” policy and towards building a connected, integrated, secure and prosperous South Asia. He also highlighte­d India’s Covid-19-related cooperatio­n efforts, including a commitment of $10 million to the emergency fund for the region, the supply of essential !01 0 Listing The General Authority of Civil Aviation in Saudi Arabia, in its order two days ago said, “Suspending travel to and from the following countries (India, Brazil and Argentina) including any person who has been in any of the mentioned countries above in the last (14) days prior to their arrival in the Kingdom.” Saudi Arabia said this was in view of the growing number of Covid-19 cases in these countries. They however, excluded passengers who have official Government invitation­s from this order. Kuwait have a blanket ban on travel to and from India, jurisdicti­ons like Hong Kong have an ongoing suspension on Air India’s flights to its airport till October 3. cross-border terrorism as one of the main challenges, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said the South Asian Associatio­n for Regional Cooperatio­n (SAARC) has to overcome it to ensure everlastin­g peace in the region. The other hurdles are blocking connectivi­ty and obstructin­g trade, he said. The Minister made these observatio­ns in an obvious reference to Pakistan while addressing an informal virtual meeting of foreign ministers of the eight-member grouping. It was not functionin­g for some time now because of difference­s between India and Pakistan. The meeting of the foreign ministers is an annual event held on the margins of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. These meetings have often seen sharp exchanges between the two nations in recent years. “Cross-border terrorism, blocking connectivi­ty and obstructin­g trade are three key challenges that SAARC must overcome,” Jaishankar said in a string of tweets highlighti­ng the contents of his speech. “Only then will we see enduring !01 0 Saudi Arabia has partially relaxed its suspension order for travel to and from India. It has decided that flights would be allowed from Saudi Arabia to India but not from India to Saudi Arabia. Air India Express, which operates maximum flights between India and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, informed passengers of the partial relaxation. The airline’s official Twitter handle said, “Air India Express Vande Bharat flights would continue to carry passengers on it’s flights from Saudi Arabia to India. The Airline would not carry passengers from India to Saudi Arabia.” hand baggage per passenger must be allowed. Passengers were also allowed to carry check-in baggage up to 20 kg without any additional charge. Currently, airlines are permitted to operate not more than 60 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights. Recently, in a significan­t statement Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday told the Rajya Sabha that by the time its Diwali and towards the end of the year, India would have pre-Covid aviation figures of 3,00,000 passengers a day. ) *+, <- = ;-! % : ) ; to protesting farmers were taken at a meeting of the State Unit Chiefs and General Secretarie­s early this week. The protest across the country will be led by party chief Sonia Gandhi and former chief Rahul Gandhi who have returned from the abroad after the former’s treatment. Party chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala informed that in due course the protest may be joined by other Opposition parties and likeminded parties. Several opposition parties have protested the passage of the farm bills in Parliament and have boycotted the proceeding­s of both Houses. Opposition parties had also taken out march inside Parliament during this Monsoon Session. “The Government has destroyed the democratic system. The agricultur­al bills are neither in the interest of the state government nor the farmers. We raised our voice against this in Parliament and will now take to the streets,” senior Congress leader Ahmad Patel said. Opposition parties also made a representa­tion to President Ram Nath Kovind and requested him not to give his assent to the contentiou­s farm bills. They conveyed to the President that the passage of the bills in Rajya Sabha was “unconstitu­tional. Goods & Service Tax, Central Excise, Belgaum (Karnataka) in an alleged bribery case !01 0 !01 0 The The Congress on Thursday launched a two-monthlong nationwide agitation against the Centre for passing the farm bills during the Monsoon Session of Parliament. The Congress said they will be also supporting the protests announced by various farmers groups across the country. Widespread protests, especially in states like Punjab and Haryana, where farmers and farmer organisati­ons have taken to the streets while opposing the move, are going on. CBI on Thursday arrested a Military Engineer Services ( MES) Junior Engineer for accepting a bribe of 30,000. In a separate case, the agency arrested three GST officials in a graft case of 5 lakh. The MES Junior Engineer Rajiv Ranjan Reddy was posted at Paradeep (Odisha) and was nabbed while demanding and accepting the bribe from the complainan­t, officials said. The agency has registered a case under various Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act on a complaint alleging that the accused official demanded a bribe of 30,000 from complainan­t’s relative for forwarding bio-data of six persons of the complainan­t’s firm to the Office of GE (I), MES, Bhubaneswa­r for formal approval relating to the Work Order in favour of victim firm. The CBI laid a trap and caught the accused redhanded while demanding and accepting the bribe amount from the complainan­t. Searches at the office and residence of the accused officials were conducted leading to recovery of incriminat­ing documents, the agency said. In the GST graft case, the agency arrested two Superinten­dents and one Inspector, all working in the office of Commission­er, Central !01 0 The Union Health Ministry on Thursday said that new recoveries in India have continued to exceed the new cases for the last six days, pushing the national recovery rate to 81.55 per cent. This even as India’s Covid-19 caseload breached the 57-lakh mark and the death toll went past 91,000, In all, 87,374 recoveries have been registered in the last 24 hours in the country, while the number of new confirmed cases stands at 86,508. With this, the total number of recoveries are 46.7 lakh (46,74,987). The death toll climbed to 91,149 with 1,129 people succumbing to the disease in a span of 24 hours. The Covid-19 case fatality rate due to the coronaviru­s infection was recorded at 1.59 per cent. There are 9,66,382 active cases of coronaviru­s infection in the country which comprises 16.86 per cent of the total caseload, the Ministry said. India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and and it went past 50 lakh on September 16. According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 6,74,36,031 samples have been tested up to September 23 with 11,56,569 samples being tested on Wednesday. Nearly 74 per cent of the new recovered cases are found in 10 States/UTs. Maharashtr­a has maintained this lead with 19,476 cases (22.3 per cent) for the sixth consecutiv­e day, said the Ministry. There has been sustained focus of the Union and State/UT government­s on improved and effective clinical treatment in hospitals, supervised home isolation, use of non-invasive oxygen support, use of steroids, anticoagul­ants, and improved services of the ambulances for ferrying patients for prompt and timely treatment. A farmers’ body will hold a ‘rail roko’ agitation till September 26 to lodge their protest against the three agricultur­e ordinances passed by the Union Cabinet. “We have decided to hold a rail roko agitation from September 24 to 26 against the three agricultur­e ordinances,” said Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee General Secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher. Different farmers’ organisati­ons in Punjab have already given a call for a ‘bandh’ on September 25 in protest against the Bills. Senior Congress leader and party spokespers­on Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the decision to call for a silent protest and lend support 97 7 6 7 1 the proposal has been cleared by the is visited by over 3 lakh tourists every year.FACinarece­ntmeeting.Butweare ambitious tiger yet to get the minutes of the meet“Since tiger sighting at the safari safari, proposed in the buffer ing,” Rahul, Field Director of the will be 100 percent, it will mostly zone of Corbett Tiger Reserve, CTR, said adding that the safari will cater to the tourists who just want inched towards reality with the come up in the area sprawling over to see tigers and are not interested Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) 106.16 hectares in the buffer area in enjoying other wildlife. Diverting under the Union Environmen­t of the CTR. such tourists to safaris will lessen the Ministry giving its nod to the proHe said that the 25-crore proburden on the CTR and hence the ject that aims at boosting the ject envisages constructi­on of five wildlife,” explained Rahul. CTR has tourism revenue as well as providencl­osures with each having 35 over 231 big cats as per the latest cening home to the injured and old hectares area for two males and three sus. wild animals in the big cat habitat. female big cats. The safari will ease Besides ex-situ conservati­on, “We have been informed that tourism pressure on the CTR which the safari will also have an off-exhibit rehabilita­tion centre for the rescued animals or those injured in infighting and in h uma n - animal conflicts in the CTR, said the F ie ld Director. The purpose is to divert tourism from the famous Dh i k a l a zone and other adjoining areas of Bijrani, Jhirna and Sona Nadi to the Dhela range in the State. !01 0 Uttarakhan­d’s The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) and the National Tiger Conservati­on Authority (NTCA) have already given in- principle approval to the project. When contacted, NTCA Chief SP Yadav said that the authority will fund the safari which will have to follow the design approved by the CZA. The NTCA guidelines issued in 2016 allows setting up of tiger safaris in buffer and fringe areas of tiger reserves, aiming to reduce tourist pressure on the key areas of these reserves. As per the guidelines 70 per cent of earnings from safaris will be ploughed back into tiger reserves while 30 per cent will go into the management of such safaris. Such safaris are allowed for only those reserves that have achieved full carrying capacity of the tourists in core and critical areas. The guidelines also clearly states that for such safaris, “no tiger shall be obtained from a zoo” and only animals such as injured and orphaned tiger cubs (which are unfit for re-wilding) would be selected and that too from the same landscapes as that of the area where the tiger safari is being establishe­d. PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­ +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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