11.06.2008

  • Airline industry in doldrums?
    • We noted day before yesterday as to why low cost aviation will not work for our country. Today, we see that the industry captains, ofcourse helped by the Union Civil Aviation Minister are desperately looking at the government for some sops to survive. Do they have a case?
    • Apparently they do, at least on a couple of counts:
      • As compared to other modes of transport such as road and railways which get fuel at subsidised rate, airlines have to pay a very high price for fuel. While the government provides nearly 50% subsidy on diesel and about 30% on petrol, very high tax and duties are levied on aviation turbine fuel (ATF).
      • Internationally, ATF costs much less than what it costs in India. The domestic aviation sector is already seeing a slowdown due to constant increases in airfare.
    • The domestic aviation industry’s accumulated loss for 2008-09 is projected to be about Rs 8,000 crore.
    • Perhaps, it is time for some regulator to look into the reasonableness of the prices being charged by the airlines. They are undercutting each other too much to grab market share; only to find themselves in the red. If a regulator doesn’t step in, in such a scenario it is quite likely that an informal cartel will take shape and be more detrimental to the country as a whole.
  • Apple iPhone 3G in India?
    • Any iPhone fans out there? I am for sure one. Playing around with an iPhone and three generations of iPods.
    • Reports say that iPhone 3G will make an entry into India by this year end. Grapevine has it that it will be available for Rs. 8,400. But, how far will it be useful for us?
    • 3G services are yet to take off in India thanks to legal and regulatory hurdles. Besides, India’s defence forces are yet to vacate 3G frequencies for commercial telephony.
    • The new iPhone also features built-in GPS for expanded location-based mobile services and iPhone 2.0 software, which includes support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, besides hundreds of third party applications.
    • Globally, Apple earns revenue from sale of device and through the monthly share from operators’ revenues. While the iPhone is being subsidised by operators wherever it has been launched, Apple may not follow this policy in India.
  • How much do we spend on defence?
    • Our defence budget is just 1.99% of the GDP, which is one of the lowest in the world. The ideal situation would be 3% of GDP, which is the global average. This is as stated by our Defence Minister. AK Antony.
  • Pakistan’s help to Taliban
    • Reports say that a leading US thinktank has ‘found’ that individuals from Pakistan’s ISI and paramilitary forces of assisting the Taliban by providing intelligence, financial assistance and training camps.
    • Yeah, isn’t this what India has been saying all along?
  • Nepal’s King to leave palace today
    • Nepal’s last King will vacate Narayanhiti Palace, the home for the country’s royalty for 240 years and move to a forest bungalow on the outskirts, after handing over the crown and other valuables to the government. Sixty-year-old Gyanendra, once revered as demi-God, will leave the palace a day before the expiry of a 15-day deadline set by the newly-elected Maoists-dominated Constituent Assembly for him to vacate it.
    • Though I am no friend of the King, it’s saddening to see a King of the country being treated like that. The Prachanda government should adopt a policy of all-inclusiveness. Such treatment being meted out to Royals smacks of vengeance. Nepal has declared itself a Republic. Fine. It has made the King totally powerless. Equally fine. It should have stopped with it. Let the King be; for what he is worth. Why treat him like this?
  • We have noted about the RBI’s coming down on Sahara Group for their questionable deposit taking practices, recently.
    • You get a lowdown on the whole issue in today’s ET. Worth a read. Do so here.
  • Cricket
    • Nothing evokes more emotions than an India vs. Pak match.
    • India snapped Pakistan’s winning streak by inflicting on them a crushing 140-run defeat in the second match of the One-day Tri-series at Sher-e-Bangla stadium.
  • Section 304A of the IPC
    • This is the section under which the offenders in cases of rash or drunken driving are booked. The provision says, “Whoever causes the death of any person by doing a rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide (murder) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or both.’’
    • Now the Law Commission has recommended that the penalty should be increased to 10 years.
    • Some other measures suggested by the Law Commission
      • Cameras to be fitted at strategic positions on all major roads so as to help police nab culprits who speed away after running over people
      • No speed breakers or hoardings on highways in order to allow smooth flow of traffic
      • Police to launch campaigns against drunk driving and use of cellphones during driving
      • All city transport buses to be fitted with speed governors; each city transport bus to be insured so as to enable victim’s kin to get compensation early

1 Comment:

Kunal Khashu said...

Great.....I have been going through this blog from over a week now.And believe me I get more than I actually need. Great effort man....