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Any pilot targeted will be compensated through contribution: ICPA



Air India 777

New Delhi, July 24 : Guarding against penal action by the Air India management against the pilots, the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) on Friday passed a resolution that if any pilot is targeted by the management, he will be compensated through contribution.

“It has been hereby resolved by the CEC of the ICPA that if any pilot/s, irrespective of the grade, is targeted by the management, the affected pilot/s will be financially compensated by way of equal contribution,” the ICPA resolution said.

“The said compensation will be either the last drawn pay or immediate senior’s pay, whichever is higher. The compensation payout will continue till such time the affected pilot/s are reinstated or employed as a pilot. Legal expense, if any, will also be covered by the ICPA. This resolution will be in force for a period of five years with immediate effect,” the ICPA said.

The ICPA has been raising several issues with the Air India management on the pay cut issue.

Air India pilots have told the management that while austerity measures are heaped on the pilots, the senior officials and management are enjoying lavish perks like free club memberships, scores of leased cars and hundreds of litres of free fuel every month, and there has been no cutback.

In a letter to Rajiv Bansal, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, the pilots’ associations said, “It is not only unprincipled for the senior officials to exclude their perks, eligibilities and entitlements from the austerity measures, but also irrefutable proof that the intent of the management’s cost cutting measures is to further the agenda of abusing employees under the guise of this epidemic.”

In a letter, the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association and the Indian Pilots’ Guild said that for the past few months, it is being said that Air India’s finances are in dire straits, there is no money coming in from the government and drastic cost-cutting is required else the airline will have to shut down.

“However, this doomsaying seems to be reserved for pilots alone. Till date, the management is yet to come up with a meaningful austerity measure that even dents the perks and privileges being enjoyed by the senior Air India officials,” the letter said.

The pilots said that the factors of redundancy and efficiency as per the compulsory leave without pay scheme should first apply to the officials of the senior management from 2016, who are directly responsible for the bungled decision making that has seen Air India’s losses mount year after year.


Bhumi Pujan had only crème de la crème of Indian politics




Modi in Ayodhya

Ayodhya, Aug 5 : The creme de la creme of Indian politics was a part of the historic moment when the ‘Bhumi Pujan’ of the proposed Ram temple was performed in Ayodhya on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, UP Governor Anandiben Patel and chief minister Yogi Adityanath were among those present at the ‘Bhumi Pujan’ that was conducted by priests from Varanasi and Ayodhya.

The Prime Minister performed all the rituals of the puja while RSS chief, chief minister and Governor sat at a considerable distance.

Salil Singhal, nephew of VHP leader, late Ashok Singhal, and his wife were also present.

Holy soil from various religious places and waters from 151 rivers were offered in the small pit that had been dug for ‘Bhumi Pujan’.

Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the chairman of the Shri Ram Teerth Kshetra Trust and one of the pioneers of the temple movement was not present at the ‘Bhumi Pujan’ site. However, Mahant was present in the meeting of the Prime Minister.

Even the Trust’s secretary Champat Rai was not present at the ‘Bhumi Pujan’.

All saints and invitees were seated in another enclosure and watched the entire ceremony on LED screens.

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‘B2V’ programme among 36 major achievements since Art 370 axing: Jammu and Kashmir government



Kashmir Lockdown

Srinagar, Aug 5 : The unique ‘Back to Village’ (B2V) initiative is among 36 major people’s programmes which the Jammu and Kashmir government says it has achieved in one year since abrogation of Article 370 that gave special status to the erstwhile state.

The programme, under which 20,000 development works were identified directly by the people, generated such enthusiasm that a resident of Shopian district wrote about it to Prime Minister Narendra Modi following which it was mentioned in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration embarked on the programme in June last year with the aim of strengthening grassroots democracy and participatory development, taking the administration and administrative officers to the doorsteps of villagers to redress the development and governance deficit in villages, and bridge the gap between public and public servants.

‘B2V’ not only achieved the feat of bringing the administration and officers to the doorsteps of the villagers to redress their problems but also also reaffirmed the trust and faith of the public in the government, shattering a number of myths in the process, the government said.

Abdul Hamid Dar, a resident of Block B.K. Pora in Budgam district remarked that their village had a vexed issue of de-silting their water bodies, which were choked due to the excessive amount of sand, silt and polythene.

“We had travelled from pillar to post in this regard but nobody had registered our genuine grievance, but during this campaign, it was duly recorded by the authorities who had visited our village for two days.”

As per the Jammu and Kashmir government, while programmes similar to this had been attempted in many other parts of India before, ‘B2V’ was unique for its sheer scale and scope, involving nearly 5,000 gazetted officers of all levels — one for every panchayat — who would then stay for two days and a night in the village.

“Back to Village focused on four quintessential themes like energising panchayats, collecting feedback on delivery of government programmes, capturing specific economic potential and undertaking assessment of needs of the villages,” the Jammu and Kashmir government said.

“As it turned out, the initiative was an unqualified success. In fact, so overwhelming was the response of the people that practically every visiting officer was accorded an extremely warm and affectionate welcome. In fact, such was the enthusiasm generated by the programme that a resident of Shopian district wrote to the Prime Minister about this programme following which the Prime Minister made a mention of it in his Mann ki Baat Programme calling it a ‘festival of development, public participation and public awareness’.”

While inaugurating the programme, Chief Secretary B.V.R Subrahmanyam said: “Back to Village programme has been conceived with the notion that developmental initiatives that are built on the feedback and cooperation of the people are more result-oriented and have greater probability to succeed than those which are top-down.”

But, the government says, that this was not an easy task. It had never attempted a government-public interface programme of this sheer size and scale in Jammu and Kashmir, so it not only seemed a herculean task but also seemed implausible given the law and order problems in the Valley.

It was the developmental equivalent of the elections – every single citizen was to be covered, and no area, howsoever remote or difficult, would be left untouched.

The government deputed gazetted officers to all 4,483 panchayat circles, with each officer assigned a gram panchayat, where, unlike previous practices, they stayed for at least two days, including a night halt, in the village. The officer was supposed to make a first-hand assessment by seeking the comprehensive feedback from the panchayat representatives, elders and other local people about their concerns, developmental needs and economic potential of the area.

Throughout this campaign, the officers lived and ate with the villagers to fully understand their pain and agony and to assuage the feeling of alienation among them.

The officers were also mandated, among other things, to discuss all sort of relevant social issues such as sex ratio, literacy rate, girl education, water conservation, and heath and hygiene issues in the Gram Sabhas.

Further, considering the programme was held shortly after the successful conduct of panchayat elections in 2018, the mission also aimed at sensitising both the recently-elected representatives and people about various government welfare programmes and schemes, and get feedback on them.

Determined to reach out to the public at the grassroots, the government went ahead with the programme. The designated officers not only visited the remotest villages and panchayats which had never before been visited by government functionaries, leave alone senior gazetted officers, but also braved a visit to some of the difficult and challenging areas in the militancy-affected districts of south Kashmir.

“The response was overwhelming and heart-warming. The people, who otherwise felt alienated came out in droves to welcome the visiting officers, share their views and post their grievances directly to the officers,” the government said.

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

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Lord Ram unique in our culture, civilization: Ashok Gehlot

“May Lord Ram’s temple become a symbol of unity and brotherhood in our country,” he said, adding #RamMandir as a hashtag.




Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur, Aug 5 : Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday said the focus should be on establishing an egalitarian society based on the values espoused by Lord Ram, who holds a unique place in our culture and civilization.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi was performing the Ram Mandir Bhumi Pujan rituals in Ayodhya, Gehlot in his tweet said, “Lord Ram holds a unique place in our culture & civilization. His life teaches us the importance of truth, justice, equality of all, compassion and brotherhood. We need to focus on establishing an egalitarian society based on the values espoused by #LordRam.”

“May Lord Ram’s temple become a symbol of unity and brotherhood in our country,” he said, adding #RamMandir as a hashtag.

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