Opinion Watch: Airlines safety compromised; Dignity for NEET students; Checks on Swiss money

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The Raisina Hills makes endeavor to curate contents for thinking minds. The Opinion watch adopts a conversational style to examine editorials carried in The Economic Times (ET), The Indian Express (IE), The Hindu (TH), The Times of India (ToI) and Deccan Herald (DH).     


There has been a spate of incidents involving snags in the airlines, giving scare to the air passengers in the last few weeks, even while the passenger flow has sharply gone up above the pre-covid level.

ToI has carried an Edit on the aviation regulator DGCA identifying maintenance issues, shortage of trained manpower, asking for compliance by July 28.

This is indeed worrisome since the safety protocol is in force since 2010 and still the airlines are not meeting the requirements makes one worried about the priorities of the management.

With the privatization of Air India, all airlines are in the private hands, who all claim to be the best in the industry, yet fall short on the safety parameters.

The daily has also mentioned that the airlines safety comes under the most benign taxation norms, with the GST being just five per cent, while the fliers would have additional 200 million passengers by 2027-28 above the pre-covid level.

There can be no excuse to justify the lapses on the maintenance fronts, which compromise the passenger safety, and the DGCA should be within its right to make stinging penalties on erring airlines, who fall short of the highest safety norms.

For decades, India has been conducting entrance examinations for millions of students each year. Yet, the plethora of the entities for the entrance examinations cannot do their jobs without inconveniencing the youth.

IE has strongly indicted the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the NEET exams, for lapses which led to the incident of the female students in Kollam, Kerala having been asked to remove their innerwear. This is just unpardonable. No entity should ever have the right to violate Article 21, the Right to Life, which enshrines the human dignity.

That the NTA protocols for the students appearing in the NEET exams suggest medieval mindset makes a strong case for summary removal of the top brass of the agency.

The government had unveiled the NEET exams as part of the exercise to reform the medical education. But it appears that the bureaucratic thugs have hijacked the intentions of reforms. The least that the NTA could is to respect the dignity of the students and start treating them with utmost respect.

People in India have long longed to know the extent of the national theft by the rich and the frauds who have stashed their loots in the Swiss havens.

ET in its Edit has taken note of the Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court ruling that the local authorities will have to share information with the Indian tax authorities about the beneficiaries of the trusts set up without judging the data’s end use.

While there are occasional leaks about the people who stash their legitimate and illegitimate money in the tax havens, the success of the Indian tax authorities to track them down has been abysmal.

Besides, there are several tax havens in the world, and in the absence of the global coordination for the sharing of the data on the real time basis, while denying the depositors the benefits of anonymity, the efforts of the sovereign governments would hardly yield any tangible gains.

This indeed calls for a united action at the levels of the United Nations to shut down the tax havens. But that’s easy to say, since economies of the some of the countries depend largely on such black money. ET calls for a unique identifier, which can be traceable.

DH in an Edit has stated that the onus to ensure debate in Parliament lies with the government, while arguing in the backdrop of the remarks of the Chief Justice of India NV Ramanna that the space for debate and dialogue is shrinking.

DH referred to Ramanna’s statement that the Parliament in the Indian democracy is supreme and not the government.

But the malaise is much deeper.

Parliament consists among others of the elected MPs, who are bound by the party whips, and that ends the debate over healthy dialogue.

How can a person who is a prisoner express his opinions freely?

TH has run a lead Edit on the acquittal of 121 tribal in Chhattisgarh after five years of incarceration for want of evidences against them.. This issues has already been covered by The Raisina Hills yesterday.

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