Plan and Policy

Plan & Policy

AI gives preferential treatment to Jayant Sinha’s son

Air India’s favouritism to political class continues. Amid talks of ending VVIP culture, the cash-strapped airline earlier this month was generous enough to upgrade junior civil aviation minister Jayant Sinha's (in pic) son's travel to New York from New Delhi to business class without charging anything extra for the comfort. The divestment-bound Air India was benevolent to the minister’s kin but at the expense of almost 300 other fliers.

Indian coffee the best, needs proper branding

The garden city is hosting a four-day international coffee festival, beginning Monday, amidst global uncertainty over the future of the commodity. Excess coffee production from leading coffee growing countries like Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam and Indonesia has caused an oversupply with the prices of the commodity falling by about 30 per cent in the global markets.

DoT firming up plans to allow BSNL get 4G in exchange of fresh equity

The telecom department may soon approve Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL)’s 4G spectrum funding proposal through additional equity to the government. The decision would be taken up by the telecom commission and before being tabled at cabinet. The department last week received the BSNL board’s proposal seeking 4G spectrum financial assistance from the government in exchange of fresh equity in the PSU.

Upcoming airport projects not sufficiently ambitious

Vistara, the joint venture carrier operated by Tata-Singapore Airlines, has completed three years in the Indian market. It has been a late entrant to the world’s fastest growing market but has caught up fast by expanding fleet and adding new cities to its network. The airline serves 22 destinations with over 700 flights a week with a fleet of 17 Airbus A320 aircraft. It is gearing up to launch international operations and may soon join the league of airlines designated by the Indian government to fly overseas.

Half of internet users in India are dormant

With 500 million users, India boasts of being the second largest internet user market after China. However, half of this population is dormant and has not even scaled up to the first stage of using social media.

7 Pak soldiers, 5 JeM ultras killed in J&K cross-border fire

Seven Pakistani soldiers were killed on Monday in retaliatory firing by the Indian Army after a ceasefire violation in Jammu and Kashmir where a infiltration bid was also foiled with the elimination of five militants of Pakistan-based JeM, army officers said.

Coal scam: SC unhappy with tardy pace of probe

The CBI’s special investigation team (SIT) on Monday told the Supreme Court that it would examine the bank account details of persons who had visited the official residence of its former chief Ranjit Sinha, who had allegedly tried to scuttle the probe in coal scam cases.

UIDAI allows face recognition for Aadhaar authentication

Aadhaar will include face recognition alongside iris or fingerprint scan as a means of verifying users, helping those who face issues in biometric authentication or have worn-out fingerprints, the authority in charge of the national identity card system said on Monday.

The face authentication will be enabled by July to help people facing difficulty in biometric authentication due to old age, hardwork or worn-out fingerprints, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said in a statement.

Rs 5,000 crore special fund for food processing likely

The government proposes to accord top priority to development of food processing industry in the upcoming budget by announcing a special fund with a corpus of up to Rs 5,000 crore.

The proposed fund would aim at promoting investment in the food and agro-processing units coming up in mega food parks, industrial estates and export promotion parks by offering affordable credit with easier terms.

Universal health cover on lines of Obamacare on cards

The government is likely to unveil a comprehensive universal health insurance scheme on the lines of Obamacare covering the entire population, including vulnerable sections (below poverty level) and the unorganised sector. The premium would be subsidised but would differ from category to category.

The universal health insurance scheme that could subsume the current Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) is likely to be unveiled in the budget.