Citizens' Issues
Railways streamlines process for concession certificates to physically challenged
New Delhi: In order to streamline the procedure for issuing of concessional certificate to physically challenged persons, Railways has made changes to the rules in case of change of residence for the convenience of the passengers.
 
Railways has already facilitated convenient booking of concessional tickets including online ticketing for the physically challenged persons.
 
According to a statement issued by the ministry, in those cases where the applicant has shifted to a new place and his concession certificate has been issued by the government hospital of his previous residence, he or she will be allowed to apply to Divisional Railway Manager's (DRM) office of current residence.
 
The DRM office will then get the concession certificate verified by the concerned zone in which the government hospital falls which has issued the concession certificate.
 
Such zone will then send the verification report to the referring division which had sent the request.
 
Based on the verification report, DRM office will issue the ID card to the physically challenged person or to his or her representative.
 
The notification further said: "However, original certificates (including address proof indicating current residence) must be shown at the time of collection of card. The time limit for disposal of the application/issue of ID card in such cases is two months from the date of receipt of application."
 
The photo ID card issued to the eligible physically handicapped person is valid for five years from the date of issue or till the last date upto which the concession certificate is valid whichever is earlier after which it has to be renewed/re-issued for which the same procedure as for issue of fresh photo ID card is to be followed.
 
The concession certificate is valid for ten years in the age group of 26 to 35 years, in case of permanent disability.
 
The concession certificate is valid for whole life of the concerned person above the age of 35 years.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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New income disclosure norms to be applicable from April 1, 2016
New Delhi: The Income Computation and Disclosure Standards (ICDS) shall be now applicable from April 1, 2016 instead of April 1, 2015, since tax payers might have already filed income tax return without incorporating compliance with the ICDS, the Finance Ministry said here on Wednesday.
 
“It has been decided that the ICDS shall be applicable from April 1, 2016. The notification to this effect will be issued shortly,” a statement from the Finance Ministry said here on Wednesday.
 
“Some of the tax payers might have filed their return of income and obtained Tax Audit Report without incorporating the compliance with the ICDS and related disclosures in the absence of the revised Tax Audit Report,” the statement said.
 
Subsequent to notification of the ICDS, a number of representations were received which were examined by an Expert Committee. The Committee has recommended amendments to the notified ICDS and also issuance of clarification in respect of certain points raised by the stakeholders, it said.
 
“The revision of ICDS as recommended by the Committee, is under consideration. The revision of the Tax Audit Report is also being made for ensuring the compliance with the provisions of ICDS and for capturing the disclosures mandated by the ICDS,” it added. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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HAL must be modernised, if Tejas are to be saved
If the recent induction of the indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has received a muted welcome from the IAF, there are very good reasons for it. While the nation and the defence-industrial complex may celebrate a milestone in military indigenisation, the service, charged with the defence of our skies, has much more to worry about.
 
With obsolescence eroding its aircraft strength and the Rafale deal in limbo, there seem to be no inductions from abroad on the horizon; other than a few more Sukhoi SU-30s to attain the target strength of 272 heavy fighters. The IAF, while still seeking a medium fighter, may have to make do with the Tejas (and its future derivatives) -- in terms of numbers as well as capability - till something else turns up.
 
Since much of the IAF's combat fleet is assembled, overhauled and supported in-country, this would make the service totally dependent on India's monolithic aerospace giant: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). This is a thought that would strike dread in the heart of any air warrior. Having flown many HAL products and been associated with its aircraft and helicopter projects, I can put my fingers on (at least) four good reasons for the IAF's leadership to be apprehensive in this regard. Most of them are attributable to HAL's public-sector work-ethos, nurtured by a protective Department of Defence Production.
 
Firstly, the lackadaisical approach of HAL's unionised employees that engenders low productivity. Secondly, poor production-engineering standards that create maintenance and inter-changeability problems on aircraft. Thirdly, the high failure rate of HAL manufactured components and systems with attendant safety implications. Lastly, sub-optimal product-support that frequently leaves HAL customers high and dry -- without any options.
 
Given the acceptance of Tejas by the IAF -- whether voluntarily or under duress -- this aircraft now assumes a key role in India's national security matrix. It must, therefore, not only be inducted in sufficient numbers in a compressed time-frame but also be accorded Final Operational Clearance at the earliest, to enable combat exploitation over its full envelope.
 
Concurrently, improvements, upgrades and modifications have to be wrought in the Tejas to enhance its capabilities. Given low production rates and the other attributes of HAL, mentioned above, all this is unlikely to happen unless the Ministry of Defence (MoD) thinks out of the box, adopts an innovative approach and acts with alacrity.
 
Going by past precedent, it would be unrealistic to expect the MoD to undergo an overnight transformation in outlook and it would, therefore, have to be the end-users who must provide the initial impetus and sustain momentum of desired changes. At this juncture, a digression is necessary to highlight the Indian Navy's interest in the LCA and to illustrate the critical importance of customer involvement in project management.
 
Unbeknownst to many, the Indian Navy, in keeping with its commitment to indigenisation, has been a steadfast supporter of the LCA for decades. In its quest for a ship-borne version of the aircraft, the navy commenced discussions with the LCA's designer, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), in the early 1990s.
 
Initial feasibility of a naval version having been established, an engineering development programme was commissioned to seek thrust-enhancement, fitment of an arrester hook and extensive re-design of the undercarriage and fuselage for carrier operations.
 
Having drawn up Qualitative Requirements for the aircraft, the navy also contributed Rs 400 crore ($60 million) to the LCA (Navy) project, becoming the only potential customer to have done so. The level of the navy's commitment can be gauged from the fact that a naval test pilot deputed to the National Flight Test Centre rose to become its head, and the current ADA Director is a naval aeronautical engineer who was originally sent to oversee the LCA (Navy) a decade ago.
 
The prototype LCA (Navy) was rolled out in July 2010, and has been undergoing trials on a specially constructed carrier simulation facility at the naval air station in Goa. With three aircraft-carriers projected in its plans, the navy would need 100-150 ship-borne fighters in the next two decades.
 
While the LCA (Navy) -- if successful -- would make up some of these numbers, the navy (like the IAF) would also need a medium fighter to equip its carriers, but one which is carrier-compatible for catapult-launch and arrester-hook recovery. Currently there happen to be three such examples in the market -- the US F/A-18 Hornet and F-35C Lightning II and the French Rafale.
 
Against the backdrop, of the latest dispensation permitting 100 per cent FDI in defence production, coupled with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's passionate advocacy of Make in India and Make for India, the IAF and the navy need to make common cause and capitalise on new windows of opportunity. Given the historical inability of our public sector to reform itself, the two services should urge the government to form multiple public-private joint ventures (JV) involving ADA, divisions of HAL, the Indian private sector and foreign aerospace companies.
 
These initiatives, which will not only transform India's aerospace industry but also bolster national security, must include joint ventures for: (a) the modernisation and streamlining of HAL's existing production facilities; (b) creation of additional assembly lines to boost LCA production rate; (c) exploring, with ADA, upgradation of the LCA and design of LCA Mark II; and (d) setting up a new aero-engine production plant for the LCA.
 
Should the IAF and the navy be able to agree upon a common medium fighter, they would have a powerful lever to persuade the government to set up another JV for its collaborative production in India.
 
Any move to loosen the deadly grip of the PSUs and allow private sector participation in defence will see the dinosaurs of the Left (embedded in all political parties) as well as the status quoist Department of Defence Production up in arms against it. This is where the Service Chiefs and the techno-savvy Defence Minister could take a common stand and pull together -- in the interest of national security.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Chandan Sreedhar

5 months ago

It is a pity that our rulers are blind to the hard facts about Security of the Nation. Now we have a reasonably responsive set of Politicians at the helm of affairs, contents of this article by a retired Admiral should should make some sense to them. We do not have a strong lobby populated by retired Service Officers who are heard by the decision making bodies in the Defense Ministry . Such a body need be funded by Private Sector engaged/interested in leading Design & Manufacture of Military warlike machines and equipment including War Planes, Tanks and Guns etc. HAL is a tired old man require respectable rehabilitation by infusing new source of knowledge/energy and experience of the state of the art technology.

Jyoti Dua

5 months ago

A good analysis by Admiral Arun Prakash. He has spelled the recommendations too. As a layman, I found it very informative. Let us hope Service Chief and our noble Defence Minister take not of it. Outstanding recommendations.

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