Hello, this is your daily dose of news from Onmanorama. I'm your host, Princy Alexander, and these are the major news stories of the day
Bus, auto, taxi fares to go up from May 1. As per revision, minimum auto charge will be Rs 30 for two kilometres while bus tickets will cost Rs 10 for 2.5km
Former Kerala health minister M P Govindan Nair passes away
Kerala Opposition leader V D Satheesan calls Niranam farmer's suicide a state-sponsored murder. Says farmer was dejected as he had not received insurance and compensation money for the crop destruction that occurred previously
DGCA bars 90 SpiceJet pilots from flying 737 Max planes after finding them improperly trained
Academicians raise quality concerns on UGC's plans to allow students to pursue two degrees together
Kerala Transport Minister Antony Raju on Wednesday informed that the new bus, auto and taxi fares will come into effect from May 1 in Kerala. The decision on hiking the concession rates for students will be taken based on the committee's report, he added. The state government decided to revise the rates in view of the rising fuel prices in the country and the rising protests by private bus owners in the State. The government had earlier announced there would be a hike in minimum charge for bus fares from Rs 8 to Rs 10. Bus commuters will also be charged Re 1 instead of 90 paise for each additional km. The revised minimum charges and rate for additional distance covered by buses, taxis and autos were released on March 31.
The minimum auto charge has been increased from Rs 25 to Rs 30 (for 2 km). Rs 15 will be charged for each additional kilometre. The minimum charge for taxis below 1500cc has been increased from Rs 175 to Rs 200 (5 km) while the minimum fare for taxis exceeding 1500 cc has been increased from Rs 200 to Rs 225 (5 km) The development comes on the back of recommendations submitted by the Justice Ramachandran Committee.
Former Kerala Health Minister M P Govindan Nair died here on Wednesday morning. He was 94-years-old. Nair died of age-related ailments at his residence here, family sources said. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan offered his condolences on the death of Nair, who was the Health Minister during the Congress rule in the state from 1962 to 1964. Prior to retiring from active political life, he was a Member of Parliament, president of Travancore Devaswom Board, lawyer, Bar Association member, Vijayapuram panchyat president, and Urban Bank Association member, among other roles.
Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan has alleged that the suicide of a farmer in Niranam was a State-sponsored murder. After visiting Rajeev’s bereaved family here, he told the media that the farmer committed suicide, heartbroken that he had not received insurance and compensation money for the crop destruction that occurred last time. As per the rule, a farmer is eligible for Rs 30,000 as compensation for crop destruction in one hectare of paddy field. But Rajeev and others got only Rs 2,500 for crop destruction in nine acres of land, Satheesan alleged. The Opposition Leader also urged the State government to take over the liability of Rajeevan in full and protect his family financially. According to him, Rajeevan was a martyr of the wrong policies of the LDF government. He alleged that the State was denying even minimum benefits to the farmers. He ridiculed the left government by saying that the administration, which completely failed to solve the basic issues of the common man and the farmers, was going to implement the SilverLine semi-speed rail project for a whopping Rs 2 lakh crore.
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Indian aviation regulator DGCA has barred 90 SpiceJet pilots from operating the Boeing 737 Max aircraft after finding them not properly trained. DGCA chief Arun Kumar in a statement said the regulator will take "strict action against those found responsible for the lapse." The pilots will have to undergo training again, in a proper manner, on the Max simulator. The Boeing 737 Max planes were grounded in India by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on March 13, 2019, three days after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max aircraft near Addis Ababa, which killed 157 people, including four Indians. The ban on the planes was lifted in August last year after the DGCA was satisfied with US-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing's necessary software rectifications in the aircraft. Proper pilot training on the simulator was also among the conditions of the DGCA for removing the ban on the Max planes after a span of 27 months.
Several academicians raised concern over the UGC allowing students to pursue two full-time degrees simultaneously in physical mode, saying it will lead to "dilution" of quality of education. The professors claimed that a full-time degree programme needs full-time attention and efforts while others noted that the flexibility will also be offered by the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) to a larger extent. Abha Dev Habib, a Delhi University professor said allowing a student to earn extra credits in a degree is one thing and allowing them to earn an extra degree is different. She added that this would dilute the quality of the degree programmes. Another DU Professor Rajesh Jha said the University Grants Commission (UGC) is assuming that a student is "superhuman" or a person who can study 24 hours. “The basic philosophy of honours courses is to provide comprehensive, intensive and advanced knowledge to students and even under honours courses, students can opt for discipline centric courses," he said. In a first, the Centre has decided to allow students to pursue two full-time and same-level degree programmes in physical mode simultaneously either at the same university or from different universities.
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