Browsing: India

Selected and must-read news from India. Includes latest breaking news, trending headlines and hot topics on nation, politics, society, business, sports etc.

India
Air India stops non-vegetarian meals for domestic economy class

Passengers flying economy class with Air India on domestic routes won’t be served non- vegetarian food as the carrier wants to cut down on costs and stop wastage. “This is an attempt to rationalise costs. We have also realised that this will reduce wastage to a great extent because we carry extra vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals,” Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani told PTI. He said that the airline will be taking more such steps in future to reduce its expenses, including in the catering department. Serving one type of meal to passengers in economy class will also make the job of crew members “simpler”, Lohani said. An airline spokesperson told television channels that the decision was taken last week. “On domestic flights, majority of which are less than two hours long, a meal is just an add on and not really worthy of a major concern,” Lohani later wrote on…

India
Passengers suffer as Air India flight’s AC stops working

Air India passengers on a Delhi-bound flight from West Bengal’s Bagdogra were left in discomfort on Sunday as the air-conditioning system malfunctioned. The flight, AI-880, had 168 passengers and made a safe landing in Delhi. In a video footage, the passengers were seen to be huffing and puffing in the heat. Passengers endure trip in Air India flight with faulty ACs.Watch more: https://t.co/yZhtmcWrKw#ITVideo pic.twitter.com/lvYVq8GnKr— India Today (@IndiaToday) July 4, 2017 The passengers grew more frustrated when they realised that the pilot was aware of the malfunction and still decided to take-off. Few passengers also tried to put on the oxygen masks, but these too were reportedly not working. Several people took to Twitter to complain about the air conditioning problem in the flight. @narendramodi SACK Air India Pilot & his Superior who gave permission to Fly with AC not working; 169 lives onboard at stake. Stern Message— Sandeep (@SandeepSahni99) July…

India
Indian passports to be printed in both English and Hindi

Indian passports would now be in both Hindi and English, instead of just English, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced on Friday. Personal details in passports are now printed only in English and Swaraj said she had received several complaints about it “Passports should at least be bilingual. All Arab countries have their passport in Arabic, Germany makes it in German and Russia makes it in Russian. Why can’t we make it Hindi?,” PTI quoted the minister as having said. “Now, we have given an order to Nashik Printing Press that passports should be (printed) in Hindi as well. So you will receive passports in Hindi and English,” Swaraj said at an event to mark 50 years of the Passport Act, 1967. Ration cards can be submitted for Tatkal passport In changes aimed at easing the process of getting a passport, the minister said ration cards could be submitted while…

India
No more departure cards to be filled for Indians flying abroad

Indians flying abroad will not be required to fill departure cards from next month. However, those going out of the country via rail, seaport and land immigration checkposts will have to fill the embarkation card. New procedure to be effective from July 1 “It has been decided to discontinue the practice of filling up of the departure card by Indians at all international airports with effect from July 1, 2017,” an order issued by the Union home ministry said. The move is aimed at ensuring hassle-free movement of Indians going abroad. At present, those going abroad need to fill in details such as name, date of birth, passport number, address in India, flight number and date of boarding in the departure card. “The same information (about the passengers) is available in the system from other sources,” the home ministry order said, citing reasons behind its move. Time-saving move for passengers…

India
Indian woman gives birth onboard flight from Saudi Arabia

A baby was born onboard Jet Airways flight 9W569 from Saudi Arabia’s Dammam to Kochi on Sunday, Times of India reported. When the woman went in labour, the cabin crew declared a medical emergency and diverted to the nearest airport, which happened to be Mumbai. According to a source, the crew made an announcement to find if there was a doctor on board, but there was none. There was a nurse returning home to Kerala and she came forward. With her assistance, the cabin crew did an emergency delivery on the flight. The crew tried to establish “medilink” — where contact is established from a flying aircraft with doctors on ground to handle medical emergencies on board. However, this connection could reportedly not be activated. The aircraft landed in Mumbai and the mother and baby boy were taken to a hospital. The flight later resumed its journey to Kochi. A…

India
Customs employee arrested for stealing passenger’s gold chain

A customs employee at Calicut International Airport was arrested on Friday on charges of stealing a three sovereign gold chain of a male passenger from Dubai, police said. Abdul Kareem, a customs employee in the rank of havildar, was arrested on a complaint by the passenger that the chain kept in a tray at the customs counter in the airport during a x-ray check of his baggage had been lost on May 19. The passenger, who had arrived by an Air India Express flight that day, suspected Kareem to have stolen the chain. Verification of CCTV footage at the airport showed Kareem taking the chain, police said, addin the chain had been recovered from him. He was arrested under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code and produced before the Manjeri Judicial First Class Magistrate court, which remanded him to two weeks judicial custody. Published on 17 June 2017

India
Indian Prime Minister inaugurates Kochi Metro

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Kochi Metro, Kerala’s first Metro rail, and took an inaugural ride with dignitaries, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union minister Venkaiya Naidu and ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan. During the trip, Sreedharan explained the details of the project. Earlier, PM Modi cut the ribbon of the much-awaited project at Palarivattom station and after the inaugural ride to Pathadippalam, he was scheduled to proceed to the JLN Stadium in Kaloor for a public event. The prime minister, who began his speech in Malayalam, said he was happy to be part of the inauguration of the Kochi Metro. “I congratulate the people of Kochi on the proud moment,” he said. “Kochi, the queen of the Arabian Sea, was once an important spice trading centre. Today it was known as commercial capital of Kerala,” the prime minister said. Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is a 50-50 joint venture…

India
24×7 toll-free helpline for tourists visiting India

India’s Ministry of Tourism has launched the 24×7 Toll Free Multi-Lingual Tourist Help line in 12 International languages including Hindi & English. This service is available on the toll free number 1800111363 or on a short code 1363 and operational 24×7 (365 days in a year) offering a “Multi-lingual helpdesk”. The languages handled by the Tourist Helpline include ten International languages namely Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. The objective of this multi-lingual helpline is to provide information relating to travel and tourism in India to the domestic and international tourists. The helpline also advises callers during the times of distress, if any, while travelling in India and alerts the concerned authorities, if required. This is a unique endeavour by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India which gives the foreign tourists a sense of safety and security during their travel in India. Source: Ministry of…

India
No salads, fewer magazines to save costs: Air India staff suggests

Removing salads from meals for economy class passengers on international flights and carrying fewer copies of in-flight magazine on board are among the cost-saving tips from the staff of beleaguered Air India. These suggestions were made after Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani exhorted his senior executives to become “aggressive commercially and display a major spurt in revenues”. With government looking at disinvestment and louder calls against committing more taxpayers’ money into the carrier, Lohani in a recent internal communication remarked that the airlines’ huge debt made him “feel like a loser”. Following the communication, a senior airline official wrote to the CMD with staff feedback, including a cabin crew in-charge, on how salads often go a waste on international flights. “In my flight today, the CIC (cabin in-charge) was talking to me and suggested some ways to reduce costs. One was that in international flights in Y class (economy class),…

India
India releases official statement about Qatar diplomatic crisis

India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has released an official statement about the recent developments in Gulf region which was initiated by some countries cutting off diplomatic ties with Qatar. “India believes that peace and security in the Gulf are of paramount importance for the continued progress and prosperity of the countries in the region,” the statement said, urging all parties to solve differences through constructive dialogues. MEA reaffirmed that it is closely following the situation in the Gulf region and is in regular contact with regional countries. “Their authorities have assured us continued support for welfare and well-being of the resident Indian communities,” the statement said. MEA has advised Indian expatriates in the region to contact the Indian Embassy or Consulate concerned should they require assistance or advise consequent to the developing situation. Here is the full text of the official statement: India’s official statement following the recent developments…

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