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Shimla’s NRI Family Recalls Cruel Joke Played by KLM Airlines Amid Corona Crisis   

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Shimla NRI Family stopped fro boarding flight

Shimla-With his wife and his three-year-old-daughter Arvind, an NRI, had to travel to Delhi from Shimla and then back from Delhi to Shimla, risking their lives by traveling amid COVID-19 crisis. The family has permanent residency of Norway and, was to catch their flight (KLM Airlines) on May 5, 2020. It was a special flight to Europe and the family had the permission of the Norwegian embassy. They had booked the flight after receiving written permission issued by the embassy informing them about the special flight.

However, on reaching the Indira Gandhi International Airport, the staff of KLM Airlines did not let the family board the flight. Alongiwth this family, several other Indians were prohibited from boarding the same flight despite all permissions. They were not shown any directions or orders prohibiting their travel to Europe.

But that was not all. What happened after the family returned to Shimla was the real joke.

While speaking to Himachal Watcher telephonically, Arvind termed it mental and physical harassment and racial discrimination they faced at the hands of the KLM staff. He had also recorded a video at the Airport, which he shared with HW.

Here is the whole story in Arvind’s Own Words:

‘’My heart laments to share what happened with us on the night of 4th May. I along with my family (wife and 3 years daughter) had a KLM flight( KL872) from Delhi to Amsterdam at 3.00 am on 5th May. We travelled almost 400 KM from Shimla to Delhi on 3rd May in the lockdown period to board the aforesaid flight. However, to our surprise, we were not allowed to board the KLM flight KL872 despite I being Permanent Residency holder of Norway.

The reason given to us was that due to some changes in regulations it is not allowed for us to board the flight as we don’t have EU passports, neither do we have someone in our blood relation who has an EU passport. While I booked a flight from the KLM website on 27th April, no such information or regulation was there. Neither were we informed by the KLM authorities by phone about the changes regulation. The KLM staff was not at all friendly especially Duty Station Manager Mr Ajay Goel did not help us in any way, rather he created unnecessary hassles. When we asked Mr. Ajay Goel to show us the regulation which he was referring to, he did not show it to us saying it was confidential.

Thus, violating the Right to Information (RTI) act 2005. Although the Norwegian Embassy representative also intervened and told Mr. Ajay Goel that the embassy had special permission for us from Ministry of External Affairs to board the flight, but still we were refuted by Mr. Ajay Goel to board the flight.

Shimla NRI Family 2

In response to Mr. Ajay Goel’s aberrant behaviour of not providing us any written documentation for not allowing us to board the flight, I had to film a small video as evidence for my future reference. We risked our lives during Covid-19 to reach Delhi from Shimla all for nothing. On top of that, we were told to leave the airport at 3.00 am without any assistance from KLM.

Thereafter we had to book a taxi back to the hotel and also back to Shimla (400km back). Furthermore, now we are home quarantined deprived of our freedom for 14 days and constantly under the fear of being a COVID carrier, due to irresponsible behaviour and attitude of KLM employees on duty.

To further aggravate the situation, I received a call from KLM customer care on 07th May, stating that the rule has now changed, hence we can now travel on the next flight scheduled on 10th May. However, I still doubt the verity of the statement made by KLM customer care.

This entire incident has affected me and my family, mentally, physically and financially, hence , I demand justice from the authorities and concerned people especially KLM India.

Arvind has also filed a complaint against the KLM staff and claimed damages on account of mental agonies and physical harassment/abuses/ racial discrimination.

Misc News/Press Release

Govt Bans 59 Apps in India Including TikTok, UC Browser, SHAREit, Read Full List

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List of All Chinese Apps banned

New Delhi: About 59 Chinese apps have been blocked in India. The Government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices (listed below).

“In view of the information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order,”

the Ministry said.  

The Ministry of Information Technology said it has invoked its power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats.

However, people on social media argued that the Union Government has only given a statement and the apps are still available for use. Also the Government did not mention the date of implementation of this decision. 

Full List of Chinese Apps Banned in India

TikTok

Shareit

Kwai

UC Browser

Baidu map

Shein

Clash of Kings

DU battery saver

Helo

Likee

YouCam makeup

Mi Community

CM Browers

Virus Cleaner

APUS Browser

ROMWE

Club Factory

Newsdog

Beutry Plus

WeChat

UC News

QQ Mail

Weibo

Xender

QQ Music

QQ Newsfeed

Bigo Live

SelfieCity

Mail Master

Parallel Space

 

Mi Video Call – Xiaomi

WeSync

ES File Explorer

Viva Video – QU Video Inc

Meitu

Vigo Video

New Video Status

DU Recorder

Vault- Hide

Cache Cleaner DU App studio

DU Cleaner

DU Browser

Hago Play With New Friends

Cam Scanner

Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile

Wonder Camera

Photo Wonder

QQ Player

We Meet

Sweet Selfie

Baidu Translate

Vmate

QQ International

QQ Security Center

QQ Launcher

U Video

V fly Status Video

Mobile Legends

DU Privacy

 

The Ministry said that there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country.

The Ministry of Information Technology has also said that it has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.

“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,”

the Ministry said.

Further, the Union Government said that the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps. This Ministry has also received many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding the security of data and risk to privacy relating to the operation of certain apps.

“The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received many representations from citizens regarding the security of data and breach of privacy impacting upon public order issues. Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India. There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizen,”

the Government said.

 

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Misc News/Press Release

All Activities, Religious Places, Shopping Malls, Restaurants Outside Containment Zones to Re-Open from June 8

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New MHA Guidelines for lockdown from June 1, 2020

New Delhi- Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued new guidelines to fight COVID-19 and for phased re-opening of areas outside the Containment Zones, today.  The guidelines would come into effect from June 1, 2020, and would be effective till June 30, 2020.  The current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will have an economic focus. The new guidelines have been issued based on extensive consultations held with States and UTs. 

A strict lockdown was imposed throughout the country since March 24, 2020.  All activities were prohibited except for essential activities. Subsequently, in a graded manner and keeping the overarching objective of containing the spread of COVID-19 in view, the lockdown measures have been relaxed.

Note: The below given notification issued by the MHA has been published with no or little editing by Himachal Watcher 

Salient features of the new guidelines

Lockdown measures would continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones. These will be demarcated by the State/ UT Governments, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry. Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed. 

All activities that were prohibited earlier would be opened up in areas outside Containment Zones in a phased manner, with the stipulation of following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), to be prescribed by the Health Ministry:

 

Phase I (permitted to open from June 8, 2020)

  • Religious places and places of worship for the public;
  • Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services; and
  • Shopping malls. 

Health Ministry would issue SOPs for the above activities, in consultation with the Central Ministries/ Departments concerned and other stakeholders, for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Phase II

Schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and UTs.  State Governments/ UT administrations are being advised to hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders.  Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in July 2020.  MoHFW will prepare SOP for these institutions. 

A limited number of activities to remain prohibited throughout the country

  • International air travel of passengers;
  • Operation of Metro Rail; 
  • Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and,
  • Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations. 
  • Dates for the opening of the above activities would be decided in Phase III, based on an assessment of the situation. 

Unrestricted Movement of Persons and Goods

  • No restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods.  No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit would be required for such movements.
  • However, if a State/ UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate the movement of persons, it would give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed. 

Night curfew would continue to remain in force, on the movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities.  However, the revised timings of the curfew will be from 9 pm to 5 am. 

National Directives for COVID-19 management would continue to be followed throughout the country, to ensure social distancing.    

States to decide on activities outside Containment Zones

States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones or impose such restrictions, as deemed necessary. 

Protection for vulnerable persons

Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.

Use of Aarogya Setu

The Aarogya Setu mobile application is a powerful tool built by Government of India to facilitate quick identification of persons infected by COVID-19, or at risk of being infected, thus acting as a shield for individuals and the community.  To ensure safety, various authorities are advised to encourage the use of the application.

Click to Read Complete Notification Issued by MHA on May 30, 2020

 

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Read All Short & Long Term Measures Announced for Small Businesses Migrants, Farmers, Street Vendors etc.

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All about 20 lakh crore relief package
  • Free food grains supply to Migrants for 2 months.
  • Technology system to be used enabling Migrants to access PDS(Ration) from any Fair Price Shops in India by March,2021-One Nation one Ration Card.
  • Scheme for Affordable Rental Housing Complexes for Migrant Workers and Urban Poor to be launched.
  • 2% Interest Subvention for 12 months for Shishu MUDRA loanees- Relief of Rs. 1500 crore.
  • Rs 5000 crore Credit facility for Street Vendors.
  • Rs70,000 crore boost to the housing sector and middle-income group through the extension of Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for MIG under PMAY(Urban).
  • Rs 6,000 crore for Creating employment using CAMPA funds.
  • Rs 30,000 crore Additional Emergency Working Capital for farmers through NABARD.
  • Rs 2 lakh crore concessional credit boost to 2.5 crore farmers under Kisan Credit Card Scheme.

New Delhi-Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on May 14, 2020, in a press conference detailed the short term and long-term measures for supporting the poor, including migrants, farmers, tiny businesses and street vendors.

Following short term and long-term measures for supporting the poor, including migrants, farmers, tiny businesses and street vendors were announced on Thursday:-

Note: The information given by the GoI has been published unedited or with little editing

Free food grains supply to migrants for 2 months

For the migrant labour, additional food grain to all the States/UTs at the rate of 5 kg per migrant labourer and 1 kg Chana per family per month for two months i.e. May and June, 2020 free of cost shall be allocated. Migrant labourers not covered under National Food Security Act or without a ration card in the State/UT in which they are stranded at present will be eligible. States/UTs shall be advised to put a mechanism for targeted distribution as envisaged in the scheme. 8 Lakh MT of food-grain and 50,000 MT of Chana shall be allocated. The entire outlay of Rs. 3500 crore will be borne by Government of India.

Technology system to be used enabling Migrants to access PDS (Ration) from any Fair Price Shops in India by March,2021-One Nation one Ration Card

Pilot scheme for portability of ration cards will be extended to 23 states. By that, 67 crore beneficiaries covering 83% of PDS population will be covered by National portability of Ration cards by August, 2020. 100% National portability will be achieved by March, 2021. This is part of PM’s Technology-Driven System Reforms This scheme will enable a migrant worker and their family members to access PDS benefits from any Fair Price Shop in the country. This will ensure that the people in transit, especially migrant workers can also get the benefit of PDS benefit across the country.

Scheme for Affordable Rental Housing Complexes for Migrant Workers and Urban Poor to be launched

Central Government will launch a scheme for migrant workers and urban poor to provide ease of living at affordable rent. Affordable Rental Housing Complexes will provide social security and quality life to migrant labour, urban poor, and students etc. This will be done through converting government-funded houses in the cities into Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) under PPP mode through concessionaire; manufacturing units, industries, institutions, associations to develop Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) on their private land and operate; and Incentivizing  State Govt agencies/Central Government Organizations on similar lines to develop Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) and operate. The exact details of the scheme will be released by the Ministry/Department.

2% Interest Subvention for 12 months for Shishu MUDRA loanees- Relief of Rs. 1,500 crore

Government of India will provide Interest subvention of 2% for prompt payees for 12 months to MUDRA Shishu loanees, who have loans below Rs 50,000. The current portfolio of MUDRA Shishu loans is around Rs 1.62 Lakh crore. This will provide relief of about Rs 1,500 crore to Shishu MUDRA loanee.

Rs 5,000 crore Credit facility for Street Vendors

A special scheme will be launched within a month to facilitate easy access to credit to Street vendors, who are amongst the most adversely impacted by the present situation for enabling them to restart their businesses. Under this scheme, a bank credit facility for initial working capital up to Rs. 10,000 for each enterprise will be extended. This scheme will cover urban as well as rural vendors doing business in the adjoining urban areas. Use of digital payments and timely repayments will be incentivized through monetary rewards. It is expected that 50 lakh street vendors will be benefitted under this scheme and credit of Rs. 5,000 crore would flow to them. 

Rs 70,000 crore boost to the housing sector and middle-income group through the extension of  Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for MIG under PMAY(Urban)

The Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for Middle Income Group (annual Income between Rs 6 and 18 lakhs) will be extended up to March 2021. This will benefit 2.5 lakhs middle income families during 2020-21 and will lead to an investment of over Rs 70,000 crore in the housing sector. This will create significant number of jobs by giving boost to the Housing sector and will stimulate demand for steel, cement, transport and other construction materials.

Rs 6,000 crore for Creating employment using CAMPA funds

Approximately Rs 6,000 crore of funds under Compensatory Afforestation Management & Planning Authority (CAMPA) will be used for Afforestation and Plantation works, including in urban areas, Artificial regeneration, assisted natural regeneration, forest management, soil & moisture conservation works, Forest protection, forest and wildlife-related infrastructure development, wildlife protection and management etc. Government of India will grant immediate approval to these plans amounting to Rs 6000 crore. This will create job opportunities in urban, semi-urban and rural areas and also for Tribals (Adivasis).

Rs 30,000 crore Additional Emergency Working Capital for farmers through NABARD

NABARD will extend additional re-finance support of Rs 30,000 crore for meeting crop loan requirement of Rural Cooperative Banks and RRBs. This refinance will be front-loaded and available on tap. This is over and above Rs 90,000 crore that will be provided by NABARD to this sector in the normal course. This will benefit around 3 crore farmers, mostly small and marginal and it will meet their post-harvest Rabi and current Kharif requirements.

Rs 2 lakh crore credit boost to 2.5 crore farmers  under the Kisan Credit Card Scheme

A special drive to provide concessional credit to PM-KISAN beneficiaries through Kisan Credit Cards. Fisherman and Animal Husbandry Farmers will also be included in this drive. This will inject additional liquidity of  Rs 2 lakh crore in the farm sector. 2.5 crore farmers will be covered.

 

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