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US moots one-stop screening with India at aviation summit

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US moots one-stop screening with India at aviation summit

Washington, June 25 (IANS) A top US aviation security official on Tuesday called for a one-stop security screening arrangement with India to reduce duplication of efforts at both ends for passengers as part of a broader cooperation between the two countries in civil aviation.

“If we have a one-stop agreement with the government of India and with Delhi airport, we would not need to re-screen … passengers and their check bags would go from aircraft to aircraft in almost every situation,” David Pekoske, head of the US Transportation Security Administration said at the start of a three-day India-US civil aviation summit here.

“This is a really powerful concept. It offers a number of important benefits. It raises global aviation security standards that need to flex and debounce the United States are more secure if there’s a reverse agreement between the United States and India where US screening satisfies Indian requirements.”

US-bound passengers will be screened for security at the airport of embarkation in India, say Delhi, under this arrangement and when they land in the US and have a connecting domestic flight to another US destination, their checked-in baggage will transfer straight from their aircraft to the next.

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And likewise in the opposite direction, for India-bound passengers.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a UN body that promotes civil aviation between member countries, encourages one-step security (OSS), saying: “OSS agreements enable the avoidance of unnecessary duplication of security controls and increase the global sustainability of the aviation security system, and provide for a more straightforward transfer process for passengers and their belongings resulting in shorter connections, fewer missed connections and fewer missing bags at destination.”

Pekoske suggested a few more areas of cooperation mostly to “harmonise” aviation security between the two countries, including on data sharing and cyber-security.

He would like to post a TSA representative – called TSAR – in New Delhi, he added, noting: “Local interaction is so critically important for developing our partnership which already has a very strong foundation.”

The seventh iteration of the summit is taking place after a gap of seven years, disrupted mainly by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is being hosted by the US Trade Development Agency (USTDA) with the Indian Civil Aviation Ministry.

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Civil Aviation Secretary Vumlunmang Vualnam, who is leading the Indian delegation, started by bringing the summit’s participants up to speed on India’s growing civil aviation industry in the intervening years.

“I’m happy to start by saying that in India, we have seen a robust recovery post-Covid. Our air passengers have reached levels, both in the domestic and in the international flights, to the pre-Covid levels. Our airlines have been resilient, and they have passed through the Covid period. And in fact, new airlines have started in these last few years, and even more are in the pipeline. So I think it’s been a long time since we met, but it’s been a good time for civil aviation in India.”

The Secretary presented figures to illustrate his point — the number of airports has gone up from 74 to 157 in the last 10 years, for instance — and detailed that “the robust framework within which this progresses” was made possible. He spoke about the availability of land, which is the responsibility of state government, the transparency with which airport tariffs are determined by an autonomous body – which is “an arm’s length from the mainline government”, to the availability of trained commercial pilots, and ongoing efforts to streamline the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry.

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Above all, he said in conclusion, there is a government in Delhi that listens.

Enoh T. Ebong, head of the US Trade Development Agency, Michael Whittaker, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, which is the US regulator for civil aviation, and Sripriya Ranganathan, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the India Embassy also spoke at the inaugural event.

–IANS

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FPIs infuse Rs 44,344 crore in stock markets this month ahead of Union Budget

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FPIs infuse Rs 44,344 crore in stock markets this month ahead of
 Union Budget

FPIs infuse Rs 44,344 crore in stock markets this month ahead of
 Union Budget

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Foreign portfolio investors (FPI) continued the investment momentum in the stock markets in India, infusing around Rs 44,344 crore in equity and debt this month (till July 19).

Market analysts said that FPIs were consistent buyers with buying picking up during the week ended July 19.

FPIs have invested worth Rs 30,771 crore in equity and Rs 13,573 crore in debt.

They were buyers in autos, capital goods, healthcare, IT, telecom and oil and gas.

“A notable trend was the lack of buying in financial services, which partly explains the poor performance of financial services in July so far,” said V. K. Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist, Geojit Financial Services.

If the recent trend of weakness in dollar and bond yields persist, FPIs are likely to continue their buying in the market.

According to experts, domestic and foreign investors are keenly watching for possible tweaks in the long-term capital gains tax in the Union Budget 2024-2025, to be presented on July 23.

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There was a total net inflow of Rs 2,82,338 crore for both equity and debt in FY24.

According to market analysts, the FPI community will play a major role in positioning India as the third-largest economy in the world.

The reason for a quick rebound in the capital markets can be attributed to the positive sentiments and a stable government’s assurance of continuity of reforms.

All eyes are now on the budget proposals which will hopefully announce path-breaking reforms, providing India a golden opportunity against the other emerging global markets.

–IANS

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African Union approves AI strategy, digital compact to boost Africa's advancement

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African Union approves AI strategy, digital compact to boost Africa's advancement

African Union approves AI strategy, digital compact to boost Africa's advancement

Accra, July 20 (IANS) The executive council of the African Union (AU) has approved its Continental Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy and African Digital Compact to boost Africa’s digital development, an official said.

AU Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitization Amani Abou-Zeid said this in an interview Friday during the 45th Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council, a prelude to its 6th Mid-Year Coordination Meeting, in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, reported Xinhua news agency.

“Our council approved the AU strategy for artificial intelligence and the strategy for using digital technologies, which will set the path for Africa’s use of digital technologies for development,” Abou-Zeid said.

These strategies would provide direction on the use of technology to find solutions to Africa’s challenges, help fast-track many projects and programmes, and guard against the unethical use of technology, she said.

“The technology must help us preserve our identity, preserve our languages and cultures, and be helpful rather than harm us,” the commissioner said.

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The strategies would create an enabling environment for the development and use of digital technology, Abou-Zeid said, adding that the AU policy would guide the governments of various members to develop the necessary policy and regulatory frameworks for the sector.

“The strategies will help us create a single digital market and guide all sovereign countries on how to use digital technology to boost their development processes,” she said.

“There must be rules and regulations to punish the negative use of AI and digital technologies to prevent further abuse,” Abou-Zeid said, adding that seven African countries now have AI policies, but the continental body would like to see all members develop their policies.

–IANS

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Textile centre will be set up in Jabalpur: MP CM

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Textile centre will be set up in Jabalpur: MP CM

Textile centre will be set up in Jabalpur: MP CM

Bhopal, July 20 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav said on Saturday that the modern textile centre would be set up in Jabalpur which will provide jobs for women.

“A mega unit of the modern textile centre will be set up in Jabalpur soon. This development will not only make Jabalpur a new textile hub in the state but would also provide employment to the women,” the Chief Minister said while addressing the inaugural session of the Regional Industrial Conclave in Jabalpur.

Several business houses and industrialists from across the country also participated in the conclave.

The Chief Minister said that many medical and other educational colleges have been constructed in the past few years in Madhya Pradesh.

“We have more than 275 units in the pharma sector and products are being exported in more than 160 countries,” the Chief Minister said.

He added that there are as many as 16 industrial parks and 517 MSME units in Mahakoshal (Jabalpur) which is providing employment to about 20,000 people.

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–IANS

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India's rich history, vibrant culture highlighted at Korea international fair

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India's rich history, vibrant culture highlighted at Korea international fair

India's rich history, vibrant culture highlighted at Korea international fair

Ilsan, July 20 (IANS) India’s rich history and vibrant culture grabbed the spotlight as the ninth Korea International Tourism Fair kicked off at Ilsan in northwest of Seoul.

The Embassy of India in Seoul and the UP government are jointly participating in the fair held at the Korean International Exhibition Centre.

India’s Ambassador to the country, Amit Kumar, joined the opening ceremony alongside Chang-su Jeong (Chairman of the Organisation Committee), Dong Hwan Lee (Mayor of Goyang Special City), Oh Who Seock (Vice Governor of Gyeonggi Province) and Min-hyeon Kyeong (President of Kangwon Domin Ilbo & the Korea Local Newspapers Association).

The UP Tourism booth was jointly inaugurated by all the dignitaries as the Indian Ambassador spoke of India’s rich history and vibrant culture.

In his remarks, he also highlighted India’s natural beauty and wildlife, along with the country’s incredible diversity of languages, cuisines, clothing, architecture and faiths.

“It is often said that whatever a tourist is looking for, can be found in India,” said Kumar.

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The visitors to the fair were also given deep insights into Uttar Pradesh by the state tourism body.

“The state represents the microcosm of the rich heritage that India has to offer. There are 42 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, including six in Uttar Pradesh. The state also has a rich heritage of Buddhism, comprising six cities where Lord Buddha once lived and preached,” said Ambassador Kumar.

Korea International Tourism Fair is a tourism exhibition aimed at fostering the growth of the tourism industry by expanding the market through collaboration between domestic and international tourism. It also seeks to boost local tourism by promoting the internationalisation of domestic cities.

Several countries from around the world participated in the event.

–IANS

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Yes Bank clocks 47 per cent jump in q1 net profit at Rs 502 crore

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Yes Bank clocks 47 per cent jump in q1 net profit at Rs 502 crore

Yes Bank clocks 47 per cent jump in q1 net profit at Rs 502 crore

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Private sector lender Yes Bank on Saturday reported a standalone net profit of Rs 502 crore for the April-June quarter of 2024-25 which represents a 47 per cent jump over the corresponding figure of Rs 342.5 crore for the same period of the previous year.

The interest earned by the bank during the quarter rose 19.8 per cent to Rs 7,719 crore from Rs 6,443 crore in the same period last year.

The asset quality of the bank also improved during the first quarter with the gross non-performing assets (NPA) of the bank coming down to 1.7 per cent of total loans as of June 30, as compared to 2 per cent in the year-ago period.

Similarly, the quarterly net NPA ratio declined to 0.5 per cent as of June 30, compared to 0.6 per cent sequentially, and 1 per cent year-on-year.

–IANS

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