May air traffic growth significant

The air traffic in May registered a positive surprise with aggregate domestic passenger growth increasing to 17.6 per cent from 15 per cent seen in February-April. The monthly domestic traffic crossed 10 million in May as passenger load factor (PLF) reached an all-time high of 89 per cent.
IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir reported over 90 per cent load factors. Spice­Jet’s PLF reached a new high of 94.3 per cent. This will reinvigorate demand side confidence in the aviation market.

Uncertain journey

Prime minister Narendra Modi will undertake his sixth visit to USA since coming to power three years ago for his first meeting with US President Donald Trump.
Considerable uncertainty surrounds this voyage. This unpredictability has been injected due to the personality, political outlook and capriciousness of the person who currently occupies the White House. Expectations from this visit are far removed from Modi’s visit in 2014 when he met the then President Barack Obama for the first time.

Fifth Columnist: Chimerical unity

Democratic politics is all about periodic shows of strength, of thrust and parry and of showmanship and claims, all aimed at changing the discourse and atmospherics of the day.
Democracy presents any number of opportunities where these countervailing forces come into play, never more evident than during the course of an election.


The deep sense of foreboding was still to set in, lulled as they were by the faux protective shield provided by the linkages through Treaty Relations with British Paramountcy. The promised-land narrative would not last long for safe passage was out of the question as the hounds unleashed by Nehru and Mountbatten snapped at the heels of the Indian Princes. For the British a man called Sir Conrad Corfield held all the aces.

Ruminations: On hold, great expectations

The presidential elections will provide the ruling NDA one more opportunity to decimate the opposition and pull them down a few more notches in the public estimation. While these elections are not as rough as parliamentary elections, the stakes remain just about as high – and it will be more than just about the numbers when the results are finally declared.

Diplomatic Enclave: Qatar Crisis

The West Asian crisis caused by the Saudi Arabia led group to isolate Qatar has stretched for over two weeks despite the mediatory efforts of countries like Kuwait and Turkey. The crisis could result in yet another exodus of Indian expatriates from the West Asian region. The Civil Aviation is making arrangements to run extra flights from Qatar to India. Qatar has 6.5 lakh Indian expatriates. Qatar is of importance for India as the major supplier of natural gas to India.

Spy’s eye: Modi’s growing support

The completion of three years in office by Prime Minister Narendra Modi set off judgemental comments on the regime from many political and economic experts who scanned what had or had not been achieved but missed out on the larger picture of what the Indians at the mass level thought of the credibility of the Modi government. The domestic mood is not too difficult to assess.

The importance of coal

The sight of steam engines stopping to sell coal to people has been a common sight, especially in eastern India where the mineral is abundant. It combined individual enterprise and petty opportunism with compassion. The poor, who could ill afford the market price of coal, would wait for the engines to make unscheduled stops en route to buy their quota of coal because there just wasn’t enough coal going around.

Close-in: Mentor needed, not coach

Indian cricket on the field was working like a well-oiled machine, smoothly and efficiently. India, the number one Test side in the world and on the periphery of leading the pack in the one-day format too, looked to be heading on the right track to prosperity.

All culture, no compulsion

What’s 40 years in a life time? Barely a mark in the travels of a 2,000-year-old culture. A corner turned, in the journey of an organisation dedicated to the preservation and promotion of that culture. A milestone, perhaps, if the organisation is voluntary. Sustaining voluntary effort for four decades is a feat, but a voluntary work depending solely on students, is a different ball game altogether.