air travel Current Affairs - 2020

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Passport Renewal Reminder Services begun by Passport Seva Kendras

On January 28, 2020, the Ministry of External Affairs launched the Passport renewal reminder services. The Passport Seva Kendras operating under the Ministry of External Affairs will send SMS about the renewal

Highlights

The ministry is to send two Reminder messages, one before 9 months and another before 7 months. Along with the reminder message, the passport holders will also be informed about the authenticate website of the Ministry which is www.passportindia.gov.in.

Indian Passport

The Indian Passport is issued by the Ministry of External Affairs. The passport serves as a proof of Indian Citizenship under Passports Act, 1967. Around 65 million Indians hold passports as of the end of 2015. In 2015, India issued around 12 million new passports. This number has so far been exceeded only by US and China.

Types of Passports

There are three types of passports as follows

  • Ordinary passport-It is dark blue in colour. It is issued to citizens travelling for vacation, business trips and study.
  • Official Passport-It is white in colour. It is issued to individuals representing Government of India
  • Diplomatic Passport-It is maroon in colour. IT is issued only to top government officials and diplomatic couriers

Recently, India has ranked 84th in Henley’s Passport Index.

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Government announces Free Air Travel for Paramilitary Forces to Kashmir

The government has issued an order approving the entitlement of air travel on Delhi-Srinagar, Srinagar-Delhi, Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Jammu sectors to all the personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) which includes their journey for joining duty, transfer, tour or going on leave.

The facility till now was available officers in the rank of Inspectors and above has been now extended to the ranks of constable, a head constable and assistant sub-inspector. This decision will benefit approximately 7.8 lakh paramilitary personnel.

Now the jawans and sub-officers can book tickets in regular commercial flights and claim reimbursement from their organisation or force for this travel to and from Kashmir.

The decision is an extension to the existing air courier services for CAPFs where an entire aircraft is booked for the force personnel from either Delhi or Jammu to Srinagar and back. For the Jammu and Kashmir sector, an air courier service was already available for CAPFs jawans and this was extended in December 2017 to cover more routes like Delhi-Jammu, Jammu-Srinagar, Srinagar-Jammu and Jammu-Delhi.

Why the decision has gained significance?

During the February 14 Pulwama attack, 40 personnel of the CRPF were killed when an explosives-laden vehicle was blown off by a JeM terrorist, near the force bus that was plying between Jammu-Srinagar as part of a convoy. Questions were raised on why the troops were not allowed to travel by air so that the risk and threat of travelling on road, in large convoys in the Kashmir Valley, is eliminated.

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