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Veteran actor and politician Vinod Khanna has expired at the age of 70. He was said to be suffering from cancer. Khanna is married twice and is survived by four children.
Born on 6 October 1946, Khanna has featured in as many as 146 films. Some of his famous films are Mere Apne, Insaaf and Amar, Akbar, Anthony. He was last seen in 2015 in Shah Rukh Khan’s Dilwale. He made his debut in 1968 with Mann Ka Meet.
Khanna has also won numerous awards, including the Filmfare award for best supporting actor and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. In 1982 Khanna decided to quit the film industry at the peak time of his career to follow his spiritual guru Osho Rajneesh.
Khanna forayed into politics in 1997. In 1998, he got elected to the Lok Sabha from the Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab on a BJP ticket. He served as the Union minister for culture and tourism in 2002 under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Later, he also became a minister of state in the Ministry of External Affairs. At the time of his death, he was a sitting Bharatiya Janata Party member of the Lok Sabha from the Gurdaspur constituency.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme from Jubbarhatti, an airport on the outskirts of Shimla. ‘Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik’ means ‘the common man flies’. He flagged of the first UDAN flight under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) on Shimla-Delhi sector. UDAN flights on Kadapa–Hyderabad, and Nanded-Hyderabad sectors were also flagged off.
Around 45 unserved and under-served airports are set to be connected under UDAN scheme to make flying more affordable. The airports to be connected under UDAN include Bhatinda, Bhavnagar, Durgapur, Jaisalmer, Puducherry, and Shimla.
Under this scheme, five operators will operate flights services on 128 routes that will connect 70 airports through 19-78 seater aircrafts. The operators are Air India subsidiary Airline Allied Services, Air Deccan, Air Odisha, Turbo Megha, and Spice Jet.
As per the modalities of the scheme, airfare for a one-hour journey of 500 km has been capped at an all-inclusive charge of Rs. 2,500. For longer routes and flight duration, the pricing will vary. A single person will be entitled to buy 9 to 40 seats in a flight. However, only 50% of the seats will be sold at Rs 2500 per seat per hour. The airlines can sell the rest of the tickets at market rates.
UDAN scheme will make flying easier and affordable for the common man. It is hailed as the first-of-its-kind scheme globally to stimulate regional connectivity through a market-based mechanism. UDAN network will cover the whole country. Accordingly, 24 airports in the western region, 17 airports in the northern region, 11 in the southern region, 12 in east and 6 in north-eastern parts of the country are proposed to be connected under UDAN. The scheme is expected to have positive effects on the economy in terms of employment and investment. The scheme will also promote tourism and balanced regional growth.
The ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik’ RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme) was launched in October 2016. It is considered as a vital component of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) which was released on June 15, 2016.
The scheme has been launched to provide connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports. This is first of its kind scheme and will be implemented for a period of 10 years. As of now, 128 routes have been identified and declared in the RCS map of India. The key objective of the UDAN scheme is to provide regional connectivity so that persons in regional towns are able to take affordable flights.