Meek and morose is what Raghav Dubey has been all his life but when Sarla Koppikar wallops him on his head and almost kills him, Dubey ji decides to undergo a complete makeover. He shaves off his moustache, sheds his reticence in female company and even learns to play the guitar! His career graph now rockets skywards with his newfound zest and energy enabling him to work wonders at Mumbai’s Bonny Bank. The beauteous Avni Singh bowls him over and he is left utterly lovestruck. Even the very charming Paulomi Bose fails to distract him. Dubey ji’s bête noire is found dead and our hero is in deep trouble. Will he be able to bounce back again?
Vivek Atray, the Author
Vivek Atray is an Author, Advisor, Motivational Speaker, Formerly of the Indian Administrative Service, IAS and Mentor. He retired voluntarily from the IAS in 2017. He is an ex-under 19 cricketer. He speaks all over India on topics such as Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, People Skills and Behavioural Issues. He has over 20 Lakh (2 million) views on YouTube.
He is the founder of SUVICHAR Think Tank, Professor at Shoolini University, member of the CSR Advisory Board of ACTION AID and a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Chandigarh. He is also a founder of the Vibrant Networking Forum and the Chandigarh Literary Society, and Co-Convenor of INTACH Chandigarh.
Book Review by Naleen Chandra
“Dubey ji Bounces Back” may have taken a clue from the two most interesting eternal stories of transformation.
1. Vidyotma insulted her nincompoop husband, challenged him, terminated her marriage and left him in the lurch. Then the fool thought of doing something and eventually, with the grace of Goddess Kaali, Kalidas attained wisdom. With works like ‘Shakuntala’ and ‘Meghdoot’, the writer does not need any intro. The beauty of the writer’s expression, keeps the reader spellbound.
2. Ratnavali’s rejection had stunned and then spurred her husband. Ratnavali may have expected to guilt her husband into becoming a follower of Ram. Tulsidas eventually became a genuine Rambhakt and went on to write the epic Ramayan, which needs no intro.
In both instances, the wives were instrumental for the transformation of their husbands. Here the power of the impact a woman can have on man is to be seen, believed and experienced. Moreover, neither Tulsidas nor Kalidas followed any CBSE, IIT, or IAS. The fact of the matter is that the whole mankind religiously follows them and the so-called educational institutions include their works in their curriculum.
In “Dubey ji Bounces Back” the writer had an opportunity to highlight this particular aspect of human behaviour. I, as a reader, expected the writer with his vast admin experience to inspire today’s younger generation so that the Kalidas or Tulsidas lying suppressed within them eventually awakens.
IITs Still Struggling With Students Drop-out Problem
27 Sept 2019. The Council for Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) chaired by Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had to come up with solutions for the number of perennial problems faced by the IIT management during the past 20 years or so. The Council, headed by the HRD Minister, is the highest decision-making body of all the 23 IITs, the country’s premier engineering institutions.
It was the 53rd meeting being held in New Delhi. The IIT Council identified such problems as shortcomings :
there are ‘academically weak students’ at the IITs who drop out from the IIT system,
IITs do not have sufficient financial or admin autonomy yet,
their ‘internationalisation’ through renewable contracts for foreign faculty and test OCI (Overseas Citizens of India) students directly for JEE Advanced is not being encouraged,
the system sees overlap and duplication of beneficiaries,
IITs do little on research. They do not identify thrust areas and do not set up national-level laboratories for the same,
the IITs do not mentor other nearby engineering colleges.
As per HRD Ministry data, nearly 2,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students dropped out from the 23 IITs across the country in the last two years. (both at the undergraduate and postgraduate level). These include cases of expulsion on account of weak academic performance. For instance, in 2019, IIT-Kanpur expelled 18 students on the grounds of poor grades, of which half were B.Tech students.
As per the latest All-India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE), a study by the HRD Ministry, the number of students who enrolled into BTech and Bachelor of Engineering (BE) courses fell by 0.05 million: from 4.25 million in 2014-15 to 3.77 million in 2018-19. More than 75 engineering and technical colleges across the country have opted for “progressive closure” in 2019. Such institutions will not take fresh admissions from this year.
The data on the steep fall in engineering admission and drop-out rates at the IITs is thus worrying the HRD ministry.
The Council, in its meeting, thus admits that there are indeed ‘weak’ students since they have to drop out while they are halfway into their studies in the IIT. As such, the said IITs have not achieved their objectives. They are still struggling with the inherent flaws in the system which were finally revealed in the solution proposed by the Council :
“Academically weak students, who are not able to secure the required credits for promotion to the next semester, maybe allowed an exit option with a degree programme after the second semester, rather than being forced out of the programme.”
How did the situation arise
It has been surveyed that most drop-outs from IITs and IIMs are from the reserved category. Nearly 48 per cent of students dropping out of the IITs and over 62.6 per cent from IIMs in the past two years are from the reserved category.
Quota system allows students with below-par merit being inducted into IITs,
Due to reservations, fundamentally weak students somehow though manage to get into the IITs, but inside they have a really tough time keeping up with the pace of studies,
Teachers are not able to cultivate and motivate,
IITs do not examine the intelligence of the students nor develop their creativity,
The credibility and reputation of the IITs get gradually eroded.
The HRD minister had brought up this issue in the Parliament in July 2019. “Dropouts in undergraduate programmes are attributed to withdrawal due to wrong choices filled, poor academic performance of students, personal and medical reasons,” he had said.
The Council assumes that this suggestion will be good for the weak student who can’t cope up with rigours of IIT study. It said that those who are unable to keep pace with the required academic standards can be allowed an ‘honourable’ exit after the second semester. Officials say that academically weak students will be able to choose BSc degree after the second semester and leave after three years, provided they have met the minimum academic standards.
However, it becomes logically wrong to label people as ‘academically weak’ if they are exiting the program early. If such students are labelled as weak, then the BSc solution will be like a loser’s option. The student may be reluctant to accept it. Moreover, the industry and the potential recruiters also may not give such students any importance. What’s the point in getting into an IIT and getting out of it as a weak student carrying a BSc paper?
Thus the so-called BSc scheme will not be of any use. Being professional, the IITs should not have kid gloves for weak students. It will be prudent if reservation policy is given a rethink and only students with merit are offered seats. The aspirant should be good enough for IITs and avoid getting inside IITs through the reservations route because it defeats the purpose of social justice. If such selected students turn out to be weak, then there is an equal possibility that some students who did not get selected may have been bright after all.
An estimated 0.9 million students take JEE (main) that’s held twice a year. Out of these, about 13,500 get an IIT seat. Since students get into the IITs after clearing a cut-throat competition, they are presumably quality students but are not able to cope up with the academic requirements at times. It was felt they should be given an exit option rather than the entire effort going waste.
The proposal reveals that the HRD ministry does not wish to consider improving the entrance test and admission process that matches the IIT education standards so that the right candidates are selected rather than selecting candidates and later giving degree discounts to weak students.
The Council could not provide any solution to other students who could have continued but failed due to admission of less suitable candidates through the quota system. The Council did not recommend any reforms for the process of JEE selection which urgently needs some tinkering. Let there be a uniform policy for all IITs if the brand has to be saved.
Autonomy on the lines of the IIMs under the new IIM Act still eludes the IITs. The recent Council meeting also proposed a new model of financial autonomy for the IITs in consultation with the NITI Aayog. The institutes will charge tuition fees based on actual costs (nearly Rs 0.07 million a year) from the students. Currently, IIT students pay only Rs 0.02 million per annum as tuition fee. Moreover, almost half of the BTech students at IITs under the SC/ST category are exempt from paying any tuition fee. The institutes bear the difference between actual cost and income through their internal accruals and block grants received from the government.
The government, while following socialism principles, will provide financial help directly to the students through scholarships or “in any other manner as it deems fit”. Formulae like direct fee reimbursement to students through DBT instead of subsidising them are under discussion. The IITs will not receive the block grants from the government. They will be free from government restrictions on using their financial resources.
The Council will also consider empowering the Board of Governors of an IIT to pick its members and chairperson. Currently, the HRD Ministry appoints them. IIT directors, according to the agenda, will continue to be selected by the government. However, apart from the IIT Council’s approval, the IIT Act will also have to be amended to finally empower the IITs.
The council has indicated that it was open to all templates on greater financial and administrative autonomy for IITs. The institutes should be affordable for students from all sections of society. Each IIT must review the ‘Merit-cum-Means’ scheme to ensure that there was no overlap and duplication of beneficiaries. The council also called upon the IITs to concentrate on research. Each IIT should identify 4-5 thrust areas and set up national-level labs. Each IIT should mentor 10 engineering colleges in its vicinity. To ‘internationalise’ the IITs, the council felt it was necessary to recruit foreign faculty on renewable contracts rather than the current five-year tenure.
Royal Brunei Airlines back on Brisbane route – Australian Aviation
A file image of Royal Brunei Airlines Airbus A320neo V8-RBD, which features a special Visit Brunei livery. (Masakatsu Ukon/Wikimedia Commons)
Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) has resumed nonstop flights to Brisbane for the first time since 2011 with the arrival of BI9 early on Thursday morning, July 11 2019.
Flight BI9, operated by Airbus A320neo V8-RBD featuring a special Visit Brunei livery, landed at about 0330 local time on Thursday, following its six and a half hour journey from RBA’s Bandar Seri Begawan hub.
The aircraft was on the ground at Brisbane Airport for about 13 hours before taking off as the reciprocal BI10 a little after 1600 local time.
RBA chief executive Karam Chand said the airline was delighted to be back in Brisbane after an eight-year absence.
Further, Chand said the new Brisbane service would strategically position the airline as a key player on the Kangaroo route between Australia and the united Kingdom.
“We are delighted to offer our Bruneian, UK and other guests from our expanding route network an additional Australia travel destination where they will find many and attractions and activities of offer in Brisbane city and its surrounds,” Chand said in a statement.
In addition to Brisbane, RBA flies nonstop to Melbourne daily with Boeing 787-8s.
Both its Australian routes were expected to support RBA’s nonstop Bandar Seri Begawan-London services.
A file image of a Boeing 787-8 in Royal Brunei Airlines livery. (Wikimedia Commons/Jahurz)
The Brisbane route will will operate as an overnight flight from from Bandar Seri Begawan on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Meanwhile, the return service takes off from Brisbane in the late afternoon on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The schedule, which is similar to RBA’s Melbourne service, has been optimised for convenient connections on the London route.
CAPA – Centre for Aviation chief analyst Brendan Sobie said while the new RBA service represented less than two per cent of total capacity between Brisbane and Asia, it was strategically important as the flights would stimulate demand in the Brisbane-Brunei and Brisbane-Uk markets.
“Brunei is a tiny source market for Queensland and there is also limited outbound demand in the Brisbane-Brunei market. However, these segments will grow (from a very low base) as nonstop services are resumed,” Sobie said in a research note from February.
“Of more significance is the impact the new Brunei service will have in the Brisbane-UK market. The UK is the fourth largest source market for Queensland and London is also a very popular destination for Brisbane area residents.”
“However, making the Brisbane-Bandar Seri Begawan route work will not be easy because Brisbane-London – which Royal Brunei will need to rely on for a large proportion of its Brisbane passengers – is a very competitive and low yielding market.”
Sobie noted return fares of less than US$1,000 were available on many carriers for Brisbane-London itineraries, while RBA had some sub-US$800 fares in the market for travel during the second half of calendar 2019.
“With the offer of such low fares it will be hard for the new Brisbane-Brunei route to deliver sustained profitability – even with incentives from Brisbane Airport and Queensland,” Sobie said.
At the time the Brisbane flight was launched, RBA has targeted a start date of June 11. However, aircraft availability issues due to engine maintenance requirements on its Boeing 787 fleet forced the flight to be pushed back a month.
RBA has seven A320neos powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines. The airline has configured the next-generation narrowbody to carry 150 passengers, with 12 seats in business class and 138 seats in economy.
Airbus lists the A320neo as having a range of 3,400nm in a typical two-class configuration of 165 seats. Bandar Seri Begawan-Melbourne is 2,940nm.
RBA was the first to fly the A320neo to Australia when it used the aircraft temporarily on the Bandar Seri Begawan-Melbourne route in August 2018 while its Boeing 787-8s were unavailable due to engine inspection requirements.
To celebrate the new route, the airline planned to host an event at the Brisbane City Hall on Thursday evening.
The airline recently began flying nonstop between Bandar Seri Begawan and London Heathrow, having previously served the United Kingdom capital with a one-stop routing via Dubai.
Brisbane may also prove a source market for RBA’s new regional services with ATR 72-600s due to kick off in October. The turboprops on lease from Malaysia-based Malindo Air will be used to serve seven destinations on Borneo – six in the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak and one on the Indonesian part of the island.
RBA Airbus A320neo V8-RBA at Melbourne on August 1 2018. (Brian Wilkes)
Days of operation
Time of departure
Time of arrival
BI9 Bandar Seri Begawan-Brisbane
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
BI10 Brisbane-Bandar Seri Begawan
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday
Embraer showcases newest E195-E2 aircraft in the SAR
Brazilian aerospace firm Embraer has brought its newest Profit Hunter jet – the E195-E2 – to Macau, showcasing the “TechLion” livery that covers the aircraft’s fuselage.
Their newest aircraft is currently on a global demonstration tour, which kicked off in Xiamen on July 8 and will be followed by several stops in China and the Asia Pacific region this month and next.
The E195-E2 is the largest of the three aircraft in the E-Jets E2 family.
The firm described the aircraft as the most efficient single-aisle jet on the market, the ideal aircraft for growing regional business and complementing existing low-cost and mainline fleets.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Guo Qing, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Embraer Commercial Aviation China, said that the aircraft can achieve competitive costs per seat with larger narrow body aircraft but with significantly lower costs per trip, which will enable carriers, especially low-cost carriers, to explore additional secondary markets.
“We are operating in a differentiated segment with a seating capacity of 75 to 150. That’s exactly what Macau needs in order to expand its aircraft network into the second and third tier [Chinese] cities,” said Guo.
“If you look at what is currently operating in the market, it’s above 150-seat capacity. [But] with the right seating capacity of the airplane, we can help Macau link and expand [its] network to smaller cities that are currently not being flown to by either AirMacau or other operators,” the executive added.
In April, the E195-E2 received type certification from three major world regulatory authorities simultaneously – ANAC (the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency), the FAA (U.S. Federal Aviation Administration) and EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency).
The airplane will enter service with Brazil’s Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S.A. in the second half of 2019. Spanish airline Binter will also receive its E195-E2 later this year.
According to Guo, the firm is not targeting any specific airlines, yet it stressed that current airline operators in the region have the opportunity to expand their market with the right product to bring passengers to and from the SAR.
The representative refused to disclose the pricing details of the new aircraft.
Currently, eight airlines operate 105 Embraer commercial aircraft in Greater China and Mongolia, which lays a solid foundation for adding the E2s to the market.
Commenting on Embraer’s joint venture with Boeing, Guo remarked, “We are progressing smoothly […] and we trust the authorities.”
Post Air India Express incident in Mangalore, DGCA finds safety lapses at Calicut airport
NEW DELHI: Aviation regulator DGCA Thursday issued show-cause notice to the director of the Calicut international airport after it found that some critical areas were not being maintained as per the safety standards, sources said.
On July 2, an Air India Express flight coming from Dammam had a tail strike while landing at the Calicut international airport.
Under directions from the DGCA, Air India Express earlier this month suspended the pilots involved in this incident.
A source told PTI, “The DGCA observed various lapses in safety standards during its inspection of Calicut airport on July 4 and July 5. Therefore, the show-cause notice has been issued to the airport director K Srinivasa Rao. He will have to respond within 15 days.”
The PTI has reviewed the show cause notice issued to Calicut airport director on Thursday.
The notice said that “cracks are observed at runway 28 TDZ (touchdown zone) and along runway C/L marking at runway 10 TDZ”.
The touchdown zone (TDZ) is the part where the aircraft first contacts the surface while landing.
The touchdown zone is ahead of the threshold area.
The notice said that “excessive rubber deposit” was observed in the area from runway C/L marking to three metres on both the sides of touchdown zone of runway 28.
Similar excessive rubber deposits were also found by the DGCA along runway C/L marking of touchdown zone of runway 10, as per the notice.
“Water stagnation of about 1.5-metre length was observed on the area between runway edge and intermediate turn pad on runway 28,” the notice said.
The DGCA also found several cracks in the aircraft stand number 5.
It also observed that a “portion of Apron surface” of about 111 metres as damaged.
An apron is that area of the airport where the aircraft is parked, refuelled and boarded with passengers.
“A steep downward slope of approximately five feet depth is observed immediately after the apron behind of aircraft number 1, which needs to be levelled and graded,” the notice said.
The DGCA also observed a shortage of reserve stock of 6,630 litres of Aqueous Film Forming Foam concentrate(AFFF) and 140 kg of “DCP complementary agent” – both are used to put out fires – at Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) station of the airport.
DGCA on Tuesday had also issued show-cause notices to the directors of the Chennai and Ahmedabad airports for not maintaining the safety standards.
Allie Colleen Celebrating Debut Single Release “Work In Progress”
Garth Brooks, 57, is today a happy man and a proud father!
Earlier, Garth Brooks had announced 2019 Dive Bar Tour.
Garth, the country legend, took to Instagram to share a photo of himself with his wife, Trisha Yearwood, and his youngest daughter, Allie Colleen, on the occassion of the release of Allie’s first single, “Work in Progress.”
Garth had split up with his first wife, Sandy Mahl in 2001. He shares the 22-year-old Allie and his two other daughters — August, 25, and Taylor, 27.
Garth, Allie and Trisha are all smiles in the monochrome pic, as they celebrate the milestone moment in Allie’s life heading towards a burgeoning music career. Brooks shares Colleen and her older sisters August, age 25, and Taylor, 27, with his ex-wife Sandy Mahl. To commemorate the single’s release, Brooks shared a photo online of himself, Colleen and her stepmother, Trisha Yearwood. “What a beautiful voice on your grandmother’s birthday … perfect,” says Brooks in the photo caption.
Up-and-coming singer-songwriter — and daughter of country music star Garth Brooks — Allie Colleen has finally shared her debut single, “Work in Progress.”
In a press release, Allie made the decision to share her new song on July 10 in honor of her grandmother’s birthday.
Colleen has co-written the song with Marcus Hummon, and engineer Greg Brick. Its lyrics accept that there’s always room to grow without conceding long-term goals (“I’m the best I’ve even been, but not the best I’ll ever be”). It describes a life that strives for progress, not perfection. “I go my own way, try to walk a straight line / Still trouble finds me time after time,” Colleen sings in the song’s first verse. “I flirt with disaster, and I court distress / I’m a work in progress.”
Marcus is the hit songwriter credited with Dixie Chicks’ “Cowboy Take Me Away” and Sara Evans’ “Born to Fly,”.
“When I walked in the studio that day with Marcus and Greg, Marcus already had the entire song structure minus the chorus when we all sat down,” Colleen recalls of the songwriting process. “For the first time, I wasn’t worried about how commercial the song was or what everyone else was gonna think about the song…I was just honest.”
Trisha Yearwood, Garth’s fellow country star and Colleen’s stepmother, too had a pleasant emotion to share about Colleen’s new song. “From one work in progress to another, what a beautiful song and your voice sounds amazing! I love you so much, Allie #EveryGirl,” she wrote on Instagram, incorporating the hashtag of her own newest single, “Every Girl in This Town.” Trisha supported Allie on Instagram, posting the same pic as Garth along with a sweet message.
Colleen doesn’t display her steep social connections. Her legendary dad’s name cannot be found on her Facebook biography or on her website. Garth did support her for her new single on social media. “What a beautiful voice on your grandmother’s birthday…perfect. I love you!!” he wrote on Instagram, alongside a picture of himself posing with Colleen and his wife, Trisha Yearwood.
Thus, Allie Colleen, a 23-year-old Belmont University graduate and more famously hitherto known as the youngest daughter of Garth Brooks got introduced to the mainstream with her “Work in Progress”.
If the “Work in Progress” behind the song finds solo success, it’ll come in part through the talents recognized by influential radio personality Bobby Bones and others, not just from her family and their loyal social media followers.
“Allie is a pure singer songwriter,” Hummon says. “Her inspiration moves effortlessly from her heart to her mind and out into the world, through her beautiful voice.”