Contents

  1. A royal mess
  2. Women-at-arms

A ROYAL MESS

  • The telecom industry is in turmoil unable to pay up its dues as per the Supreme Court verdict on adjusted gross revenues delivered in October last;
  • Faced with the wrath of the Court, Bharti Airtel paid ₹10,000 crore on Monday with the promise of paying the rest before mid-March when the court will hear the case next.
  • If Vodafone shuts shop, not only will the industry be reduced to a duopoly, with all the attendant consequences for customers but it will also lead to loss of about 15,000 direct jobs and several thousand more indirect ones.
  • Worse, the cascading effect will be felt across the economy as lenders face the consequences of the company going bankrupt — nonperforming assets will rise
  • The government has to, therefore, examine what it can do to save the situation without disrespecting the Court’s verdict

WOMEN-AT-ARMS

Why in news?

  • The Supreme Court has delivered a sharp rebuke to the government by asking it to adhere to its own stated policy, articulated on February 25, 2019, on granting permanent commission to women in the Short Service Commission (SSC)
  • Though women are absorbed into the SSC, they are now denied permanent commission in most branches of the Indian Army.
  • It was submitted that deployment of women officers was not advisable in conflict zones where there was “minimal facility for habitat and hygiene”.
  • Yet, the government admitted to the Court that 30% of the total number of women officers are in fact deputed to conflict areas.
  • In directing the government to grant permanent commission to those women who opt for it, in 10 branches of the SSC, and by ordering the government to level the playing field, the Court has forced acknowledgement of the sterling role women have played and continue to play, shoulder to shoulder
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