M.Phil & Ph.D’s Awarded in Air and Space Law:
Malay Adhikari has been awarded M.Phil. Degree for the Academic year 2010-2011. His research was based on “Legal perspective of Remote Sensing Data Dissemination of earth Observation with special reference to India:” The study has thrown ample light on the legal issues related to outer space activities with respect to remote sensing data dissemination for earth observation. Now-a-days, we can access data less than 1m very easily. So it is meaningless for not providing data in BHUVAN, the newest service of ISRO comparable to Google-earth, as it is not compatible to RSDP. Another point is that the other foreign agencies are providing the data of higher-resolution easily. So our policy is also not up-to-date to our technological advancement. If we change the contents of the policy also, it is not possible to get data of higher-resolution easily. Because there are high possibilities to misuse of data legally when we consider the legal issues like sovereignty & sensed state, privacy, IPR, national security etc. A policy cannot be adjudicated like a law. If it is the case, then there is no requirement to pass bill from Parliament. Yes, RSDP is more appropriate for a section of data users particularly, say, for scientific community, but utilization of spatial data in society requires a stable law. Even implementation of a policy requires a national law.
The current trend is commercialization and privatization of space activities including the geospatial data dissemination. How the private parties depend strongly on RSDP? Because it is not expected in a policy how much the customers of data have right and to what extent they are expected to get and utilize the geospatial data. Also if there is any violation of rules from their part or anybody else, how it will be settled in a court of law? What is the procedure to apply Right to Information Act to get all the types of information regarding data? Simply, it can be said that high-resolution data are sensitive so no RTI queries will be permitted. But the Hon’ble Minister of Science & Technology, India raised the question that why data of BHUVAN are to be restricted to public? It is made of public money and every citizen of India has every right to get all the data. There will be more violation in coming years when we proceed towards better technology; the incident may have serious effect than the event in last paragraph. Obviously, such type of incident will occur very rarely but its impact is so large that it will tilt the faith of common people to utilize the technology. The geospatial industry is running by space technology as well as digital technology both. We cannot deny the access of either to stop the offences. So it is not that RSDP has only focus on space science development, but also the development of digital technology. The software is very very advanced to send the umpteen number of images with a single click of a mouse. The research is going on and the private companies are more interested to develop the new software which will enable the customer to send and receive data more efficiently.
Another typical Indian problem is that there is lack of coordination between the government agencies like Geological Survey of India, Survey of India, NATMO, ISRO etc. Though they are all central government agencies, but the customers have to follow the different rules to take the data from the respective authority and to value add the spatial data for their own purposes. Sometimes, the Government Agencies itself are facing the problem of getting data as it is not provided in RSDP. Like- to get the contour map of sea border area, the ISRO is following the same policy though Government owned water authority requires the data.
After all these discussions in this research study, the most important point is that right data is received timely in the right place and at best value. Perhaps this statement holds the heart of geospatial data dissemination. There are complaints from the customers of NRSC that data are provided untimely. But NRSC authority is always trying their best to customers. So there are some gap between data supplier and user. There must not be a gap in between. Sometimes technological problem comes but sometimes attitude also matters. Particularly there is red tapeism in government sector like NRSC. Obviously there is RTI Act, but if the upcoming Geospatial Law itself provides the solution, there is nothing best rather than this.
Shaik Nizam Ahmed Shafi has been awarded his PH.D. entitled “Privatization of Airports: Emerging Legal Issues and includes a focus on International and National regulations” focused on the urgent need for expansion and the establishment of air transportation of goods and passengers. To cope up with the expansion of global trends of trade and commerce and movement of passengers, the researcher made an attempt to focus on the evolution and expansion of the airports by the private players. It points out the historical background of the evolution of privatisation of airports which took birth in England, transplanted in the US and other countries. Coming to the Indian scenario, the concept of ‘Globalisation, Liberalisation and Privatisation’ was introduced to expand the trade and commerce in tune with the globalisation of trade and commerce. The first step towards the introduction of the ‘privatisation of airports’ was the first taken up by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and established the Greenfield airports at Bangalore and Hyderabad under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.
The research focused on various stages that are involved in planning for the privatisation of airports right from policy decision by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India in consultation with the respective States, the next stage of acquiring land for the proposed airports, creation of special economic zones to provide for facilities like Maintenance, Repair and Overhauling (MRO) of aircraft and other activities which are ancillary to the establishment of airports. The impact of the overall growth of employment and other activities surrounding the airport and also trading activities related to the passengers is also focused. Though the concept of privatisation of airports is in its infancy, the advantage, that is derived by the humble beginning f the privatisation is leading to the facilitation of movement of passengers and cargo thereby cutting the costs time and money. The research highlighted the grey areas in operation of the already privatised airports and suggested the ways and means plug those grey areas and thereby benefitting the future airports that are going to be established in the near future. The privatisation of airports is inevitable to cope up with the rapid growth of air traffic not only from a business point of view even from the angle of travel and tourism point of view. The object of privatisation of airports should lead to the accessibility of air travel to as many people as possible in order to save time and money. The greater expansion of the airports leads to competition among private players thereby making them accessible to the common man.
Mr. Mohd. Owais Farooqui has been awarded Ph.D. on “Unmanned Aircraft System: An Analysis under International Civil Aviation Law”. The thesis focused to articulate the underlying reasons, justifications, principles, and policies behind the protection of UAS in India and then scrutinize the scope and shape of the UAS. It gives an overview of the problem, lay the issues and builds a theoretical platform for the next chapters. It deals with the brief introduction to the topic of the thesis. It also includes the objective, scope, limitations, significance, utility, research questions and hypothesis. It also deals with the methodology adopted to carry out the research. The historical development of unmanned aviation is briefly explored before turning to a consideration of present and possible future applications. The present chapter helps us to understand how the Unmanned Aviation has evolved into its current and future manifestations. An attempt was made in this to present a historical perspective on UAS since its beginning to the present times.
The terminology and definitions with regard to civil unmanned aviation are of importance when analyzing the different approaches of ICAO and other regional jurisdictions with regard to civil UAS. It also seeks to evaluate the existing regulatory framework of ICAO for UAS, explicitly, and directives of manned aircraft that would apply to UAS as well as various annexes specifically for the UAS that now exist. It attempts to analyze public international air law with the special emphasis focusing on the legal regimes of unmanned aircraft for their safe operation and contributes to the legal thinking in the field of air law for the civil uses of UAS. It provides an analysis that compares and contrasts the different and similar approaches being taken by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, China, Russian Federation, as it relates to the potential use of UAS in their controlled airspace. These analyses emphasize the need for further discussion on the importance of testing UAS within an urbanized area. The regulations reviewed and analyzed are applicable to all classifications of UAS. It also examines the current & probable civil use of UAS in India in the light of the issues like safety, privacy, propriety etc., for their safe operation. The chapter also offers important recommendations for India’s policymakers to ensure safe and dynamic deployment of UAS after having a comparative study of other major jurisdictions. Most importantly, it highlights the gaps and offers recommendations to fill international regulatory holes and that too, in the harmonization with the national regulations, in order to provide a useful contribution to the eventual implementation of UAS into civilian airspace.
Padmaja M. Kathikar has been awarded Ph.D. on “Legal Analysis of Emerging Competition issues in aviation sector: A comparative study”. The study “Legal Analysis of Emerging Anti-Competitive Practices in Civil Aviation Industry: A Comparative Study with USA and India” provides a detail analysis of the nature and degree of anti-competitive practices that are creeping in the civil aviation industry. This research has been divided into eight chapters. This study made every attempt to provide legal analysis of regulatory barriers for entry of new airlines in industry.
Researcher has also made detail analysis of market related issues, issues related to slot-allocation, legislative analysis of mergers and effects of mergers are having anti-competitive effects on civil aviation industry. Researcher has made a comprehensive comparative analysis of U.S. and India in the context of regulations relating to prevention of anti-competitive practices and regulations regarding mergers and amalgamations in airline industry. Thus, a specific feature of both the countries in the context of existing market scenario has been studied. Further, implications of the findings of the study for competition law have also been discussed at length. On the basis of comparative analysis and conclusions arrived at in study, selected recommendations has been provided, which are pertinent to provide a road-map for better regulatory system to prevent anti-competitive practices in civil aviation industry.
Rahul Jairam Nikam, has been awarded Ph.D. on his research on “Intellectual property Right Protection to Outer Space Activities: A comparative Study on India and America”. Since two decades, private activities in Outer Space are increasing and they are challenging space law. The space sector includes all public and private actors primarily involved in the provision of space-enabled products and services. These sectors work effectively in a value-adding chain beginning from the manufacturers of space hardware to the providers of space-enabled products, and services to final users. Space commercialization refers to efforts on the part of governments and companies to use the space environment to (i) make better and less expensive products for sale on Earth, as well as for use in space; and (ii) perform space related services, such as satellite construction and launching. There has also been a pronounced increase in the space commercialization, as multi-national companies have expanded their business activities in transportation and launching services, communication satellites, and remote sensing.
Today’s commercial space industry is a more profitable business venture. The present structure in the global commercial space market is indeed a promising scenario, because International Space Treaties including Five Principles and International Intellectual Property Right Treaties has no direct provision or linkage to facilitate the commercialization of space activities. Therefore there is need to have at least National IPR Laws in consonance with Domestic Space Laws so this provisions can provide the legal framework under which commercialization of space activities can be carried out by private industry player and some time in cooperation with respective Space Agencies they can go for Research and development of new indigenous technology. Researcher has chosen to do some comparative study with American policies, laws, rules, regulation which are dealing with Protection of IPR to the space activities in commercial context with Indian laws and regulation. Because as we are aware of that we in India not having any policy, Acts, Regulation which are protecting IP right related to the Space Activates. The research deals with five International Space Treaties and Five Principles and International Intellectual Property Right Treaties. It also deals with Relevance of Intellectual Property in Space Activities and Linkage Between IPR Laws and Space Laws, Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) and International Space Station (ISS). Last part of the research deals with Protection of Patent and Trade Secret laws to Space Activities in USA, Protection of Copy right law to space activities, to Remote Sensing, GIS Data and Direct Broadcasting by Satellite in USA, Indian space activities and Intellectual property laws.
Ongoing Ph.D’s in Air and Space Law:
Poorvi Ganjoo Kantroo is a Research scholar at CADL. She is pursuing her doctoral thesis on “Space Debris Through the Lens of Commercialization: Issues and Challenges in the International Legal Framework”. She has researched extensively on the contemporary issue of Space debris and analyzed it in the light of commercialization. From the very inception of the Space era, Earth orbit has developed into an extremely utilized environment. The excessive space activity of launching satellites has led to the debris of enormous magnitude in orbit that undermines the cardinal principle of space law that space is a common heritage of humanity. Although an assortment of norms and guidelines address space debris at various stages of government, at the moment, a dependable and binding international legal framework dedicated to this cause, especially to secure the interests of private enterprises is lacking. On a global scale, few stumbling blocks have hindered the active mitigation and remediation of space debris. The first being the absence of a standard accepted definition for ‘space debris’ and ‘space objects’ in the existing space treaties and hard laws. It has been found that the scarcity of a globally recognized definition distorts the room for legal culpability. The second limitation is the dearth of a binding legal framework taken by consensus for mitigating and remediating the Space Debris on an international level – the third being lucidity over the concept of jurisdiction and property for debris removal.Consequently, these obstacles fail active mitigation, remediation, and management of Space debris. Diverse technical resolutions exist or have been recommended to alleviate the debris dilemma, as to conserve the orbital environment, but these solutions require to work in concurrence with a statutory regime that regulates the creation and remediation of space debris, which at present is found to incompetent.
The entire thesis is pivoted on the following hypothesis that due to lack of enforcement, existing regulations aimed at mitigating or remediating Space debris are ineffective in handling the issue of debris comprehensively from a holistic international perspective, nor are they well equipped to secure the interest of the private industry. Given the present scenario, the relics and remnants of such satellites, defunct parts of derelict satellites and rockets sum up to the issue the debris. Apart from the critical analysis of existing legal regimes around debris, the research objectives includes, critically analyze the existing legislation and guidelines on orbital debris, review of the efforts of the international community, evaluate the legal issues and challenges for the public and private sector pertaining to the Active Space debris removal, analyze the legality behind ASAT tests through the lens of debris, develop legal strategies for combating the effects of orbital debris.
Vasundhara Ravi is presently pursuing her doctoral thesis on “Public-Private Partnership in Airports Development in India: A Critical study”, It aims to bring out the lacuna in the existing legal framework as it does not provide for a single regulator which can allow for a PPP project in the airports sector. It also aims to compare the international practices to understand how in many countries such as United States, United Kingdom (where PPPs are referred to has Public Finance Initiatives), Australia, Brazil, Portugal and many Far Eastern economies such as Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Malaysia have been transformed by substantial investments through PPPs in airports development.
Airport development projects, across the world, are now being financed by a combination of private and public funding. In India, though airports have historically been financed using public funds, i.e. by the governments itself, liberalization has given way for private sector involvement. With India moving up the ranks in the global aviation market, it is significant that the airports sector in India is at crossroads in terms of its infrastructure development. It is essential to develop and build reliable and affordable airports and thereby increase passenger and cargo traffic. Development of airports should be at a rate higher than passenger growth as airports are infrastructure facilities, and can be developed only over a period of time. Airports infrastructure development is a capital-intensive sector that requires proper planning with a long term vision and the combined resources of public and private sectors.
Public- Private Partnerships (PPP) are now a central feature of ongoing efforts to modernize public services and infrastructure. PPP does not mean lesser responsibility on the part of the Government. The Government remains actively involved throughout the life cycle of the project which is mainly centered on a contractual agreement between the parties. The parties need to mutually agree on various factors such as allocation of resources, risk and returns. The researcher is analyzing the key legal issues which arise in a PPP project and the various initiatives taken by different countries to tackle them. There is a need to sustain PPPs through a comprehensive legal framework. The unique nature of PPPs demand a separate umbrella legislation which deals with all stages of a PPP project such as preparation, procurement, proposal, feasibility report etc. and also ensures transparency and efficiency to the entire process. In India, the state level infrastructure development acts are not uniform. The need is for a uniform legislation in the central level, which will cater to all aspects of a PPP project and help in its successful implementation. It needs to be examined if the existing legal policies and framework including the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) Act, 2008 are addressing all legal issues involved in the smooth functioning of a PPP project in the aviation sector. As regards the aviation sector, in order to attract private participation, the prerequisite is an independent economic regulator for the airports sector which can provide clear guidelines on the commercial potential of developing airports infrastructure through PPPs and also help to create a level- playing field and foster healthy competition among all major airports.
Ms. Anita Singh is presently pursuing her doctoral thesis on “Procurement Policies of Indian Defence Industry: A Critical Legal Analysis” – The peninsular structure of India also places it strategically close to the sea lane stretching between Suez Canal to Persian Gulf to the Straits of Malacca which is the prime area through which the oil from the Gulf region transpires. This is an area which has attracted super power rivalries in the past and continues to be a region of heightened activity by extra regional navies on account of current global security concerns. Having due regards to the strategic location of India and the fact that it is critically located on the most crucial routes i.e. the Silk Route and Oil Route of the Gulf region, it is of paramount importance for the nation to establish, train and periodically review the functioning of its armed forces, both internal and external, in order to safeguard its security interests. Its unique geographical and topographical diversity has made India face numerous challenges especially in the terms of maintaining security for which high-end defence equipment and well-trained armed forces are required. For facing challenges like these, international procurement in the defence sector is always a preferred approach. Defence procurement is essentially the process through which the government acquires equipment, technology and weaponry for the armed forces. Despite the fact that the India’s defence imports rises every year, nevertheless there has been a lot of criticism against this trend. It has been widely criticized as under numerous circumstances what we have ended up procuring was not the top-notch technology. That kind of defence technology is quite common and counter technologies also exists. This argument is in line with the fact that no nation will be ready to part with its critical technology for the purposes of maintaining an edge over their competitive counterparts.
In order to cater to this and consequently with the purpose of enhancing the self-reliance index various policy measures have been adopted in the past two decades. Starting from the Defence Procurement Procedure Policy, the Offset Policy and the extremely famous Make-in-India policy, self-reliance and indigenization has been the key focus of the policies in defence sector. Nonetheless, despite the policy framework, India continues to procure from foreign vendors and its defence imports is on the rise. Ms. Anita Singh ventures through her doctoral work in this sketchy domain of Defence Procurement Laws. Her focus is to dwell upon this gap between the policy on paper and the practice on field and the impact of this difference on the government and private sector entities who wish to invest in the defence sector.
Mr. Habib Zafar is presently pursuing his doctoral thesis on “Legal and Regulatory Compliances of Aviation Industry in India: An analysis” – Indian aviation industry is rapidly growing with approximately 20% per annum. According to the study by Oxford Economics, contribution of Aviation Industry to India’s GDP is 0.5% which is expected to double in next five years. Indian Air Transport industry currently supports1.7 million jobs in the country and has led to overall economic and social development promoting tourism and enhancing global connectivity. Today this industry has registered a turnover exceeding Rs 1000 billion. There has been a steady growth in the air passenger traffic in India which is forecasted to be around 290-300 million by 2020. To cater to such huge traffic explosion India requires nearly 400 operational airports. It is estimated that Indian aviation market is going to be one of the largest by 2030.According to the strategic plan of Ministry of Civil Aviation, to meet the market growth demand by 2020, the airlines industry requires capital of $ 80 billion, for Airport development it needs $30 billion and for upgradation of Air Navigation Services (ANS) it entails 6 billion. The role of private sector in this development is significant. To meet the capital deficit, private players have to be involved.
Government has taken many initiatives by allowing the private players to enter in this industry. The private players driven by India’s huge market potential which can be attributed to various factors like the presence of a strong domestic demand with a huge pool of human and natural resources, low cost efficiency provided by cheap labour and low cost technological and technical improvisations above all a strong democratic set up. The Indian government is encouraging a liberal economic environment which is both attractive to investors and also seen to be fair to consumers. To understand the liberal policy regime in civil aviation and the legal regimes operative, an indepth analysis of international aviation regulatory bodies like International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Airports Council International (ACI), International Air Transport Association (IATA), Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), International Labour Organization (ILO) etc. and Indian regulating bodies like Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), Airport Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) etc. is required for serious research and analysis. Indian aviation industry is growing exponentially. The potential for attracting foreign private capital is high as demonstrated by the interest shown by global aviation companies attracted in the aviation sector. Yet, prospective investors are sceptical about the complex legal and regulatory compliances regime. The need to build transparent regulatory mechanisms and procedures is imperative to attract greater foreign private investment in the civil aviation sector.
Ms. Shruti Kakkar is presently pursuing her doctoral thesis on “Need of a Sector-Specific Dispute Settlement Mechanism under the Space Laws” – Outer space has always been a fascinating subject for human being. With the advancement of the technology quest to know more and more about outer space and celestial bodies has increased tremendously. In 1957 USSR has launched The Sputnik-I, which was the first giant step of humans in the outer space. It has also started the space race between the countries. Now around 30 countries are advancing in the field of space technology. For regulating the legal framework of outer space activities United Nations has negotiated five space treaties in the 1960s and the 1970s. Since then laws related to the outer space are majorly governed by these five treaties. The original and legislative intent of the drafters of the UN space treaties was to outline general broad-spectrum principles and legal guidelines for future space activities of states. Space activities, which were once, the domain of state party has now equally joined by the private players. The lucrative business of space activities has attracted private players to invest massively in it. With the growth of technology and involvement of various players at a different level of space activities possibilities of disputes and disagreement are there.
Unfortunately, space law regime doesn’t have an adequate and compulsory dispute settlement mechanism. Among the five UN space treaties, the 1967 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies and the 1972 Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects suffer from a limited material scope. First, these treaties were negotiated only for the state space entities. These treaties exclude the private players, non-governmental organizations and individuals who are also playing an important role in outer space activities these days. Second, it only covers claims for compensation for damage caused by space objects and does not talk about other outer space-related activities like satellite financing, space tourism, property right, intellectual property right issues or breach of contract between the parties involve. Third, it doesn’t have a binding effect upon the parties. Fourthly, dispute settlement mechanism in these treaties heavily relies upon the diplomatic relations between the countries. So, if one party to the dispute doesn’t have sound diplomatic relationship with the other party, it has to take the help of UN or other countries which has diplomatic relation with that country which is again very lengthy process. So far, we have witnessed two biggest disputes in the history of outer space activities first in 1978 the Soviet Satellite Cosmos 954 crashed into Canadian territory, causing environmental damage, in particular, nuclear contamination. Second the recent collision between the spent Russian Cosmos and Iridium. These disputes explain well the lacunas and inadequacy of the current dispute settlement mechanism under the space laws. Finding a viable and workable dispute settlement mechanism under Space Law is the main purpose of her Thesis.
Mr. Mohammed Anwar Khan is presently pursuing his doctoral thesis on “Legal research on issues and challenges in implementing FUA over Indian Airspace” – Airspace of a nation is its finite sovereign asset therefore a national resource which is limited and in that sense scarce therefore requiring it’s most effective utilization. Although both Civil and Military have their own airspace yet form part of common national airspace operating in the same air traffic management (ATM) environment.Civil aviation and Military aviation are fundamentally different from each other in their nature and functions. While Civil aviation is necessary for global interaction between nations besides making a significant contribution to the global and nation’s economy, whereas, Military aviation is essential for national security and defence and is therefore a legitimate and indispensable activity. As India’s air traffic increased crowding the airspace, highlighting the shortage of civil airspace to meet the demand, forcing Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Ministry of Defense (MoD) to reach an agreement on Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA).
Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA) is an airspace management concept which determines that airspace should not be designated as either pure civil or military airspace, but rather considered as one continuum in which all user’s requirements have to be accommodated to the maximum extent possible. .FUA’s primary objective is to enhance airspace capacity through efficiently and effectively utilizing the available airspace on sharing basis to gain optimum usage resulting into efficient operations. Other outcomes important from the airlines viability perspective include minimized delays, fuel conservation, emission reduction and ultimate benefits to traveling public. As a first step towards implementation of the FUA in India, setting up of a National High Level Airspace Policy Body (NHLAPB) for strategic planning and to assess/reassess airspace requirements of various stakeholders, also to establish and introduce procedures for allocation of these flexible airspace structures.
Mr. Pemmaraju Ramalingeswara Prakash is presently pursuing his doctoral thesis on “Indian Satellite Communication (SATCOM) Policy and its impediments for Private Sector Participation: A comparative study of SATCOM Regulatory environment of top space faring nations and way forward for growth of Indian SATCOM industry” – The usage of Satellite Communication Spectrum for various applications is strictly governed by various prevalent national and International licensing regimes & regulations. The SATCOM users, be it the state agencies or private players have to adhere to these established norms and accordingly plan their utilisation within this framework after due authorisation from the designated agency responsible for granting the applicable licenses / permissions. All the major space faring nations including India have an elaborate policy in place and being enforced in letter and spirit. As per the SATCOM Policy – 1997, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Department of Space (DoS) is the agency responsible for provision of SATCOM resources to various users and Wireless Planning Committee, Ministry of Communications, is the administrative agency which authorises the usage in accordance with the national and extant ITU Radio Regulations in close coordination with Department of Space. Operating licenses for Broadcasting / Telecommunications services are issued by the administrative machineries concerned viz. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Department of Telecom-munications under Ministry of Communications respectively in accordance with the Broadcasting and Telegraphic Regulations in vogue.
Today, the Indian industry both public & private sector has no presence in manufacturing of Satellites and a miniscule presence in Space sub systems and Satcom equipment manufacturing. In fact, the entire ground segment in India except in the broadcasting domain is proliferated with Satcom equipment of foreign origin especially of the western countries with limited presence of indigenous equipment. There is an urgent need for the best legal minds of the country to come together and assess the adequacy of the current SATCOM policy – 1997 which has been evolved within the frame work of National Telecom Policy, Indian Telegraphic Act 1885 & Indian Wireless & Telegraphic Act 1933. In his article, Mr. Nikhil Singh, Principal Associate, Corporate Practice, Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan, New Delhi 2, has rightly analysed the inadequacies and concluded that it is about time to revisit the policy and revise to achieve the dream of a “Digital India”.
Capt Ashish Kapoor is presently pursuing his doctoral thesis on “Safety in Civil Aviation: An Indian Perspective”. Civil Aviation in the Asia Pacific region witnessed tremendous growth in the year 2015 with 32% of total scheduled revenue passenger-kilometers (RPKs) performed, and an impressive 9.2 per cent growth rate. Indian economy has a population of 30 crore in the middle class with adequate purchasing power yet the position of the country in terms of number of passengers is tenth world wise. The National Civil Aviation Policy has been rolled out in 2016 to promote growth of the Indian Civil Aviation Sector. Rapid growth implies rapid change and inherent is the risk to aviation safety.
In 2015 the helicopter civil aviation in India saw four accidents with three of them fatal (12 fatalities). All the operators were non-scheduled. The International Civil Aviation Organization has safety as its first strategic objective. In pursuant of this objective it has a triennial Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) and a Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme. India too has a State Safety Programme (SSP) and State Safety Policy to oversee implementation of Safety Management System (SMS) as mandated vide ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices Annex 19. There is also a State Safety Plan 2018-22, which lays down the state safety priorities. The International helicopter safety team in 2009 proclaimed its objective to reduce civil helicopter accidents by 80% of 2005 levels by 2016. The Indian chapter of IHST in a presentation in Sep 2016 sadly acceded that the Indian Civil Helicopter industry had missed the target rate of 1.9 and stood at a much higher rate of 5.27. With all the rules and regulations in place accidents are still occurring at an alarming rate. Are the guidelines and plan on SMS implementation adequate and have they been adopted by the State in an efficient manner so as to allow for a safe and sustainable growth of civil aviation. The main objective is to study and analyze the synchronization of Indian SSP and GASP in as regards the implementation of SMS by the operators and to see whether DGCA is coping up with explosive growth in Civil Aviation in India. The research methodology involves a review of ICAO and State Documents on safety policy, annual reports. Conduct a gap analysis and view targets achieved against those set and then find whether the DGCA is coping up with the explosive growth in civil aviation to provide a safe environment for the high growth trajectory.
Ms. Ishita Das – is presently pursuing her doctoral thesis on “Commercialization of Outer Space and Cyber-security: Need for a new International Legal Framework”. The Outer Space Treaty clearly specifies that the countries should pursue the maintenance of peace in outer space. One area which requires adequate research and work is related to the interface between International Space Law and Cyber Law. With the rapid commercialization of the space sector, the chances of cyber-attacks affecting critical space assets are only going to increase. As more and more military operations are being carried out by the commercial space sector, the kind of information or data handled by such companies is becoming sensitive and vital for the protection of national security. For instance, several military forces around the world use the satellites for command and control, early warning, reconnaissance operations, monitoring, and navigation. If such data or information is compromised, it can lead to catastrophic outcomes for the countries concerned.
Most countries have domestic laws, rules, and regulations governing the activities in cyberspace. Very few international frameworks exist in this domain, one of them being the Tallinn Manual 2.0. The researcher, through this research study, aims to explore the inadequacies of the current international and domestic legal frameworks associated with cyberspace and outer space, drawing upon the experiences of five states, that is, the United States, China, India, Russia, and the United Kingdom. After an analysis of the current domestic and international setups, the researcher wishes to explore the possibility of a new international framework for dealing with the issue of space assets and cyber security in an effective manner.