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Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is newly free of single-use plastic
Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is newly free of single-use plastic

Mood: How the Lounge team is feeling this week

From women officers getting equal opportunities in the Indian army to Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport going plastic-free, the Lounge team takes on the biggest updates of the week

Gupta case comes to a close

In December 2018, multiple allegations of sexual misconduct were made anonymously on an Instagram handle (@herdsceneand) against artist Subodh Gupta, who denied them all. In September, Gupta filed a civil defamation suit in the Delhi high court, seeking damages worth 5 crore. The case was settled out of court last week, with @herdsceneand agreeing to express regret and remove the offending posts. Earlier, the court had ordered Google to take down 18 news articles related to the case. —SG

Bezos’ climate fund

So the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, has just pledged $10billion (around 71,000 crore) of his own money to help fight climate change. This is excellent news even though the amount may not be much for the Amazon CEO, who is worth $130 billion. But there are some glaring discrepancies between this pledge and the way Amazon works. Amazon’s annual emissions (44.4 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents in 2018) almost equal those of Norway. In September, after years of pressure from its workers, Amazon announced a net-zero carbon target for 2040. This is welcome, but plans on how to achieve this remain vague. So, while $10 billion sounds great, the question is, will it deliver? —BB

IGI goes plastic-free

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is newly free of single-use plastic, having banned everything plastic from straws and grocery bags to food containers and cutlery. All these have been replaced with eco-friendly alternatives. It is yet another step forward for the airport, which recorded traffic of almost 69 million passengers in 2019. The Airports Authority of India had announced a ban on single-use plastic across 129 airports in 2019. As of today, that target has been achieved at 16 airports. Clearly, there is still a long way to go. —NS

Equal roles for women in the Indian Army

In a landmark judgement on 17 February, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of equal roles for women in the Indian Army. The ruling dismissed the government’s plea that male soldiers were not willing to accept orders from female officers. Aishwarya Bhati, a lawyer representing women officers in court, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview: “They (judges) have completely negated all the farcical stands raised by the army to deny women equal opportunities." It was only in 1992 that the army started recruiting women to “non-medical positions" through short service commissions, which allowed them to work for 10-14 years. Permanent commissions were granted to women only in the legal and education departments. All women officers will now be eligible for these. —AB

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