Interview

"The only fallback was SMEs, but policies have choked them.”

A slowdown in the Indian economy and jobless growth have made the future seem bleak for many young Indians. Pronab Sen, country director of the International Growth Centre’s central team for India, speaks to Governance Now about what led to this pass and gives his prognosis. Sen has served as the first chief statistician of India, served as the functional and technical head of the nat

How Thomson Reuters can help in cracking down on black money

Post-demonetisation, there has been a crackdown on shell companies, a way to convert black money into white. Recently, prime minister Narendra Modi said that shell companies would all be eliminated in five years. Pradeep Lankapalli, who heads information and data analytics firm Thomson Reuters, however, believes we might not have to wait so long. In conversation with Governance Now, he talk

Ganga should have water to remain clean: DG, National Mission for Clean Ganga

In a conversation with Governance Now, UP Singh explains why the holy river cannot be cleansed in one stroke or by a single scheme. He also talks about how Ganga is different from other rivers across the globe and therefore needs a different mechanism to purify it again. When would we get to see a clean Ganga? Cleaning Ganga is not a one-time, but

Drop in revenue is a temporary phase: RS Sharma, chairman, TRAI

There is no drop in revenue but a dip in the growth rate of the revenue from telecom services because of reduction in tariff by telecom service providers due to competition. In an interview with Governance Now, TRAI head RS Sharma explains how the revenues will pick up soon. Countering the argument that the telecom industry is becoming an oligopoly market with the concentration of power in

Non-violence is the right approach: Lobsang Sangay, regent, Tibetan govt in exile

As the regent of the Tibetan government in exile, Lobsang Sangay is campaigning hard for its autonomy. He is bitter about the Chinese government’s attitude. In a freewheeling interview with Shankar Kumar, which took place a few days before the China Communist Party’s 19th Congress in Beijing, the Tibetan leader talks about world peace, Doklam, OBOR, Rohingyas and other issues. E

Hindi’s narrow readership is a concern: Nikhil Sachan

Nikhil Sachan is one of the most promising names among contemporary Hindi writers. His first book, Namak Swadanusar, a collection of short stories published in 2013, was praised widely in literary circles. It also made it to BBC Hindi’s top 10 books of the year. Born in Kanpur, he studied engineering from IIT BHU and completed a management course from IIM Kozhikode. After another anth

Senior railway officer Achal Khare on the bullet train roadmap

Achal Khare, MD, National High Speed Rail Corporation, is a man with big responsibility – of realising India’s dream of running a bullet train. In conversation with Vishwas Dass, Khare lists various challenges before the NHSRCL – the executing agency of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed rail (HSR) project – and

How to quench water-stressed Chennai’s thirst

For the past two years Chennai has been facing an acute water crisis. From desalination plants to recycling water, the city is doing everything to improve the situation. In an interview with Shivani Chaturvedi, Chennai water authority MD V Arun Roy explains the measures underway to tackle the perennial crisis. What are the government’s plans to improve the

Free music is questionable: Carnatic vocalist Sudha Ragunathan

Sudha Ragunathan is a renowned Carnatic vocalist and composer. She has performed across India and abroad. Her guru was Padma Bhushan ML Vasanthakumari, known by many as a musical genius and a doyenne of Carnatic music. Sudha’s most fascinating and memorable performance was Vande Mataram at the central house of parliament during the 50th Republic Day celebrations in 2000. She has also

Satyagraha is not out-of-date: Bhikhu Parekh

During Prof Parekh’s recent India visit, Ashish Mehta sat down with him for a chat on Gandhi. Here is what they talked: At 82, Baron Bhikhu Parekh remains as sprightly as ever. He is no longer teaching in classrooms but continues his academic pursuits. After ‘Debating India: Essays on Indian Political Discourse’ (Oxford University Press, 2015), he is at work on his next

No home to go to

The Rohingya crisis has jolted the world at a time when people have become somewhat immune to violent images of destroyed cities and persecuted refugees fleeing Syria, Nigeria and Yemen.  Apart from heart-rending images floating around on news sites, like that of the moment when a mother discovers her days-old baby has died just after making it across the Naf river to Bangladesh, the reaso

In conversation with filmmaker G Bramma

G Bramma’s first film, Kutram Kadithal, won the national award for best feature film in Tamil. It spoke of the need for safe and healthy schooling of children. It also won the state award for best film, and was screened at various national and international film festivals. His next movie, Magalir Mattum, celebrates womanhood, and was released in August. Wha

“Filing is done in a systematic manner”

How did you get the idea to go for ISO certification? What did you want to achieve when you mooted this idea? It is my firm belief that work must be accomplished in an organised manner and give a sense of satisfaction. But one cannot evaluate their shortcomings. Evaluation can only be done by others. When you go for ISO compliance, others evaluate you. Many ti

Privacy is a fundamental right! Here’s what it means

 Privacy is now a fundamental right! But are you baffled by the supreme court’s ruling on Right to Privacy? Centre for Internet and Society’s executive director Sunil Abraham decodes the judgment for us.  What does the SC judgment on privacy mean for the common man?   Cit

“The talaq verdict is just a beginning…”

The supreme court has held the practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional. This takes us back to the Shah Bano case and the question of reforming the Muslim personal law. Had it not been overturned by Rajiv Gandhi in 1986, how would it have impacted the Muslim society? The year 1986 played a very important role as the issue of triple talaq became

CEL’s phoenix story

Central Electronics Limited (CEL) was established in 1974 – when the world of electronics was a rarefied field. This public sector enterprise made continuos losses for many years, but for the past four years it has been making profits. Its CMD, Dr Nalin Shinghal, speaks with Praggya Guptaa about this transformation and future plans.    How

A dose of PPP in healthcare is what the doctor recommends

Dr Kenneth E Thorpe, a professor of health policy and management at Emory University in the US and also the chairman of Partnership to Fight Chronic Diseases (PFCD), says that the government alone cannot do everything. “They don’t have the resources and capacity. So we have to find ways to engage private sector,” Dr Thorpe told Governance Now during his visit to India wher

“Parents need to be taught that each child is special”

It has been a year since you took charge of the new ministry. What is your biggest worry as in charge of education in India? My first priority – and that reflects my worry as well – is to improve the quality of government schools. It’s a tough job. Unfortunately, government schools which were much better earlier have deteriorated in two decades. That h

Doklam stand-off won’t lead to “full-blown war”

India and China are not prepared for a war over Doklam plateau in Bhutan, assessed JNU professor Srikanth Kondapalli, a well-known China expert who is back  from Beijing and Shanghai after spending two months there. In a telephonic interview with Shankar Kumar, Kondapalli said both countries will not opt for war as it will be catastrophic and millions would die.  

The reforms process has been very slow: Yashwant Sinha

Last year the nation marked the 25th anniversary of the launch of economic liberalisation. Back in those tumultuous days, Yashwant Sinha was an important part of the dramatis personae involved in the reforms process. As finance minister in the short-lived Chandra Shekhar government, he steered the economy during a critical phase, and later, as finance minister in the NDA government, he gave



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