Interview

“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

‘Not just Muslims, everyone is in fear and awe of Yogi Adityanath’

At 70, Dr Aziz Ahmad, a well-known homeopath and politician now with Congress, still has a busy practice in Abu Bazaar, in old Gorakhpur. During working hours, the lane in which he has a clinic becomes jam-packed with patients and their vehicles. People speak of naming the lane after him. Dr Ahmad takes a dim view of Yogi Adityanath. His wife Talat Aziz was allegedly shot

“Young dalit leaders have age, situation on their side”

How do you see the rise of the Bhim Army in Uttar Pradesh?   During the last assembly elections in UP, it was a common consensus among many [dalit leaders] that we’d give one more chance to Mayawati. If she comes back, well and good. If she doesn’t, let’s give somebody else a chance. As it turned out, she could not make a comeback. P

‘What does a saint have to do with politics?’

Vinay Shankar Tiwari, one among handful of Brahmin MLAs from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the only non-BJP MLA in the nine constituencies of Gorakhpur, shared with Governance Now his idea of an ideal city and also spoke on the Yogi Adityanath government completing 100 days. What do you have to say about &lsquo

‘In 100 days we achieved what Akhileshji did not in five years’

Deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya speaks to Governance now on how the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has fared so far:   You have come up with a report card of your 100 days in office after a humungous victory in  Uttar Pradesh. Please share with us some of your experiences and achievement.   I can

‘Profiteering from patients is not justified’

What is the biggest crisis India’s health care sector is going through?  It is a loaded question. As you have seen in my book [‘Do We Care: India’s Health System’ Oxford University Press, 2017], whichever party that has been in power at the federal or at the states level has not given due attention to health. The doable thing within the cons

“Vigilance is not an attractive work to do”

What is the role of CVC in curbing corruption and black money? Unlike many things in life, corruption is not episodic. It is not possible to talk of a completely corruption-free society. Corruption is an aspect of human nature which needs to be controlled and tackled. In India, corruption stems from various sources like systemic corruption – certain departments&

“Education is the best antidote to child labour”

How can we ensure that children taken away from labour will have a better future? By making education a fundamental right. After enacting the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act), it is a state obligation to do all that is necessary to get a child to school. Indeed, the amendment to the Child Labour Act, 2016 complemented the RTE Act in

“I don’t see in the next ten years any real solution for the people of Syria”

The seventh round of the Syria peace talks will begin on July 10 in Geneva which will be convened by the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura. Violence and persecution in places like Syria and South Sudan have displaced a record 65.6 million people worldwide who are either refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced, the UN refugee agency said in June. In the meanwhile, t

“Gandhi and Tagore are the two Indian authors who redefine civilisation as a moral compass and a space of dialogue”

Ramin Jahanbegloo is a renowned philosopher who is now associated with the Jindal Global University. His latest work, The Decline of Civilization, calls for countering the ‘decivilising’ tendencies of our times by returning to Gandhi and Tagore. Jahanbegloo answered some questions on this subject in an email interview with Yoshika Sangal.

Too much of discussion, no action on the ground: Pradeep Chaturvedi

What ails engineering education in India? Fifteen or 20 years back, a large number of industrialists and businessmen started engineering colleges, looking at them as a business opportunity. A large number of engineering colleges came up in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, and also in Tamil Nadu. However, when the IITs – which pay teachers well and have a

Why farmers are suddenly in rage: Yogendra Yadav explains

We have recently seen farmers from Tamil Nadu protesting in the national capital. Then Maharashtra farmers protested, deciding not to send their produce to cities. The agitation has now reached Madhya Pradesh, leading to killings. Why there is sudden farmers’ unrest in the country?  I think we tend to miss the real point behind these episodes of farmers unr

“Education is the only permanent measure to overcome poverty”

RS Praveen Kumar, a 1995 batch IPS officer, is also the secretary of Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) – a state-owned educational institution which runs residential schools for scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and underprivileged children. In a telephonic conversation with Shivani Chaturvedi, Kumar talks about how quality

You need some system of accountability: Atishi Marlena

Giving highest priority to education, the AAP government in Delhi is working towards bringing government schools at par with private schools. Atishi Marlena, advisor to deputy chief minister and education minister Manish Sisodia, talks to Jasleen Kaur about the challenges that government schools are facing.   What ails the e

“How can an insurance firm promote death?”

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, a head and neck cancer surgeon at the Tata Memorial hospital in Mumbai, is a leading anti-tobacco activist. He joined hands with Sumitra Hooda Pednekar and others to file a PIL in the Bombay High Court earlier this year, questioning the state-run insurance firm LIC’s investments in a leading cigarette-maker.

“In future, education will be either blended or fully online”

What restricts MOOCs’ acceptance despite having credits? It is just a matter of time. India has been used to the traditional way of education. However, the fact that India is the second biggest learner base for edX, after the United States, speaks volumes about the kind of recognition MOOCs are receiving in India. Employers are now giving importa

Parliament can’t be run on 19th century rules: Jay Panda

Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda feels that coffee would go well with the conversation we are about to have in the elegant, wood-panelled study of his Delhi house. “Do people drink coffee in Odisha?” I ask him to break the ice. “Once upon a time, coffee was not available there. Nowadays, I am amazed to see cafes selling coffee even in remote villages,” says Panda, who r

“The idea of having a department of happiness is completely bogus”

Peter Ronald deSouza is a professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi, and held the Dr S Radhakrishnan Chair of Rajya Sabha till April 2017. He works on issues of democratic politics and comparative politics of South Asia. A former director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla, where he served two terms from 2007 till 2013, he was



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