Interview

"Much depends on how active India is in bringing black money back"

It will be extraordinarily difficult for India to bring back stolen assets stashed away in tax havens, says Tim Daniel, an expert on black money who is partner with UK-based law firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge. In an interview with Trithesh Nandan in New Delhi, Daniel says India should move away from a culture in which nothing can be done without paying a bribe. Daniel h

"We can’t deprive future generations of what we take for granted"

Rajendra K Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and chief executive of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), is among the leading environmentalists in the country. Ahead of the upcoming World Environment Day, he spoke to Neha Sethi about the biggest environmental challenges for India, policy interventions required for sustainable agric

"My bill will empower intelligence agencies"

The supreme court on Monday sought the centre`s response on a PIL demanding a regulatory mechanism and accountability for IB, RAW and NTRO. In this respect, we reproduce an interview with Manish Tewari, who in 2011 introduced a private member`s bill with similar aims. This interview was conducted in June 2011. Manish Tewari, the MP from Ludhiana and a Congress spokespe

"Delhiites are satisfied with CWG infra"

Shunglu Committee holds Sheila Dikshit responsible for the CWG mess in Delhi last year. Don`t you think the state government`s soft approach to reports of graft and the delays in execution of projects were the major factors behind the scale of graft that marked the Games? I have not read the report. So, I do not know what it says. Whatever information I have, is from the

"Need to hear voice of students, teachers alike"

On the afternoon of Wednesday, April 6, at a busstop outside a cluster of South Delhi colleges of the University of Delhi, I spotted a tall man, talking to students and gathering first-hand accounts of the issues that were foremost in their mind. I realised that the man was none other than the eminent mathematician and current vice-chancellor of the university, Dinesh Singh. I wa

"Delhi doing well in implementing RTE"

It’s been a year since the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act came into existence. But many states are yet to notify the rules and start work in this regard. According to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), the government body monitoring the implementation of the law, the national capital too has not done enough groundwork. State education minister

‘I am not a rubber stamp sarpanch’

Rukmini Devi Salvi is the sarpanch of Vijapura panchayat in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan. She was recently honoured at the Outstanding Woman Panchayat Leaders Awards held in Delhi by the think tank Institute of Social Sciences (ISS). She was elected as sarpanch in 2010 with just Rs. 2,000 as campaign expenses. In little over a year, she has brought her panchayats solutions for many longrunni

"Phone tapping key to nailing tax evaders"

Sudhir Chandra, chair­man of the central board of direct taxes (CBDT), occupies a room in North Block whose balcony overlooks the majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan. The centrality of its location is symbolic of its significance to governance. Since time immemorial revenue collection has been crucial to sustain any form of governance. And it is the office of the CBDT chairman that devises and

What China can learn from India

Wu Qing, now serving her seventh term as an elected representative in a district People`s Congress in Beijing, feels that the biggest problem in Chinese model of development is Beijing`s top-down approach. In an interview with Trithesh Nandan, she said Chinese government should bring more women into the decision making process. She says that China has a long way to go when it comes to e

"E-procurement will soon become the only way the government does business”

C1 India has become synonymous with e-procurement in the country. How did you manage this feat? We started off as a franchisee of Commerce One, a $30 million American company focused on private sector procurement automation. When we came to India, we saw that the private sector was still not geared to automate and make its procurement system transparent enough. But we sa

"Government is misleading the whole nation"

The government has said that it cannot form a joint committee with civil society members as part of it, because they represent neither legislature nor executive. Your response? This is rubbish. The government is misleading the whole nation. We have given them at least ten precedents where a joint committee drafted a bill. We are not saying that the joint committee will

“Lobbies backed by bureaucrats working to sabotage RTI”

Aruna Roy, a Magsaysay award winner former bureaucrat, was closely involved in the drafting of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. As a member of the UPA`s National Advisory Council (NAC), among other things, she has been conveying to the government the views of civil society on the proposed changes in the transparency act. On the sidelines of 3rd national convention of National Campaign fo

"India is the market of first choice for solar industry"

Since his appointment as secretary in the ministry of new and renewable energy in July 2008, Deepak Gupta, an IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre (1974 batch), has been striving to create awareness among the masses about solar energy. He cherishes the dream of “Gaon gaon bijli, ghar ghar prakash, akshaya urja se desh ka vikas” (electricity in all villages, light

"State budgets should be more transparent"

With opacity being de rigeur when it comes to state budget details, it is no surprise that the citizens remain dissatisfied with the spending heads public money goes down on. It is time that states stopped shrouding their budgets and allowed for greater access to the details for the public, Amitabh Mukhopadhyay, a director general at the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) of India tells

"Singapore got over its water crisis, so can India"

India can learn a thing or two on water recycling from Singapore and better combat its own worsening water crisis. That`s because Singapore, when faced with diminishing freshwater sources, successfully revived its water bodies with the help of technology. Tan Thai Pin, director of Singapore`s Water Supply (Plants) Department, tells Trithesh Nandan in an exclusive interv

"Sarpanch not just a signing authority"

Chhavi Rajawat is not your regular sarpanch, even in these days of reservation in panchayats for women. Educated at Rishi Valley School, Mayo College Girls’ School and Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Rajawat went on to do an MBA but she bid goodbye to the corporate life to return to her roots in Soda village, 60 km from Jaipur in Rajasthan’s Tonk district. In a con

"We are looking at integrating land use and transport"

Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the flagship project of the ministry of urban development, has completed five years. The project has facilitated modernisation of transport in 61 cities across the country. However, much more needs to be done to improve urban mobility. In an exclusive interview with Danish Raza, S K Lohia, officer on special dut

"Corporates are turning India into a banana republic"

Surendra Mohan, socialist thinker and leader, was a unique repository of political history and knowledge. He was a keen observer of the gradual distortions that have seized contemporary politics. What made him unique was that he was unsparing in exposing the hypocrisy and chicanery of his old socialist colleagues when it came to the crunch. On December 16, I met him to get his

Moily on legal reforms

Struggling to bring down the whopping over 3 crore pending court cases in the country, the Law Ministry proposes to soon place before the Union Cabinet a comprehensive National Litigation Policy which aims at disposing of cases within three years. The proposed policy aims at reducing government litigation which forms a substantial chunk of pending cases. "The

We will withdraw idle coal blocks

As an expanding economy looks for fuel for further growth, India needs to raise its coal production. But Sriprakash Jaiswal, minister of state (independent charge) for coal, faces challenges from the Maoists as well as from environmental lobbies. In an interview with Sweta Ranjan, Jaiswal discusses his plans to meet these challenges and also the future



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