Interview

"Judiciary alone can bring about change"

 In an atmosphere where people generally view all government officers with suspicion, it is the activism of a bunch of elderly citizens that has led to the recent landmark ruling from the supreme court that effectively bars any convicted person from participating in polls or even continuing in office either as a legislator or parliamentarian. This organisation is Lok Prahari (www.lokprahar

Naxalism is not India`s biggest internal security threat: Mahasweta Devi

The pre-monsoon shower pitter-pattered against the car window as I waited at the traffic signal, eager for the light to turn green and the bottleneck to ease up. I had called up Mahasweta Devi, the legendary activist, writer and Magsaysay award winner, the previous day and she had given a green signal for an interview. Like the traffic stuck in the rain at the time, most Indians shy awa

"Must have joint front of all like-minded citizens (to fight polls)"

In 2009, she raised more than the proverbial eyebrows when she threw a punch way above her weight, jumping from the pin-striped corporate boardroom she used to move around in to the heat and tumble of politics. She fielded herself against Milind Deora of the Congress and Mohan Rawale of the Shiv Sena, the field being the South Mumbai parliamentary constituency. The well-known David taking o

Firefighter of the saffron fold

When LK Advani dropped a bomb in Delhi by resigning from three key forums of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on June 10 and the party went into a huddle, a key party functionary, known for his reputation as the troubleshooter, flew in from Hyderabad to meet the sulking leader. P Muralidhar Rao, recently made the national general secretary of the party, has travelled with Advani during man

Ajit Singh: We need survivors, Etihad deal has helped Jet survive

Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh has been facing flak over a recent India-UAE agreement, allowing each other’s airlines to offer 36,670 seats a week, up from 13,300. Critics say this will benefit only Jet Airways because the deal comes right at a time when Abu Dhabi’s flag carrier Etihad Airways has acquired 24% equity in Naresh Goyal’s airline. In any case,

"With NII 2.0, we want to change the game"

J Satyanarayana is a 1977 batch IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, currently heading the department of electronics and information technology (DeitY), government of India. Satyanarayana is a pioneer in e-governance domain, having introduced ICT in the Andhra Pradesh government in the 1990s. The National Institute of Smart Governance (NISG), which was set up in 2003 to provide consultancy serv

"NeGP 2.0 should make use of social media"

R Chandrashekhar, a 1975 batch IAS officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre and the new head of the national technical research organisation (NTRO), has immensely contributed to the ongoing reforms in the service delivery processes in the government. He formulated the national e-governance plan (NeGP) and oversaw the implementation of its first phase. He has headed the department of

"Mobile platform will widen access, reach of services in rural areas"

Dr Rajendra Kumar is a 1992 batch IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre. He holds a BTech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has played a key role in creating a framework on mobile governance. In his current position as joint secretary, e-governance, department of electronics and information technology (DeitY), he is ove

`Govt not in position to give more money to sick PSUs`

Nitish Sengupta, a renowned economist and a career bureaucrat, is at present chairperson of the Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE), which is mandated to examine cases of sick central public sector enterprises (PSEs) and recommend their revival or closure. The board is also mandated to monitor emerging sickness in PSEs. Out of 248 central PSEs, 67 have been ref

`Women`s reservation bill should have quota for Dalits, minorities`

At 40, Arun Kumar Kori wears more than one hat. She is the only woman, and a dalit to boot, in the Akhilesh Yadav cabinet in Uttar Pradesh and runs the women welfare department — an important portfolio at a time when crime against women is such a raging national issue. She also has the culture portfolio. Having joined the Samajwadi Party at a young age, Kori contested the L

Let judiciary have oversight on CBI, says ex-director

The supreme court hauled the central bureau of investigation (CBI) over coals for letting the political executive dictate its probe report on the coal block allocation scam calling the investigating agency a “caged parrot” singing its master’s tune. “It pains us to see the CBI director accept that regular interaction between investigating officer and ministry officia

Black money: A white man`s burden

Raymond W Baker is a despised figure in the tax haven countries. He is the founder and director of Washington-based think tank Global Financial Integrity (GFI), which has brought out many reports on the illicit money that flows from countries and is parked in 60-odd tax haven countries. His reports have created buzz around the world.    Author of ‘Capita

Suspend banks` branch licenses: Bahal

After unearthing leading private banks of the country, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank involvement in black money, Cobrapost editor Aniruddha Bahal did not sit idle. He went a step forward, this time investigating public sectors banks. What came out was shocking: many public sector banks were involved in money laundering, according to his sting operations. Edited ex

"India doesn`t have robust oil and gas infrastructure"

Blake C Clayton, an energy expert with the New York-based think tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), says that the challenge before India is not providing cheap energy to the wealthiest but to those living in rural areas. Clayton, who has a doctorate from Oxford University, says that if India is to become self-sufficient in the energy sector, it has to embrace new technologies.

"Unless we use data, there is no open government"

Subhash Bhatnagar, a renowned authority on e-governance, has worked with the World Bank in Washington DC (2000 to 2006) as a consultant advisor on e-Government. Currently he is an honorary adjunct professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), where he has worked for most part of his career. He leads the team which oversees the department of electronics and

"Build an economy, financial inclusion will happen on its own"

On a chilly January afternoon in his spanking new central office in Gurgaon, SL Bansal, chairman of Oriental Bank of Commerce, shares his ideas on financial inclusion in the times of massive social and economic changes and the challenges these changes pose for India, its banks and its economy. Edited excerpts from an interview with          &nbs

‘Some elements in NCPCR are opposed to the RTE Act’

After working in the ministry of human resource and development (HRD) for nine years and more than 20 years of work in the education sector, Dhir Jhingran was appointed as the national coordinator of right to education (RTE) Act at the national commission for protection of child rights (NCPCR). An IAS of 1986-batch Assam cadre, Jhingran resigned from the post within ju

"Kerala is the most progressive state in the geospatial domain"

C Jayashankar Prasad, director, Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM), in conversation with Shivangi Narayan, talks about cyber security in Kerala, the ways to make it better and the ultimate dream of the state to become a digital society. What is CERT-K and what kind of powers does it have to tackle cyber security?  CER

“The day FI becomes their need, things will change”

MV Tanksale, CMD, Central Bank of India, tells Governance Now that today the villagers feel that it is not their own need but the government’s need that they should be given Aadhaar numbers, bank accounts and direct transfers. But things are changing and good things have happened in financial inclusion in the last one year, since we met him for our first ‘Bank India Bank’ spec

“The BC model of financial inclusion will yield surpluses within five years”

Union Bank of India believes that banks have to create the “need” for the rural poor to engage with banks. It is this belief that led to Ernakulam in Kerala—where UBI is the lead bank—to become the first “meanigful financial inclusion district” of the country, reveals D Sarkar, CMD. Edited excerpts of an email interview with Governance Now:

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