Interview

Kamal Nath on building roads

If infrastructure is the edifice on which India`s dream double-digit GDP growth rests, roads are its backbone. Surface transport and highways minister Kamal Nath is leading the mammoth exercise of strengthening that backbone with his own dream within a dream: to build 20 km of roads every day. In this exclusive interview with Sweta Ranjan, the no-nonsense minister takes on questions about his p

“Our motto is corporate growth with enlightened regulations”

R Bandyopadhyay, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), is focused on bringing in contemporary management practices into Indian industry. The 1974 IAS officer of West Bengal cadre served as secretary of the department of public enterprises, where the number of navratna companies grew from 12 to 18 during his tenure. At MCA, ever since he took over last September, Bandyo

"Chinese IT, pharma contracts for India"

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma attended 42nd India-ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Economic Ministers Meet at the beach resort city of Da Nang in Vietnam. The minister discussed the progress made in implementing the trade in goods agreement and proposed trade pact in services and investments. While talking to PTI, he also mentioned about his unscheduled meeting

‘We will add more works to expand NREGA`s scope’

CP Joshi, minister for rural development and panchayati raj, oversees the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), the scheme that some consider partly responsible for giving UPA a second term. In this exclusive interview with Brajesh Kumar at his official residence in New Delhi, Joshi says he will be able to plug loopholes in the implementa

"Bihari sub-nationalism has toned down caste divide to a certain extent."

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has the image of a quiet and contented politician. Unlike several of his peers, he shuns rhetoric and yet makes his point cogently to his audience in Bihar. Having launched his campaign seeking to renew the mandate in the next assembly elections, Kumar has been harping on development and Bihari pride, themes that are alien to the state’s

"Government is itself a hurdle for tackling Naxalism"

Ram Dayal Munda, a member of the National Advisory Council (NAC), which was reconstituted recently, is acknowledged as the most prominent tribal academician and intellectual in his state. Born in 1939 at Diuri village in Ranchi district of Jharkhand, Munda has been a musician, anthropologist, linguist, development activist and, of late, politician as well. He obtained a Master&

‘SHG-bank linkage is the best model for microfinance’

Even though the government has tried unsuccessfully to pass a Microfinance Bill to provide a regulatory framework for the sector, so far no national policy on financial inclusion has been formulated like the UK government has. Don`t you think in the present times, when financial markets can so deeply affect the economy and the workers, financial inclusion should be a matter of public po

"Neither losing nor winning the war against Naxals"

Intensifying Naxal violence has Gopal Krishna Pillai, the top-most bureaucrat in charge of law and order, on the hot seat. Every other major cause of unrest in the country – and there have been many – adds to his onerous job. In this interview with Sweta Ranjan, Pillai, the home secretary, talks about the centre’s strategy aga

"The idea is also an improvement in the ways cities are governed."

It’s been five years since the centre launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and sought to change the way India developed and governed its cities. Some cities have availed of funds under this mission. But, as a recent nationwide survey of sanitation facilities across urban centres revealed, India is yet to have even a single clean, green city. In an intervie

“Resources are always a constraint”

Pawan Kumar Bansal, minister for water resources as well as for parliamentary affairs, is a seasoned parliamentarian. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha during 1984-90, he was elected to the Lok Sabha and now he is in his fourth term in the lower house. In an interview with Sweta Ranjan, he spoke candidly about issues relating to both the ministries he handles.

We need more courts: Deepak Parekh

Financial sector stalwart and HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh speaks on bureaucracy, judiciary, lobbying and other issues. Excerpts from an interview: What makes Deepak Parekh the man at whom the government look up to in the time of crisis? There are many points of views always and there are differences of opinion. Ultimately decisions have to be taken in life

Don’t make a Quixotic rush to cash transfer: Dreze

Jean Drèze is one of those development economists who have gone way beyond classrooms and seminars and helped shape policies. He has worked with Amartya Sen as well as served as a member of the previous National Advisory Council. Drèze shared his views on food security with Prasanna Mohanty. Are you in favour of direct cas

Turning the PDS around

Dr Alok Shukla is among those civil servants who received awards for excellence in public administration from the prime minister on April 21. As secretary, food and civil supplies department, Chhattisgarh, he, along with two of his colleagues, has been credited with turning the much-maligned PDS into a success story. So much so that a sample survey of four districts by the Righ

India still trapped in subcontinental mindset

The new world is not structured around the United States; it is multipolar, heterogeneous, global, and has different centres of power, says Thierry de Montbrial, president of French Institute of International Relations, a leading French think-tank, in a conversation with Trithesh Nandan. About India, Montbrial feels that the country is growing economically, which is good, but lacks the aspirati

Bureaucratic reforms must for 10 pc growth: Basu

Academic-turned-bureaucrat Kaushik Basu, who termed Indian civil servants as "ace drivers caught in traffic jams", feels bureaucratic and farm reforms are must for the economy to grow at the 10 percent rate. However, the former Cornell University economics professor, who joined the government as cheif economic advisor last December, says India`s growth story is more sustainable than C

Governance key to combat Maoists: Montek

Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the country’s official think tank - the Planning Commission, feels that more than special monetary incentives or packages, the governance change is required to ease the situation in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts. Besides, Ahluwalia also strongly recommends linking fuel prices in the country with global prices as it is essent

“We are taking a snapshot of the population”

C Chandramouli, 49, the Tamil Nadu cadre IAS officer of 1985 batch, is overseeing the mammoth exercise of counting nearly 1.2 billion heads. He took time off his busy schedule to speak to Trithesh Nandan about Census 2011. Excerpts from the interview: A census is not just a simple head count. Tell us about the process and its implications. The census is

"Pressure of backlog has left judiciary with sensitivity of an SHO"

It was a bittersweet moment for the media recently when the Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court judgement and awarded life imprisonment to Manu Sharma in the Jessica Lal murder case. The case reached the Supreme Court and its logical conclusion only after the Delhi High Court fast-tracked it following uproar in the media. While pronouncing its verdict, though, the Supreme Court cautioned

“This govt is eradicating the poor, not poverty.”

Surendra Mohan is perhaps is the only surviving socialist who can claim to have closely worked with Ram Manohar Lohia, imbibed and understood his leader’s anti-Congressism credo and its context. In a free-wheeling interview with Ajay Singh at his east Delhi home on a Sunday evening, he talks about Sonia Gandhi and the UPA’s “socialist and egalitarian&rdquo

`We are setting up two funds to promote energy efficiency`

Ajay Mathur, the director general of Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), has been taking a number of initiatives to fulfill the mandate of his organisation. The bureau now plans to set up funds to help companies to get energy efficiency measures financed. Innovation centres are also being set up by the bureau to further the development of energy efficient products suited to

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