“This loot in pharma sector must be stopped”

The Intellectual Property Appellate Board of India on March 4 rejected the German firm Bayer AG`s appeal of a ruling last year that allowed Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma to produce a cheaper generic version of Bayer’s kidney and liver cancer drug Nexavar. This would result in a treatment that more people would be able to afford. Our cover story for September 1-15, 2012 issue went behin

“A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do”

Last year, when Dinesh Trivedi as railway minister tried to take some pragmatic steps, his party boss Mamata Banerjee wanted him out, and the PM obliged her. As his successor presented an election-oriented budget today, here we revisit our interview with Trivedi last year. That summer of 1969 was memorable for Dinesh Trivedi, the former railway minister and member of pa

“Govt engagement with think tanks not enough”

Career diplomat Arvind Gupta who is the director-general of Delhi-based think tank, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), is man of ideas. He wants to take the institute, which is in its 49 years of existence, to the new heights of excellence. Parachuted from the ministry of external affairs (MEA) where he continues to serve as additional secretary to head IDSA, he is trying to bre

“We are delivering teachers to students via technology”

Aravind Sitaraman is the president for inclusive growth with Cisco, where he aims to provide inclusive growth by providing education, health and skill development in India through out-of-the-box technology solutions. The company has partnered with various state governments as technology and service providers for their tele-education and tele-health initiatives. In conversation with Shiv

“India is victim to cyber espionage”

A 1988 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, Muktesh Chander has served in Delhi Police for over 20 years and is known for deploying technology for better policing and traffic management. He is an electronics and telecommunication graduate from Delhi university and is currently pursuing his PhD in information security management from IIT-Delhi. As centre director of the national critical i

“Govt thinking about mandatory reporting of cyber attacks”

Gulshan Rai has over 25 years of experience in the area of cyber security, e-governance and legal framework on IT. He has drafted the IT Act, 2000 and IT (Amendment) Act, 2008. Currently, he is director general of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) under the department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) that is the only government agency tasked to respond to cy

“How can Lynas ignore GM crops increased chemical usage in America?”

On Lynas’ turnaround There is nothing new, content wise. It is a huge PR exercise emerging from the (GM) industry as though Lynas’ change of heart is a game changer. That is not true at all. He was never an active GM crusader or made substantive contribution to the anti-GM debate or activism. He was mostly working in the field of climate change. He doesn&rsqu

E-governance against all odds

Utpal Sharma in his dual role as special secretary IT of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Principal, Dr BR Ambedkar Institute of Technology is pushing for e-governance initiatives in the UT to make sure that people enjoy technology and its benefits. Edited excerpts from his interview with Shivangi Narayan How do you handle e-governance with such glaring connectiv

“It is the scientists who are asking for regulation and precaution”

What do you think of environmentalist Mark Lynas’ sudden change of heart – from being an anti-GM crusader to a pro-GM crusader? It is a renewed propaganda push to create goodwill around GM crop. This is a product that very large corporations are trying to sell. India is a very particular target because of large scale rejections (of GM crop) in Europe, many pa

“In science, we go by evidence”

Dr Bhargava, what do you think of environmentalist Mark Lynas’ sudden change of heart – from being an anti-GM crusader to a pro-GM crusader? [Read more here] I think it doesn’t change the situation one bit. We have no credentials of him and one sw

“Government efforts are just window dressing for Muslims”

Sajjad Hassan was serving as secretary (planning) in Manipur when he finally took the bold decision to quit the prestigious Indian administrative service (IAS) in 2011. He was happy working with people in Tamenglong district at the beginning of his career, but the secretariat was a different ball game. Before quitting the service, he had taken a sabbatical and completed his PhD in politics from

“An anomic, anarchic, free-floating violence... is looking for targets”

Delhi has been infamous as the rape capital of India as well as the crime capital of India. It is not new to failure of governance either. Yet, a gangrape in December was a trigger point, people were enraged and came out in streets to protest like never before. The crime and the response both call for a deeper understanding beyond headlines. We need to come to terms with whatever is happening d

“Marching orders at 10 pm is not a nice feeling”

Too much honesty, says Kautilya in Arthashastra, is not good; in the forests, straight trees are cut first. Who knows this better than Ashok Khemka, the whistleblower Haryana IAS who cancelled a land deal involving Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and was hastily transferred? In the second week of October, India Against Corruption’s Arvind Kejriwal released to the med

“India is driving transformation at a much larger scale”

Uschi Schreiber is the global government and public sector leader for Ernst & Young and is based in Hong Kong. In this role, she manages EY’s consulting business with governments around the world. She leads teams across mature and emerging markets providing advisory, audit, transactional and taxation services to government and public sector clients. Schreiber spoke to Samir Sachdeva o

“Madhya Pradesh plans to have a separate IT cadre”

Hari Ranjan Rao serves as the Madhya Pradesh information technology secretary and the secretary to the chief minister. A 1994 batch IAS officer, Rao is working on providing adequate manpower for overseeing e-governance in the state. In an interview with Pratap Vikram Singh, he talks about his plans for restructuring IT in the government. What is your vision for a digital Madhya

“We need more food grain but the scenario has improved much”

KV Thomas, minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution, plans to take forward the national food security bill in the winter session of parliament. He is confident that India can and will implement the right to food. A relentless optimist, he dismisses surveys which paint a bleak picture of India’s food security and insists that conditions are much improved. Excerpts from t

Is Gujarat an enemy nation?

As the UK decided to resume diplomatic relations with him, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi thundered on Thursday, telling an election rally that the whole world is looking up at the state but not the Manmohan Singh goernment. Last year he told us the central government was treating his regime like an enemy nation. We reproduce here that interview.

“Energy is the main constraint for a second green revolution”

The first Norman Borlaug award, instituted by the Rockefeller Foundation in the memory of the Nobel laureate who fathered the green revolution, was given to a young scholar from India. Aditi Mukherji, a social scientist with the International Water Management Institute, New Delhi, was selected from among several candidates for her research on the usage of groundwater resources in West Bengal wh

“Freedom of expression is subject to defamation, contempt of court, to different forms of public interest…”

Google has refused to take down the controversial “Prophet” video (which has sparked extensive violence in the Middle East) from YouTube in the United States, but continues to block it in India. Do you see that as a positive sign? Recent developments have sensitised even the social media networks to the fact that there are issues which need to be addressed,

“It is very bleak for news... there is appalling crisis of vision and alarming poverty of talent”

Star India CEO Uday Shankar is the only one who has straddled news and entertainment genres at the highest levels and hence uniquely positioned to fill in the gaps in our understanding. Sharp, incisive, intellectual, self-incriminating and brazenly bold, Uday gave us a deep dive into the difficult world of news media and what ails it. And why it will continue to ail. Here is the transcri

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