Interview

“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

Accountability will help us develop faster

Prajapati Trivedi, secretary, performance management department of the cabinet secretariat, is a man on a mission to improve the performance of government departments and ensure their accountability. Though one of the few non-IAS secretaries, he is not new to government – he was economic advisor when Manmohan Singh was finance minister. Trivedi, an alumnus of St. Stephen&

Gurgaon will be a world city soon

Bhupinder Singh Hooda is one of those leaders who have a 360-degree understanding of politics and governance. He was a member of the Lok Sabha for four terms, leader of opposition in the Haryana assembly for one term, and now he is in his second term as chief minister. In this interview with Sweta Ranjan, Hooda discusses his plans for industry as well

More shareholder democracy in new Companies Bill

As minister of state, Salman Khurshid holds independent charge of the ministries of corporate affairs and of minority affairs. Educated at the St. Stephen’s and Oxford, the 57-year-old advocate is a busy man as he has set out to overhaul the regulation framework for the corporate sector with the new Companies Bill. His views on corporate social responsibility have also le

IOC entered exploration and production late

Brij Mohan Bansal, chairman and director (planning & business development) of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, helms India’s largest commercial enterprise (turnover: about $57 billion for 2009-10). How does he manage a public sector unit that is also the only Indian firm to rank in the prestigious Fortune ‘Global 500’ list? What is his larger vision for this fi

Maoists realise they can`t win this war

Raman Singh has an unenviable job as chief minister of Chhattisgarh, the state worst hit by Maoist violence – he is in fact in his second term. But the 57-year-old ayurvedic doctor has a clear diagnosis of the disease and treatment in mind. In an exclusive interview with Sweta Ranjan, he discussed his approach to find a permanent solution to the

"Plan com needs refurbishing to offer change"

The Planning Commission is in the process of reinventing itself. More than making five-year plans and allocating resources, it seeks to transform itself into what is being described as the Systems Reforms Commission—a strategic thinking group that will look ahead and think ahead, sense the emerging challenges and the opportunities and accordingly, devise appropriate responses for the gove

"Level playing field needed in access to mines"

At a time when illegal mining and export of iron ore has become a political hot potato, union steel minister Virbhadra Singh has put his weight behind those favouring a ban on such exports. Singh also has a role to play in dealing with the vexed question of balancing the interests of the mining and steel industry with the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the communities th

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



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