“Lack of transparency in governance exists in South Asia"

At a time when Indo-Pakistan relations are somewhat subdued, Pakistan`s former information and broadcasting minister Sherry Rehman feels that there is too much communication gap between the two neighbours and that does not bode well for good governance in South Asia. Talking exclusively to Governance Now, Rehman says positive investment investment is needed in this regard. She was in New De

‘Tap innovations, you won’t need NREGA in 5 years’

Anil K. Gupta, professor at the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), is better known for his work on nurturing and promoting innovation at the grassroots level. He is executive vice-chairperson of National Innovation Foundation (NIF). He also heads the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI). It was at the historic Mughal Gard

I just want to be a change agent - Nilekani

On March 6, I made an e-mail request to Nandan Nilekani for an interview. Barely an hour later, came his reply suggesting that I should get in touch with his colleague Srikar and within no time the interview was scheduled for 11 am on April 8. On April 8, when we reached the office of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in the heart of New Delhi, we did not have to

EVMs might be endangering democracy

As the debate over the susceptibility of electronic voting machines (EVMs) to electoral fraud heats up, India is looking at the experience of other countries. Till Jaeger, a German attorney, who visited India in February, believes that the use of EVMs is a violation of citizens’ fundamental right to information in a democracy. In an interview to Governance Now, Jaeger, who argued a landma

`Lack of training led to Dantewada slaughter`

How could the Maoists butcher 75 CRPF personnel in Dantewada so easily? "They had no training." That was the crisp response from Brigadier B K Ponwar. He should know. For several years, Ponwar has been training the police and paramilitary forces to take on the Maoists at the Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College of Kanker in Chhattisgarh. "And

Agatha Sangma on development. And the northeast

The first thing you notice as you enter Minister of State for Rural Development Agatha Sangma’s office at Krishi Bhawan is that her petite frame does not match with her rather big chair. The next thing you notice is that her desk is free of the usual clutter— papers, briefs, files and the paraphernalia. The daughter of P.A. Sangma, veteran Nationalist Congre

Karnataka Lokayukta on combating corruption

For a self-declared toothless tiger, Justice N Santosh Hegde has acquired a remarkable reputation for bagging his prey with relentless regularity. The 70-year-old Karnataka Lokayukta, who heads the best-known anti-corruption force in the country, spoke about his work and his concerns in an exclusive conversation with Ashish Sharma. Edited excerpts: You are often described

We woke up late to the Games: Randhir Singh

The Organising Committee did wake up late in making preparations for the Commonwealth Games, admits OC vice chairman Randhir Singh, even as he promises the event will turn out to be “top class”. "We woke up late and faced the criticism," Singh told Governance Now. "But the Games will be top class and there is no doubt about that. There is no way that we

“Balance between government, civil society, businesses is vital”

Jeffrey D. Sachs, among the most influential voices on developmental matters, is the director of The Earth Institute, teaches sustainable development at Columbia University and is also special advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. During 2002-06, he was director of the UN Millennium Project and special advisor to then UN secretary-general Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals th

Thames restorer`s advice for cleaning the Yamuna

Robert Oates, director of Britain’s Thames River Restoration Trust (TRRT), a charity dedicated to improving the river and its tributaries, was in Delhi recently. Oates spoke to Governance Now on his experience of cleaning up the Thames and its relevance to the Yamuna. Edited excerpts: What is the role of the government in cleaning up a river? To mana

Mao...didn`t preach revolution through murder

In this country and beyond, Irfan Habib is widely recognised as one of the most influential historians in the modern era. His initial and substantive work pertains to what is called the medieval period of Indian history.  However, Habib is equally known for his incisive insights into earlier historical processes as well as key themes of recent and contemporary times.  Much of his acad

"Bundelkhand model could be replicated"

Buoyed by the experience of the central monitoring committee to oversee the development of Bundelkhand region, the planning commission is actively considering the idea of replicating the model in other backward regions of the country. The decision to form the monitoring committee for Bundelkhand came last year in November following opposition from the Uttar Pradesh and the Madhya Pradesh govern

"Let farmers decide on Bt Brinjal"

Biotech veteran Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has slammed attempts to politicise the Bt Brinjal issue and said the decision to opt or desist from cultivating the genetically modified crop should be left to farmers. "I have always maintained that Bt crops need to be scientifically evaluated," she told PTI. "It is impossible to have a sensible discussion on GM crops when it is

“Two-party system would be ideal"

Nitin Gadkari, 52, belongs to a new generation of BJP leaders on whom the party has pinned high hopes. When he succeeded Rajnath Singh as the BJP president, there was skepticism all around. Some described him as a rubber stamp of the RSS which is hell-bent on controlling the country’s second largest national political party. In an interview with managing editor Ajay Singh

`Eco-tourism can help Indian wildlife conservation`

Prof. Raman Sukumar is not one of the salesman conservationists that you meet every other day trying to pitch themselves up rather than the wildlife they pretend to conserve. Yet, he is the most respected, most popular, most distinguished, and if one may say, the most saleable face of wildlife conservation in India and Asia – considering that Asian wildlife conservation needs, and can c

Joshi bats for Sarpanchs

In an exclusive interview with Governance Now`s Shivani Chaturvedi, Union Minister for Rural Development Dr C P Joshi talks about his efforts to make  the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) more effective. Strangely, he is persisting with a system that makes sarpanchs both the judge and the jury. The sarpanchs are the ones who get the NREGA projects executed in the

`Only solution is to finish off Maoists`

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister speaks about the Maoist menace..... In an exclusive interview with Governance Now Deputy Editor Prasanna Mohanty, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh says the Maoist menace can be tackled by the judicious use of force and development work. Below are some excerpts on key issues: Q: Why is the administration finding it so tou


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