“All Manipuris want is good governance”

While most of the rest of India may not care about the northeast, retired IPS officer Prakash Singh, who served long years in the region first as DGP of Assam and then as DG of BSF, feels strongly for it. The recurring blockades in Manipur coupled with the state and central governments’ apathy in dealing with it irked him so much that he filed a PIL in the supreme court alleging that

"BJP has done a lot for Uttarakhand"

Assembly elections are due in Uttarakhand early next year. The Bharatiya Janata Party dropped Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, who remained in news for all the wrong reasons, and brought in BC Khanduri to win the next term. The 77-year-old former army general (he was honoured with an Ati Vishisht Seva medal), known for his no-nonsense administration, had led the party to victory in F

"Retail FDI will boost food security"

Governor Martin Joseph O’Malley of Maryland, United States witnessed some of the fiery debate on FDI in multi-brand retail while he was in India on a seven-day visit. The governor was here leading a 100-member delegation for initiating business and economic development ties. The group consisting of businessmen, educationists and elected officials was the largest ever in it league to have

‘India matters to world food security’

India remains core to world food security plans, says David Phiri, head, policy assistance support service of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). In an interview with Trithesh Nandan, he justifies the high food prices but laments that Indian farmers are not benefitting from it. Edited excerpts… What ails Indian agriculture from Food and Agriculture Organisati

`India`s anti-poverty schemes shameful`

Professor Thomas Pogge of Yale University is leading a team of experts commissioned by the Oxfam to design an alternative index for calculating the number of poor people. Pogge, who believes most poverty figures calculated around the world are flawed, is also critical of the World Bank and the millennium development goals (MDGs) on extreme poverty concept. In an interview with Governance Now, h

‘Political will can make RTE a reality’

Kiran Bhatty is the national coordinator of the Right to Education Act with National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). She has worked in the field of education for several years and was earlier associated with the UNICEF. In an interview with Jasleen Kaur, she talks about the post-facto social audit, a pilot project, which is being conducted in 10 states, and of implementat

“90% Mumbaikars are outsiders”

Sanjay Nirupam, who represents the Mumbai North constituency in Lok Sabha, is in once again in a verbal duel with Uddhav Thackeray, on the controversial issue of ‘outsiders’ in Mumbai. Niruapam hails from Bihar’s Rohtas district and typifies both the promise and challenge of present-day Mumbai. In an exclusive conversation with Governance Now earlier, Nirupam shared his pe

"India is facing a stable famine situation"

Even as the top economists in the government concern themselves with 8 percent growth, they seem to be missing the urgent concerns. Health and human rights activist Dr Binayak Sen talks of India`s nutritional failure and the ramifications it could have in an interview with Governance Now. Dr Sen says that large parts of the country are under the grip of a stable famine

"UPA considers Muslims fools"

Abusaleh Shariff does not mince words. The chief economist at the New Delhibased thinktank National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) does not look for euphemisms when he criticises the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for ignoring the plight of the Muslim community. Shariff served as member-secretary to the Prime Minister’s High Level Committee to prepare a repor

"Mayawati fancies personal corruption"

National commission for scheduled castes (NCSC) chairman P L Punia has always been finding himself on wrong side of the Mayawati government. There is history behind it. Punia served as a close confidante for the feisty UP chief minister as a bureaucrat. But the parting of her company was bitter.  When Mayawati tried to put blame on him for the Taj corridor scandal, Pu

e-Gov in India should be citizen-centric

Capgemini provides tailored solutions to leading public sector organisations in India and the rest of the world. It supports the public sector with a skilled approach in a number of key areas of expertise, including tax, public security, healthcare, border management and local and regional government. Kishor Chitale, head of India local business services at Capgemini India, spo

Balance between parl and public opinion ideal

United Kingdom House of Commons speaker John Bercow was in India last week - at a time when there ongoing demonstrations in New Delhi for the implementation of Lokpal Bill started. He saw it from close quarters but hesitantly offered his view, while addressing a gathering at Delhi University (DU) on August 19. Edited excerpts of his interaction with students at DU On the

"Seed liability bill needed on the lines of n-liablity"

The seed bil 2010 discussed in parliament on August 4 has several lacunae and will not serve farmers interest, says CPI(M) lok sabha MP and chairman of parliamentary standing committee on agriculture Basudeb Acharia. Acharia wants a seed liability bill along the lines of nuclear liability bill which will fix responsibility on the companies promoting genetically modified seeds in case of any set

"We do not need economists, but philosophers to run the country"

India is big on theory when it comes to development and poverty reduction, says international political economist professor Jean-Pierre Lehmann. He says the approach should be pragmatic, not theoretical. The French economist, working in Switzerland for over 13 years, favours philosophers running the country - in line with philosopher Plato`s beliefs. In an interview with Trithesh Nandan

"Capacity addition targets have been raised"

Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee  had rare words of praise for his cabinet  colleague when he  extolled power minister Sushilkumar Shinde for the highest capacity addition of 10,462 MW between April 2010 and February 2011. In an interview with Sweta Ranjan, Shinde discusses how he plans to deliver “power to all” by nex

"Twitter is a potent weapon to reach out to public"

J & K Chief minister Omar Abdullah believes that twitter, the micro- blogging site, is a potent weapon to put across his point of view to the public. He has 30,000 followers on the site and he reads what he tweets in the next days’ morning newspapers. Omar talked about his tweet experiences and much more in an interview given to Anil Singh, Executive Editor, Star News. Here are edited

"CSCs are AISECT`s major focus at present"

AISECT, established in 1985, is one of the leading IT training and educational services networks in India with over 8,000 centres. It has so far transformed the lives of over 10 lakh students and created over 10,000 entrepreneurs. Santosh Kumar Choubey, chairman of AISECT Ltd , also the director general of the AISECT group and chancellor of the Dr C V Raman University, spoke with Sa

“Our cyber security is like keeping the front door open for robbery”

India’s growing information technology (IT) infrastructure faces security threats in the form of virus attacks, forced crashing of systems and hacking. Last year, for example, the Stuxnet worm is known to have attacked utility companies in India, among other countries. Besides that, the computer systems of the ministry of external affairs and a few defence establishments also came under a

"Much depends on how active India is in bringing black money back"

It will be extraordinarily difficult for India to bring back stolen assets stashed away in tax havens, says Tim Daniel, an expert on black money who is partner with UK-based law firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge. In an interview with Trithesh Nandan in New Delhi, Daniel says India should move away from a culture in which nothing can be done without paying a bribe. Daniel h

"We can’t deprive future generations of what we take for granted"

Rajendra K Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and chief executive of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), is among the leading environmentalists in the country. Ahead of the upcoming World Environment Day, he spoke to Neha Sethi about the biggest environmental challenges for India, policy interventions required for sustainable agric

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