Interview

All benches should appreciate SC ruling on Singur: Medha Patkar

Now that the SC has given the judgment for returning the land of the farmers in Singur, does this guarantee similar rulings for farmers protesting against acquisition of land in other parts of the country? There are no such guarantees. Different benches are gi

“Banning commercial surrogacy is the only way forward”

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, which aims to stop commercial surrogacy, was approved by the cabinet last month. However, the bill has come up with its own set of restrictions. Single parents, gays and live-in partners cannot have a surrogate child. Only couples who have been married for

Writing for the theatre is a special craft: Mahesh Dattani

Playwright, writer and director Mahesh Dattani has penned several plays such as Final Solutions, Dance Like a Man, Bravely Fought the Queen, On a Muggy Night in Mumbai, Tara, and Thirty Days in September. He is the first playwright in English to receive the Sahitya Akademi award. After his first play, Where There’s a Will, Dattani, then a copywriter in an advertising firm, began to co

Sanitation with livelihood can improve Ganga’s water quality: Jaco Cilliers, UNDP

The union government in May partnered with UNDP India and launched Namami Gange, a massive rural sanitation and river cleaning initiative. Jaco Cilliers, country director, UNDP India, talks to Swati Chandra about the multidimensional approach of the programme that aims to

We have plan for revival of MTNL: Manoj Sinha, MoS Telecom

Minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha, who doesn’t hesitate to call a spade a spade, has also taken charge of the telecom ministry, which is conducting the largest-ever spectrum auction in the country. Sinha spoke candidly with Pankaj Kumar on the steps being taken to tackle call drops, an issue that has riled people for long, as well as reviving state-owned telecom service provi

Why cost accounting is crucial for economy

  Manas Kumar Thakur was recently elected the president of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) – the apex body for cost accountants with around 5 lakh students and 69,000 members – for 2016-17. Thakur talks with Governance Now on the role of cost accountants in the economy. How can cost accountants contribute to

We are prepared to go solo in BMC elections: Sanjay Raut

Elections for Brihanmumbai municipal corporation, the country’s richest civic body, will be held in February. Sanjay Raut, leader of the ruling Shiv Sena party and executive editor of the party mouthpiece Saamna, spoke to  Geetanjali Minhas on preparations for the polls and other issues. Excerpts: What are your plans and prepa

“Now we know we can become the next Bangladesh”

Mir Mazdak Dilshad Baloch is one of those who have been spearheading an independence movement in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province. The freedom movement received a shot in the arm when prime minister Narendra Modi referred to it during his Independence Day speech. Baloch spoke to Aasha Khosa about the aspirations of the region’s people and their in

The challenges to becoming an innovation-rich nation

Switzerland continues to be the most innovative country while India comes 66th in a new UN report that ranks 128 countries on their annual innovative capabilities. The ninth edition of the global innovation index (GII) co-published by the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Cornell University and INSEAD shows that the rich nations still dominate g

Here is a spiritual opportunity for Modi

It’s different this time.” Jignesh Mevani also repeats that adage, that the dalit agitation in Gujarat this time is different. That it is unlike several campaigns in the state’s recent history that had briefly succeeded but did not have a long-lasting impact. “This is not your typical ‘dalit agitation’. We are taking both caste and class together,&rdq

In conversation with dancer Sudha Chandran

What inspires you? I take inspiration from my failures. When people tell me, ‘you can’t do this’, or ‘you’re not eligible to do this, or ‘it is not meant for you’, these things incite  me to prove myself. It’s better to have tried and failed than to never try at all.     Wha

China ranks higher than India because of its investment in education, infrastructure

The recently released ninth edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) co-published by the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Cornell University and INSEAD, shows that India ranks 66th out of 128 countries in terms of its innovative capabilities while Switzerland remains the world’s most innovative country for the sixth consecutive year. Soumi

“Swachh Bharat represents toilet users, not toilet cleaners”

As the government plans to build 12 crore toilets by 2019 under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, the Magsaysay award winner questions who will clean these toilets and how many people will die cleaning them. Explaining how manual scavenging is actually a problem arising out of caste, class and patriarchy, Wilson says that the government has failed to address either of these concerns in its cleanl

Jignesh Mevani on why the dalit movement cannot fail

When a group of upper-caste ‘cow protection’ vigilantes flogged four dalits for skinning a dead cow (and went on to even record a video clipping of the beating) in Mota Samadhiyala village near Una town of Saurashtra on July 11, it triggered an impromptu reaction across the state, now turned into an agitation led by Jignesh Mevani, a 35-year-old journalist-turned-social activist

We had warned against this unnatural alliance: Omar Abdullah

What is your assessment of the situation in Kashmir? The situation is very bad. What we see today is a complete breakdown of governance and law and order. We have an artificial sense of control over the areas where we have deployed security forces. The moment the forces are out, young people come from nowhere and set up their own nakas and security barrie

Mehbooba has emerged as a very strong person in the crisis: Naeem Akhtar

Mehbooba Mufti’s close political aide and education minister Naeem Akhtar spoke to Aasha Khosa in Srinagar. Excerpts from the interview: How do you see the current situation in Kashmir? It is a very sad but familiar turn of situation in Kashmir. We have passed through so many dark tunnels in the past;

“The reality is that the Valley is up in arms against India”

PM Narendra Modi finally spoke about Kashmir. He talked of Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat. How do you view it? I wonder if the PM said anything important at all. It is all the old rhetoric about development, misguided youth in Kashmir etc. The reality is that the Valley is up in arms against India. There is a clear writing on the wall – lite

"If PM had expelled Telangana MLA, that would have sent a stronger message"

Dalit atrocity in Gujarat has highlighted the plight of people fighting with the social stigma even after seven decades of independence. In an interview with Jasleen Kaur, National Commission for Scheduled Castes chairman PL Punia, a dalit leader from the Congress, says that with a massive cut in the budget allocation for the social sector, the government is systema

Turkey will bounce back very quickly: Burak Akçapar, Turkey’s ambassador

Burak Akçapar, Turkey’s ambassador to India, Nepal, and Maldives, has been a career diplomat since 1987. Before coming to India in 2011, he was deputy director general for political affairs, focusing on South Asia, at the Turkish ministry of foreign affairs for two years. With a doctorate in international law from the University of Hamburg, he has lectured extensiv

I do not see any loss of function or purpose of MCI: Ajay Kumar, NBE

Dr Ajay Kumar, a noted urologist from Bihar who has been a member of the Medical  Council of India (MCI) and chairman of its grievance redressal cell, has been named a board member of the National Board of Examinations (NBE). The body is entrusted with the task of conducting entrance exam for medical postgraduate and super-specialty courses. He is also heading

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