Interview

“I admit we cannot do much”

Rameshwar Oraon, a former Congress MP who went on to serve as minister of state for tribal affairs, is completing his second consecutive term as the head of the ST commission. In an interview with Archana Mishra days before his successor is expected to be named, Oraon explains what is wrong with the commission. What is the commission doing about the controversy r

Had Bihar been a full member, it might have produced 10 Tendulkars: Aditya Verma

Aditya Verma, secretary of the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) which is yet to be recognised by the BCCI, has been batting for a full membership for more than a decade. Since 2005, he has also been fighting for transparency and accountability in the working of the BCCI. It was on his petition that the supreme court directed N Srinivasan to step down as the BCCI chief. Another fallout of

I am a fan of black and white films: Veteran actor Vyjayanthimala Bali

Vyjayanthimala Bali was perhaps the first south Indian actor to become a national star. One of the prominent actors of the golden era of Bollywood, she ruled the film industry for almost two decades, the 1950s-60s. Besides acting, the 83-year-old is a renowned Bharatanatyam danseuse and choreographer. Vyjayanthimala took an active interest in politics and won Lok Sabha polls in 1984 on the

“There is no check on quality of education and food provided at ashram schools”

The death of more than 200 tribal children in Palghar this year once again highlights the deep-rooted problem of malnutrition among children, especially the tribal ones. Most tribal children go to ashram schools – residential schools opened in tribal-dominated regions by the state and the ministry of tribal affairs, for providing education and free meals to kids. These schools are sup

UPI can be critical component for cashless initiatives

In April, former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan launched united payment interface (UPI), a payment technology product by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an umbrella organisation for all retail payment system in the country. UPI is a mobile interface that has a unique ‘push and pull’ feature for receiving and making payments using smartphones, thro

Cauvery water dispute “because of greed”

India’s leading water expert and president of the South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies, S Janakarajan, wonders why Chennai, a city that receives 1,250 mm rainfall, is called a thirsty city and goes on to  explain to Shivani Chaturvedi what went wrong among the southern states that led to a water-war like situation. But, he warns that such a scenario

NMC bill is the first step in larger reforms in health sector: NITI Aayog advisor

Is the way MCI being run the only problem or the issue is about its rules, regulations and mandate?  It was both. There were structural problems in MCI’s composition in that there was an inherent conflict of interest when the regulators were elected from amongst those who they were supposed to regulate. It became an exclusive domain of

We will be in the majority [in UP]: Pankaj Singh

The political career of home minister Rajnath Singh’s elder son, Pankaj Singh, has not been free of controversies. It is alleged that his father’s influence has helped him rise through the ranks of BJP. In conversation with Governance Now, Singh talks about dynasty politics, his political ambitions and the prospects of BJP in the upcoming UP assembly elections. &n

Filmmakers should make movies that matter to public: GNR Kumaravelan

Tamil filmmaker GNR Kumaravelan was nominated for Filmfare award for the best Tamil director for his art film Haridas in 2013. The film, based on the story of an autistic child, received several positive reviews. Kumaravelan is the son of filmmaker GN Rangarajan. He made his directorial debut in 2009. Earlier he had worked as assistant director with Balanathan Benjamin Mahendran, popularly

“India will lose $2.5 tn unless NCDs are addressed”

For the first time, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have been included by the government in the draft national health policy, 2015. However, efforts to battle this threat remains largely shapeless and lacks monitoring of clinical care. As per recent reports by the ministry of health and family welfare, NCDs contribute to 53 percent of the total disease burden in the country, resulting in 6

“Discrimination prevails in hundreds of [Tamil Nadu] temples”

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) general secretary Ravi Kumar spoke to Shivani Chaturvedi on the issue of discrimination against dalits in Tamil Nadu. In which parts of Tamil Nadu are dalits facing more discrimination? There are 36,500 temples and mutts under the control of Hindu religious and charitable endowments (HR&CE) departme

We should be ranked equal to the SC, ST commissions: NCW chief

Why is the national commission for women weak? Is it because its mandate is unclear?  I don’t know why there is a fallacy about the Act being weak. There are sections in the mandate which have not been put to ideal use. I think we have not examined our mandate to the extent it can be stretched. NCW is a statutory organisation, so a lot lies in the int

“Pakistan will have to pay a price for irresponsible conduct”

Hardeep Singh Puri, one of India’s ablest and most outstanding diplomats, has served as India’s representative to the UN. His first UN posting came in 1981 when as first secretary he was a member of India’s delegation to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Thereafter, he served as ambassador and India’s permanent representative (PR) to the UN in Geneva

An evolving healthcare system

HLL Infra Tech Services Limited (HITES), a wholly owned subsidiary of public sector firm HLL Lifecare Limited (HLL), has recently secured its first global contract to offer consultancy services for the construction of two hospitals in the Republic of Guinea. The company is spearheading experiments to find the best suited model for healthcare infrastructure for rural India. SN Sathu

“This campaign is owned by the people”

Odisha’s largest district, Mayurbhanj, is set to be free from child labour very soon. District magistrate Rajesh Prabhakar Patil, an IAS officer of 2005 batch, talked to Taru Bhatia about how the ‘Mu Bi Padhibi’ campaign has been instrumental in fighting child labour. How was the ‘Mu Bi Padhibi’ campaign initiated in your district?

“But for black economy, each one of us would have been seven times richer”

What do the income disclosure or amnesty schemes reflect on the government? What it suggests is that the government under the normal schemes is not able to take care of tax evasion. It has tried various schemes like the voluntary disclosure scheme in the past but nothing much has been achieved. They cannot come up with voluntary disclosure schemes anymore because

“If RSS had no connection to the Gandhi assassination, why was it banned then?”

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has been questioned by both the opposition and the judiciary for his alleged comments which accuse the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. Mridula Mukherjee, author of RSS, School Texts and the Murder of Mahatma Gandhi: The Hindu Communal Project, provides a nuanced view on the subject. Mukherjee, also a former director

“We cannot afford to do business with black money”

How is the response to the IDS? The response has been good. A number of declarations have come and there have been a large number of inquiries too. How many declarations have been received so far? Since the IDS data is classified we cannot reveal details. How much undisclosed income do you exp

"95% of cluster munitions used in Syria through air strikes"

Ola Suleiman is a Syrian from Homs who currently works as communications officer at a non-profit called Mayday Rescue, a disaster-relief NGO in Turkey with offices in Jordan and Netherlands. Suleiman’s participation in the Syrian revolution began in April 2011 when she took part in peaceful demonstrations. She escaped the country in November 2013 since she feared arrest by the Bashar

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

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