Interview

“Increase in recorded casualties is raising an alarm”

How effective is the Mine Ban Treaty since most of the big states are not yet signatories to it? The Mine Ban Treaty has created a very strong norm on the prohibition of the use of landmines. Actually, 80 percent of the world’s countries [are signatories to] the Ban Treaty and acting on it. Even among those relatively few states that have  not yet got

“The greatest challenge comes from non-state armed groups”

How effective is the Mine Ban Treaty since most of the big states like the US, Russia, India, China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are not yet signatories to it? With 162 state parties, the Mine Ban Treaty encompasses more than 80 percent of the countries in the world. The 35 states that have not banned landmines nonetheless are almost all complying with key provisio

People are adapting faster than we had thought: Nirmala Sitharaman

As part of the government, how do you look at demonetisation? It’s by far the bold… the boldest of all the steps, in line with several other steps the government has undertaken since 2014, to make the economy robust and transparent. The government has taken steps to set up SIT [to unearth black money], the passing of the Benami [Property] Act, asked

Every artist has the freedom to choose their own creative expression: Geeta Chandran

Geeta Chandran is a well-known Bharatanatyam artist. She has founded the dance academy, Natya Vriksha, which has travelled across the globe for promotion of Bharatanatyam. She has contributed in Carnatic music, television, theatre, choreography and dance training. She has also presented many performances in India and abroad to raise funds for social causes. Chandran has received several prestig

GM tech is already obsolete: Suman Sahai of Gene Campaign

Will the release of GE mustard reduce oilseed imports? Saying that GE mustard will slash the oil import bill is just baloney. Farmers are not able to make money from the farm. You enable the farmer to make money from mustard or pulses or anything else, and you will have production. Look at the product honestly and evaluate it on the basis if this product is really goi

If we have the technology, it is absolutely silly not to use it: Deepak Pental

If the GE mustard hybrid was developed in 2002, why has the environment ministry not taken a decision on it yet?   Nobody had the guts to release it, and till today, it’s the same story. The ideology behind not clearing it is so dumb that it is difficult to explain. This country is divided into two sides, the left and the right. They don’t agree on an

The government should focus on troubles of the small farmers: Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Coming from a family of farmers in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, Nawazuddin Siddiqui has made it big in the Hindi film industry. Beginning his career as a theatre actor, the National School of Drama alumnus struggled to break the stereotype of a conventional hero. After several less-noticed performances, Nawazuddin bagged the Jury Award at the 2012 national film awards. He has pl

“We have to convince women about benefits of LPG”

Many women in Ballia, UP, say it is difficult for them to collect even a small amount for refilling gas.  We frankly don’t have a clear answer to that. But it is firstly important for us to convince the women and other people and educate them about the benefits of LPG. Once they are convinced they will find a way to save money. There are people from these vill

“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



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