Interview

“For connectivity, fibre can’t be the last mile”

  In conversation with Taru Bhatia, Rajan Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), explains why the industry has failed to reach the rural market with internet connectivity, the limitation of wired network and how the entry of Reliance Jio has changed the way data is consumed.   T

You are destroying all the institutions meant to counter corruption: Prashant Bhushan

  What is the thinking behind launching the Swaraj party? To answer that question, we have to go back in time and see why we formed the Aam Aadmi Party [AAP]. Those in power, in assemblies and parliament, feel that now that they have got power, and they are the ones who make laws and policies, why they should listen to civil society people who are not going

If art or culture disappears, it wipes out an entire generation with it: Pankaj Tripathi

Known for his indelible roles in Gangs of Wasseypur and Nil Battey Sannata, Pankaj Tripathi  hails from a village in Bihar where many people still don’t have TV sets at home. His parents are farmers in Gopalganj district and the down-to-earth actor likes working in his farm whenever he visits his parents. From participating in folk theatre during cultural programmes in his villag

Telecom secy JS Deepak on importance of reforms

2016 has been an engaging year for the telecom industry. How do you look at the industry’s growth in terms of policy reform? In the last one year, we have been focused on reforms because we believe that in this sector, which is driven by private sector investment and innovation, reforms are the key. Some of the new reforms are spectrum reforms like spectrum shar

Demonetisation is short-term challenges for long-term gains: Usha Ananthasubramanian

Post demonetisation, what are the challenges faced by banks? Post demonetisation, the major challenges are retention of CASA [current account, savings account] deposits, deployment of these funds, impact of spurt/decline in low-cost deposits on MCLR [marginal cost of funds based lending rate], transformation towards digitalisation and the associated issues l

You can’t win trust by dropping leaflets from choppers: Arjun Munda

Former chief minister of Jharkhand Arjun Munda, of the ruling BJP, is among the leading tribal voices questioning the amendments to the CNTA and SPTA. Portraying himself as a willing arbitrator who can help find a way out, Munda tells how the government could have handled it better. Amendments to the CNTA and SPTA will open the floodgates to the takeover of triba

Good governance is actually a cooperative, collective endeavour: Jerry Pinto

Prolific writer and acclaimed journalist Jerry Pinto has edited and written many literary works in different genres. His work ranges from children’s fiction and magazine columns to poetry, and topics from Mumbai to Bollywood. His book about actress Helen titled Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb won the Best Book on Cinema Award. His 2012 novel Em and The Big Hoom, a memoir of liv

“The challenge is to ensure that women stay longer in school”

As the participation of women in labour force declines in the country, Sher Singh Verick of ILO explains to Archana Mishra the reason behind this trend, the role education plays and the kind of transformation the country is going through vis a vis women labour force. The participation of women in labour force has declined in India. And we are still not able to f

Post demonetisation, deployment of funds and credit growth a big challenge

Flush with funds after demonetisation, State Bank of India has trimmed its lending rate to revive credit demand. In an interview with Geetanjali Minhas, Rajnish Kumar, managing director (national  banking group), SBI, explains how the bank plans to steer its way now. Post demonetisation, what are the challenges faced by banks? Because

“Basic income should have maximum inclusion”

SEWA Bharat had initiated a unique pilot project on cash-for-food (that is, cash replacing PDS goods) in Delhi some time ago. However, the basic income pilot project in Madhya Pradesh goes a step beyond that, giving cash to people without any conditions. What was the genesis of this project, what prompted SEWA Bharat to take it up?  For many years SEWA has

“J&K could be an experimental ground for UBI”

In the Jammu and Kashmir budget, you have announced a basic income for construction workers, and also mentioned the concept of universal basic income. What was your rationale behind it? My intention is to move to a situation where a whole lot of social sector schemes could be clubbed together. Their funds can be brought under one umbrella and distributed among the benefi

We need better facilities: Sakshi Malik

Sakshi Malik is the first Indian female wrestler to bag an Olympic medal. The 24-year-old comes from Mokhra village of  Rohtak, Haryana. She came into the limelight as an international wrestler after she won bronze in the Junior World Championship in  2010. Then, she went on to win silver in the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and a bronze at the Asian Wrestling Championships  in

“Mediocrity breeds, promotes, awards and nourishes mediocrity”

Sahitya Akademi award winning poet Ashok Vajpeyi returned his award in 2015 supporting “the right to dissent”, and was instrumental in the protest against the murder of writers. Vajpeyi, also a retired IAS officer, is not very happy with the Akademi’s style of functioning.  As an author, what do you expect from the Sahitya Akademi?

I don’t want to work with any music company now: Lucky Ali

Lucky Ali is best known for his husky voice and a distinctive style of music. His debut album, Sunoh, released in 1996, was an instant success and established him in the genre of Indian pop. He has also lent his voice to songs in movies like Bachna Ae Haseeno, Anjaana Anjaani and Tamasha. Son of comedian Mehmood and nephew of actress Meena Kumari, Lucky has also acted in a few films and tel

India, Israel can create “more magic”

India and Israel mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of full diplomatic relations in January 2017. While relations between the two countries have been soaring for much of this time, in recent years and under the current BJP-led NDA government a new era of visibility has ensued. While president Pranab Mukherjee went to Israel in 2016 in a historic first visit, Israeli president Re

“Actions to target emissions near the equator might be most effective”

It is a known fact that ozone formation occurs when NOX, CO and VOCs react in the presence of sunlight and that more ozone is formed in tropical regions. How does this study move beyond this? What is new here is that we demonstrate the importance of emissions near the equator in a way that has not been shown before. Over the past several decades, emissions have d

“Trade deals can have adverse impact on access to generic medicines”

Dr Ghys also holds the post of chief, strategic information and monitoring division of UNAIDS. The division’s main functions include analysis of levels and trends in the AIDS epidemic, and monitoring and reporting of progress in the global AIDS response. Trade deals like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are proposing stringent intellec

“Norwegian companies in India are optimistic about their future”

The Norwegian embassy in Delhi, the Royal  Norwegian Consulate General in Mumbai, and the Norwegian Business Association India, released a business climate survey report in Delhi in December. The report evaluates the current and future business climate for Norwegian companies in India. Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, ambassador of Norway to India, speaks to Praggya Guptaa about the promising bu

Post-truth? Take demonetisation, for instance…

How would you describe the post-truth phenomenon in the Indian context? Speaking in the context of post-truth, we have a live instance of it in the demonetisation playing out now in India. This involves three things: politics, people and perception, and all three have immediate and direct relation to the concept (of post-truth). It was clear that demonetisation w

“There is power struggle as well as ideological struggle in the government”

S Srinivasan is the managing trustee of LOCOST, a charitable trust involved with the production of low-priced quality generics for over 32 years. He has also been active in works like transfer of pharmaceutical technology to least developed countries, issues of disadvantaged children and human rights, and relief in disaster situations. In a one-on-one with Kaushal Shroff



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