Interview

“To implement laws, an accountability system has to be in place”

Spearheading the cause of the poor and the marginalised for almost three decades, Aruna Roy recently concluded 100 days of the ‘jawabdehi yatra’ in Rajasthan, collecting grievances and complaints of people regarding government delivery of services. She tells why accountability of bureaucrats and politicians is necessary for implementing any kind of law. 

We do not see the end of child labour in the near future with this law: Kailash Satyarthi

The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012 has been passed by the Lok Sabha and is expected to be notified soon. Child rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi spoke to Yogesh Rajput on how effective the new bill would be and what more is needed to protect children. 

In conversation with sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan

Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, who has enthralled music lovers across the globe, was born to Gwalior court musician Hafiz Ali Khan and Rahat Jahan. He is the sixth generation sarod player in his family. The veteran artiste is the recipient of second highest civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan, in 2001; having also received Padma Shri in 1975 and Padma Bhushan in 1991.

“We need leaders who will try to explain the logic [of reforms] to the people,” says Montek Singh Ahluwalia

If there is one person from the bureaucracy who has made the biggest contribution in planning and implementing the economic reforms, it has to be Montek Singh Ahluwalia. Commerce secretary at the time of the 1991 budget, he has served in a wide gamut of positions since: economic affairs secretary, finance secretary, planning commission member and then its deputy chairman apart from key posi

“If I was not forced to present an interim budget I would’ve also made the same speech”

Yashwant Sinha has a critical role in the story of India’s economic reforms. It was he who was at the helm when the economy was in the worst crisis, keeping the vigil before the dawn of the reforms. In his second innings, it was again he who dispelled the speculations of the continuity of reforms when the NDA came to power after an interval of political instability. 

I believe the neoliberal regime is also reaching a dead end: Prabhat Patnaik

The bearded and affable Prabhat Patnaik, a Marxist economist, taught at Jawaharlal Nehru University from 1974 until his retirement in 2010. A Rhodes scholar, he has authored several books including Time, Inflation and Growth as well as Economics and Egalitarianism. He spoke to Pankaj Srivastava about why India hasn’t changed for the better after 1991.

But for Rao, India would be a different country today: Vinay Sitapati

Vinay Sitapati, who teaches at Ashoka University and is finishing his Ph.D. in politics from Princeton, has written the book of the season, Half-Lion: How P.V. Narasimha Rao Changed India (Penguin), bringing focus finally on that man

“[India is an example of] how to tackle development challenges”

Dr Mukhisa Kituyi is the seventh secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He has extensive background as an elected official, an academic and a holder of high government office. For five years beginning 2002, he was the Kenyan minister for trade and industry. Dr Kituyi has also served as chairman of the Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean

In conversation with author Amish Tripathi

Amish Tripathi, a banker turned author, has written the highly successful Shiva Trilogy, a mythical fantasy based on Lord Shiva which shot him to fame in a short span and placed him in the best-selling category. He is a devotee of Lord Shiva and has his roots in the holy city of Varanasi where his grandfather served as a Pundit and Sanskrit scholar. He is currently busy with the Ram Chandra

“Kejriwal is acting like an anarchist”

As a young BJP MP, Kiren Rijiju had once favoured full statehood for Delhi. On November 21, 2006, he along with party senior Santosh Gangwar had expressed “deep concern over not according the status of a full-fledged State to Delhi despite repeated requests”. Today, as minister of state for home, he is looking at the idea from the other side. He explains his change of stance in

[Statehood demand] is not realistic: Former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit

Veteran Congress leader Sheila Dikshit, during her three consecutive terms as Delhi chief minister, often blamed the multiplicity of authorities in the national capital as an obstacle to development. She too often demanded full statehood for Delhi. Talking

The potential of forensics

Using IT in forensic science is no longer restricted to the realm of sci-fi. It can help the government and agencies in cracking cases like those arising from the Panama Papers, rising NPAs of banks and money laundering. In an interaction with Pratap Vikram Singh, Petrus Marais of KPMG talks about the need of forensics with the increasing focus on cyber security.

I never diluted my gayaki: Girija Devi

Girija Devi is one of the finest classical and folk vocalists in the country. Born and brought up in Varanasi, she took forward the legacy of Benaras gharana and mastered semi-classical forms of music like thumri, kajri and tappa. She received Padma Vibhushan earlier this year. At 87, the Queen of Thumri as she is fondly called, shares her thoughts with Swati Chandra on the

This government wants to make us brain-dead: Actor MK Raina

The very thought of meeting the genial father-figure of many a Bollywood flick and one of the better known theatre personalities of India, MK Raina, was exciting. We met over lunch in Delhi’s Le Meridien on a hot summer afternoon. “I have no idea of what you are going to speak to me about,” Raina said, as he kick-started the conversation bypassing all formalities of a first-ti

The Left reunification is possible: CPI leader Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy

Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), is confident about the revival of the Left. Reddy, who has been a member of Lok Sabha twice, believes that  reunification of the Left parties can help consolidate the communist movement. Talking to Pankaj Srivastava, Reddy discusses the problems and prospects of the Indian Left.

“Uttarakhand should be allowed to have more seats in the assembly”

Harish Rawat has seen more ups and downs in two months than many see in decades. He is back in power in Uttarakhand, but facing a CBI inquiry over the alleged horse-trading sting. Ahead of his CBI quizzing on June 7, Rawat found time to answer a few questions from Aasha Khosa. Edited excerpts:  How do you look back at the two months of political developments in Ut

“Those who sold liquor will now sell milk in Bihar”

Bihar’s liquor ban was spearheaded by excise minister Abdul Jalil Mastan. The six-time Congress MLA talks about the state’s plans to overcome the challenges in implementing this difficult move – from providing alternative employment opportunities to opening de-addiction centres.   What made you enact a law which completely banned liq

Why he opted for IRS instead of IAS

Dr Sri Vatsa Sehra cracked the civil services examinations, considered one of the world’s toughest, and did the unthinkable by deciding against joining the much sought after Indian Administrative Service (IAS). Instead, the doctor from AIIMS told Pankaj Kumar that he opted for the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) as it provides an amazing opportunity not just to administe

“Right to education should be from age three”

The UPA government’s big initiative in education was the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The NDA government’s big initiative promises to be the new education policy. A five-member committee, headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian, was set up last year to draft the policy. The committee had submitted its report on May 27. In early June, however, the matter became conten

“India could also be a target [of the Daesh]”

The news from war-ravaged Afghanistan is not encouraging: a resurgent Taliban, an increasing Islamic State footprint, a fractious government and a weak security force. This year has already seen the Indian consulate in Jalalabad being targeted by a suicide attack. Meanwhile, Afghanistan is very much on top of India’s diplomatic engagements. Economic cooperation with Iran and A

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