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
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
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
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 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;
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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