Minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha, who doesn’t hesitate to call a spade a spade, has also taken charge of the telecom ministry, which is conducting the largest-ever spectrum auction in the country. Sinha spoke candidly with Pankaj Kumar on the steps being taken to tackle call drops, an issue that has riled people for long, as well as reviving state-owned telecom service provi
Manas Kumar Thakur was recently elected the president of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) – the apex body for cost accountants with around 5 lakh students and 69,000 members – for 2016-17. Thakur talks with Governance Now on the role of cost accountants in the economy. How can cost accountants contribute to
Elections for Brihanmumbai municipal corporation, the country’s richest civic body, will be held in February. Sanjay Raut, leader of the ruling Shiv Sena party and executive editor of the party mouthpiece Saamna, spoke to Geetanjali Minhas on preparations for the polls and other issues. Excerpts: What are your plans and prepa
Mir Mazdak Dilshad Baloch is one of those who have been spearheading an independence movement in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province. The freedom movement received a shot in the arm when prime minister Narendra Modi referred to it during his Independence Day speech. Baloch spoke to Aasha Khosa about the aspirations of the region’s people and their in
Switzerland continues to be the most innovative country while India comes 66th in a new UN report that ranks 128 countries on their annual innovative capabilities. The 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 the rich nations still dominate g
It’s different this time.” Jignesh Mevani also repeats that adage, that the dalit agitation in Gujarat this time is different. That it is unlike several campaigns in the state’s recent history that had briefly succeeded but did not have a long-lasting impact. “This is not your typical ‘dalit agitation’. We are taking both caste and class together,&rdq
What inspires you? I take inspiration from my failures. When people tell me, ‘you can’t do this’, or ‘you’re not eligible to do this, or ‘it is not meant for you’, these things incite me to prove myself. It’s better to have tried and failed than to never try at all. Wha
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