Interviews

Jean Dreze -- development economist -- interviewed by Jipson John and Jitheesh PM (Frontline.in)Jean Dreze -- development economist -- interviewed by Jipson John and Jitheesh PM (Frontline.in)

-Frontline.inJean Dreze is a well-known Indian economist working in the field of "development economics". Born in Belgium, he studied mathematical economics at the University of Essex and completed his PhD from the Indian Statistical Institute (New Delhi) in 1982.He has taught at the London School of Economics and the Delhi School of Economics and is currently visiting professor at Ranchi University as well as honorary professor at the Delhi School of Economics. His research interests include rural development, social inequality, child nutrition, health care, food security, and elementary education, with special reference to India.Jean Dreze played a pioneering role in public debates on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which guarantees employment on local public works as a right up to 100 days a year. He was also a prominent advocate of the National Food Security Act in India. Championing the cause of the most oppressed sections of Indian...

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Indu Bhushan -- CEO of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) -- interviewed by Bindu Shajan Perappadan (The Hindu)Indu Bhushan -- CEO of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) -- interviewed by Bindu Shajan Perappadan (The Hindu)

-The Hindu The CEO of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana on the challenges and scope of the scheme and responses from the States Indu Bhushan is the CEO of the world’s largest government-funded health insurance scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23. Until his appointment as CEO of PM-JAY, Mr. Bhushan served as director general for the East Asia Department of the Asian Development Bank, before which he worked as a senior economist with the World Bank Group. Here, he explains how the scheme works and the challenges it faces. Excerpts: * After many months of preparation, talks and planning, India has finally launched its ambitious Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme to benefit the poorest of the poor. Where do we stand today in terms of coverage offered and hospitals empanelled? It’s true that before the scheme was rolled out, several ground-level...

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Shailaja Fennell, university senior lecturer at the University of Cambridge, interviewed by Deepanwita Gita Niyogi (Down to Earth)Shailaja Fennell, university senior lecturer at the University of Cambridge, interviewed by Deepanwita Gita Niyogi (Down to Earth)

-Down to Earth Shailaja Fennell, an expert in gender and household dynamics in agriculture, talks to Down To Earth about millet production in India As India witnesses the central government launch a campaign to promote nutri cereals, Down To Earth talks to an expert about the relevance of millets, its cultural significance and its benefits for women. Shailaja Fennell, university senior lecturer in development studies at the department of land economy in the University of Cambridge, is an expert in institutional reform, rural development and gender and household dynamics in agriculture. She is currently a Flagship Project leader on TIGR2ESS (Transforming India’s Green Revolution by Research and Empowerment for Sustainable food Supplies) (2018-2021).  Here are the excerpts of the interview: * Will you call millets essentially a woman’s crop? Millets are grown in semi-arid conditions as they are resistant to heat and can survive in environments with less water resources. They are also labour intensive...

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Maitreesh Ghatak, Professor of Economics at London School of Economics, interviewed by Tathagata Bhattacharya (National Herald)Maitreesh Ghatak, Professor of Economics at London School of Economics, interviewed by Tathagata Bhattacharya (National Herald)

-National Herald Maitreesh Ghatak, Professor of Economics at London School of Economics, in an interview to Tathagata Bhattacharya says the government has failed on many counts At the end of the day, it is growth and employment generation via new investment that is key to long-term economic progress. Various welfare schemes are a way of providing a social safety net to the poor in the short-run. It is performance along these two dimensions that affect people’s daily lives most directly, says Maitreesh Ghatak, Professor of Economics at London School of Economics, in an interview to Tathagata Bhattacharya. He says the government has failed on these counts and many more Q. Where do you think the Indian economy is headed? A. At this moment, things don’t look very rosy. As far as GDP growth is concerned, it slowed to a four-year low of 6.7% in 2017-18. In fact, excluding the last two years of the...

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Bezwada Wilson, national convenor of the Safai Karamchari Andolan, interviewed by Ahan PenkarBezwada Wilson, national convenor of the Safai Karamchari Andolan, interviewed by Ahan Penkar

-Caravan Magazine On 9 September 2018, five sanitation workers died due to inhalation of toxic fumes while cleaning a sewage tank in West Delhi. Several media reports regarding the incident noted that the men did not have any safety gear, indicating that the unavailability of equipment led to their death. The police reportedly registered a case against theengineer who was in charge of managing the sewage tank,under Sections 304 and 304A of the Indian Penal Code—culpable homicide and causing death due to negligence, respectively. Following extensive media coverage, the police later added charges under sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 and the Prohibition of Employment of Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.   There have been over 327 deaths related to manual scavenging in 2017 alone. Manual cleaning of sewage and excreta is a profession that has long been reserved for Dalits, with...

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