Interviews

Arvind Subramanian, outgoing Chief Economic Adviser to the Ministry of Finance, interviewed by  TCA Sharad Raghavan (The Hindu)Arvind Subramanian, outgoing Chief Economic Adviser to the Ministry of Finance, interviewed by TCA Sharad Raghavan (The Hindu)

-The Hindu The outgoing CEA also batted for the lateral entry of talent into the government The compensation payable to the States for revenue loss arising due to GST is just ?5,000 crore, far lower than was estimated, according to Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian. In a candid interview to The Hindu, the outgoing CEA also batted for the lateral entry of talent into the government, saying that it was a “no brainer” in a situation where demand for talent outstripped the supply within the government. However, Mr. Subramanian added that it wasn’t sufficient to get the talent from outside, but to ensure that the person can also effectively work with and within the bureaucracy. “Consistent with my revenue neutral report and against what everyone said, the GST compensation requirements are only about ?5,000 crore for the entire first year ,” Mr. Subramanian said. “We were surprised at how strong the revenue performance has been...

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Professor Martha Nussbaum, American philosopher and social scientist, interviewed by Seema Chisti (The Indian Express)Professor Martha Nussbaum, American philosopher and social scientist, interviewed by Seema Chisti (The Indian Express)

-The Indian Express The (Indian) Constitution is an admirable document, and (B R) Ambedkar designed it to be the protector of minorities. But the legal profession, the courts, the police, need to live up to the values it contains, said Martha. Professor Martha Nussbaum is an American philosopher and social scientist who has been studying India for decades and written several books on democracy, violence, and diversity and its accommodation. Before her current stint at the Law School, University of Chicago, she has taught at Harvard University, Brown University, and Oxford University. Excerpts from an e-mail interview with SEEMA CHISHTI on increasing mob violence in India, and its effect: * The US saw cases of lynchings or mob assault against blacks, and such incidents have been reported from other parts of the world too. How was the US able to tackle this, for example? The lynchings ended very gradually. A number of different factors...

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Manoranjan S Roy, RTI activist, interviewed by Ashutosh Sharma (National Herald)Manoranjan S Roy, RTI activist, interviewed by Ashutosh Sharma (National Herald)

-National Herald He fears for his life and safety of his family, admits the activist from Mumbai, explaining his reluctance to speak to the media and appear on TV. Visiting the national capital for filing his petition before the Supreme Court, Manoranjan S Roy resisted attempts to drag him to TV studios. Life for him had changed ever since his RTI applications revealed discrepancies between the supply and deployment of Electronic Voting Machines in elections. But his recent disclosure that the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank with BJP national president Amit Shah as one of the directors collecting a whopping Rs 750 crore in just five days after demonetisation, has brought him unwanted publicity. It was after much persuasion and with reluctance that he finally agreed to speak to Ashutosh Sharma. Excerpts from their conversation: Q. Why are you avoiding talking to the media? A. It’s because of my past experience. When I needed media...

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Elattuvalappil Sreedharan, 86, a retired civil engineer and famously known as the 'Metro Man', interviewed by Ramesh Babu (Hindustan Times)Elattuvalappil Sreedharan, 86, a retired civil engineer and famously known as the 'Metro Man', interviewed by Ramesh Babu (Hindustan Times)

-Hindustan Times E Sreedharan says he also doesn’t agree that the Indian Railways has made rapid progress. He cites that apart from bio-toilets, there has been no technical upgradation and accident record has not improved either. Having revolutionised the way urban people commute, Elattuvalappil Sreedharan, 86, a retired civil engineer, has taken up the challenge of laying down standards for the metro rail system. In an interview with Ramesh Babu, the ‘Metro Man’ said what the country needs right now is modern, safe and fast rail system, and not bullet trains which will cater only to the elites. Edited excerpts: * You have been given a new assignment to standardise the metro service in the country. Recently, you said among the metros, Delhi Metro is very close to your heart. Why? I have been pushing for standardisation and indigenisation of metro service for long. It is a welcome move. With standardisation, efficiency will go...

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Arvind Subramanian, ex-Chief Economic Advisor (CEA), interviewed by Prashant JhaArvind Subramanian, ex-Chief Economic Advisor (CEA), interviewed by Prashant Jha

-Hindustan Times Subramanian says due to less suitable global economic scene, reaching double-digit growth will need more hard work The announcement that Arvind Subramanian, India’s Chief Economic Advisor (CEA), is quitting for personal reasons to return to the United States has generated considerable attention. The CEA spoke to Prashant Jha about his time in government and the state of the economy: * As you look back, what are the key highlights and the big regret you have from your tenure? There were some major highlights: the constitutional amendment on the GST (Goods and Services Tax), the early diagnosis of the twin balance sheet issue; pushing the ideas of stigmatised capitalism, carbon imperialism, universal basic income, bad banks and more. But I think presenting economic surveys and elevating the content, presentation and articulation of economic policy making would rank high. My regret is that there were lots of demands from states to replicate the office of...

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