Sizes of cities often turn out to be their enemies because everything costs a bomb to build and operate, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. A hundred new cities spoken of in Narendra Modi’s election campaign evolved into as many smart cities in his ‘vision’. This would be Independent India’s biggest ever boost to planned urbanisation. Hitherto, cities have grown from villages to towns to cities and most of them have not been much of cities either. They are crowded, ill-planned ... Rediff.com, 4 weeks ago
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered a clean-up of all central government offices. Mahesh Vijapurkar laments the pervading culture of shabbiness in government offices around the country. There is some awe because Narendra Modi, with a huge plateful of issues he needed to tackle -- to undo what the predecessors left behind and new initiatives to undertake -- is a man who pays attention to detail. One is that he went to the extent of telling his party MPs that they shouldn’t ...Rediff.com, 2 months ago
Mahesh Vijapurkar was a student in Hyderabad when the Telangana agitation began, with Osmania University as its epicentre. With the new state finally becoming a reality, he looks back on the lost yearsWe re-produce this July 2013 feature I was there, a fly on the wall, when the agitation for statehood for Telangana started and gathered gale force. Violence was part of the tactics, and then as now, Osmania University was where the action was. Student leaders had as much say on the course of the ...Rediff.com, 2 months ago
What we need to do straightaway is to get our act together and educate children better than merely award degrees. Since English cannot be thrown away, it would be better to learn it well. The crux lies there. Lowering standards of UPSC tests is no use, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Three-four years ago, a person with an MA in English from Nanded met the principal of a Mumbai suburban college seeking employment as a lecturer in that subject. When the principal tried to keep to keep the conversation in ...Rediff.com, 2 weeks ago
In the barrios and favelas of South America, gondola lifts offer more than pretty views. They present an escape, however brief, from poverty, a link between slum life and the outside world. In the past decade or so, cable car transit systems have ...International Business Times, 1 month ago Climate Change Solutions: Architects Look To Slums As Models For Sustainable Living International Business Times, 1 month ago
Amid all the changes that Railways has undergone over the decades, one thing has been constant - untidy stations and malodourous trains, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.There are four categories of people, each looking at the Indian Railways and the promises made in the annual budget in their own way. First is that category, which would look at the promise of a bullet train to eventually run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad as a macho symbol of coming of age of a country, where trains move so slowly ...Rediff.com, 1 month ago
If the Indian Railways thinks it can get away with this sassy attitude, it is because it is, in a sense, a monopolist in the business of transporting people. The distances one has to cover, say from Thane or Virar to Mumbai is impossible by road provides railways the arrogance, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. When 7.5 million passengers use the Mumbai’s suburban railway system, and the prices of season tickets are hiked to levels which almost takes away the subsidy component, it is a huge crisis ...Rediff.com, 1 month ago
Pankaja Munde, who is the MLA from Parli, led the campaign for Gopinath Munde during the Lok Sabha elections against the single-minded, ‘undo the Mundes’ campaign by the Pawars and the Nationalist Congress Party. She is now set to take over his mantle, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. The huge gathering of people, even if unruly, is not the first time that Parli, a nondescript town in Beed district, has seen. It was as big when Pankaja, Gopinath Munde’s daughter was married to a IT ...Rediff.com, 2 months ago
One can understand that all MPs are equal in that sense and are endowed with varied talents but that does not automatically qualify them to run ministries. Some are adept at meeting challenges and some simply are not, and remain ornaments. By seeking pro-rata quotas, the very purpose of a forming a ministry of talent is lost, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Smriti Irani’s suitability to head the human resources development ministry is a matter which time would resolve itself, despite the ...Rediff.com, 2 months ago
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