Exclusive Q&A With : TSR Subramanian Former cabinet secretary talks about the need, to bring in changes in the educati
Updated on: 29 Jun 2016
Former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian talks about the need to bring in changes in the education system, says the bureaucrat of today is "superior in terms of competence and mental ability" and that the quality of governance has "not gone down sharply" over the years
Why TSR Subramanian?
Former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian has headed three high-level committees —on the new education policy, one on environmental laws and another on postal reforms — set up by the Narendra Modi-led NDA government. The former bureaucrat was recently in the news for writing to HRD Minister Smriti Irani, asking her to make public his panel's suggestions for the new education policy. In November 2014, as head of the panel tasked with reviewing six environmental statutes, Subramanian had recommended an overhaul of the environmental governance structure in the country
RITIKA CHOPRA: You headed a committee that examined environmental laws and submitted its report to the government. Prakash Javadekar, the Environment Minister, however, in an interview to The Indian Express said that the government has no intention of amending environment laws.
I think the laws need to be amended because one of the things we found in the report was that in the last few years hardly anybody has been punished in India at all (for breaking environment laws). Nobody has gone to prison, no major fines have been issued… Generally, there is a feeling that you can break the law with impunity. This feeling has been there and I think that is why the laws need to be amended.
In the report we said that entrepreneurs should be asked to make a commitment, that if he crosses certain limits, the following action can be immediately taken (against him). In other words, you can cut through a lot of the legal jungle if you do that. This was the principle applied in the USA in the field of environment too. This is the principle being applied in European countries in the field of insurance law… consequences follow automatically. Hopefully, they (the government) will look at the report in the course of time.
RITIKA CHOPRA: The latest report that you have submitted was on the new education policy. Could you tell us about some of the recommendations that you made?