Direct link to scholarships offered by  Govt. of India

List of Private NGOs offering scholarships

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr: ‘Avenzoar’

Abu Marwan Abdal Malik Ibn Zuhr, known in the west as Avenzoar, was

Ummid Assistant

IDB Scholarship Program: Application form can be downloaded from here

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » National

Jairam Ramesh: Politics of compromise or middle path?

Thursday May 12, 2011 09:41:43 AM, Richa Sharma, IANS

Related Article

Ramesh says guilty of condoning many environmental violations

Holding himself guilty of condoning many environmental violations, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh Friday said he is against regularisation of illegality but has been forced to compromise in some cases.    »

TISS students protest against minister, boycott convocation

Shutdown in Ratnagiri to protest killing, some violence

Government pushes ahead with Jaitapur n-project

Safety, livelihood of locals, focus of meeting on Jaitapur n-project

New Delhi: Until a few months ago, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh was hogging the headlines by halting some of the biggest projects for violation of green norms. He's back in the limelight, but this time for controversial clearances and candidly revealing that he has been "forced to compromise", a shift that industry has hailed as the "middle path".

From being a green crusader to a "helpless" minister, as some activists now call him, the tide began turning early this year with his ministry giving conditional nods to South Korean major Posco's $12 billion integrated steel project in Orissa Jan 31.

According to ministry officials, the order to clear Posco - the largest foreign investment project in the country - came following pressure from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

While industry has welcomed the move, the 57-year-old minister, who brought India to the forefront of international climate change talks, has been criticised by the greens for "buckling under pressure".

"We have to say that he is violating statutory conditions on dictation from above. It is shocking and shameful and is an open comment on the crony nature of current governance in India," said Medha Patkar of the Narmda Bachao Andolan (NBA).

Calling him helpless, Shankar Gopalakrishnan of the Campaign for Survival and Dignity, a national platform of tribal and forest dwellers' organisations, said: "There is no legal institution and no effort is being made to address the problem on the ground."

"There is a lot of image politics and symbolic action, but nothing has changed as far as the underlying procedure is concerned," Gopalakrishnan told IANS.

On Wednesday, nearly 30 graduating students of the prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai boycotted their annual convocation ceremony where the minister was the chief guest to protest against him over proposed nuclear power projects in various parts of the country.

The image of the maverick minister suffered another blow May 6 when he cleared the 400 MW Maheshwar hydroelectric power project on the Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh despite non-compliance of conditions given at the time of green clearance.

Ramesh said he had no choice but to agree to lifting the order in view of the decisions taken at various meetings convened by the PMO.

"I am totally against regularising illegality. Unfortunately, many times I am forced to regularise. There are some occasions when I have not compromised. On some occasions, I had to compromise," he added.

However, some environmentalists are not ready to buy that argument.

"I think it is the collective responsibility of the council of ministers of which Jairam Ramesh is a part and he can't put everything on the PMO. He is trying to behave like he is the only good guy and the rest are bad," said an environmentalist on condition of anonymity.

Chander Bhushan of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) told IANS: "The problem is we don't have an institutional mechanism to address such problems. I don't understand why the PMO has to intervene in all major projects and why we can't set a mechanism which will simplify the problem."

Ramesh did stop Vedanta's bauxite mining project in Orissa last year.

Bhushan said Ramesh has brought some energy to the ministry which had been almost dead for the past 10 years. But there hasn't been any significant change in the procedure used to accord green clearance to projects, he said.

Industry has of course welcomed the recent clearances by Ramesh's ministry.

"We welcome the decisions to clear prominent infrastructure projects like Posco, Jindal Steel Plant. The ministry has, of course, taken the decision by balancing the growth aspect and environment imperatives," Seema Arora, head of environment desk, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), told IANS.

"It is a forward move as the government is looking at the middle path so that we don't compromise on growth," she said.

Data collected under the Right to Information Act by environment lawyer Ritwick Dutta shows that during Ramesh's tenure, projects were actually getting cleared much faster and fewer projects were rejected compared to his predecessor A. Raja.

Environmental clearance for just six projects was rejected during August 2009-July 2010, compared to 14 projects rejected during 2006-07 to 2007-08. All in all, 769 projects were received and 535 were approved. The rest are pending.

"Ramesh has stopped only some high-profile projects like Lavasa, Posco, Vedanta and Adarsh... what about the rest which have been cleared and can do more damage to environment?" Bhushan asked.

(Richa Sharma can be contacted at





  Bookmark and Share                                          Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS




Top Stories

Issues that dominated West Bengal battle

The West Bengal election campaign began with the opposition calling for a change of regime while the Left Front urged the voters to help it retain power for an eighth time  »

Personal abuse and attacks mar Bengal poll campaign

  Where will Bengal's Muslim votes go?

Bengal's 'red fort' faces challenge as voting begins Monday


  Most Read

31 Muslims among 920 successful candidates

A total of 31 Muslims are among the 920 candidates who have cleared the UPSC exams held in November 2010. Based on their ranks   »

Chennai girl tops civil services exam

Supreme Court rejects CBI plea to reopen Bhopal case

The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) petition seeking more stringent punishment for then United Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) chairman Keshub Mahindra and six   »

Bhopal tragedy: Apex court comments on its own verdict


  News Pick

NATO doesn't know if Gaddafi is dead or alive

NATO said Tuesday it was unaware of embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi being dead or alive and denied its air strikes on Tripoli were aimed to kill him.  »

Faiz Ahmad Faiz's poetry earned him immortality in his lifetime

This week has been a spiritually uplifting one for me personally. On Friday I was in Dhakka participating in the joint Bangladesh-India  »

TISS students protest against minister, boycott convocation

Nearly 30 graduating students of the prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) protested against Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh here Wednesday over proposed nuclear power projects   »

First woman from India's northeast conquers Everest

As new records begin to be written on Mt Everest, a 25-year-old woman from India's Arunachal Pradesh state has become the first Indian to peak the world highest mountain this spring. She has also achieved the feat of becoming   »

New content control rules leave netizens sore

In the age of internet-fuelled information explosion, the government's new rule allowing telecom companies and blogging sites, among others, to remove "objectionable" content from the web without  »


Picture of the Day

Vice President Mohd. Hamid Ansari addresses after releasing the special issue of “Think India” quarterly on Faiz Ahmad Faiz, in New Delhi on May 10, 2011. Also seen in the picture is Member Planning Commission Dr Syeda Hameed among others.

(Photo: Hansraj)



RSS  |  Contact us

| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant






About us




Government Schemes











Contact us





      Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.