The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is all set to hold a crucial board meeting today in which, several many of its key directors including Chairman C B Bhave would be absent. The board will take the ‚Äėextraordinary‚Äô step of discussing and reviewing a board order on the National Securities Depository‚Äôs (NSDL) role in what is called the multiple IPO application scam. The order by bench comprising two independent members of the board Dr.Mohan Gopal ( a legal expert who heads the National Judicial Academy)¬† and¬† V Leeladhar (former Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India) was issued on 4th December 2008 ad has been suppressed by the regulator for four long months with whole time members nit-picking about whether it has exceeded its mandate?
I am delighted to say that the launch of our No Criminals campaign at Mumbai went off superbly well and it is moving forward rapidly.¬† It was a unique public meeting, where every stakeholder of civil society had a chance to participate and to speak.¬†
While the Public Interest Foundation first set this in motion ( I have posted details about them earlier) the Mumbai meeting showed us that every stakeholder of civil society is concerned about poor governance and wants to participate in changing the system.
The response from business and industry was heartening. Ashank Desai of Mastek was there to speak for NASSCOM, Sanjeev Bikchandani of naukri.com was there and so was Arun Nanda of Mahindra & Mahindra and Meenakshi Madhvani of Spatial Acess, as also Jamal Mecklai and wife Praveena.
The new political parties who want to provide better governance were all represented by their¬†Loksabha candidates. Meera Sanya, chairperson of ABN Amro who is contesting as an independent candidate made here first campaign speech. Dr.Mona Shah the eye surgeon from the Professionals Party of India was there too. So was Indur Chhugani, Rishi Aggarwal and Rajendra Thacker. All of them are contesting the elections from Mumbai.
Come to Ravindra Natya Mandir,¬† Sayani Road, Prabhadevi.
Wednesday 25th March at 6 pm
It is time that we citizens take a stand on the quality of our public representatives in the Parliament. If you support this sentiment, please join us for a public meeting for the Mumbai launch of ‚ÄėNo Criminals‚Äô Campaign!¬†¬†
This meeting is supported by all leading¬† Civil Society Groups and NGOs in Mumbai.
GV Ramakrishna with Dr.R.H.Patil and R.Balakrishnan
G V Ramakrishna (former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India and the Disinvestment Commission and former Member of the Planning Commission) expressed concern at the instability caused by fragmentation in the ruling coalition that gives enormous to small and insignificant regional parties to call the shots when it comes to policy making. This, he said, is stifling policy making and leading to mis-governance of the Indian State making it vulnerable to terror attacks and security breach. Mr.Ramakrishna, was speaking at the launch of Pathbreakers 2, a collection of 25 interviews with a set of role models and as usual, he also had solution to the problems that he highlighted.
It has been a busy week. On 15 February, G V Ramakrishna launched our second book of interviews Pathbreakers 2, as well as a gift pack of both editions at the lovely conference hall at YASHADA, Pune. G V Ramakrishna, Padma Bhushan, former Member Planning Commission, former Chairman, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Disinvestment Commission, has been one of our rare and outstanding bureaucrats who is known for his sharp wit, blunt speech and unimpeachable integrity. In his public career spanning Two Score and Twenty years (also the title of his memoirs and a must read of those who want to know how much can be done by the power of one right thinking person) Mr.Ramakrishna has never hesitated to do the right thing, even if it cost him a coveted post. He also has a way of giving power to his post, by the way he handled his job ‚Äď in fact, he turned SEBI into a powerful watchdog, even when it has a fraction of the powers he enjoys today.
The team of doctors that operated on Prime Minister of India, Dr.Manmohan Singh on 24th January 2000 was led by Dr. Ramakant Panda, a man whose name comes up very high on any list of the world‚Äôs top heart surgeons who perform high-risk surgeries. He is amazingly committed surgeon renowned as the man with the safest hands in the world and a specialist in beating heart surgery. We were fascinated with Dr.Panda‚Äôs amazing story when we interviewed him for our Pathbreakers series in MoneyLIFE Magazine and his labour of love ‚Äď the Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai.
Here is an excerpt from that interview‚Ä¶ you can read the full interview in Pathbreakers 2 which will be released by G V Ramakrishna, former Member of the Planning Commission on 15th February at YASHADA, Pune. If you would like to attend the launch, do write to me.
‚ÄúThe future of healthcare is not in nice interiors but in higher standards of patient care‚ÄĚ: Dr.Ramakant Panda”
The Satyam scandal has triggered its share of black humour.
Here is a parody of Johnny Johnny, Yes papa
Open the balance sheet
HA HA HA
Have you also noticed that SEBI Chairman C B Bhave says that he as “requested” B Ramalinga Raju to appear before SEBI by 4 pm tomorrow. Not summoned — only requested. If this isn’t kid glove treatment what is?
The Securities and Exchange Board of India will send a 9 member team headed by Sunil Kumar its Divisional Chief from Chennai to probe the Satyam scam. The entire effort will be supervised by SEBI’s Executive Director Mr. Nagpal.
SEBI, which had earlier found nothing wrong with the governance practices of Satyam and went to the extraordinary length of giving it a clean chit, has now woken up to the need to examine every aspect of the activities of the Satyam promoters and management. But frankly, when the Satyam Chairman has already confessed to extensive wrong doing, all that SEBI can only check if there is more dirt than disclosed and that is an academic exercise.
At this time, the regulator would be doing more for all the stakeholders if it had called an emergency meeting to check if some value can be salvaged out of Satyam on the strength of its contracts and staff. But here is the irony. While naive Satyam employees are busy giving sound bites to the effect that the company will be taken over, most of corporate India as well as leading regulators seem to think that the government will allow the company to die through sheer neglect. Frankly, this is one of those times when most of us would be happy if we were proved wrong.
For once, we would like the government to surprise us by helping to find a buyer for Satyam in the next three days, instead of putting out press releases to say how many different agencies are probing what is already a clear case of fraud.
Ramalinga Raju’s shocking confession to a fraud of over Rs 7000 crore however answers one question that had puzzled corporate watchers — why d
I finally registered for an email alert to The Secret Journal of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala instead of depending on erratic Google Alerts to tell me the next hilarious post. You don‚Äôt even need to know who Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is ‚Äď it will still have you rolling in the aisles. And the visuals! There is clearly a lot of work that goes into the visuals ‚Äď here is one example ‚Äď borrowed without his permission.
I have long ago given up trying to figure out who writes the blog ‚Äď Is it indeed a market wallah? Or is it someone from advertising with a crack team of visualisers, photoshoppers and copywriters? Or is he from the film industry? Doesn‚Äôt matter ‚Äď whoever it is, thank you for the sharp and rib tickling commentary.
Thanks also to the real Rakesh Jhunjhunwala for not complaining ‚Äď is he smart enough to figure out that the blog only enhances the real Rakesh‚Äôs reputation?
Shailesh Gandhi is one among the handful of people whose dogged perseverance has demonstrated that the Right to Information Act is a devastating tool that can be used by ordinary people to resolve issues and to clean up public life. The latter is a lot more difficult, but Shailesh succeeds because of a combination of factors ‚Äď he frames his queries with care, follows them through multiple appeals until he gets the answers he wants, he has built up a terrific rapport with a wide swathe of reporters who happily publish his findings and, most importantly, he often follows up his inquiry by filing public interest litigation.
So, when he was appointed a Central Information Commissioner, I thought to myself that some smart bureaucrat had found a way stop him filing sharp queries and at the same time bury him in a mountain of paper, red tape and procedure. When Shailesh idealistically started out saying he would work at a salary of one rupee, he seemed doomed to fail. Fortunately, he was quick to read the situation and do a swift and much needed course correction. His year-end ‚Äúreport card‚ÄĚ shows that he had passed with flying colours! Well, more power to you in 2009 Shailesh Gandhi!
Shailesh Gandhi: My Report Card for 2008