Anil Mad­hav Dave


India Today - - 30 YEARS OF MODI GOVERNMENT | SOCIETY - —Anilesh S. Ma­ha­jan

TO DO, OR WHAT else to do? This com­pli­cated phrase de­scribes the sit­u­a­tion Anil Mad­hav Dave has found him­self in ever since the Ge­netic En­gi­neer­ing Ap­praisal Com­mit­tee (GEAC)—an apex body in his min­istry to reg­u­late the man­u­fac­ture and use of ge­net­i­cally en­gi­neered or­gan­isms in the coun­try—gave its go-ahead for the com­mer­cial pro­duc­tion of GM Mus­tard.

His party’s ide­o­log­i­cal par­ent, the RSS is ve­he­mently op­posed to it, and so are his

party’s chief min­is­ters. The fight be­tween his bu­reau­crats and the Sangh’s ide­o­logues has caught Dave (who is him­self a for­mer pracharak) in the cross­fire. How­ever, he has some respite—the is­sue is also pend­ing at the Supreme Court.

Dave is also work­ing to re­duce the time taken for en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­provals to be granted. His pre­de­ces­sor Prakash Javadekar brought down the av­er­age wait­ing pe­riod for ap­provals to 190 days from 600 days dur­ing the UPA regime. Dave’s task is re­duce that to 100 days.

Dave was ap­pointed as MoS with in­de­pen­dent charge in July last year, after Javadekar was el­e­vated to cabi­net min­is­ter. An ac­tivist and ex­pert in river con­ser­va­tion, Dave is de­ter­mined to re­duce the en­vi­ron­men­tal costs af­fect­ing ur­ban

life as well. At a dis­cus­sion on amend­ments to the Mon­treal Pro­to­col at Ki­gali in Rwanda, Dave made a com­mit­ment that In­dia would not per­mit the use of HFC 23 green­house gas, which is used as a re­frig­er­ant in air con­di­tion­ers and re­frig­er­a­tors. Be­sides that, Dave has mostly toed the line drawn by Javadekar. In Jan­uary this year, at a lunch for 40 ex­pert mem­bers of var­i­ous ap­praisal com­mit­tees work­ing all over the coun­try, he de­scribed his five-point pro­gramme: Zero cor­rup­tion; no hold­ing up of de­vel­op­ment projects; fa­cil­i­tat­ing the ‘ease of do­ing busi­ness’; a wari­ness of NGOs funded by for­eign in­ter­ests, and shape up or ship out.


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