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Reflections of a Former Indian Cabinet Minister: From GDP to GNC
(Interview with Mr.Jaswant Singh, Former Indian Cabinet Minister for Finance, Defense & External Affairs)

Reminiscences on undivided India & political debut

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Nature: Sample
Duration: 2:38 min

GDP Vs GNC and Disinvestment

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Nature: Sample
Duration: 2:06 min

Who is this video about?

Jaswant Singh, former Cabinet Minister, Government of India, born on January 3rd 1938, has the rarest distinction of having served three different ministries – Defense, Finance and External Affairs. He was an officer in the Indian Army in the 1960s, an illustrious alumnus of Mayo College and the National Defense Academy. He served as the Finance Minister in the short-lived Government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which lasted just from May 16th 1996 to June 1st 1996. After Vajpayee became Prime Minister again two years later, he became Minister for External Affairs, serving from December 5th 1998 until July 1st 2002. Responsible for foreign policy, he dealt with high tensions between India and Pakistan. Mr. Singh is also widely regarded for his handling of relations with the US which were strained after the 1998 Indian nuclear tests (Pokran) but which ameliorated soon after culminating in the visit of US President Bill Clinton to India. His skill as a negotiator and diplomat during talks with the US has been well acknowledged by his US counterpart Strobe Talbott. His stint in this ministry was marked by a controversy that Jaswant Singh is always remembered for. He has been criticised by political parties frequently for escorting terrorists to Kandhar, Afghanistan, who were released by Government of India in exchange of passengers from the hijacked Indian Airlines plane (IC 814). However, an all party meeting was called by the Indian Government during that time and the decision taken was mutual by bringing all political parties in confidence.

Clarifying his position as regards that issue, in July 2006, Singh released a book titled A Call to Honour: In Service of Emergent India, which again created another controversy, over a reference made. Singh had insinuated that a mole had existed in the Prime Ministerial Office during the tenure of former Prime Minister P.V.Narasimha Rao, who had leaked information to American sources. Soon after, the then Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh challenged him to name the mole. In response, Singh sent a letter to him, which as Dr. Manmohan Singh told later, had no signature, and no name of any mole. Jaswant Singh then backed off, saying his views on the subject were based on a ‘hunch’. He served as Finance Minister until the defeat of the Vajpayee government in May 2004 and was instrumental in defining and pushing through the market-friendly reforms of the government. He was conferred the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for the year 2001.

Recommended to use this video for:

  1. Getting a few insights into Undivided India
  2. Understanding the upbringing and the influencing factors in Mr. Jaswant Singh's political debut
  3. Understanding the former Indian Finance Minister’s views on GDP and Gross National Contentment (GNC).

Video Details

Title : An Interview with Mr.Jaswant Singh, Former Indian Cabinet Minister for Finance, Defense & External Affairs

Released Date: 24th March,2009.

Interviewed by Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary ,Dean, IBSCDC, Mr. Siddharth Shankar

Price : $ (1000 INR)

Duration : 20 min

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