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the-south-asian Life & Times                     April - June 2010ion

 

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A Conversation with Sheila Dikshit

Chief Minister of Delhi

She has governed Delhi one of the largest capital cities in the world since 1998. This is her third term as the Chief Minister of this city-state, with a population close to 17 million larger than many a country. This has not been without its challenges especially with an ever-increasing migrant population. She has introduced path breaking initiatives the Bhagidari system that involves people in governance, and the Right to Information Act, winning for Delhi the coveted United Nations Public Service Award in 2005 for improving Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness in Public Service.

Her holistic development of Delhi has seen the starting of Metro, CNG fuelled public transport system, cleaner environment, substantial increase in the Green cover (from 26 sq km in 1998 to over 300 sq km in 2008), reforms in the power sector, marked improvement in standard and results of Government schools, and various income generation schemes for the marginalized sections of the society.


Born on March 31, 1938, in Kapurthala, Punjab, she is the eldest of three sisters. Educated in Delhi, she has a Masters degree in History, and was married into the family of Shri Uma Shankar Dikshit, noted freedom fighter, a former Governor and Union Cabinet Minister. Her late husband Shri Vinod Dikshit was a widely respected member of Indian Administrative Service. She has two children, one son and one daughter.

 

SALT met Sheila Dikshit in March 2010 for a face-to-face. 

 

Read the entire article in the print edition

 

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