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The Merits and Demerits of Skyscrapers: Learnings for India
May 05, 2023

The Merits and Demerits of Skyscrapers: Learnings for India

Skyscrapers are typically constructed to meet the housing needs arising from increased urbanisation, but they may also fulfil national ambitions to display economic might. This paper examines the advantages and disadvantages of building skyscrapers to establish key learnings for India.

The morality play in economic policy
Nov 10, 2017

The morality play in economic policy

Morality is a slippery slope to tread in public affairs. It’s certainly an individual virtue, but at a societal level it’s difficult to define.

The National Rural Livelihoods Mission: Drawing Lessons from the First Ten Years
Jul 23, 2021

The National Rural Livelihoods Mission: Drawing Lessons from the First Ten Years

The National Rural Livelihoods Mission was launched in June 2011 to create institutional platforms for the rural poor, enabling them to increase household incomes through livelihood support and access to financial services. This brief evaluates the achievements of the programme in its first 10 years. It finds that the Mission has met with some successes in improving the lives of rural women, who are the backbone of the programme, and consequently

The NCIIPC and its evolving framework
Nov 03, 2016

The NCIIPC and its evolving framework

NCIIPC calls for forging partnerships between public and private entities, leveraging each other’s strengths by avoiding the traditional regulatory

The New Land Acquisition Draft: A Critique
Sep 15, 2011

The New Land Acquisition Draft: A Critique

Notwithstanding certain areas of confusions and its share of shortcomings, some of them very serious in nature, the new land acquisition bill is a long overdue and must move quickly with doses of amendments to see the daylight.

The Office of the President @75
Aug 15, 2022

The Office of the President @75

Though the President does not enjoy the same level of power that is available to the PM, the President, nonetheless, can control certain key aspects o

The Pandemic at 24 Months: An Assessment
Aug 14, 2023

The Pandemic at 24 Months: An Assessment

Two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated 14-24 million people have died worldwide due to the coronavirus or the chaos of lockdowns and other impacts. To a great extent, much of this current state of the world is due to human health being profoundly misunderstood and neglected in international relations and national politics. This brief discusses two principles that can help understand why this pandemic is not at an

The paradox of innovation and trust in Artificial Intelligence
Feb 22, 2024

The paradox of innovation and trust in Artificial Intelligence

With Artificial Intelligence (AI) under increasing regulatory scrutiny, there is a concerted effort to dissect the dualistic nature of this technology

The Perils of Tech-Utopian Thinking
Mar 17, 2023

The Perils of Tech-Utopian Thinking

This brief explores some of the deeper, and more troubling, effects of the pervasive spread of the logic of technology on social, cultural, and political life. The author critiques the predominant tech-utopian perspective, which frames ever further and faster technological development as critical to continuing social progress, using Neil Postman’s concept of the ‘technopoly’. The brief uses as an example the influence of the logic o

The plots and manoeuvrings behind the making of Independent India (Part 3)
Nov 16, 2020

The plots and manoeuvrings behind the making of Independent India (Part 3)

In the last of a three part series, an excerpt from Sandeep Bamzai’s latest book, “PRINCESTAN: How Nehru, Patel and Mountbatten Made India” deta

The Policy and Operational Challenges in Formulating India’s New Foreign Trade Policy
Oct 07, 2021

The Policy and Operational Challenges in Formulating India’s New Foreign Trade Policy

In 2022, the Government of India is set to introduce the new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) that will provide direction to the country's broader trade policy regime in the succeeding five years. This FTP will be more difficult to draft than the previous ones, for various reasons including the increased global pressure to address trade policy uncertainties, the need for alignment with the self-reliance mission, Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, and the tenu

The power triangle in the India-Pacific region
Jul 09, 2012

The power triangle in the India-Pacific region

Strategists in New Delhi would have to factor in that a two front confrontation with Pakistan and China cannot be ruled out. US response in this case is an uncertainty. We need to remember that in the ultimate analysis, China is the resident power and the US is a distant power.

The Quad and the Indo-Pacific
Oct 07, 2020

The Quad and the Indo-Pacific

There is a certain duality about the Indo-Pacific. It is a region of economic opportunity, as well as one of problems.

The Role of China-Made Frigates in the Pakistan Navy’s Power Projection Matrix
Jun 15, 2023

The Role of China-Made Frigates in the Pakistan Navy’s Power Projection Matrix

This brief evaluates the capabilities of the Chinese-origin frigates acquired by Pakistan, and explores the potential implications of their induction on the operational approach of the Pakistan Navy. The brief argues that the Pakistan Navy’s acquisition of Chinese-origin frigates must be viewed as part of its attempted transformation from a force adopting an offensive sea-denial strategy to one gearing towards enhanced regional

The Role of Gender Equity in Reducing Malnutrition: The View from South Asia
Aug 16, 2023

The Role of Gender Equity in Reducing Malnutrition: The View from South Asia

This brief analyses the correlation between gender-based inequities and malnutrition. It highlights the case of South Asia, and uses as a backdrop the compounded challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors review existing literature on the subject and cull patterns, with the aim of outlining recommendations for countries in the region for bridging interrelated gaps in gender parity and nutrition.

The Role of Lithium-Based Energy Storage in India’s Climate Goals
May 12, 2023

The Role of Lithium-Based Energy Storage in India’s Climate Goals

Energy storage is key to both effective integration of renewable energy systems with the electricity grid, and accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). This brief discusses the technological trends in lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries, and assesses the energy storage needs of the Indian power and transportation sectors. It looks at the geographic distribution of lithium and cobalt in onshore and offshore locations across

The Role of Maternal Nutrition in Reducing Childhood Stunting
Jul 21, 2023

The Role of Maternal Nutrition in Reducing Childhood Stunting

Maternal nutrition impacts not only the woman’s health during pregnancy but also that of her newborn; the child’s health in their first 1,000 days of life, in turn, will influence outcomes during childhood. Indeed, maternal undernutrition is estimated to account for 20 percent of childhood stunting in India. It is therefore important to ensure that women enter pregnancy in good health, as measured for example in adequate height and we

The Role of the State in Facilitating an India-First Technological Imperative
Jul 21, 2023

The Role of the State in Facilitating an India-First Technological Imperative

The role of the state is paramount in incentivising and facilitating a continental-scale indigenous technology and intellectual property development ecosystem in India. The world's two largest economies, US and China, have amply demonstrated the payoffs of this approach through tangible socio-economic development. This paper documents successful strategies from both economies that India can emulate in its own context. It argues that multi

The Role of Women’s Nutrition Literacy in Food Security in South Asia
Aug 17, 2023

The Role of Women’s Nutrition Literacy in Food Security in South Asia

Gender inequality is a major cause and effect of hunger and poverty, with women and girls comprising 60 percent of the global hungry. Women face multiple challenges (such as limited access to education and employment opportunities) that curtail their economic autonomy and weaken their bargaining position within the family, consequently impacting household food security. The pandemic has worsened this situation. It is crucial to apply a ge

The Role of Women’s Nutrition Literacy in Food Security: The Case of Africa
Aug 16, 2023

The Role of Women’s Nutrition Literacy in Food Security: The Case of Africa

Women are vital to food security, especially in developing countries where food is more scarce to begin with. Women’s productive and reproductive roles put them at the centre of food security more than any other group. This is true in Africa where, both as farmers and as home managers, women determine the feeding habits, dietary patterns, and nutritional and food security status of their household. This brief argues that promoting femal

The SCO illusion takes India
Jun 09, 2017

The SCO illusion takes India

As India joins the SCO, it must keep in mind certain geopolitical realities.

The Scots say it all
Sep 25, 2014

The Scots say it all

The 55-45 percent Scotland referendum against independence has revived the on-again-off-again discourse of the kind among Sri Lankan Tamils (SLT), one more time. Rather, certain Tamil web campaigns have cited even a 'No' vote in Scotland to justify their demand for a referendum in the SLT community.

The sea leg of India’s nuclear triad post Pokhran II
May 11, 2023

The sea leg of India’s nuclear triad post Pokhran II

Pakistan and China’s nuclear capabilities along with the added challenges and risks of a complex and uncertain environment in the Indo-Pacific are v

The Search for Sustainable Solutions to Debt Accumulation in Sub-Saharan Africa
Jul 21, 2023

The Search for Sustainable Solutions to Debt Accumulation in Sub-Saharan Africa

Like in some other regions of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated external debt accumulation in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This could have massive, adverse impacts on growth as governments prioritise debt servicing commitments over key development expenditures such as healthcare and education. For the countries in SSA with relatively lower GDP, this could mean getting caught in a vicious cycle of low output and mounting debt. A pa

The Taliban’s political strategy
Sep 19, 2020

The Taliban’s political strategy

As negotiations begin and Afghans wait with baited-breath — the future of Afghanistan remains uncertain. The US is ready to leave, the Kabul governm

The trail Trump’s blazing
Nov 16, 2016

The trail Trump’s blazing

Trump phenomenon will play out in the world with uncertaintyonly going to grow in years to come as democracies take recourse to rising tides of nationalism

The TRIPS Agreement and Public Health: Understanding the Reform Agenda
Nov 26, 2021

The TRIPS Agreement and Public Health: Understanding the Reform Agenda

Past debates on waiving certain sections of the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) have centred on issues such as development and technology transfers. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought more urgency to such discussions, prompting India and South Africa to table a waiver proposal in October 2020. This brief discusses the evolution of the TRIPS Agreement and the link between the a

The two major 2024 election manifestos and what they have to say for cities
May 04, 2024

The two major 2024 election manifestos and what they have to say for cities

Both manifestos have made laudable assertions regarding city problems, however, the issues of the financial domain of ULBS and certain pending urban r

The unfinished business of decentralised urban governance in India
Feb 10, 2020

The unfinished business of decentralised urban governance in India

Until the early 1990s, India’s urban local bodies (ULBs) were under the complete control of the states, having little functional, financial and administrative autonomy. The 74th Amendment Act of 1992 sought to make ULBs self-governing institutions. Many salutary provisions were made in the Act and there have been certain positive outcomes since it came into effect in April 1993. However, many key issues have remained unresolved and at present,

The US elections and India-Russia relations
Sep 29, 2020

The US elections and India-Russia relations

India’s efforts to preserve the primacy of its partnership with Russia would be made much easier should Russia pay more heed to certain Indian conce

The US Presidential Election: Implications for East Asia
May 11, 2023

The US Presidential Election: Implications for East Asia

As the American presidential election draws closer, both candidates-Barack Obama and Mitt Romney-are well aware that domestic issues would be the major factors determining the poll results. Policies, related to immigration, taxation,...

The World in Disarray: Is This the End of Multilateralism for Trade?
Aug 14, 2023

The World in Disarray: Is This the End of Multilateralism for Trade?

Russia’s war on Ukraine, interrupted value chains, and increased regionalisation are putting pressures on the already-strained multilateral trading system. Though a strong World Trade Organization (WTO) is needed to navigate these challenges, the organisation risks becoming irrelevant if far-reaching reforms are not implemented as soon as possible. In the short- and medium-term, WTO members must agree on limiting export barriers, especi

The World Trade Organisation: Developing countries availing special and differential treatment
Nov 01, 2021

The World Trade Organisation: Developing countries availing special and differential treatment

WTO needs to develop a set of parameters to ascertain which countries qualify as “developing” in order to wind up the challenge associated with S&

The WTO is a house out of order
Apr 01, 2024

The WTO is a house out of order

Amidst economic and geopolitical uncertainties, the lack of movement on reviving and reforming the World Trade Organisation will only exacerbate divis

The Xi Plan: The Political Factors Driving China’s COVID-19 Strategy
Dec 19, 2022

The Xi Plan: The Political Factors Driving China’s COVID-19 Strategy

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is seeking to promote a political model with centralisation and one-party rule at the core to achieve economic growth and stability. This brief assesses the extent to which the CCP’s policymaking mechanisms and internal politics have influenced China’s strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ‘QuadFather’: The Legacy of Shinzo Abe and the Quad
Aug 16, 2023

The ‘QuadFather’: The Legacy of Shinzo Abe and the Quad

Before the rise of Xi Jinping—before the Beijing Olympics and the South China Sea tensions and the China-India border crisis—the late former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had already sensed that a rising China would pose daunting challenges to its neighbours and the regional order. This brief argues that without Abe, there would likely have been no ‘Quad’ grouping joining Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. His re

Ties with Pakistan: Loose talk or opening the latch?
Jun 05, 2024

Ties with Pakistan: Loose talk or opening the latch?

Speculation is rife on both sides of the Radcliffe Line about a possible re-engagement between India and Pakistan. However, it remains uncertain wheth

To view developments in the neighbourhood simply as ‘pro-China’ or ‘pro-India’ is myopic
Feb 27, 2018

To view developments in the neighbourhood simply as ‘pro-China’ or ‘pro-India’ is myopic

Whether or not a military intervention in Male would have restored democracy without harming India’s credibility in the region is uncertain. That it would not have limited Beijing’s growing profile is unquestionable.

Towards a framework for wildlife-friendly products
Mar 13, 2024

Towards a framework for wildlife-friendly products

India can lead the way when it comes to balancing wildlife conservation and sustainable crop production

Towards an inclusive digital economy in Africa
Jul 04, 2019

Towards an inclusive digital economy in Africa

There is an urgent need to deploy radical and concerted efforts to address the deeper cultural stereotypes that women face in accessing, using and par

Towards Informed Discourse and Voter Education: A Critique of E-Campaigns
May 24, 2021

Towards Informed Discourse and Voter Education: A Critique of E-Campaigns

Digital spaces are becoming increasingly vital for public deliberation on issues of shared interest, including during electoral campaigns. This brief examines the types of discourse on social media platforms that electoral candidates engage in. It studies the content of the online campaigns and their potential impact on voter education, and recommends countermeasures against the threat of uninformed and unethical online narratives that only

Towards policy clarity on Autonomous Weapons Systems
May 24, 2023

Towards policy clarity on Autonomous Weapons Systems

Policy clarity is needed to deal with the idea of a weapons system that surrenders life-and-death decisions to machines. ICRC is an independent humanitarian organisation set up in 1863, that has been playing an active part in discussions around the subject of AWS

Towards the Integration of Emerging Technologies in India’s Armed Forces
Feb 24, 2023

Towards the Integration of Emerging Technologies in India’s Armed Forces

The application of emerging technologies will play a key role in the performance of India’s armed forces. All three services understand the significance of these technological innovations in modern warfare, although their development has been uneven across the branches. This analysis provides an overview of how far the three services of the Indian armed forces have gone in integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI), cyber technology, and

Towards Universal Access to Clean Cooking Fuels and Technologies: The Role of Policy, National Incomes, and Social Behaviour
Aug 14, 2023

Towards Universal Access to Clean Cooking Fuels and Technologies: The Role of Policy, National Incomes, and Social Behaviour

Goal seven of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commits the international community to providing access to clean cooking fuels and technologies to all by 2030. Progress has been slow, however, and in about 40 of the UN’s 189 member countries for which data is available, more that 80 percent of the populations continue to lack such access. Using case studies, this brief analyses the role of a country’s policies, i

TRIPS Agreement: बौद्धिक संपदा के अधिकारों पर समझौता यानी ‘एक क़दम आगे, तो दो क़दम पीछे’
Jul 31, 2023

TRIPS Agreement: बौद्धिक संपदा के अधिकारों पर समझौता यानी ‘एक क़दम आगे, तो दो क़दम पीछे’

बौद्धिक संपदा के अधिकारों (TRIPS) में रियायत के जिस कमज़ोर कि�

TRIPS Agreement: बौद्धिक संपदा के अधिकारों पर समझौता यानी ‘एक क़दम आगे, तो दो क़दम पीछे’
Apr 20, 2022

TRIPS Agreement: बौद्धिक संपदा के अधिकारों पर समझौता यानी ‘एक क़दम आगे, तो दो क़दम पीछे’

बौद्धिक संपदा के अधिकारों (TRIPS) में रियायत के जिस कमज़ोर कि�