Humans of AI – The Women Labour behind Data Annotation

India is one of the world’s largest markets for data annotation labour. As of 2021, there were roughly 70,000 people working in the field. Interestingly, most of the labour comes from first generation women workers in Indian towns and villages. In this episode, Carl Jaison speaks to Karishma Mehrotra, Journalist & Fulbright Scholar on her story about women from Ranchi and Mannarkad who play an unglamorous but critical role in the machine learning pipeline.

Being Aware of Space Situational Awareness

In April 2022, India and the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding to share Space Situational Awareness (SSA) data. But what exactly is SSA and why data sharing is important for both India and the US?

In this episode, Shrikrishna Upadhyaya speaks to Pranav R Satyanath to unpack the hardware and software behind SSA and the hurdles for multilateral cooperation.

Ease of doing business in Kolkata

In the last decade, India gained significant success on the Ease of Doing Business Index. Has this reflected in Kolkata and led to more job creation?

Sudisha Mishra asks Rahul Sanghavi a businessman from Kolkata, pertinent questions regarding the business landscape in Kolkata and can businesses in Kolkata create enough jobs.

Further readings

  1. Bengal tops nation in ‘Ease of Doing Business’
  2. Ease of Doing Business – Kolkata

Reimagining justice delivery in India ft. SAMA

Justice, one of the highest virtues of society, is riddled with myriad problems in our country. Equitable access to justice is a misnomer; filing a case in courts is both expensive and time-consuming. Not to forget, courts are heavily overburdened with a colossal list of pending cases. Do we have a solution? Yes, and it lies outside the courtroom.

In this episode, Ritul Gaur and Shrikrishna Upadhyay are joined by Pranjal Sinha and Akshetha Ashok, the Co-founders of SAMA, an ODR platform, about the evolving dispute resolution landscape, their conception of justice, and their work.

Links mentioned in the episode:

  2. Niti Aayog’s document – Designing the Future of Dispute Resolution

Withdrawal of the Data Protection Bill

India’s data protection bill has been the subject of much debate over the past 4 years. The bill was recently withdrawn by Union Minister for communications and information technology Ashwini Vaishnav citing the need for changes based on the review by the Joint Committee of Parliament. There has been pushback against some sections by civil society organisations and tech companies. In this episode, Bharath Reddy speaks with Prateek Waghre and Tejasi Panjiar from Internet Freedom Foundation on the complicated legacy of the bill and the way forward.

Suggested readings:

1. Privacy Harms (Danielle Keats Citron and Daniel J. Solove)

2. Privacy as a Public Good (Joshua A.T. Fairfield & Christoph Engel)

3. IFF’s Data Protection Bill Brief

Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit

On August 2, US Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan despite strong reservations expressed by China. In this episode, Megha Pardhi and Manoj Kewalramani discuss the significance of this visit, the difference between the One China Principle and One China Policy, and India’s position on Taiwan.

The rise of TB in India

The COVID -19 pandemic has caused an increase in Tuberculosis disease burden. In this episode, Dr. Harshit Kukreja and Priyal D’Almeida discuss TB, COVID-19 and much more.

IPL Digital Media Rights

At Rs 48,390 Cr, IPL is now the second most valued sporting event, right after United States’ National Football League (NFL) and has recorded a three-fold increase from what The Walt Disney-Star had paid at Rs 16,347 crore in 2017. In this episode, Bharath Reddy, Ritul Gaur and Rohan Pai unfold the implications of the big players investing in the digital media landscape, and why the IPL is just a starting point for digital domination.

The End of Happy Hours: Un-Liberalisation of Delhi’s Excise Policy

Since last year, Delhi’s excise policy has seen a lot of twists and turns. From complete privatisation to returning to the status quo. In this episode, Ritul Gaur, Pranay Kotasthane and Harshit Kukreja discuss Delhi’s Excise policy, the importance of alcohol in a state’s revenue and the way forward.

Reviewing the NPT RevCon

After two years of delays, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s Tenth Review Conference is finally underway. Over these two years, the nuclear order has witnessed several changes. In this episode, Pranav R Satyanath and Aditya Ramanathan discuss how these changes affect the deliberations at the RevCon.

Check out Takshashila’s courses:

The story of Article 370: Looking back and looking ahead

“Hamīñ Ast” is authored by Arghya Sengupta, Jinaly Dani (@jinalydani), Kevin James and Pranay Modi (@p1modi). The free e-book, written for the general reader, throws fresh light on the historical context in which Article 370 was introduced, negotiations over its content, its use to bring J&K closer to India, and finally, its nullification. Arghya Sengupta, Founder and Director of Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, walks Mihir Mahajan through Article 370 and the constitutional challenges the nullification action faces.

Suggested Readings:

  1. Hamīñ Ast? A Biography of Article 370
  2. Article 370 in The Constitution Of India 1949
  3. End uncertainty around Art 370 at the earliest” by Arghya Sengupta
  4. A timeline of key events that shaped the unique identity of Kashmir within India” by Manavi Kapur
  5. Gautam Bhatia “The Article 370 Amendments: Key Legal Issues
  6. Faizan Mustafa “Article 370, Federalism and the Basic Structure of the Constitution

India’s manufacturing success depends on making its firms bigger

The manufacturing sector’s contribution to India’s GDP has been stagnant at 15-18% for the past two decades. Not only has the sector’s contribution to GDP stagnated, so has the employment share of manufacturing. The unemployment problem in the country cannot be dealt with in a meaningful manner without growth in the manufacturing sector. There is a preponderance of extraordinarily small-scale establishments in the sector, which are underproductive and not competitive, caused largely by restrictive and business-unfriendly labour laws. Sridhar Krishna and Minu Chawla discuss this and how recent labour reforms and other efforts could help alleviate some of India’s labour manufacturing woes.

Suggested Readings:

  1. Where will jobs in manufacturing come from?
  2. Understanding the Performance of India’s Manufacturing Sector: Evidence from Firm Level Data
  3. What is Holding Back Productivity Growth in India? Recent Microevidence
  4. Has India De-industrialised, Prematurely?

Understanding the intricacies behind ONDC

The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) was launched with the support of the Indian government recently. It aims to break the monopoly of E-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart in the market. In this episode, Arjun Gargeyas and Bharath Reddy talk to Mr. Sanjay Jain, a Fellow at iSPIRIT, on how exactly ONDC works and how it might evolve in the near future.

Links mentioned in the episode:

Build for Bharat Podcast

How can we contain the spread of Monkeypox in India?

As rising cases of Monkeypox around the world prompt world leaders to declare public health emergencies, Priyal Lyncia D’Almeida talks to Rohan Pai and unravels all that is currently known about Monkeypox. She highlights the prevention measures that individuals and health authorities must take to contain the further spread of the disease in India.

Is China’s Semiconductor Rise Inevitable?

Despite sanctions and embargoes imposed by the US, China’s rise in the semiconductor industry has been stupendous over the last two years. How much impact will its rapid rise have on the global ecosystem? Priyal Lyncia D’Almeida talks to Arjun Gargeyas about why it is essential to watch out for the post-pandemic semiconductor rise of China.

Suggested Reading:

Why China’s post-pandemic semiconductor rise is essential to watch out for – by Arjun Gargeyas

The Concept and Practice of Open Prison System in India

Did you know that the open prison in Sanganer, Rajasthan is the largest in the world? And it works! Recidivism rates are low, and the monthly costs of maintaining these prisons are 7 times cheaper than the closed prisons in India. In today’s episode, we are joined by Smita Chakraborty, Founder of PAAR (Prison Aid Action Research), an organisation focused on prison reforms & open prison advocacy. We discuss the concept of open prisons, its public policy implications and how it helps us rethink questions of law, justice & punishment.

What’s up with the Communist Party’s 20th Party Congress?

The leaders of the Chinese Communist Party are all set for their secretive annual conclave at the resort town of Beidaihe on the outskirts of Beijing. The meeting will likely result in key decisions on personnel and policy for the upcoming 20th Party Congress. Will Xi Jinping secure a third term as the Party’s General Secretary at the Congress? Manoj Kewalramani and Megha Pardhi discuss all this and more.

The Pakistani economy is in trouble, yet again

Our neighbor in the North West is yet again in a deep economic crisis. With foreign reserves at a historic low and the rupee losing its value by the day. Pakistan is yet again seeking a loan from the IMF. Will it go down the Bangladesh way? Will the World watch a nation with nukes to collapse?

Links mentioned in the episode:

  1. Why world won’t let Pakistan go the Lanka way by Anupam Manur
  2. Tweet thread mentioned in the episode
  3. Video on Pakistan’s economic crisis

Battery Swapping Policy in India

A battery swapping policy and interoperability standards are being introduced by the Union Government in the 2022–23 Budget Speech, and NITI Aayog has recently put out the draft battery policy. Priyal D’almeida talks to Rohan Pai about the highlights of the policy and what lies ahead when it comes to battery swapping in India.

Suggested readings:

  1. Draft Battery Swapping Policy
  2. How India Can Take a Leaf Out of China’s Playbook on Battery Swapping to Form a Robust EV Ecosystem by Rohan Pai
  3. India’s Battery Swapping Policy: Too much expected from too little? by Lydia Powell, Akhilesh Sati, Vinod Kumar Tomar