Ep. 747: Importance of Digital Equity for True Progress

The internet has become more ubiquitous than ever before. The National Digital Inclusion Alliance defines digital equity as “a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy, and economy.” Sridhar Krishna talks to Raghav Rao, a Digital Innovation Fellow at The Cleveland Foundation, and Aarushi Kataria on the role of digital – whether it is an enabler or a divider.

Note: All views expressed here are Raghav’s personal views and not the views of The Cleveland Foundation.

Check out Takshashila’s courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/

Ep. 746: Kazakhstan Unrest and CSTO’s Intervention

Earlier this month, Russia led Collective Security Treaty Organisation(CSTO) deployed troops to quell widespread unrest in Kazakhstan. The swift CSTO operation achieved its objective and the deployed Russian, Belarusian, Tajikistani and Armenian peacekeepers are already withdrawing. With a fog of uncertainty and lack of information, many questions about the unrest and the political situation remain unanswered. Dr Shrey Khanna joins Aditya Pareek to discuss the unrest, the CSTO intervention and the political situation in Kazakhstan.

Note: After this podcast was recorded, Nursultan Nazarbayev appeared in a new video urging everyone to support President Tokayev.

Check out Takshashila’s courses: school.takshashila.org.in

Ep. 745: Policy in Action: The Bihar Diaries

The mention of Bihar conjures up images of abject poverty and state apathy. The ground reality, however, has been changing in the past decade. Economist M R Sharan chronicles his time in Bihar with stories from a journey of hope, led by several hundred women, and provides insights from field research on MNREGA, grievance redressal systems, and the politics and dynamics of caste in Bihar and its impact on public policy.

References mentioned in the episode are below:
General Equilibrium Effects of (Improving) Public Employment Programs: Experimental Evidence from India
Book: Last Among Equals: Power, Caste & Politics in Bihar’s Villages
Meet Sanjay Sahni, the MGNREGA Worker Contesting the Bihar Polls

Check out Takshashila’s courses: The Takshashila Institution’s Policy School

EP. 744: Google v/s News Publishers

The Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA), which represents the digital arms of a number of legacy media organisations has alleged that Google’s conduct has violated various provisions of the Competition Act. In a recently passed order, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has directed the Director-General to investigate these charges. Rohan Seth joins Sapni GK and Prateek Waghre to unpack the order.

Click here to read the CCI order

Suggested readings:

Details from recently unredacted documents in the Texas AG’s case against Google: Google’s Alleged Scheme to Corner the Online Ad Market

Dina Srinivasan’s paper: ‘Why Google Dominates Advertising Markets

Check out Takshashila’s courses: school.takshashila.org.in

Ep. 743: A Repository of India’s Land Laws

Land is an integral part of any economy and is central to individual and community identity. Thus, land disputes can hamper socio-economic development. Many conflicting land laws exist in India, and land disputes are ubiquitous. In this episode, Dr Namita Wahi discusses with Sarthak Pradhan the project of documenting India’s land laws and the potential benefits of a comprehensive land laws database.

Dr Namita Wahi is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research and the Founding Director of the Land Rights Initiative.

The Mapping Indian Land Laws database referred to in the podcast is available here: https://landlawsofindia.org/

Check out Takshashila’s courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/

Ep. 742: What are the Quad’s plans in Biotech?

The Quad Summit which was held in September last year introduced multiple working groups ranging from climate change to information disorder. Shrey Khanna talks to Arjun Gargeyas on the potential of Quad collaboration in the biotechnology field along with the tools and technologies that the Quad can focus on.

Check out Takshashila’s courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/

Ep. 741: Effect of the Pandemic on Pediatric Obesity

Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have evoked major lifestyle changes among adults and children. Closure of schools and stay-at-home orders has threatened the health and well-being of children, causing an increase in obesity cases.

In today’s episode, Aarthi Ratnam and Ruturaj Gowaikar discuss the effect of the pandemic on increasing obesity cases and how digital marketing has only worsened the situation. Looking at case studies from around the world, they also explore possible policy solutions.

Suggested Readings:

1. When Pandemics Collide: The Impact of COVID-19 on Childhood Obesity

2. Childhood obesity: a growing pandemic

3. CHILDHOOD OBESITY – by Narayana Health

Check out Takshashila’s courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/

Ep. 740: Emerging Technologies from Chinese Point of View

The dual-use nature of emerging tech has blurred the line between civil and military applications of technology. How do the PLA researchers view the role of emerging tech in the military?

In this episode, Aditya Pareek and Megha Pardhi discuss the latest newsletter in the Takshashila family – “China Tech Dispatch”.

Subscribe to China Tech Dispatch here.

Check out Takshashila’s courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/

Ep. 739: First Step Towards a Global Pandemic Response Treaty

The World Health Assembly held a Special Session to kickstart a process to draft a global treaty geared towards pandemic management. Priyal and Ruturaj discuss the need, scope, and history of such international instruments.

Listen to our episode on Digital Monitoring of Global Public Health

Suggested readings:

1. How the world failed to curb COVID

2. Book: Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Check out Takshashila’s courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/

Ep. 738: In Apple CCI Antitrusts

In August 2021, the Together We Fight Society (TWFS) filed a complaint with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) alleging that Apple was abusing its dominant position in the app stores market. In a recent order, the CCI noted that the allegations merit further investigation and directed the Director-General to do so. In this episode, Rohan Seth joins Sapni GK and Prateek Waghre to discuss the details of the order.

Click here to listen to our podcast on the EPIC Games v/s Apple Lawsuit

Click here to view the CCI order

Check out Takshashila’s courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/

Ep. 736: Omicron: Milder or More Lethal for India?

The new COVID-19 variant, Omicron has been in the news since the first case was discovered in November. Despite the rising cases around the world, it is considered mild according to the data from the UK and the US. But, how mild is omicron anyway?

In this episode, Dr. Harshit Kukreja and Priyal Lyncia D’Almeida discuss how variants arise, the burden of the incoming third wave and the public health measures the government can undertake.

Check out our courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/

Ep. 735: Citizen’s Role in Availing Welfare Services

How do citizens navigate through the complex state apparatus to acquire welfare services? What factors can facilitate this process? What obstacles do they face? In this episode, Apurva Kumar and Sarthak Pradhan discuss how citizens “claim the state”.

Sources referred to in the podcast:

The new social contract by Apurva Kumar

 How the content of claims shapes government responsiveness: theory and evidence from Mumbai by Tanu Kumar

Ep. 734: Interrogating Industrial Policies for Semiconductors

Mathieu Duchâtel and Pranay Kotasthane discuss the merits and demerits of government subsidies for building domestic semiconductor industries.

Mathieu is director of the Asia Program at Institut Montaigne, Paris. His current research is focused on the European Union’s policy on semiconductors.

Check out our courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/

Ep. 733: Why China’s Technical Standardisation Strategy Matters

The talks of China’s ‘2035 Standards Project’ have materialised in the form of a guideline document released by the Chinese government. Arjun Gargeyas talks to Megha Pardhi about the recently released National Standardisation Development Outline document and the key takeaways from the proposed technical standardisation strategy of China.

Read Arjun’s articles on this topic here:

1. Why China’s quest to dominate global tech standards may be elusive for Beijing

2. India Can Take Lessons From China’s Technical Standardisation Strategy

Check out our courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/

Ep. 732: A Year – End Review of China Tech

2021 was an eventful year for the technology sector in China. Milestones were reached and regulations were increased. Arjun Gargeyas talks to Megha Pardhi on the progress China made in certain critical and emerging technologies along with some landmark decisions taken by the Chinese government for its tech sector.

Check out our courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/

Ep. 731: The Year Gone By In Tech Policy

2021 has been very eventful for watchers of Tech Policy developments. Rohan Seth joins Prateek Waghre and Sapni G K to discuss major events and trends in the space and their expectations for 2022.

Sign up for Takshashila’s courses- https://school.takshashila.org.in/

NOTE: We won’t have episodes on 30th and 31st December 2021, due to New Year’s Eve.

Ep. 730: Our 2021 Reading List (Part 2)

2021 has been a long year. One thing that remained constant was Takshashila’s love for books. Rohan Seth talks to Nitin Pai and Manoj Kewalramani to discuss their reading lists for this year.

You can check out Takshashila’s courses here: school.takshashila.org.in/

NOTE: We won’t have episodes on 30th and 31st December 2021, due to New Year’s Eve.

  1. The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell
  2. The Legend of the Condor Heroes by Jin Yong
  3. Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer
  4. The Dandelion Dynasty Series by Ken Liu
  5. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  6. A Time to Love and a Time to Die by Erich Maria
  7. Death: A Life by George Pendle
  8. The Jeeves Collection by P.G. Wodehouse
  9. The Origin of Satan by Elaine Pagels
  10. From Rebel to Ruler: One Hundred Years of the Chinese Communist Party by Tony Saich
  11. Tiananmen Square: The Making of a Protest by Vijay Gokhale
  12. The Long Game: How the Chinese Negotiate with India by Vijay Gokhale
  13. The Fractured Himalaya: India Tibet China 1949-1962 by Nirupama Rao
  14. Smokeless War: China’s Quest for Geopolitical Dominance by Manoj Kewalramani
  15. A Collection of Essays of Mao Zedong
  16. The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict by Elbridge A. Colby
  17. The Long Game: China’s Grand Strategy to Displace American Order (Bridging the Gap) by Rush Doshi
  18. Stronger: Adapting America’s China Strategy in an Age of Competitive Interdependence by Ryan Hass
  19. Wanderers, Kings, Merchants: The Story of India through Its Languages by Peggy Mohan
  20. The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won by Victor Davis Hanson
  21. Liberalism: The Life of an Idea by Edmund Fawcett
  22. How Innovation Works by Matt Ridley
  23. Jugalbandi: The BJP Before Modi by Vinay Sitapati
  24. Rethinking Chinese politics by Joseph Fewsmith
  25. Nehru, Tibet and China by AS Bhasin’s
  26. David Shum’s Red Roulette
  27. China’s Western Horizon: Beijing and the New Geopolitics of Eurasia by Daniel Market
  28. Superpower Interrupted by Michael Shuman
  29. In the Dragon’s Shadow: Southeast Asia in the Chinese Century by Sebastian Strangio
  30. Pradeep Chhibber, Ideology and Identity: The Changing Party Systems of India
  31. Zealot by Reza Aslan
  32. Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman (Nitin’s Book of the Year)

Ep. 729: Will Russia invade Ukraine?

With the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the USSR approaching, there is a significant Russian military buildup on Ukraine’s border. After a similar crisis in April fizzled out, there are again renewed fears that an offensive may be in the offing. A set of two draft treaties published by the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Kremlin’s sharp rhetoric about the need for Russia to receive legally binding security guarantees is making headlines. Prasanna Naidu joins Aditya Pareek to unpack the recent developments and possible scenarios in which the crisis may pan out.

NOTE: We won’t have episodes on 30th and 31st December 2021, due to New Year’s Eve.

Check out our courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/

Ep. 728: From Romans to MDGs: The Stories of Public Health

Did you know it was approximately 600 years ago when quarantine was used for the first time? Indeed, the origins of public health may be traced back many centuries. In this episode, Mahek Nankani and Harshit Kukreja discuss some fascinating stories about the growth of public health from around the world. Tune in for some engrossing and thought-provoking tale.

Check out our courses: https://school.takshashila.org.in/