The Pragati Podcast

Weekly podcast on public policy, economics and international relations hosted by Pavan Srinath. New episodes every Wednesday.

Growing Up In Patriarchal India

This is Episode 123 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. The Republic of India is often a Republic of men. While men and women nationally enjoy the same rights, we are yet to solve many of the social failures from decades ago. Child marriage for women remains the norm in many parts of the country, many girls drop out early from education, and women’s participation in the labour...

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The Adolescents of India

This is Episode 122 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. India has made strides in improving the health, well-being and lives of infants and expecting mothers over the last several decades. But once children enter school and enter adolescence, they get lost as a public priority till they enter adulthood. Adolescence is a time of great physical, physiological and intellectual...

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Improving India’s State Capacity

This is Episode 121 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. The Indian State has incredible ambition, but often falls very short of meeting grand outcomes. The mismatch is linked to State Capacity, a nebulous concept at the best of times. Prakhar Misra is on Episode 121 of The Pragati Podcast to help us understand what state capacity is, how it could be measured, and how India can improve...

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Pakistan in 2019

This is Episode 120 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. What has been happening in Pakistan after Imran Khan became the Prime Minister? Why do some people want General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure as the army chief to come to an end? Dr Christine Fair gives us a tour of Pakistani politics, geopolitics and skulduggery like no one else can, on Episode 120 of The Pragati Podcast The...

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Refugees in the 21st Century

This is Episode 119 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. About 1% of the world’s population today are refugees, internally displaced or stateless. They live difficult, dangerous lives, have few protections and often no voice. Meanwhile, globalisation has been lop-sided. Money and goods can move relatively easily across the world, but people rarely can. Ameya Naik returns to The...

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Security in the Kashmir Valley

This is Episode 118 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. The State of Jammu & Kashmir as we know it has changed permanently in 2019. With the end of J&K’s special status and the restructuring of the state into two union territories under greater control of New Delhi, there have been many discussions on history, politics, law and order, human rights issues and more on...

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The Future of Indian States

This is Episode 117 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. The States Reorganisation Act came into effect 63 years ago to this day, on November 1, 1956. India’s states as we know them started taking their shape then. Many states like Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal and others celebrate this as a State Formation Day or a ‘Rajyotsava’ Day. How have Indian states fared...

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The Syrian Civil War

This is an updated rebroadcast of episode 62 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. The Syrian Civil War has been raging since 2011, and crimes against humanity are being committed even in 2019. How did a peaceful protest turn into a multi-sided war that has killed half a million people and displaced more than 10 million Syrians? This is a rebroadcast of Episode 62 of The Pragati Podcast...

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Drug Discovery for India

This is Episode 116 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. How is a new drug discovered or invented? What does it take for medicine to go from a small idea in a research lab all the way to your local pharmacy? How can we develop new medicines for India and Indian ailments? Pavan Srinath is in the guest seat today as he talks to Anupam Manur, a frequent guest and friend of The Pragati...

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Engineering Interplanetary Missions

This is Episode 115 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. “Rocket science” has moved well beyond rocketry in the 21st century. Even the Jet Propulsion Lab in California hasn’t done any rocket science in the last several decades, focusing entirely on robotic space missions instead. One of the big challenges with space programmes today is designing and managing complex...

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A Bottom-Up Look at India’s Judiciary

This is Episode 114 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. India’s judicial system operates at three levels: the Supreme Court at the national level, High Courts at the state level, and city or district level courts at the local level. A lot of the public interest in how India’s courts are doing is largely directed at High Courts and the Supreme Court, but the most impactful...

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The Platform Economy

This is Episode 113 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. The Industrial Revolution led to the creation of firms. The Information Revolution has led to the creation of platforms. Amazon and Flipkart, Ola and Uber, Google and Apple — are all platforms that connect producers to consumers, and gain tremendous power in the process. Anupam Manur returns to The Pragati Podcast to help...

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The 2019 Hong Kong Protests

This is Episode 112 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. Hong Kong has seen protests since March 2019, triggered by newly proposed legislation that allows Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to China or Taiwan. This is the latest round in a long conflict between the People’s Republic of China seeking to exert more control over Hong Kong, and citizens of Hong Kong fighting to...

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India’s Mental Health Challenge

This is Episode 111 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. Mental health is not a first world concern, but very much an Indian challenge. Social taboos have prevented Indians from confronting mental illnesses head on and now it’s estimated that there are over a 100 million people in India who need medical interventions on mental health. Listen to Dr Sabina Rao and Pavitra Jayaraman...

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Putting Stock in the Market

This is Episode 110 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. What is happening in India’s stock markets right now? How do the stock markets interact with the real Indian economy? Deepak Shenoy joins Pavan Srinath on Episode 110 of The Pragati Podcast to help us make sense of what is happening in India right now. The Pragati Podcast is a weekly talkshow on public policy, economics and...

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Cybersecurity: From Company to Country

This is Episode 109 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. Companies around the world have been learning how to manage the safety and security of their digital assets. Can the cybersecurity logic of a private corporation be expanded to that of a nation-state? Sandesh Anand joins Pavan Srinath on Episode 109 of The Pragati Podcast to talk about how India can think about cybersecurity. The...

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Unlocking Medical Education in India

This is Episode 108 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. India has fraction of the doctors and medical professionals it needs, even as healthcare is increasingly becoming a politically important issue. In this context, the Government of India recently passed the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act 2019, which wants to usher in a new regulatory apparatus for medical education in the...

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Regulating DNA Tech

This is Episode 107 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. DNA samples can today be used for creating a unique fingerprint or ID, for diagnosing cancer and heritable diseases, for telling you your ancestry or even paternity. The cost of sequencing the full genome of any human cost over a $100 million dollars at the start of the 21st century, and today costs just a few hundred dollars. In...

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The State of Higher Education

This is Episode 106 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. Can India’s higher education system thrive when the teaching profession has lost most of its status in society? What is necessary for India to educate millions of its citizens who turn college-going age every year? Pushkar joins Pavan Srinath on Episode 106 of The Pragati Podcast to share his thoughts. The Pragati Podcast...

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The Anti-Defection Law

This is Episode 105 of The Pragati Podcast hosted by Pavan Srinath. How has India’s anti-defection law undermined democracy in the country? How do we tackle endless horse-trading of elected representatives in India? The Anti-Defection Law stifles intra-party democracy and dissent, and is also undermining the stability of elected governments. How do we fix a solution that has grown bigger...

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