The Seen and the Unseen

Our weekly podcast, hosted by Pragati editor, Amit Varma. Out every Monday.

What’s up With the Economy?

What does our economy look like today? Vivek Kaul joins Amit Varma in episode 66 of The Seen and the Unseen, as they talk about Air India, cash shortages, the jobs crisis and other such miscellanea.

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The Future of the Internet

The internet has empowered us all beyond belief -- but is there a flip side to this? Does it need to be regulated? Nikhil Pahwa and Amit Doshi have a lively conversation with Amit Varma in episode 65 of The Seen and the Unseen.

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What Does It Mean to Be Libertarian?

What does it mean to be free? What is the basis of individual rights? Episode 64 of The Seen and the Unseen is a rerun of an old episode of The Pragati Podcast, as Amit Varma tells Pavan Srinath what it means to be a libertarian, and why it all boils down to one word: Consent.

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Understanding Foreign Policy

We all have our own guidelines for how individuals should treat each other. But how should nations behave with other nations? Foreign Policy Realist Nitin Pai joins Libertarian Amit Varma to explain the evolution of foreign policy through the ages, and its imperatives today.

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Here’s Why Aadhaar is a Big Deal

According to media commentator Nikhil Pahwa, Aadhaar is a subject on which "what we do will impact generations." Nikhil joins host Amit Varma on episode 61 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain how Aadhaar threatens our freedoms, and why we need to take it seriously.

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India’s Water Crisis

We take water for granted, but India might be entering a full-blown water crisis. Water evangelist Vishwanath S joins Amit Varma in episode 60 of The Seen and the Unseen to shed light on this.

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The 8 Myths of Protectionism

Protectionism is on the rise across the world, which is bewildering, given how harmful it is. Economist Anupam Manur joins Amit Varma in episode 59 of The Seen and the Unseen to bust eight common myths about protectionism.

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Misogyny and Our Legal System

As three recent cases show, misogyny exist not just in our outdated laws, but also in the minds of our lawmakers and the judiciary. Legal expert Madhav Chandavarkar and feminist Hamsini Hariharan join Amit Varma in episode 58 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss Triple Talaq, Hadiya and the Mahmood Farooqui case.

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Why We Must Intervene in Maldives

There is turmoil in the Maldives, as a tyrant unfriendly to India cozies up to China. Do we need to intervene? Foreign policy expert Pranay Kotasthane joins Amit Varma to give his point of view in episode 57 of The Seen and the Unseen.

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The Age of Easy Money

The turbulence in the world economy today is enabled by the same phenomenon that caused the 2008 financial crisis, and was perversely also a response to that crisis: Easy Money. Vivek Kaul, author of the 'Easy Money' trilogy, joins Amit Varma in episode 56 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain the damage irresponsible governments can do to the economy.

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Defending the Indefensible

It is important to always question received wisdom. In episode 55 of The Seen and the Unseen, libertarian thinker Yazad Jal joins Amit Varma to challenge the commonly held view on five subjects. Listen in and see if you agree with him.

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Another Failed Ritual

The Budget presented by the government of India is an annual ritual that millions of people tune in to. What was the 2018 budget like? Pavan Srinath and Pranay Kotasthane, staff writers of Pragati, join Amit Varma to offer their quick analysis, and to supplement the budget coverage at Pragati.

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A Deep Dive Into Pakodanomics

Narendra Modi famously invoked a pakoda seller last week when he spoke about job creation in India. How apt is that invocation? Columnist Vivek Kaul, who coined the term ‘Pakodanomics’, and economist Shruti Rajagopalan join Amit Varma in episode 53 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the prime minister, the pakoda seller and India’s job problem.

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How We Messed Up Our Caste Problem

Modern India's greatest shame is that even after 70 years of Independence, we still haven't solved the problem of caste. Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 52 of the Seen and the Unseen to shed light on some of the ways in which we have messed up at an institutional level.

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Why Alpha Zero is Such a Big Deal

The chess program Alpha Zero made waves recently when it taught itself chess in four hours -- and then thrashed the strongest chess engine in the world, Stockfish. This illustrated a dramatic advance in Artificial Intelligence. Devangshu Datta joins host Amit Varma in episode 51 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about its impact for both chess and AI.

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The State of Indian Politics

Indian politics is complex to the point of being almost unfathomable. JP Narayan, that rare public intellectual who also embraced electoral politics, joins Amit Varma in episode 50 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his learnings.

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The Problem With Our Political Discourse

Social media has enabled everyone to have a voice -- but no one listens any more. In episode 49 of The Seen and the Unseen, Amit Varma examines why our political discourse is so polarised. One particular bugbear of his is the tendency to shift the focus from the argument to the person, and he outlines a few different ways in which people personalise arguments.

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The Patron Saint of Lost Causes

For almost two decades, V Ravichandar has been "a civic evangelist and a patron saint of lost causes" fighting to reform local government in our cities. He joins Amit Varma in episode 48 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the lessons he has learnt, and what keeps him going.

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Poker and Stock Markets

Poker and stock markets are very similar -- and both holds lessons for life. Ace investor Mohit Satyanand joins former poker pro Amit Varma in episode 47 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss how both disciplines reveal the flawed machinery of the human brain.

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