As India races to vaccinate its population amid the COVID-19 pandemic, can it consider the use of mandates to ensure speedier and more comprehensive vaccinations? Arjun Gargeyas talks about the fascinating history of vaccine mandates and discusses the ways in which India can implement them in a manner that is viable and ethical.
Since the early days of the pandemic, parents have been taking some comfort from the fact that SARS-CoV-2 is much less likely to cause serious illness in children than it is in adults.
As India’s vaccination drive progresses, it has sparked a conversation about the issue of vaccinating children. Since children are legal minors, vaccination-related decisions will be taken by legal guardians/ parents. In this episode, Priyal D’almeida and Suman Joshi look at vaccination trials being conducted for children and the decisions that lie ahead for parents in India.
From 160 years, the often forgotten medieval Kakatiya kingdom sprawled across modern Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and parts of Odisha and Karnataka. In its brief life, this extraordinary kingdom experimented with new forms of political organisation and warfighting, while commissioning architectural marvels.
Anirudh Kanisetti takes us through the birth of the Kakatiya dynasty, its extraordinary rise, and its violent fall.
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The arrival of the Portuguese and other European powers on India’s shores profoundly impacted the subcontinent’s militaries, polities, and societies – but also its food. Anirudh Kanisetti speaks to food blogger Sujata Shukla about how the arrival of new crops from the Americas, often brought by Europeans, transformed Indian eating habits.
According to the latest CMIE estimates, there has been a reverse migration of labour from the manufacturing sector to the agriculture sector due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. The loss of jobs in small and medium manufacturing units have resulted in people going back to their farms and thus engaging in less productive employment.
In this episode, Suman Joshi and Apurva Kumar discuss the latest trend of reverse migration of labour in India.
The People’s Liberation Army is a unified organisation of China’s land, sea, and air forces. It is one of the largest military forces in the world and traces its roots back to 1927. The PLA celebrated its 94th anniversary on August 1, and now, under Xi Jinping, it has undertaken military reforms intended to make it fully informatised by 2035, and a ‘world-class’ force by 2049.
Is outrage a genre? What are its attributes? What roles do supply-side and demand-side incentives play? Prateek Waghre joins Rohan Seth to discuss.
MisDisMal-Information edition on outrage: https://techpolicy.substack.com/p/outrage-against-the-machine-digital
MisDisMal-Information edition on the anatomy of online conflicts: https://techpolicy.substack.com/p/of-soscial-media-kindness-of-the
The French Parliament has passed a bill that will increase the state’s power over mosques. President Emmanuel Macron argues the law will bolster the country’s secular values, but will it really work? Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan talk to Professor Olivier Roy of the European University Institute about the law. As one of the world’s leading experts on political Islam, Roy explains why he believes most of the conventionally cited reasons for violent extremism are wrong and why France’s new law is unlikely to do much good.
Roy’s book on ISIS, titled Jihad and death : The Global Appeal of Islamic State
Semiconductors are central to our global economy. However, the supply chains that make them are fragile and not easy to change. Despite this, India needs to build a sophisticated semiconductor sector of its own. Aditya Pareek speaks to Samparna Tripathi, Amol Sarin, and Anup Rajput to discuss India’s challenges and opportunities.
Samparna works as a Product Marketing Specialist by day & a Public Policy Analyst by night. She is pursuing PGP in Public Policy here at Takshashila and has chosen Strengthening Semiconductors Ecosystem in India – as her capstone project.
Amol runs his own capital equipment business Conteknik Enterprise. Ex- GCPP alumni from Takshashila, he has worked earlier with Cypress Semiconductor where he was exposed to the semicon industry and its importance.
Anup is a co-founder of Envir AI. He worked on semiconductor design at Texas Instruments and has experience in applied Machine Learning (from large city scale designs to battery-less micro electronics)
Links to resources mentioned in the episode:
Apple recently released a feature that will enable them to scan photos stored in iCloud to detect child abuse imagery. The move has sparked off a debate regarding privacy and about what ownership of devices means. Rohan Seth talks to Prateek Waghre to discuss implications.
While the Pegasus spyware scandal has led to discussions in India on government surveillance and privacy, it is also important to take note of what this means for India’s cyber defence capabilities. In this episode, Nitansha Bansal and Nitin Pai discuss what issues the Pegasus row has brought to light for India’s defence strategists and policymakers.
The socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased inequalities. In this episode, Sarthak talks to Takshahila’s founders – the two N’s, Narayan Ramachandran and Nitin Pai – about the disparities exacerbated by the pandemic and what can be done about it.
The platform economy is restructuring jobs in the 21st century. In this episode, Sreelakshmi Ramachandran talks to Sarthak Pradhan on how India can leverage the platform economy to create jobs.
Sreelakshmi Ramachandran is a Research Manager and leads the Future of Work track at Ola Mobility Institute. She has a Master’s in Development Studies from IIT Madras. She has recently co-authored a paper “Unlocking jobs in the platform economy”
Link to the paper – https://olawebcdn.com/ola-institute/OMI_Platform_Economy_Report.pdf
Remains dating back to nearly 4000 years ago, at the site of Sinauli in Uttar Pradesh, have revealed that the history of the Indian subcontinent in the Bronze Age is far more complex than imagined. From chariots to swords to coffins, these remains tell us that the people of Sinauli were a warlike, sophisticated culture – but who really were they, and how did they relate to the far better-known Harappans? Anirudh Kanisetti speaks to archaeologist and history communicator Disha Ahluwalia, who worked on excavations in the region, to find out.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in access to health care. Apurva Kumar and Suman Joshi examine the contours of the Indian public health system in the light of a recently released Oxfam India report titled “Inequality Report 2021: India’s Unequal Healthcare Story“. In this episode, we examine some recommendations of the report.
The attack on Merchant Vessel Mercer Street, allegedly by an Iranian drone, has been grabbing headlines. Beyond all the hype, drones have proven to be simple but effective tools in any country’s asymmetric arsenal. Whether state actors, irregulars, or something in between, drones have key advantages including deniability and standoff capabilities. Aditya Pareek joins Aditya Ramanathan to discuss the latest developments and some possible future trajectories for drones including autonomous systems.
Link to resources mentioned in the episode:
Over the years, a number of harms have been attributed to Social Media platforms/messaging apps. Despite their high adoption over the last decade, estimates suggest that approximately 50% of the world’s population do not use them yet. This implies that there is still significant headroom for adoption and therefore further amplification of the harms (and benefits) attributed.
In this episode, Prateek Waghre joins Rohan Seth to discuss a Takshashila Working Paper that defines Digital Communication Networks (DCNs) and categorizes the harms attributed to them as potential market failures, social problems, and cognitive biases.
Japan is a major pillar of the Indo-Pacific strategic vision and has a seat at the table when security in the region is discussed. However, Japan’s interests and anxieties vis a vis the Sea of Japan and Pacific Russia are rarely part of the discussion despite their implications on the Indo-Pacific. Aditya Pareek joins Yoshihiro Inaba to discuss Japan’s Self Defence Forces and the international law dimension to all parts of the Indo-Pacific.
Yoshihiro Inaba is a freelance writer living in Japan. He is particularly familiar with Japan’s Ground, Maritime, and Air Self-Defence Forces. He currently writes for multiple Japanese military magazines as well as for Naval News, a France-based web media outlet. He is one of the few young military writers in Japan and is currently a student studying international law (especially self-defence and use of force) at a Japanese graduate school.
What if the South Indian empire of Vijayanagara had won the fateful Battle of Talikota in 1565? The answer is more complex than we might think. Anirudh Kanisetti and Aditya Ramanathan explore the culture, society, and geopolitics of the Vijayanagara empire and its nayaka successors in search of answers.
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Much of our online activity is mediated by algorithms. Whether we are shopping online, binge-watching TV shows, or scrolling through social media, algorithms watch over us and feed us what we see. Algorithmic content curation has associated accountability and ethical challenges that have no easy answers.
Mihir Mahajan joins Rohan Seth to talk about feed algorithms, how they work, and how technologists, regulators, and individual users can promote healthy information diets.
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