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Serosurveys point to inadequacies in India’s COVID-19 testing strategy

Over the past few months, a series of serosurveys for detecting the spread of COVID-19 have been carried out in India. The surveys are meant to identify the percentage of the Indian population with antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, as an indicator of how widespread COVID-19 is in the population. The Indian Council of Medical Research...

The unbearable goodness of being: A review of ‘Humankind’ by Rutger Bregman

Rutger Bregman, author of the New York Times bestseller, Humankind: A Hopeful History, attempts to address some important central questions of our times: Why do human societies today appear fundamentally broken, with depressing levels of inequality and a pathologically polarising media ecosystem? And what to do about it? Read More

Anticipating the Unintended #78: Radically Nefarious Outrage

This newsletter is really a weekly public policy thought-letter. While excellent newsletters on specific themes within public policy already exist, this thought-letter is about frameworks, mental models, and key ideas that will hopefully help you think about any public policy problem in imaginative ways. It seeks to answer just one question: how...

Tech-Tonic: Who Scrubs Your Feeds?

This article was first published in Deccan Herald. Given how 2020 has been so far, if I were to ask you your favourite month of the year, you would rightfully hang up on me and then call me names, not in that order. However, since football was back last month,...

The PLA Insight: The Sino-Indian Border Dispute; Taiwan National Day & the PLA; SCS; Marine Corps; China’s Security Contractors; Drone Swarms; Veterans Law and more

I. The Big Story: The Sino-Indian Border Dispute Indian and Chinese Corp Commanders met for the seventh time to discuss disengagement and de-escalation at the Sino-Indian border. However, the meeting which started on the Indian side of the Chushul-Moldo point in eastern Ladakh achieved no breakthrough. The previous round, sixth Corps Commander-level meeting,...

The Bangladesh comparison

India was a midwife in the birth of Bangladesh. She sent in her army to liberate the newly born independent nation, and even stood up to threats from the world’s mightiest power, the United States, which had sent its Seventh Fleet to the Bay of Bengal. Henry Kissinger, the US...

Watch on Japan | #3 Suga seeks to revive the economy while being troubled with a Science Council scandal

HIGHLIGHTS: 1st Oct – 14th Oct ● The Suga government is prioritizing administrative reforms and the revival of the pandemic hit economy. ● Amidst a dispute over the appointment of science council members, Suga slipped down from his previous sky-high approval ratings. ● Japan runs in the race to become the next International...

Breathe new life into public health. Far too many Indians rely on Baba Ramdev, Akshay Kumar

Media headlines and public discourse might not reflect it, but one of the most important policy priorities for India now and over the next decade is health. The immediate task, of course, is ensuring that we bring the pandemic under control within the next year. The longer term challenge is...

China’s new data security initiative has implications for India

This article was first published in Deccan Chronicle. Views are personal. Recently, the Chinese government announced the launch of a new Data Security Initiative. Outlining its components, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he hoped that China can provide a “blueprint” for the formulation of international rules for digital security. The Chinese initiative...

India’s local governments must do far better in raising revenues

Driving into Bengaluru’s city centre a couple of weeks ago after several months of working from home, I was pleasantly surprised to see well-demarcated parking spaces, electronic signs and payment kiosks along MG Road. Brihat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), our municipal corporation, had finally implemented a modern paid parking system,...
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