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Takshashila Policy Advisory — Managed Reopening After Lockdown: Recommendations for State Governments

Download the Policy Advisory Executive Summary To prudently resume social and economic activity in accordance with outbreak risks, healthcare capacity, and vaccination progress, we recommend that State governments: Designate Gram Panchayats/Wards or groups of Gram Panchayats/Wards as Public Health Management Units (PHMUs) and apply restrictions at this level. Follow an...

#131 Learn From Others. It’s Free

PolicyWTF (revisited): China’s demographic flip-flops This section looks at egregious public policies. Policies that make you go: WTF, Did that really happen? — Pranay Kotasthane On May 31st, the Politburo of the Communist Party of China decreed that parents can now have three kids. Too little, too late. In edition...

Govt owes Indians an explanation. Or its gag order & pension rule can be seen as blackmail

Gag orders are increasingly being issued globally in this information age and becoming fashionable even in democracies. India is also in this race. Former US President Donald Trump’s gag orders were directed at serving government officials and deemed illegal. India seems to be a step ahead of the US, as its latest gag orders have a particular category of retired officials...

Don’t rush into Sainik School public-private partnership. It can dilute and corrupt

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her 2021-22 Budget speech, announced the Narendra Modi government’s intention of setting up an additional 100 Sainik Schools in partnership with NGOs, private schools and states. The move was received positively. There is, however, a need for caution and further introspection. The initiative renews India’s involvement with schools established with the intent to...

Blaming the government’s pandemic response? Do it for the right reasons

The Union government has received a lot of flak over its management of the pandemic response, and deservedly so. But I want to look at three incorrect — or at least problematic — frames being used to blame the government’s pandemic response, inadequate and confused as it already is. The...

Why e-cigarette ban in India will do more harm than good

In September 2019, the government announced a complete ban on e-cigarettes under the guise of preventing potential health risks to India’s youth. In what can now be termed as typical, this ruling was passed as an ordinance, without debate or deliberation in the parliament and mostly ignoring both evidence regarding...

A top Army doctor transferred in middle of pandemic says a lot about India’s civil-military ties

In India’s military history, sacking a field commander during the course of a battle has been rare. Even if done, it is usually the judgement call of the top military leadership and not of a politician. That norm has now been shaken in a different type of war – by...

Anticipating the Unintended #127: What Makes an Ideology?

India Policy Watch: Radically Networked Succour Insights on burning policy issues in India — Pranay Kotasthane When the going gets tough, we become desperate for signs of hope. Unfortunately, the union government has inspired no such thing. It has instead opted for image management over accepting responsibility, complacency over taking...

Modi’s only respite now is to adopt Kautilya’s doctrine. But first, own up your mistake

India is in the midst of a national health emergency of an unprecedented scale. Once again, it shines a spotlight on decision-making of the political leadership, and once again, the political elites could do well by taking a leaf out of Kautilya’s Arthashastra. The catastrophic scale of the Covid-19 second wave...

We need to reengineer India’s entire system of administration

This article was first published in The Mint. Following Adar Poonawalla’s statements to the British media, on 3 May India’s government issued a media release stating that it had placed new orders for 110 million doses of Covishield and 50 million doses of Covaxin from Serum Institute of India and...
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