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Bursting firecrackers on Diwali isn’t the problem. Making it a national and moral issue is

As I write this, there is a continuous stream of firecrackers outside the window of my Bengaluru apartment: relatively subdued in my immediate vicinity compared to previous years, but nevertheless quite vigorous. It is just as well that the Karnataka government under B.S. Yediyurappa reversed its decision to ban firecrackers — albeit permitting...

Can the professor be stopped in India?

This article was first published in Deccan Herald. Views are personal. If you binge-watch one show this year, let it be Money Heist. I started (and finished) the crime drama last week and have to say my favourite bits were the phone calls between the Professor and the Spanish law...

Anticipating the Unintended #86: Production-Linked Subsidies & Decoding Charisma

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...

China’s semiconductor gold rush: A reality check

The semiconductor industry has become a major front in the US-China tech war. Given that this is a weak link in China’s otherwise impressive technology stack, the US has imposed export controls restricting Chinese semiconductor companies from accessing key equipment, software, and intellectual property. This article was first published in...

The need for a more direct stimulus

The finance minister announced a stimulus package called Atmanirbhar 3.0, so-called because it was the third in a series. The total rupee value of this stimulus for the economy is 2.65 trillion. A stimulus is supposed to put money in the pocket of the citizen so that he or she...

Managing India’s Defence Expenditure Requires a Whole-of-Government Approach

“We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this.” This logical fallacy, derisively labelled as the politician’s syllogism, accurately explains recent developments to contain defence expenditure in the wake of COVID-19. Balancing between development and defence priorities is a tough act even in the best of times....

Mumbai to Marrakech | A newsletter on the Middle East | Edition 2 | Biden & the Middle East

Mumbai to Marrakech Edition 2: November 11, 2020 By Madhuvanthi Srinivasan Biden & the Middle East Joe Biden’s nomination as the Democrat candidate for the U.S presidential elections made Middle East observers evaluate his potential policies. Now, with his election to the White House, will Washington’s approach in the Middle...

Tracking the COVID-19 Vaccine

Tracking the COVID-19 Vaccine By Ameya Paleja To contain the COVID-19 pandemic, India has a mammoth task of vaccinating a major share of her population. At Takshashila Institution, we recently recommended a strategy to vaccinate 80% of India’s population by December 2021. If you missed the engaging discussion during our...

Flawed regulation can undermine the digital payment ecosystem

Anupam Manur writes in Hindustan Times on why the limits placed on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions for third-party apps by NPCI is flawed. Systemic risks are automatically lower when consumers, merchants, and third-party app developers are all multi-homing, meaning they simultaneously use more than one app for the same purpose....

The PLA Insight: The Sino-Indian Disengagement; China’s Next Overseas Base; Taiwan and the US Marines; Veterans Legislation; Newer Construction in the South China Sea

I. The Big Story: The Sino-Indian Border Disengagement? The eight Corp Commander-level meeting between China and India took place on the Indian side of the Chushul-Moldo Border Personnel meeting point on November 6. The meeting which started at 9.30 am went up to 7 pm. Like the sixth and seventh Corp Commander-level meetings, this...
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