About Pavan Srinath

Fellow & Faculty; Host, The Pragati Podcast

Pavan Srinath is Fellow & Faculty member at the Takshashila Institution. Pavan also hosts The Pragati Podcast, a weekly talk show on economics, public policy and international relations. He also hosts the Thalé-Haraté Kannada Podcast, India’s first weekly public affairs podcast in Kannada.

Pavan has an academic background in the biological sciences and has been working as a public policy researcher for over 8 years. He has largely worked on policy and governance issues of health, cities and budgets. He has co-authored two books, several policy briefs and journal articles, and writes often for popular Indian newspapers.

Pavan has helped build the Takshashila Institution as one of India’s top school of public policy, and design and launch various courses. This includes specialised educational programmes for aspiring civic leaders, mid-career professionals and more. He teaches policy analysis, effective communication, data visualisation and urban governance.

He currently manages the operations of Pragati, an independent online publication that promotes for the values of a free society.


Host, The Pragati Podcast. All episodes available here and on all podcast apps. Some selected episodes:

  1. #70: Behind the Scenes of the IC814 Hijacking with Anand Arni
  2. #66: Myths about China with Manoj Kewalramani
  3. #64: The Aadhar Judgments Explained with Rahul Matthan and Manasa Venkataraman
  4. #61: The Many Indian Genomes with Kumarasamy Thangaraj
  5. #59: Trump’s New Washington DC with Soren Dayton
  6. #51 & #52: A Tale of Two Nukes: Iran & North Korea, with Ameya Naik
  7. #48: India needs 20 Million Jobs a year with Anupam Manur
  8. #38: A 100 Billion Dollar Hole in India’s Banks with Narayan Ramachandran
  9. #27: The Supreme Court in Crisis with Harish Narasappa and Alok Prasanna Kumar
  10. #24: Editing our Genes with Shambhavi Naik and Madhav Chandavarkar

On The Seen and the Unseen with Amit Varma:

  1. #69: What does it mean to be a Libertarian?
  2. #29: On Drug Price Controls
  3. #21: Slums: The Gateways to Our Cities
  4. #16: The Unseen Effects of Artificial Intelligence (with Ramez Naam)
  5. #15: The Dubbing Ban in Kannada
  6. #08: Regulating Medical Education in India
  7. #01: Entry and Exit in Agriculture (with Karthik Shashidhar)

Policy Analysis Concepts in Graduate Certificate in Public Policy (GCPP)

Writing a Policy Brief in PGP in Public Policy (PGP)

Urban Governance Fundamentals in Bangalore Civic Leadership Incubation Programme (B.CLIP)


Effective Communication in Public Policy

Data Analysis for Public Policy

Introduction to Public Finance

Understanding India’s Budgets

Introduction to Data Journalism

  1. Distance from Delhi: Essays on Geopolitics, Economics and Public Policy (Contributor)
    The Takshashila Institution, Bangalore (2015)
  2. The State of Our Cities: Evidence from Karnataka (with Samuel Paul, Kala S Sridhar and A Venugopal Reddy)
    Oxford University Press, New Delhi (2012)
  3. Changing the Urban Face of Karnataka (with Kala S Sridhar and A Venugopal Reddy)
    Public Affairs Centre, Bangalore (2012)
  1. Human spaceflight can capture Indian imagination like nothing else” The Print, Aug 15, 2018.
  2. Predatory Journals: Key problem with research in India is low trust in the system”, The Print, May 29, 2018.
  3. We need to ask politicians what they are doing to promote science” The Print, May 01, 2018.
  4. Quebec is getting TASMACs for Marijuana” Pragati Express, Apr 26, 2018.
  5. It Costs Three Dollars to Persuade a Mind” Pragati Express, Apr 25, 2018.
  6. Budget: Low on Specifics, and no Vision for a New Karnataka” Times of India, Feb 17, 2018.
  7. We are still paying for Kargil and Bangladesh” Pragati, Feb 01, 2018.
  8. Aadhar and the US Social Security Number: A Sense of Déjà vu” Pragati Express, Apr 25, 2017.
  9. Give this day our GST” Pragati, April 12, 2017.
  10. Let Indian Cities Grow Tall” Pragati, Mar 27, 2017.
  11. Trapped in the Municipal Mindset” Pragati, Mar 23, 2017. (with Pranay Kotasthane)
  12. We’re all blind folk guessing the shape of a Jumbo Bengaluru government” Times of India, Mar 20, 2017.
  13. Building a GDP data series for India” Indian National Interest, Feb 1, 2018.
  14. Karnataka needs a Patient Protection Service” Deccan Herald, Nov 23, 2017.
  15. Regulating Private Hospitals in Karnataka – Let’s Get it Right!” Indian National Interest, Nov 18, 2017.
  16. As Bengaluru’s Lake Bellandur burns, the villain is obvious” NDTV.com, Feb 17, 2017.
  17. 104 Satellites, World’s Cheapest, and more ISRO Fluff.” Indian National Interest, Feb 15, 2017. (Republished in The Wire, Scroll & The News Minute)
  18. The facts left unstated about India’s Defence spending” Indian National Interest, Feb 06, 2017.
  19. ಬಿಕ್ಕಟ್ಟಿನ ಪರ್ವದಲ್ಲಿ ರಕ್ಷಣೆಗೆ ಕಿರುಮೊತ್ತ” Prajavani, Feb 07, 2017
  20. Rescuing India’s defence spending from oblivion” Livemint, Feb 03, 2017.
  21. A Budget Reader for 2017-18 Indian Budget” Indian National Interest, Feb 01, 2017 (with Pranay Kotasthane)
  22. Free Parking favours Bangalore’s richest” Indian National Interest, Dec 27, 2016.
  23. How Karnataka generates its resources and spends it (Infographic)”, Livemint, Mar 29, 2016.
  24. Karnataka does smart fiscal math & ups investment” Times of India, Mar 19, 2016.
  25. Can Karnataka budget for double-digit growth this time?” Times of India, Mar 18, 2016.
  26. Defence budget: What Arun Jaitley didn’t tell you in his speech” Livemint, Feb 29, 2016.
  27. Cities and the Swachh Bharat Mission” Healthcare Executive, Feb 18, 2016.
  28. Smart Cities and Thoughts for Karnataka”, Resurgent Karnataka, Feb 09, 2016.
  29. Wrong to Charge Extra for WhatsApp Calls” NDTV.com, July 17, 2015. (with Varun Ramachandra)
  30. India needs to stop obsessing over IITs” NDTV.com, June 25, 2015.
  31. National interest and international disaster relief efforts” Mint, June 23, 2015.
  32. ರಸ್ತೆ ಸದ್ಬಳಕೆ ಹೇಗೆ?” Prajavani, June 02, 2015. (with Shobitha Cherian)
  33. Research Talent that is not yet knocking on India’s doors” Policy Wonks, May 19, 2015.
  34. The Eightfold path to Good Public Engagement” Indian National Interest, May 06, 2015.
  35. Arranging a Market for Lemons” Indian National Interest, May 05, 2015.
  36. Internet as a Public Good: A Case for Net Neutrality” Indian National Interest, Apr 19, 2015.
  37. Reading between the budget lines” Indian National Interest, Mar 1, 2015.
  38. Let India’s Urban Poor Pay for Good Water” Mint, Feb 13, 2015.
  39. Medicines in India, For India” The Hindu, Feb 13, 2015.
  40. Weather web proves that Jayanagar is hotter than Hebbal” Citizen Matters, February 11, 2015.
  41. India’s unusual trade pattern with the United States” Indian National Interest, Feb 06, 2015.
  42. On Counting and Marrying out of Caste” Indian National Interest, Jan 26, 2015.
  43. A Tale of Two Cities: Urbanisation in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu” Indian National Interest, Jan 21, 2015.
  44. No Room for Jugaad on Mars” Times of India, Sep 28, 2014.
  45. “Setting our Sights Beyond Mars” Business Standard, Sep 24, 2014.
  46. Building Blocks to Smart Indian Cities” Business Standard, Jun 3, 2014.
  47. The Strategic Import of US-India Migration” Pragati – The Indian National Interest Review, Apr 18, 2014.
  48. Spending for a Modern Armed Force” Pragati – The Indian National Interest Review, Mar 14, 2014. (with Rohan Joshi)
  49. Infographic: Foreign Aid Going Out of India” Pragati – The Indian National Interest Review, Dec 20, 2013.
  50. Running the Space Marathon” Business Standard, Dec 15, 2013.
  51. Good road, clean water, waste disposal: Corporator ensures it all, not the PM!” Citizen Matters, Oct 29, 2013.
  52. Infographic: India’s Defence Spending” Pragati – The Indian National Interest Review, Sep 20, 2013.
  53. Potash – From Russia With Love” Business Standard, Sep 12, 2013.
  54. Not Quite Over the Moon” Pragati – The Indian National Interest Review, Jul 26, 2013.
  55. Right to Water Bill: Will it increase water supply in Bangalore?” Citizen Matters, Jul 25, 2013.
  56. Think Sanitation, Not Food Security” Pragati – The Indian National Interest Review, May 24, 2013.
  57. Why is it cloudy and raining in Bangalore – now?” Citizen Matters, Mar 7, 2013.
  58. From Open Data to a Culture of Openness” Pragati – The Indian National Interest Review, Mar 1, 2013.
  59. Save Lal Bagh’s Fish before their Last Gasp,” Citizen Matters, 19 October 2011.

Pavan’s journey from the biosciences to public policy, Cyrus Says, April 2018.

Discussion on India’s proposed Geospatial Bill, May 2016.

Discussion on India’s Participation in COP21 Climate Negotiations, December 2015.

Panelist on “The Big Land Debate” on CNBC-TV18’s The Firm, July 24, 2015

Part 1:

Part 2:

Panelist on Healthcare and Regulating Medical Education, August 2014.

Conversation with Rohini Nilekani on Malnutrition and Sanitation, August 2014.

Panelist on “Politics: An eco-insensitive zone?” NDTV’s We The People, June 24, 2013.

Talk on Climate Data in India, Open Datameet, 2012.

  1. Guest speaker at C-CAMP, Bengaluru on Public Finance and Budgeting, Oct 31, 2018.
  2. on Panelist at the International Conference on Public Policy, Mt Carmel College, Bangalore, Sep 03, 2018.
  3. Speaker at CDDEP Workshop on National Health Resource Assessment, New Delhi, Mar 14-15, 2018.
  4. Panelist on Deccan Herald’s #EyeOnBudget Union Budget Analysis, Feb 02, 2018.
  5. Panelist on Suvarna News TV Channel, on the Union & Karnataka Budget, Feb 2017.
  6. Panelist on “The Land Acquisition Bill” Mount Carmel College, July 21, 2015.
  7. Speaker & Instructor at Workshop on Public Policy Engineering, Kshitij Tech-Management Fest, IIT Kharagpur, February 2015.
  8. Panelist on Health at Conference on Shaping India’s Growth Agenda: Implications for the World, Takshashila Institution & Hudson Institute, Bangalore, Aug 2, 2014.
  9. Speaker on “Active and Responsible Citizenship” organized by Bhubaneswar Round Table, at Mahabodhi Society Hall, Bhubhaneswar, Feb 9, 2014.
  10. Chaired a discussion on “Developmental Conflicts in NE Region: Assam in focus” with Dr Sanjoy Hazarika at TERI, Banglalore, Oct 5, 2013.
  11. Guest lecturer on “Understanding Global Climate Change” Mallya Aditi International School, Aug 28, 2013.
  12. Speaker on “Know Your Climate: Going Open with Climate Data” Open Data Camp, Mar 2, 2013.
  13. Speaker on “Why does Public Policy Matter for India?” Mallya Aditi International School, Aug 15, 2012.
  14. Speaker on “The State of Climate Data in India: Open and Closed” Open Data Camp, Mar 24, 2012.