43 episodes

Understanding India and her place in the world in different ways. Tune into ThoughtSpace, the Centre for Policy Research’s podcast, and delve deeper into the important issues of our time: accountability, sanitation, urbanisation, land rights, climate change, technology and society, environmental law, state capacity, infrastructure, social conflict, great power politics, identity politics, election studies, and more.

ThoughtSpace - A Podcast from the Centre for Policy Research Centre for Policy Research (CPR)

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Understanding India and her place in the world in different ways. Tune into ThoughtSpace, the Centre for Policy Research’s podcast, and delve deeper into the important issues of our time: accountability, sanitation, urbanisation, land rights, climate change, technology and society, environmental law, state capacity, infrastructure, social conflict, great power politics, identity politics, election studies, and more.

    Episode 42: The Coronavirus Pandemic: Will the pandemic lead to a shift in the global order?

    Episode 42: The Coronavirus Pandemic: Will the pandemic lead to a shift in the global order?

    In episode 42 of ThoughtSpace, Yamini Aiyar, President & Chief Executive of CPR, speaks with Ambassador Shyam Saran, India’s former foreign secretary and Senior Fellow at CPR.

    The coronavirus pandemic is a global crisis of an unprecedented nature that is reshaping the global order. Countries are grappling to control the spread of the disease by announcing lockdowns and closing borders. Economies have come to a grinding halt, and many countries, including India, have seen a rise in the narrative around self-reliance and self-sufficiency. With travel within and across countries barred, citizens are turning to technology communicate across borders. Simultaneously, states are using technology to mount surveillance on citizens to track and control the spread of the virus. What do these trends signal for a post-COVID global order? Are we likely to see a shift in the balance of power between the US and China? And where does India stand in the picture?

    Ambassador Saran discusses the wide-ranging implications of the pandemic on the world, the need for decentralisation in India, and ends on a hopeful note that this period of change will give emerging powers like India more weight in the diplomatic space.

    This is the tenth episode in a series by the Centre for Policy Research on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic in India. You can follow the Centre’s work on Covid-19 on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CPR_India or visit www.cprindia.org/covid-19. You can listen to all the episodes in the Coronavirus Conversation series here: https://scroll.in/topic/56263/coronavirus-conversations.

    • 44 min
    Episode 41: The Coronavirus Pandemic: How to Secure Lives of Migrant Workers

    Episode 41: The Coronavirus Pandemic: How to Secure Lives of Migrant Workers

    In episode 41 of ThoughtSpace, Yamini Aiyar, President & Chief Executive of CPR, speaks with members of the Stranded Workers Action Network (SWAN) initiative on the limitations of India’s social security architecture and the need to rethink what it means to be a welfare state. Our guests include Anindita Adhikari, PhD student at Brown University and a member of the Right to Food and Right to Work movements; Seema Mundoli, faculty member at the Azim Premji University; and Sanjay Sinha from Muzzaffarpur, Bihar, who is part of the Samaj Parivartan Shakti Sangathan and NREGA Watch in Bihar.

    On March 25th, when the Government of India announced the first lockdown, it brought to light a problem that has remained invisible in the minds of our policymakers and public consciousness – the problem of insuring dignity and rights to the vast majority of India’s workers, most of whom are in the casual and informal sector. Within days of the lockdown, a group of researchers and activists came together to form SWAN to collect data on the experiences and challenges stranded workers were facing.

    Adhikari, Mundoli, and Sinha shed light on the ground realities of migrant workers’ plight, where government initiatives and relief measures have failed, and what shape future policies measures need to take.

    This is the ninth episode in a series by the Centre for Policy Research on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic in India. You can follow the Centre’s work on Covid-19 on Twitter or visit www.cprindia.org/covid-19. You can listen to all the episodes in the Coronavirus Conversation series here: https://scroll.in/topic/56263/coronavirus-conversations. You can read the SWAN Report here: https://bit.ly/2T1r307.

    • 44 min
    Episode 40: The Coronavirus Pandemic: Data and Technology Implications on Citizen-State Relations

    Episode 40: The Coronavirus Pandemic: Data and Technology Implications on Citizen-State Relations

    In episode 40 of ThoughtSpace, Yamini Aiyar, President & Chief Executive of CPR, speaks with Ananth Padmanabhan, Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research and Dean of the Daksha Fellowship; and Sahil Deo, co-founder of CPC Analytics and faculty at Daksha Fellowship.

    Historically, pandemics have been watershed moments in altering citizen-state relations. In the context of COVID-19, data and technology are the underlying vehicles fuelling and powering these changes. States like South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Israel have done a stellar job of handling the unfolding coronavirus pandemic by testing, contact tracing, isolating, and quarantining. But underlying this approach is the highly effective deployment of surveillance data as a means by which these states have effectively controlled the pandemic. In India, we have seen debates emerge around the privacy implications of the Aarogya Setu app. What are the legal and privacy implications of these changes? Once the world exits from the immediacy of the coronavirus pandemic, will this new data and technology regime will fundamentally reshape the social contract?

    Padmanabhan and Deo tell us about the different ways in which data and technology have been used, from controlling the spread of the disease to supporting governments, policymakers, and the public health system. They shed light on legal frameworks required to think through the long-term implications of these technological developments, as well as the likely changes in citizen-market relations.

    This is the eighth episode in a series by the Centre for Policy Research on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic in India. You can follow the Centre’s work on Covid-19 on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CPR_India or visit www.cprindia.org. You can listen to all the episodes in the Coronavirus Conversation series here: https://scroll.in/topic/56263/coronavirus-conversations.

    • 49 min
    Episode 39 | Part 2: The Coronavirus Pandemic: Impact of the lockdown on Tuberculosis Care

    Episode 39 | Part 2: The Coronavirus Pandemic: Impact of the lockdown on Tuberculosis Care

    In episode 39, part 2 of ThoughtSpace, co-hosts Yamini Aiyar, President & Chief Executive of CPR, and Dr Jishnu Das, Professor at Georgetown University and Senior Visiting Fellow at CPR, speak with Dr Madhukar Pai, Professor and Director of McGill Global Health Programs and International TB Centre; Nandita Venkatesan, a journalist, TB survivor and TB disability advocate; and Dr Sarthak Rastogi, consultant pulmonologist at the Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai.

    In part 1 of the seventh episode of the CPR ThoughtSpace series on coronavirus, our guests, talked to us about how access to medication and new diagnoses of TB patients have come to a near halt because of the coronavirus lockdown. They highlighted that India has the highest TB burden in the world with over 1,000 deaths every day, even without COVID-19. In part 2, we continue the conversation with them to look at what the government needs to do immediately during the lockdown and once it is lifted to help patients who are already on treatment and ensure that new patients continue to get diagnosed and treated.

    This is part 2 of episode seven in a series of episodes by the Centre for Policy Research on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic in India. You can follow the Centre’s work on Covid-19 on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CPR_India or visit www.cprindia.org. You can listen to all the episodes in the Coronavirus Conversation series here: https://scroll.in/topic/56263/coronavirus-conversations.

    • 37 min
    Episode 39 | Part 1: The Coronavirus Pandemic: Impact of the lockdown on Tuberculosis Care

    Episode 39 | Part 1: The Coronavirus Pandemic: Impact of the lockdown on Tuberculosis Care

    In episode 39, part 1 of ThoughtSpace, co-hosts Yamini Aiyar, President & Chief Executive of CPR, and Dr Jishnu Das, Professor at Georgetown University and Senior Visiting Fellow at CPR, speak with Dr Madhukar Pai, Professor and Director of McGill Global Health Programs and International TB Centre; Nandita Venkatesan, a journalist, TB survivor and TB disability advocate; and Dr Sarthak Rastogi, consultant pulmonologist at the Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai.

    On a regular day, tuberculosis (TB) claims over 1,000 lives in India. This is without the coronavirus pandemic. While the government and health care system’s energies have been focussed on controlling the spread of COVID-19, access to healthcare facilities for other infectious diseases, especially TB, has reduced significantly. How has the lockdown impacted TB patients and how are they coping? As we continue our fight against COVID-19, what must the government do to ensure that we do not slide back on the all progress we have made with TB care over the decades?

    In part 1, Pai, Venkatesan, and Rastogi lay out the context of TB in India and share first-hand accounts of the disruption in diagnosis and care as a result of the lockdown. They point to the fact that new diagnoses have come to a complete halt and patients on treatment regimens are facing extreme difficulty in accessing their medication. This could have devastating consequences for India’s fight against TB.

    This is part 1 of episode seven in a series of episodes by the Centre for Policy Research on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic in India. You can follow the Centre’s work on Covid-19 on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CPR_India or visit www.cprindia.org. You can listen to all the episodes in the Coronavirus Conversation series here: https://scroll.in/topic/56263/coronavirus-conversations.

    • 39 min
    Episode 38: The Coronavirus Pandemic: Impact on Unemployment and Labour Force Participation

    Episode 38: The Coronavirus Pandemic: Impact on Unemployment and Labour Force Participation

    In the 38th episode of ThoughtSpace, Yamini Aiyar, President & Chief Executive of CPR, speaks with Dr Mahesh Vyas, MD and CEO of Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy.

    As the economy comes to a grinding halt and businesses close for the duration of the lockdown, the big question we look at in this episode is the impact of the lockdown on unemployment, labour force participation, and the overall income levels of both individuals and business. The economy had not yet recovered from the previous shocks of demonetisation and GST; the lockdown has accentuated concerns around labour force participation and income levels, which have dropped staggeringly. As India thinks about post-lockdown strategies, what must the government do to ensure that households across the country have enough to meet basic requirements?

    Dr Vyas sheds light on India’s labour force participation and income levels by sharing findings from CMIE’s regular household surveys and what they have revealed since the lockdown was imposed.

    He points out that unemployment rate shot up from 7-8% to 23-24%, labour force participation rate dropped from 43% to 35.5%, and over 45% households report a reduction in income as compared to a year ago. Vyas recommends better communication from local governments to build confidence among workers and direct income transfers to beneficiaries equivalent to at least two months of salary, despite chances of wastage.

    This is the sixth in a series of episodes by the Centre for Policy Research on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic in India. You can follow the Centre’s work on Covid-19 on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CPR_India or visit www.cprindia.org. You can listen to all the episodes in the Coronavirus Conversation series here: https://scroll.in/topic/56263/coronavirus-conversations.

    • 35 min

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