Base National Policy on Education on credible data

Pradeep Mehta and Abhishek Kumar (Co-authored) There’s no comprehensive and systematic data on the education system in India, and where it exists the government does not seem too serious about it… HRD minister Smriti Irani said the ministry would favour its own surveys over those conducted by ASER.   India has unleashed a spate […]

Create a benchmark for quality education

Pradeep Mehta and Abhishek Kumar (Co-authored) At two separate public events recently, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant laid great emphasis on health and education. India, he stressed, cannot register high growth for long without a good education (and healthcare) network; and for a good education system to develop, we must pose a challenge for […]

India Has Struggled to Link its Defence Needs to Strategic Goals

Pradeep Mehta and Abhishek Kumar (Co-authored) There has been a rapid change in geopolitical constellations around the world. Citadels of free trade have turned protectionist and the previously more-inward looking nations are now advocating for integrated global commerce and cooperation. Disruption has become the keyword and managing it, a challenge.   But amidst the […]

In Defence of Indo-US Ties

Abhishek Kumar (Authored) The US government has recently re-articulated its Asia Strategy. The term in use now is Indo-Pacific as opposed to Asia Pacific. From India’s perspective, this fits well into her ambition to be a global player in strategic affairs but one that comes with added responsibility. From the US perspective, this will […]

Purging the realty sector: Implementing a strong RERA can help weed out the problems

Abhishek Kumar and Priyam Purohit (Co-authored) In the absence of adequate protection, ‘consumers’ are usually vulnerable entities, more so when they are real estate consumers. It would not be wrong to say that for most of them investment into property is a lifetime decision as it involves years of savings and much financial planning. […]

Can we repair the train while it is running?

Pradeep Mehta an Abhishek Kumar (Co-authored) Train accidents in India are phenomenally higher in comparison. In 2016-17 alone, train accidents in India have resulted in 238 causalities.   Indian trains run at an average speed of 50-70km per hour — fairly low when compared to the trains in developed countries. Yet, train accidents in […]

The Cult of India’s Chief Banker

Pradeep Mehta and Abhishek Kumar (Co-authored) Experts with an interest in the Indian economy are talking of only one name these days: Raghuram G. Rajan, the 23rd governor of India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Even before he assumed charge in September 2013, he was already a cult figure for many […]

How to Revive the TV Sector in India through Regulatory Revaluation (Co-authored)

Abhishek Kumar and Shipra Mathur As per a recent FICCI-EY report, TV industry in India was valued at ₹78,800cr ($10.4bn) in 2019 with ₹32,000cr ($4.2bn) as advertising and ₹46,800cr ($6.2bn) as subscription revenue. Ironically, the industry is mired in struggle, thanks to the deeply-entrenched political economy and a regulatory framework that leaves much to […]

India will have arrived when yoga becomes yog again

Pradeep Mehta and Abhishek Kumar India will have arrived when yoga becomes yog again (Co-authored) Prime Minister Narendra Modi has placed India in an advantageous position on the world map by travelling incessantly. Coupled with that the external affairs ministry has been organising global events in India in partnership with think tanks: Observer Research Foundation […]

Indo-US 2+2 Dialogue a Chance to Address Specifics in Context of Larger Geo-Political Goals

Pradeep Mehta and Abhishek Kumar (Co-authored) An oft-used phrase these days in international relations is “rules-based international order”. Essentially, it means a shared commitment by all countries to conduct their activities in accordance with agreed rules that evolve over time, such as international law, regional security arrangements, trade agreements, immigration protocols, and cultural arrangements. […]

How Does India Score Well on Competitiveness But Poorly on Ease of Doing Business

Pradeep Mehta And Abhishek Kumar (Co-authored) It’s that time of year when the topic of competitiveness is again making headlines.  The World Economic Forum (WEF) has recently released the 2016 edition of their ‘global competitiveness report’. This year’s report reveals three interesting insights. First, mere monetary policy stimulus is not enough to revitalise growth. […]

India needs entrepreneurs, not survivors

Pradeep Mehta, Abhishek Kumar and Rahul Singh (Co-authored) The latest to join the list of important days in India is November 9, which has just been added to celebrate the National Entrepreneurship Day. Interestingly, it comes at a time when India has reported a significant improvement in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings […]

Doubling of farmers’ income needs more imagination

Pradeep Mehta and Abhishek Kumar (Co-authored) There is enough evidence that increasing productivity does not necessarily result in increase in farm incomes.   Many governments have come and gone promising a better future for India’s farmers yet the farming community continues to live in distress around the country. Therefore, there is a good reason […]

Empirical knowledge needed for job creation

Pradeep Mehta and Abhishek Kumar (Contributed to) Every government faces challenges and there are some more prominent than others. Job creation is perhaps the most prominent of them all. In the face of declining agriculture opportunities, tough industrial competition, rising protectionism and reshoring, the inevitable realities of artificial intelligence, digitalization and automation will keep […]

Will a New Vice-Chairman Mean a New NITI Aayog?

Pradeep Mehta and Abhishek Kumar (Co-authored) Two and a half years ago, the NITI Aayog replaced the Planning Commission in what could be called a vengeful manner. In the same two-and-a-half-year period, the think tank’s vice chairman (VC) has now been replaced. Whatever may have been the reasons behind the former VC’s exit, the […]

Let CAG do reviews, not Aayog

Pradeep Mehta and Abhishek Kumar (Co-authored) A review of the performance of such bodies appears in order; but the question is who should do such a comprehensive review?   One day a government doctor gleefully told me that he can now buy a petrol jeep, which he could not have done under government rules, […]

What sort of federalism do we want?

Pradeep Mehta and Abhishek Kumar (Co-authored)   Ever since the Modi government assumed office, the chant of ‘cooperative federalism’ has grown louder. First, the Cabinet resolution on the creation of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog spelt it out and 40 days later the e-book on the new body reiterated the same. […]

Make in India: Governance is the key

Pradeep Mehta and Abhishek Kumar (Co-authored) In the context of a nation, organic change is always in the making. It is slow but steady, whereas sudden paradigm changes happen when either organic churning reaches the tipping point or a strong leadership takes charge.   In India’s case, it is the latter that can be […]

Citizen Welfare in India Needs Rules-Based Internet Governance

Divya Maderna and Abhishek Kumar The internet is the most democratic of all mass media. Today, there are more than 570 million active internet users in India, making it the second largest online market in the world. A 2019 report by the data consulting firm Kantar projects that this number may rise to 900 […]