Ep. 31: Urban Governance in India

Our cities are in a mess. They are not in such bad shape because of corrupt individuals or apathetic citizens, but because our structures of governance are all messed up. Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma to explain why.

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Ep. 30: Real Estate Prices

Why do real estate prices in India not fall when demand goes down and inventory stops moving? Vivek Kaul plays economic detective to help Amit Varma solve this mystery.

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Ep. 29: Drug Price Controls

The government of India often fixes the prices of medicine in India so that poor people can afford them. Pavan Srinath joins Amit Varma to discuss the Unseen Effects of this, and how they can be ameliorated.

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Ep. 28: GST Revisited

In Episode 3 of The Seen and the Unseen, we had discussed GST -- the Goods and Services Tax. Now that it's actually been implemented, Vivek Kaul joins Amit Varma to discuss its Seen and Unseen Effects.

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Ep. 27: Television Price Controls

Indian television is appalling, and the reasons for that go beyond culture. Renowned journalist Ashok Malik joins Amit Varma in episode 27 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe how government regulation played its part.

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Ep. 26: The Right To Property

The Right to Property is the underpinning of all our rights -- and yet, the Indian constitution does not consider it a Fundamental Right, though it once did. Constitutional expert Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma to discuss why this right is important, and the consequences of its being weakened in India.

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Ep. 25: Farm Loan Waivers

In episode 25 of The Seen and the Unseen, Kumar Anand and Vivek Kaul join Amit Varma to talk about the part farm-loan waivers play in keeping farmers in PPP: Perpetually Planned Poverty.

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Ep. 24: Prostitution

For all practical purposes, prostitution is banned in India, and looked down upon by society. Manasa Venkataraman joins Amit Varma to discuss the legal, moral and economic aspects of criminalising sex work.

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Ep. 23: Public Sector Banks

In 1969, Indira Gandhi carried out a wave of bank nationalisations with some excellent stated intentions. But what were the Unseen Effects of that? Mumbai-based economist Kumar Anand joins Amit Varma to discuss the structural flaws in the very concept of public sector banks.

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Ep. 22: China's Growing Influence in Asia

China has become an influential force in India's neighbourhood recently. Is this something India should be worried about? Foriegn policy expert Pranay Kotasthane joins Amit Varma to allay these fears.

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Ep. 21: Slums

Slums in India have been both demonized and deified. Some say they are an eyesore to the city; others say they are hotbeds of entrepreneurship. Pavan Srinath joins Amit Varma to take a deeper look at the role slums play in our society.

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Ep. 20: The Coming Jobs Crisis

Many of the terrible policies followed by our government over the decades have one common unseen effect: a lack of jobs. India is headed for a jobs crisis, and Vivek Kaul joins Amit Varma to discuss why it has come about and what we can do to stop the slide.

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Ep. 19: RTE (The Right to Education)

he Right to Education Act sounds noble, but has caused devastation in schooling across the country. Vivek Kaul joins Amit Varma to discuss its Unseen Effects.

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Ep. 18: Restaurant Regulations

If you want to see the many ways in which the government resembles a hafta-extorting mafia, look no further than restaurant regulations. They come about with a noble stated intent, but end up harming both consumers and restaurants. Madhu Menon joins Amit Varma to talk about the intended consequences of restaurant regulations.

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Ep. 17: Centrally Sponsored Government Schemes

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna. All these are centrally sponsored government schemes with good intentions at their heart. But are good intentions enough? Pranay Kotasthane joins Amit Varma to discuss the Unseen Effects of Centrally Sponsored Government Schemes.

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Ep. 16: Artificial Intelligence

Like all technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will make humanity better off in the long run. But in the short run, it will cause much disruption, including mammoth job losses in India's services industry. Futurist Ramez Naam and policy wonk Pavan Srinath join Amit Varma to talk about the Unseen effects of AI.

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Ep. 15: Kannada Dubbing Ban

For decades, there has been a stricture in Karnataka that non-Kannada films cannot be dubbed into Kannada. The idea behind this was to protect the local film industry -- but were the unintended consequences just the opposite? Pavan Srinath joins Amit Varma to discuss the Unseen effects of this ban on Kannada dubbing.

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Ep. 14: Rent Control

Rent control is a classic example of a regulation meant to help the poor that ends up hurting everyone. Alex Tabarrok joins Amit Varma to discuss how real estate in Mumbai would be so much cheaper if not for such government regulation.

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Ep. 13: Anti-Defection Law

It is a sad day for any democracy when MPs and MLAs sell themselves to the highest bidder. Horse-trading is monstrous. It was to prevent exactly this that the Anti-Defection Law was passed in 1985. But did it end up doing more harm than good to democracy? Barun Mitra joins Amit Varma to discuss the unseen effects of this famous legislation.

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Ep. 12: Futures Markets in Agriculture

For decades now, India has either banned or heavily regulated futures markets in agriculture. The conventional wisdom is that futures markets can turn farmers into gamblers. But what if the Unseen Effect of such regulation is exactly the opposite? Karthik Shashidhar joins Amit Varma to chat about the unintended consequences of such well-intentioned but misguided regulation.

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