Ep. 87: The Growth of Indian E-Commerce

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How did E-Commerce grow from next to nothing in India a decade ago to a $50 Billion industry today? Is Indian e-commerce business little more than a clone of e-commerce in the United States or elsewhere? Akshay Alladi talks about the business and the public policy challenges of e-commerce on Episode 87 of The Pragati Podcast.

The Pragati Podcast is a weekly show on public policy, economics and international relations hosted by Pavan Srinath.

Akshay Alladi chronicles the rise of e-commerce and online retail in India, shares India-specific innovations that took place, and what caused various inflection points in its growth. He talks about various aspects of the business, and also about how foreign direct investment, taxation policies and more affect online retail. The episode also includes a discussion on the most recent 'clarification' issued by the Government of India on FDI in e-commerce, and how it can profoundly reshape the sector for the worse.

Akshay has worked at key roles at Flipkart and Ola, with a career in management consulting before that. Akshay is currently working in venture capital in Bangalore.

Related readings:

Anupam Manur: How to Regulate Internet Platforms Without Breaking Them. https://www.asiaglobalonline.hku.hk/regulate-internet-platforms-antitrust-competition/

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Ep. 86: Afghanistan before 9/11

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2019 is an important year for Afghanistan, with national elections scheduled for July. At the same time, the people and the State of Afghanistan continues to face grave threats to their national security, and the Taliban continue to remain relevant.

Afghanistan regained a lost spotlight in 2001 with the 9/11 attacks and the US War on Terror, but what was Afghanistan like in the 1980s and 90s? Who were the Taliban and how did they rise to power? How did India remain engaged with Afghanistan's legitimate government and the Northern Alliance when most of the world looked away?

Anand Arni and Pranay Kotasthane join host Pavan Srinath on Episode 86 of the Pragati Podcast to talk about Afghanistan before 9/11.

Mr Arni is a Distinguished Fellow and Advisor at the Takshashila Institution, and retired as Special Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India. He served for over 37 years in the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India’s external intelligence agency. He was a part of the hostage rescue team during the Flight IC814 hijacking crisis. Pranay is Fellow and Head of the Geostrategy Programme at the Takshashila Institution.

The Pragati Podcast is now on Instagram! Follow at https://instagram.com/pragatipod. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, do write in to podcast@thinkpragati.com.

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Ep. 65: Journalism, South India Style

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How do you do good journalism online? How do you keep opinion and reportage separate? How do you report live on active humanitarian disasters like the Kerala Floods of 2018?

Dhanya Rajendran, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The News Minute, joins host Pavan Srinath in episode 65 of The Pragati Podcast to talk about how they built a great digital news platform.

If you have any questions for the guests or the hosts, write in to podcast@thinkpragati.com. Don't forget to visit thinkpragati.com for your daily dose of brain fodder.

Do also check out this week's The Seen and the Unseen with Amit Varma, where Sidharth Bhatia of The Wire and Peter Griffin of The Hindu talk about the Crisis in the Media. 

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Ep. 64: The Aadhaar Judgements Explained

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Rahul Matthan and Manasa Venkataraman unpack the Supreme Court's judgments on Aadhaar.

In Episode 64, The Pragati Podcast delves deep into the 1,448-page, 6.5-lakh-word set of judgments.

The episode includes discussions on the constitutionality of how the Aadhaar Act was passed in 2016, how and whether Aadhaar can be used by for government subsidies, taxes, and more -- and whether it can be used by the private sector at all. Listen in to learn more about what to expect from the government and the courts in the coming years, and what questions have been left unanswered.

If you have any questions for the guests or the hosts, write in to podcast@thinkpragati.com. Don't forget to visit thinkpragati.com for your daily dose of brain fodder.

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Ep. 61: The Many Indian Genomes

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It is time to talk about the many Indian Genomes, and the great genetic diversity of Indians, 28 years after the Human Genome Project was launched.

Dr Kumarasamy Thangaraj joins Pavan Srinath and guest host Dr Shambhavi Naik on Episode 61 of the Pragati Podcast to talk about all things India, genes, history and health challenges.

Dr Thangaraj is a renowned scientist working at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, CCMB, Hyderabad. He has published extensively on the origin of humans, on genetics and disease and how they affect the lives of Indians.

If you have any questions or comments on the episode, write in to podcast@thinkpragati.com. You can also ask the hosts anything on twitter at twitter.com/zeusisdead and twitter.com/HamsiniH.

Ep. 60: The Indian Rupee in a Turkish Bath

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How do actions by President Erdoğan in Turkey affect the Indian rupee? What is the emerging market crisis that business channels keep talking about? How does changing geopolitics in the Middle East affect everyone from Brazil to China to Pakistan?

Narayan Ramachandran returns to the Pragati Podcast on episode 60 to explain the great game of dominoes that is macroeconomics. Narayan is co-founder and Fellow at the Takshashila Institution, a social entrepreneur and an emerging market investor. He writes a regular column in Mint called A Visible Hand.

Have any questions for Narayan, or hosts Hamsini Hariharan and Pavan Srinath? Write in to podcast@thinkpragati.com.

You can buy a compilation of Narayan's best essays on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.in/Visible-Hand-Intersection-Economics-Politics/dp/8193197607

Ep. 58: A Thin Svaraj

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If Swaraj is your birthright, do you have it? What does Swaraj even mean? Do we have different concepts of self-rule? And how do we even spell the word -- sva or swa?

Aakash Singh Rathore joins hosts Hamsini Hariharan and Pavan Srinath to discuss his conception of 'Thin Svaraj' on Episode 58 of The Pragati Podcast.

Aakash is the Director of the International Research Network for Religion and Democracy, and was formerly a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Philosophy, Jawaharlal Nehru University. He has four upcoming books on Indian political theory, Indian jurisprudence, feminism and other topics that will be released later this year.
If you have found answers to the above questions, you can tweet your answers to the hosts @zeusisdead and @HamsiniH. You can also send your comments and questions to podcast@thinkpragati.com

Ep. 57: Let My Nation Awake

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What does nationalism mean? How far has India come since 1947? What about the Indian nation gives you hope and despair?

On this Independence Day Special of The Pragati Podcast, Nitin Pai and Aakash Singh Rathore join hosts Hamsini Hariharan and Pavan Srinath to talk about the state of the Indian nation.
Nitin Pai is the Director of the Takshashila Institution. Aakash Singh Rathore is the Director of the International Research Network for Religion and Democracy, and was formerly a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Philosophy, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

If you have found satisfactory answers to the above questions, you can tweet your answers to the hosts @zeusisdead and @HamsiniH. You can also send your comments and questions to podcast@thinkpragati.com

Ep. 48: 20 Million Jobs

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Does India really need to create 20 million jobs a year? How well are we doing now?

In Episode 48 of The Pragati Podcast, economist Anupam Manur joins hosts Pavan Srinath and Hamsini Hariharan to help size up the most pressing challenge in India: job creation at an unprecedented scale.

If you have questions, comments or brickbats for Anupam or the hosts, write in to podcast@thinkpragati.com. Don't forget to visit www.thinkpragati.com for more brain fodder.

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Ep. 43: The Rockets' Red Glare

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What connects the American national anthem with battles fought in Mysore? Did Mysore have a secret weapon on its side against the British? What was military innovation like in South India on the eve of the Industrial revolution?

Ram Ganesh Kamatham joins hosts Pavan Srinath and Hamsini Hariharan to talk about innovation, ingenuity and wars in Mysore. Ram is a playwright, an independent consultant and a Research Fellow at The Takshashila Institution.

Have any questions for Ameya or the hosts? Write in to podcast@thinkpragati.com. Don't forget to check out Pragati Express (http://express.thinkpragati.com), a new group featuring the hosts.

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5

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Ep. 42: Sovereignty: From the Cholas to Wakanda

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What does it mean when India is considered a Sovereign Republic? How do refugee crises like the Rohingya crisis affect sovereignty? And what can Wakanda and Black Panther teach us about it?

International affairs and law expert Ameya Naik joins hosts Pavan Srinath and Hamsini Hariharan in episode 42 of the Pragati podcast.

You can buy Robert H. Bates' book mentioned on the episode here: https://amzn.to/2w5qc5v

Have any questions for Ameya or the hosts? Write in to podcast@thinkpragati.com. Don't forget to check out Pragati Express (http://express.thinkpragati.com), a new group featuring the hosts.

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Ep. 41: India-US Bhai Bhai

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Have we finally arrived on the global stage? How should the United States change the way it approaches India? What are the gaps in the Indo-US relationship?

In Episode 41, Alyssa Ayres joins Pavan Srinath and Hamsini Hariharan to talk about how to move the relationship further. Alyssa Ayres has written a book called Our Time Has Come: How India is Making Its Place in the World. She was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia between 2010 and 2013. She is currently a senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council of Foreign Relations.

Have any questions or follow up on the show? Write in at podcast@thinkpragati.com and your questions will be answered in future episodes.

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5

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Ep. 40: A Six-Trillion-Dollar Goal

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What does the Indian economy look like, in 2018? Does India have the institutions to manage a $6 Trillion economy in a few years? How have we done on continuing to reform governance in the country?

In Episode 40 of the Pragati podcast, banker and policy expert Narayan Ramachandran talks to host Pavan Srinath and shares a magisterial overview of India's economy.

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Ep. 39: Of Jesters and Stand-Up Comics

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Are comedians doing the job of journalists? Can the wrong joke land you in jail in India? And can the right joke change the nation's politics?

In Episode 39 of the Pragati podcast, the very funny Rohan Joshi and Joel Pereira of comedy group AIB join host Pavan Srinath to talk about life in political comedy.

Have any questions or follow up on the show? Write in at podcast@thinkpragati.com and your questions will be answered in future episodes.

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Ep. 38: A Hundred Billion Dollar Hole

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Why are Indian banks in so much trouble? Why have so many of their loans gone bad? How can the Government of India plug a $100B hole in the banking sector?

In Episode 38 of the Pragati podcast, hosts Pavan Srinath and Hamsini Hariharan are joined by Narayan Ramachandran to unpack India's banking crisis.

Narayan is the Chairman of RBL Bank, a former country head of Morgan Stanley, as well as a co-founder and fellow at the Takshashila Institution. He writes a regular column on Mint called A Visible Hand (https://www.livemint.com/Search/Link/Author/A%20Visible%20Hand%7C%20Narayan%20Ramachandran).

Have any questions or follow up on the show? Write in at podcast@thinkpragati.com and your questions will be answered in future episodes.

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Ep. 37: Why is Talk Radio missing in India?

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Is it illegal to do the Pragati podcast on radio? Why do large Indian cities have so few FM stations, and why do they all sound the same?

In Episode 37 of the Pragati Podcast, Amit Doshi  joins host Pavan Srinath to talk about talk radio and podcasts. Amit is the founder of the IVM Podcast Network, and a co-host of Shunya One, a podcast on tech and entrepreneurship.

Have any questions or follow up on the show? Write in at podcast@thinkpragati.com and your questions will be answered in future episodes.

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5

You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

Ep. 36: The Kangaroo-Dragon Affair

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Ties between Australia and China are coming under strain because of worries about political funding, Chinese students, and ample amounts of rhetoric. In Episode 36 of The Pragati Podcast, Dr Richard Rigby joins Hamsini Hariharan and Pavan Srinath to talk about what's beneath the surface of the tension. Dr Richard Rigby is a former Australian diplomat, historian and currently the Executive Director of the Australian National University China Institute.

Send your questions, comments and brickbats by writing to podcast@thinkpragati.com or reach out the hosts on twitter where their handles are @HamsiniH and @Zeusisdead
Regards,

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Ep. 35: Biohackers and Protesting Farmers

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Why were farmers marching on Mumbai? Can China become the hub of medical tourism for the next generation of treatments? Are there new dangers to democracy in the Indian subcontinent?

In Episode 35 of The Pragati Podcast, Hamsini Hariharan and Pavan Srinath catch up on news over the last few months in India and abroad.

Have any questions that you would like answered in a later episode? Write in to podcast@thinkpragati.com.

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Ep. 31: The Shades of Social Credit

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Is Black Mirror unfolding in real life? What is this social credit system? Is an Orwellian dystopia unfolding in China? In episode 31 of the Pragati Podcast, Manoj Kewalramani joins Hamsini Hariharan and Pavan Srinath to discuss how the social credit system is unfolding in China, and how it affects the way the rest of the world approaches social credit.

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5

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Ep. 30: Power plays in the Indo-Pacific

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We’ve heard of hard power, soft power and smart power, but what is this new sharp power? What are the major changes in the global order that we should watch out for? How can middle powers that are neither here nor there cope?

Rory Medcalf of Australian National University talks to host Hamsini Hariharan in episode 30 of The Pragati Podcast. Medcalf heads the National Security College at ANU, and is a former diplomat, intelligence analyst and journalist. His work covers a wide spectrum of strategic and geopolitical issues in Indo-Pacific Asia.

You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5

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