Ep. 76: (Rebroadcast): India's Successes and Failures

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It's Election week in India, and as we wait to see who will form the next union government and who will become our prime minister, it's a great time to listen to the words of Dr Jayaprakash Narayan again. This is a rebroadcast of Episode 76 of the Pragati Podcast.

ow should we think about India as a republic and as a democracy? What has India succeeded in doing, and where do we still have a long way to go?
Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, known to all as Dr JP, shares his realism and his optimism with host Pavan Srinath in the first Pragati Podcast episode of 2019.

Dr JP has been at the forefront of reform and change in India, as an outstanding IAS officer, as the founder of the Lok Satta Party, as an MLA in Andhra Pradesh, as a member of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission, as the founder of the Foundation for Democratic Reforms, and as a lot more. His contributions are visible in numerous legislations and a few constitutional amendments, along with decades of public debates and action.

This episode of The Pragati Podcast is brought to you by Savaari. Savaari cabs are perfect for weekend trips out of town or a day in the city full of meetings. Savaari cabs are available in 98 Indian cities, and you can book your cab at the Savaari.com website, the Savaari App or by calling 090-4545-0000. Use the coupon code IVMTravel for Rs 250 off on your next rental, and get another 300 rupees as cashback on Amazon Pay

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Ep. 95: Working with Government

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Bangalore has at least a 20 year legacy of private citizens working with city and state governments in a variety of ways. V Ravichandar symbolises that, as over the last 19 years he has worked with the government, driven change while being completely outside government, and has opposed government policies as well.

V Ravichandar joins host Pavan Srinath on Episode 95 of The Pragati Podcast to share his experience of working with governments, and sheds light on the challenges and constraints faced by government agencies, bureaucrats and politicians.
Ravichandar is Chairman, Feedback Consulting. He was a key member of the Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF) during 2000-04. He also help make a case for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JN-NURM). Since 2006, he has been evangelizing the idea of City Connect (now in 5 cities) involving business, civil society and government. As a part of the Bangalore City Connect, Ravi helped conceive the Tender S.U.R.E initiative, which reimagined how roads were designed in Bangalore. Ravi was also part of the 3-member Government Expert Committee tasked with reimaging governance and administration for Bengaluru.

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Ep. 82: Connectivity Raises All Boats

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Why is China investing in belts and roads, building infrastructure from the Balkans to Sri Lanka? Why is India building roads in Afghanistan or wants to build train lines connecting India's Northeastern states with Myanmar and Thailand? Is this all because of grand geopolitical considerations, or is it mainly just economics that drives these ideas?

Ambassador Shivshankar Menon talks to guest host Pranay Kotasthane about connectivity on Episode 82 of The Pragati Podcast.

Amb. Shivshankar Menon is the former National Security Advisor to Government of India, and India's former Foreign Secretary before then. In his career as an IFS officer, he's served as the Ambassador to China and Israel, and High Commissioner to Pakistan and Sri Lanka. He is the author of Choices: Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy. https://www.amazon.in/Choices-Inside-Making-Indias-Foreign-ebook/dp/B06XXTB4M3

Kannada barutta? Check out the Thale-Harate Kannada Podcast, co-hosted by Pavan Srinath. This week on Episode 8, Alok Prasanna Kumar talks the evolution of Aadhaar and how Indians secured a fundamental right to privacy in the process. ಬನ್ನಿ ಹರಟೆ ಹೊಡಿಯೋಣ! http://ivmpodcasts.com/harate-kannada-podcast

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Ep. 81: The Parliament and the Republic

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Sixty nine years ago, Indians established a radical new government that put the individual at the centre of all governance. Republic Day celebrates the Constitution of India, where we not only sought freedom from the British, but freedom from the evils that plagued our society. MR Madhavan talks to Pavan Srinath on The Pragati Podcast on the Indian Republic and the Indian Parliament.

In Episode 81, a Republic Day special, MR Madhavan of PRS Legislative Research gives us a sweeping overview of the Republic of India and its Parliament. Madhavan and Pavan discuss how the parliamentary system has much stronger checks and balances on the Executive than a presidential system. A few ideas that are explored:

  • How many countries have even managed to hang on to their constitution for almost 70 years?

  • How can the Parliament be reformed such that voters can hold their MPs more accountable?

  • Do political parties even have any real constitutional status and recognition?

  • What legal innovations did we need to keep the Republic alive?

  • How has the anti-defection law crippled the Indian legislature?

  • Can coalition governments actually lead to more consultative law-making?

  • How can the office of the Lok Sabha Speaker be made more independent?

MR Madhavan is the President and Co-Founder of PRS Legislative Research, one of India's most unique and impactful thinktanks. PRS tracks the functioning of the Indian Parliament and works with MPs across political parties and MLAs from various states. PRS provides research support to legislators via analysis of legislative issues, by providing fellowships to research assistants and more.

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Ep. 67: No, China Isn't Taking Over the World

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Does China really have a grand strategy to take over the world? Is Chinese media nothing more than a mouthpiece of the Chinese government? And has China side-stepped an overpopulation problem with good public policy?

China expert Manoj Kewalramani joins host Pavan Srinath again in Episode 67 to dispel more myths about China. Manoj is an Adjunct Fellow for China Studies at the Takshashila Institution, and has spent over 11 years as a journalist in China and India. Manoj also pens a weekly newsletter Eye on China available at www.thinkpragati.com

Which of these myths are actually true?
Myth #5: The Chinese media is a mouthpiece of the Chinese government.
Myth #6: The Chinese copy very well but do not innovate.
Myth #7: China successfully controlled its overpopulation problem and achieved more as a country because of it.
Myth #8: China has a grand strategy to take over the world.

In case you missed it, check out episode 66 of the Pragati Podcast where Manoj busts four other myths about China.

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Ep. 66: Myths about China

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Most Indians know more about USA and Europe than our northern neighbour China. This two-part series on The Pragati Podcast will bust myths about China and the Chinese government.

China expert Manoj Kewalramani joins host Pavan Srinath in Episode 66 to dispel commonly held beliefs about the People's Republic of China. Manoj is an Adjunct Fellow for China Studies at the Takshashila Institution, and has spent over 11 years as a journalist in China and India. Manoj also pens a weekly newsletter Eye on China available at www.thinkpragati.com. Do you know of people who believe in any of these myths about China?

Myth #1: China is a country of One people, One language and One party.
Myth #2: China has a Communist government.
Myth #3: The government owns everything in China.
Myth #4: China has a strong, efficient & meritocratic government that moves in unison to reach goals they set out for themselves.

Listen to Manoj bust 4 more myths about China in the next Episode of The Pragati Podcast, including: Does China have a grand strategy to take over the world?

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Ep. 63: Modern Cuisine meets 19th Century Governance

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There are restaurants at every corner in a city like Bangalore, but they are never easy to run. Governments make the lives of restaurateurs more difficult in a million ways. Banning 'dance bars', regulating signboards or controlling liquor licenses make dining out more expensive for customers, create uncertainty for businesses and put jobs at risk.
Chef extraordinaire Manu Chandra and Pragati's own Madhu Menon join host Pavan Srinath on episode 63 of The Pragati Podcast. Manu also heads the Bangalore Chapter of the National Restaurant Association of India The episode focuses on Bangalore and its unique challenges and opportunities, but the story is not too different in other states and cities.

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