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The Pragati Podcast

158 EpisodesProduced by IVM PodcastsWebsite

Take a step back from noisy political debates and tune in to rich conversations on India and the world. The Pragati Podcast is a weekly talkshow on public policy, economics and international relations. Science-geek-turned-policy-wonk Pavan Srinath talks to scholars and experts on everything from Ind… read more

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Ep. 147: Eye Care in India

July 30th, 2020


Dr. Gullapalli N Rao, Founder of the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, talks about human vision, eye health, and the transformation of eye care …

Ep. 146: Police reforms in India and Beyond

July 24th, 2020


Ameya Naik and host Pavan Srinath discuss long-overdue police reforms and provide a primer on how to reimagine policing in India in the 21st century, …

Ep. 145: Science: From Publishing to Communication

July 16th, 2020


Neuroscientist and Science Communicator Shruti Muralidhar is on Episode 145 of The Pragati Podcast to talk about the challenges of science publishing and science communication in 2020. Shruti also talks to host Pavan …

Ep. 144: IN-SPACe and Space Reforms in India

July 8th, 2020


Space Law scholar Dr Ranjana Kaul and space entrepreneur Narayan Prasad discuss space reforms and the recent Indian IN-SPACe announcement with host …

Ep. 143: Bringing Podcast Tech to the 2020s

July 1st, 2020


Podcasts are a modern, new medium for most of us in India, but is the underlying technology stuck in the 2000s? Can we reimagine podcasts as a …

Ep. 142: India's Land and Reforms in 2020

June 24th, 2020


What land reforms does India need in 2020? How can we think about property rights, and a complicated legislative history and ground reality in India?

Shekhar Shah and Pranab Ranjan Choudhury give host Pavan Srinath a …

Ep. 83: (Rebroadcast) Voicing India

June 17th, 2020


Podcasts are all about voices and conversations, but how did India's own voice-over industry evolve? This is a rebroadcast of Episode 83 of Pragati …

Ep. 141: A 21st Century Justice Platform for India

June 10th, 2020


Leah Verghese and Surya Prakash from Daksh India talk to host Pavan Srinath about how a 21st-century justice platform can transform access to justice for Indians.

In 2020, it is impossible for migrant workers who have …

Ep. 140: The Environment in India's Law & Courts

June 5th, 2020


Can India's courts protect the country's environment? The Pragati Podcast revisits the topic on World Environment Day 2020 with returning guest and Supreme Court Lawyer Ninad Laud.

Ninad was previously on Episode 73 of …

Ep. 139: Palliative care: Treating the Person, Not the Disease

June 1st, 2020


Dr. M.R. Rajagopal of Pallium India talks to host Pavan Srinath about Palliative care, what it means and how we can ease suffering and pain across India, on Episode 139 of The Pragati Podcast.

Palliative care focuses on …

Ep. 138. Building Online News Media in India

May 20th, 2020


India's news houses are in crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown, the dwindling circulation of print newspapers, and the loss of advertising …

Ep. 137: Vaccines and Immunity against COVID-19 (BIC Talks)

May 13th, 2020


Nearly a hundred vaccine candidates are being developed across the world. Award-winning medical scientist, Dr Gagandeep Kang talks to host Pavan Srinath about the development of vaccines, ongoing efforts on COVID-19, …

Ep. 136: The SARS-COV-2 Virus: Mutations & Evolution

May 8th, 2020


The SARS-COV-2 virus started infecting humans in Wuhan in late 2019. How has the virus mutated and evolved so far? With 1-2 mutations occurring per …

Ep. 135: A Mission Mode Health Response to COVID-19?

April 15th, 2020


Can India's health and healthcare systems ramp up on mission mode to respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic? What should we know about India's …

Ep. 134: Tackling COVID-19 during India's Lockdown

April 1st, 2020


How can India make the most of the nation-wide lockdown to contain the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic? How can India rapidly ramp up testing and diagnostics? How can India's governments, private sector and civil …

Ep. 133: Modeling the Spread of Epidemics

March 25th, 2020


How are infectious diseases and pandemics modeled? How can we model and estimate the spread of Influenza or Coronavirus Disease 2019? And most importantly, how can disease modeling help us design effective interventions …

Ep. 132: Managing the COVID-19 Epidemic in India

March 19th, 2020


Close to 200,000 people across 160 countries have been affected by COVID-19 or Coronavirus Disease 2019, and this has happened in just about three months. As of March 18, 2020, India has confirmed 148 cases of COVID-19 …

Ep. 131. The Supreme Court in 2020

March 11th, 2020


Two years ago, four senior judges of the Supreme Court of India held an unprecedented press conference to tell the public that there was an ongoing crisis in the Supreme Court of India. Since then, one of the four …

(Rebroadcast) Ep. 37: Why is Talk Radio Missing in India?

March 4th, 2020


This is a rebroadcast of Episode 37 of The Pragati Podcast, first released on March 29, 2018. Brand new episodes of The Pragati Podcast will return from next week.

Is it illegal to do the Pragati podcast on radio? Why do …

Rebroadcast Ep. 90: Not Just A Civil Servant

February 26th, 2020


We hear about the all-powerful District Collector or Deputy Commissioner in every district in India, but what do they really do? How was the …

Ep. 130: AI, Learning and Intelligence

February 19th, 2020


What is intelligence? How do we learn what we learn? How are we aware of the world around us and ourselves? It is impossible to think about building an artificial intelligence or getting machines to learn without …

Ep. 129: The Science of Economics

February 12th, 2020


The science of economics can often be misunderstood. Economics as a discipline is riddled with paradoxes. We often want economics to be able to predict the next crisis, while dismissing sound economic insights that may …

Ep. 128: Getting Back to Economic Growth

February 5th, 2020


India's economic growth dips below 5% per annum again, less than a decade after the previous economic crisis. Is 5% growth for a country like India all but a recession?

Anupam Manur returns to The Pragati Podcast …

Ep. 127: The Rich History of Banking in India

January 30th, 2020


Is India's banking crisis the first of its kind in the country? How did banks flourish and fail a hundred years ago, and what can we learn from them?

Ep. 126: US-China Trade Wars: What Next?

January 22nd, 2020


On January 15, 2020, the United States of America and the People's Republic of China and Xi Jinping signed the "Phase One Trade Deal" after more than a year of protracted negotiations.

On the Pragati Podcast in January …

Ep. 99: (Rebroadcast) Questioning Nationalism

January 15th, 2020


The world today is broadly organised into sovereign nation states, and we all believe that the Indian Nation exists and is thriving. But what is …

Ep. 125: Learning From The Assam NRC

January 8th, 2020


A nation-wide NRC is an unknown beast of unknown dimensions. Real world examples of the NRC come from Assam, where close to 19 lakh residents of the state were left out of the NRC list brought out in August 2019.

How do …

Ep. 124: Nuclear War, Deterrence and Peace.

December 25th, 2019


Nuclear war feels unthinkable, but how much peace does nuclear deterrence guarantee? Do nuclear programmes truly deter or compel adversaries in the …

Ep. 123: Growing Up In Patriarchal India

December 18th, 2019


The Republic of India is often a Republic of men. While men and women nationally enjoy the same rights, we are yet to solve many of the social …

Ep. 122: The Adolescents of India

December 11th, 2019


India has made strides in improving the health, well-being and lives of infants and expecting mothers over the last several decades. But once …

Ep. 121: Improving India's State Capacity

December 4th, 2019


The Indian State has incredible ambition, but often falls very short of meeting grand outcomes. The mismatch is linked to State Capacity, a nebulous …

Ep.120: Pakistan in 2019

November 27th, 2019


What has been happening in Pakistan after Imran Khan became the Prime Minister? Why do some people want General Qamar Javed Bajwa's tenure as the army chief to come to an end? Dr Christine Fair gives us a tour of …

Ep. 119: Refugees in the 21st Century

November 20th, 2019


About 1% of the world's population today are refugees, internally displaced or stateless. They live difficult, dangerous lives, have few protections …

Ep. 118: Security in the Kashmir Valley.

November 13th, 2019


The State of Jammu & Kashmir as we know it has changed permanently in 2019. With the end of J&K's special status and the restructuring of the …

Ep. 117: The Future of Indian States

November 1st, 2019


The States Reorganisation Act came into effect 63 years ago to this day, on November 1, 1956. India's states as we know them started taking their shape then. Many states like Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal and others …

Ep. 62: (Rebroadcast) Syria and the Ugliness of Modern Warfare

October 30th, 2019


The Syrian Civil War has been raging since 2011, and crimes against humanity are being committed even in 2019. How did a peaceful protest turn into a …

Ep. 116: Drug Discovery for India

October 23rd, 2019


How is a new drug discovered or invented? What does it take for medicine to go from a small idea in a research lab all the way to your local pharmacy? How can we develop new medicines for India and Indian ailments?

Ep. 115: Engineering Interplanetary Missions

October 9th, 2019



"Rocket science" has moved well beyond rocketry in the 21st century. Even the Jet Propulsion Lab in California hasn't done any rocket …

Ep. 114: A Bottom-Up Look at India's Judiciary

October 2nd, 2019


India's judicial system operates at three levels: the Supreme Court at the national level, High Courts at the state level, and city or district level courts at the local level. A lot of the public interest in how …

Ep. 113: The Platform Economy

September 25th, 2019


The Industrial Revolution led to the creation of firms. The Information Revolution has led to the creation of platforms. Amazon and Flipkart, Ola and …

Ep. 61: (Rebroadcast) The Many Indian Genomes

September 18th, 2019


Genome sequencing and mapping is unearthing new knowledge about the origin of humans and human civilisation. More than that, genome analysis is also yielding new insights about human health, and will be vital for …

Ep. 112: The 2019 Hong Kong Protests

September 11th, 2019


Hong Kong has seen protests since March 2019, triggered by newly proposed legislation that allows Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to China or Taiwan. This is the latest round in a long conflict between the People's …

Ep. 111: India's Mental Health Challenge

September 4th, 2019


Mental health is not a first world concern, but very much an Indian challenge. Social taboos have prevented Indians from confronting mental illnesses head on and now it's estimated that there are over a 100 million …

Ep. 110: Putting Stock in the Market

August 28th, 2019


What is happening in India's stock markets right now? How do the stock markets interact with the real Indian economy? Deepak Shenoy is on Episode 110 of The Pragati Podcast to help us make sense of what is happening in …

Ep. 109: Cybersecurity: From Company to Country

August 21st, 2019


Companies around the world have been learning how to manage the safety and security of their digital assets. Can the cybersecurity logic of a private corporation be expanded to that of a nation state? Sandesh Anand …

Ep. 108: Unlocking Medical Education in India

August 15th, 2019


India has fraction of the doctors and medical professionals it needs, even as healthcare is increasingly becoming a politically important issue. In …

Ep. 107: Regulating DNA Tech

August 8th, 2019


DNA samples can today be used for creating a unique fingerprint or ID, for diagnosing cancer and heritable diseases, for telling you your ancestry or …

Ep. 106: The State of Higher Education

August 1st, 2019


Can India's higher education system thrive when the teaching profession has lost most of its status in society? What is necessary for India to …

Ep. 105: The Anti Defection Law

July 25th, 2019


How has India's anti-defection law undermined democracy in the country? How do we tackle endless horse-trading of elected representatives in India? The Anti-Defection Law stifles intra-party democracy and dissent, and …

Ep. 104: Addictive Dollar Bonds

July 18th, 2019


The Government of India has announced that it will start issuing Overseas Sovereign Bonds, thereby allowing the government to borrow in dollars from …

Ep. 103: The United Nations Explained

July 11th, 2019


India was one of the founding members of the United Nations, but as a colony of the British Empire. Almost 75 years later, the UN has shaped …

Ep. 102: Fiscal Federalism in India

July 4th, 2019


India is a Union of States, and Indian Republic's federal nature has been hardcoded into the Constitution. While political federalism is important, …

Ep. 101: Protecting the Commons

June 27th, 2019


Air pollution in our cities, vanishing groundwater, disappearing lakes and global climate change. What is common to all of them is that they suffer …

Ep. 100: A Long Strange Trip in Public Policy

June 21st, 2019


On the 100th episode of The Pragati Podcast, the tables have been turned. Host Pavan Srinath occupies the guest seat today, with Winona Laisram …

Ep. 99: Questioning Nationalism

June 13th, 2019


The world today is broadly organised into sovereign nation states, and we all believe that the Indian Nation exists and is thriving. But what is …

Ep. 98: Where is the Brexit?

June 6th, 2019


51.9 per cent of the people of Great Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016. A country divided, Brexit is still in the works three years later and it has cost them two Prime Ministers. Anupam Manur talks to …

Ep. 97: The Agenda for NDA 3.0

May 30th, 2019


The Narendra Modi-led NDA has won an unprecedented mandate for a second term in office. With a new cabinet being sworn in and 100 day plans being …

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

May 23rd, 2019


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 …

Ep. 96: Afghanistan: A Republic in Peril

May 16th, 2019


Afghanistan was all set to go to elections this summer, but Afghanistan, its State and its people are all in peril. The Taliban are now on the negotiating table with global powers, often without the presence of the …

Ep. 95: Working with Government

May 9th, 2019


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 …

Ep. 69: (Rebroadcast): Why do We Elect Criminals?

May 2nd, 2019


This is a rebroadcast of Episode 69 of The Pragati Podcast with Pavan Srinath.

Milan Vaishnav joins host Pavan Srinath on Episode 69 of The Pragati Podcast to explain elections, money and crime in India.

Milan is a …

Ep. 94: Freedom on the Internet

April 25th, 2019


Internet access is an essential part of many of our lives. And in 2019, there are more than 500 million broadband internet connections in the country. While celebrating this success, we also need to ask how our rights …

Ep. 93: Markets in Space

April 18th, 2019


Space exploration was unthinkable for anyone except the US and USSR in the early 1960s. Today, students and startups can launch satellites. Narayan Prasad joins us on this episode of The Pragati Podcast to tell us about …

Ep. 92: Public Choice, Voting and Governance

April 11th, 2019


Is it rational to vote? Is it rational for us to think about government as a benign entity? Amit Varma is back on Episode 92 of The Pragati Podcast to talk about public choice theory and how it can inform our thinking …

Ep. 91: Meet an Astronaut

April 4th, 2019


Do astronauts grow up dreaming of going to space? What makes human spaceflight special? Listen to astronaut and former head of NASA Charlie Bolden on …

Ep. 90: Not Just A Civil Servant

March 28th, 2019


We hear about the all-powerful District Collector or Deputy Commissioner in every district in India, but what do they really do? How was the …

Ep. 89: Science Journalism in India

March 21st, 2019


Great science needs great journalism, and that's in short supply in India. Nandita Jayaraj and Vasudevan Mukunth talk about science journalism on Episode 89 of The Pragati Podcast.

The Pragati Podcast is a weekly …

Ep. 88: India's Telecom Revolution

March 14th, 2019


As we enter 2019, Indians have close to 1.2 billion phone connections, and close to half a billion smartphones with 3G and 4G connections. India got here by leap-frogging over wired telephones to cellphones, and over …

Ep. 87: The Growth of Indian E-Commerce

March 7th, 2019


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

Ep. 86: Afghanistan before 9/11

February 28th, 2019


2019 is an important year for Afghanistan, with national elections scheduled for July. At the same time, the people and the State of Afghanistan …

Ep. 85: India's Strategic Culture

February 21st, 2019


Does India have a strategic culture? Does India display strategic thought and action on global affairs? There is wide-spread skepticism about India …

Ep. 84: From Academia to Entrepreneurship

February 14th, 2019


How can great academic research lead to building a great tech company? Listen to Vijay Chandru talk about his life, work and journey as one of India's first academic entrepreneurs on Episode 84 of The Pragati Podcast.

Ep. 83: Voicing India

February 7th, 2019


Podcasts are all about voices and conversations, but how did India's own voice-over industry evolve? On Episode 83 of Pragati Podcast, Shammi Narang

Ep. 82: Connectivity Raises All Boats

January 31st, 2019


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 …

Ep. 81: The Parliament and the Republic

January 26th, 2019


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 …

Ep. 80: Being a Foreign Policy Journalist in India

January 24th, 2019


How do you report on India's complex neighbourhood as a journalist in Delhi? Devirupa Mitra of The Wire talks to host Pavan Srinath on Episode 80 of …

Ep. 79: Corporate-Government Relations in India.

January 17th, 2019


How should we think of the relationship between governments and businesses? Can the private sector engage with governments in a way that doesn't …

Ep. 78: The US-China War for Technology

January 10th, 2019


The US-China Trade War goes well beyond tariffs on steel. Tariffs might just be a current battle, but the real conflict between China and the United …

Ep. 77: The US-China Tariff Battle

January 10th, 2019


A Trade War between the United States and China has dominated headlines and discussions across the world in 2018. Is this really a war? Is it a battle? Do all such metaphors distort discussions on trade? In Episode 77, …

Ep. 76: India's Successes and Failures

January 3rd, 2019


How 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 …

Ep. 75: True Financial Inclusion

December 27th, 2018


How is India doing on increasing access to finance for all its citizens? When we talk about microfinance, are we actually talking about only loans?

Malavika Raghavan has a wide-ranging conversation on financial …

Ep. 74: Why Should Indians Care About Distant ISIS?

December 20th, 2018


The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS, is rapidly losing territory and seems to be collapsing. Can this collapsing Islamic State pose new …

Ep. 73: Can the Courts Protect India's Environment?

December 13th, 2018


How well have Public Interest Litigations and the National Green Tribunal served the cause of upholding environmental concerns in India? Is it really …

Ep. 72: India Putting the Jumbo in Shrimp

December 6th, 2018


India is one of the largest producers of frozen shrimp in the world, and may take the top spot from China in 2018 or 2019. Industrialist and shrimp exporter Aditya Dash talks to Pavan Srinath and Anupam Manur on …

Ep. 71: 10 Years Later: The 26/11 Mumbai Attacks

November 29th, 2018


It has been 10 years since the 2008 Terrorist Attacks on Mumbai. Ten terrorists from the Lashkar-e-Taiba killed over 174 people in South Mumbai, and committed the one of the worst acts of terror on Indian soil. Dheeraj …

Ep. 70: Behind the Scenes of a Hostage Rescue Mission

November 22nd, 2018


What was it like to rescue Indian hostages from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan almost 20 years ago? Retired R&AW officer Anand Arni takes us …

Ep. 45: (Rebroadcast) The Magic Number to Elections

November 15th, 2018


It's election season in India again, and everybody wants to know who will win! Listen to this rebroadcast of Episode 45 of the Pragati Podcast to …

Ep. 69: Why Do We Elect Criminals?

November 8th, 2018


Why do we vote criminals and corrupt politicians into power? Can politicians really buy the votes of Indians? Does good governance translate into …

Ep. 68: Being a Foreign Correspondent in India

November 1st, 2018


How do you report on India for a global audience? What do you choose to write about? And how should we understand cronyism in Indian policy-making?

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

October 25th, 2018


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 …

Ep. 66: Myths about China

October 18th, 2018


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 …

Ep. 65: Journalism, South India Style

October 11th, 2018


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 …

Ep. 64: The Aadhaar Judgements Explained

October 4th, 2018


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

In Episode 64, The Pragati Podcast delves deep into the …

Ep. 63: Modern Cuisine meets 19th Century Governance

September 27th, 2018


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 …

Ep. 62: Syria and the Ugliness of Modern Warfare

September 20th, 2018


The Syrian Civil War has been raging since 2011. Now the war is entering a new and perhaps final phase. How did a peaceful protest turn into a …

Ep. 61: The Many Indian Genomes

September 13th, 2018


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 …

Ep. 60: The Indian Rupee in a Turkish Bath

September 6th, 2018


How do actions by President Erdoğan in Turkey affect the Indian rupee? What is the emerging market crisis that business channels keep talking about? …

Ep. 59: Trump's New Washington DC

August 30th, 2018


It's been almost two years since Donald Trump was elected the President of the United States of America. What has happened to the Washington DC ecosystem since then?

In Episode 59, Soren Dayton joins hosts Hamsini …

Ep. 58: A Thin Svaraj

August 23rd, 2018


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 …

Ep. 57: Let My Nation Awake

August 15th, 2018


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 …

Ep. 56: A Brave New World Order

August 9th, 2018


Everyone from Henry Kissinger and Donald Trump to Solomon Lane in the new Mission Impossible( movie cares …

Ep. 55: I'm not a Data Subject, but a Data Principal!

August 3rd, 2018


The Government of India is trying to create the first ever law to protect your personal data and information. The Justice Srikrishna Committee has come out with a draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018. So what's it …

Ep. 54: Privacy for 21st Century India

July 31st, 2018


Did Pakistan get a privacy law before India? What's a data protection law, and how is that different from a privacy law? Rahul Matthan(

Ep. 53: Privacy 1.0 to 3.0

July 31st, 2018


Did walls create privacy, and is the internet going to destroy it? Is Privacy a western idea, being imported to India? Rahul Matthan (

Ep. 52: A Tale of Two Nukes: North Korea (Part 2)

July 26th, 2018


If Donald Trump wants to denuclearise the Korean peninsula, how come he met with 'Little Rocket Man' In June? Why does it seem like the world has …

Ep. 51: A Tale of Two Nukes: Iran (Part 1)

July 19th, 2018


Why did Trump sign a nuclear deal with North Korea, while bailing out of a deal with Iran? Is it just Trump being Trump? Or is there more to the story? In Episode 51 of the Pragati Podcast, lawyer and analyst Ameya Naik(

Ep. 50: Eminence Before Institution

July 12th, 2018


Jio Institute. Eminence tags for only IITs Bombay and Delhi, not Chennai and Kanpur. Elections in Pakistan, after Nawaz Sharif failed to become the …

Ep. 49: The Rightness of Rights

July 5th, 2018


Is a negative right a positive idea? Why is a Right to Education problematic, but a Right to Information perfectly alright? In Episode 49 of the Pragati Podcast, Yazad Jal joins hosts Hamsini Hariharan and Pavan Srinath …

Ep. 24: (Rebroadcast) Editing Our Genes

June 27th, 2018


What does it mean to edit someone's genes? Is Malaria in its last days? What is CRISPR, if not a startup that makes chips?

Shambhavi Naik ( and Madhav Chandavarkar (

Ep. 48: 20 Million Jobs

June 21st, 2018


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(

Ep. 47: My Rupee, My Pride

June 15th, 2018


The Rupee tumbles to 68 against the US dollar. Will the dollar breach the 70-rupee mark this year? Does a weak rupee mean a weak economy?

In this …

Ep. 46: You're Scaring the Nipah Out of Me!

June 7th, 2018


What is the story behind the Nipah virus that has claimed 16 lives in Kerala? Where did it come from? How can we prevent it? Dr Shambhavi Naik joins hosts Pavan Srinath and Hamsini Hariharan to discuss the …

Ep. 32: Rebroadcast : Should We Pay for the Kaveri?

May 31st, 2018


Is Bangalore going to run out of water in a couple of years? How should Tamil Nadu and Karnatake share the Kaveri? Should we start paying for water? …

Ep. 45: The Magic Number to Elections

May 24th, 2018


What is the answer to the ultimate question of politics, elections and voting? Karthik Shashidhar joins hosts Hamsini Hariharan and Pavan Srinath to …

Ep. 44: The Art of the Deal

May 17th, 2018


Walmart buys Flipkart. Trump backs out of the Iran Nuke deal. Trump bats for a North Korea Nuke Deal.

Hosts Hamsini Hariharan and Pavan Srinath round up the news from India and around the world.

You can read the Iran …

Ep. 43: The Rockets' Red Glare

May 10th, 2018


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 …

Ep. 42: Sovereignty: From the Cholas to Wakanda

May 3rd, 2018


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 …

Ep. 41: India-US Bhai Bhai

April 26th, 2018


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 …

Ep. 40: A Six-Trillion-Dollar Goal

April 19th, 2018


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 …

Ep. 39: Of Jesters and Stand-Up Comics

April 12th, 2018


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 …

Ep. 38: A Hundred Billion Dollar Hole

April 5th, 2018


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 …

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

March 29th, 2018


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 ( …

Ep. 36: The Kangaroo-Dragon Affair

March 22nd, 2018


Ties between Australia and China are coming under strain because of worries about political funding, Chinese students, and ample amounts of rhetoric. …

Ep. 35: Biohackers and Protesting Farmers

March 15th, 2018


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 …

Ep. 34: Liberty and a Free Society

March 8th, 2018


In this episode, we'll be doing something a little different. We'll be talking about ideas, values and labels. The word Liberal has become a slur in India, but it stands for something more. What does it mean when we say …

Ep. 33: No More Big Brother

March 1st, 2018


Should India always put its neighbourhood first? Was Nehru’s foreign policy idealist or realist? How should we think of external powers acting in the …

Ep. 32: Should We Pay for the Kaveri?

February 22nd, 2018


Is Bangalore going to run out of water in a couple of years? How should Tamil Nadu and Karnatake share the Kaveri? Should we start paying for water? …

Ep. 31: The Shades of Social Credit

February 15th, 2018


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 …

Ep. 30: Power plays in the Indo-Pacific

February 8th, 2018


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 …

Ep. 29: Firing On The Line Of Control

February 1st, 2018


How serious are ceasefire violations? Why do they happen? How can India end this cycle of violence?

Ceasefire violations have become part and parcel …

Ep. 28: Looking East on Republic Day

January 25th, 2018


Why do we have ten guests of honour for the Republic Day Parade instead of one? How do domestic policy and politics affect India's foreign policy? …

Ep. 27: The Supreme Court in Crisis

January 18th, 2018


Why did four senior judges of the Supreme Court hold a press conference? Why are they complaining about the Chief Justice of India? Can we expect …

Ep. 26: The Cholas: Conquerors of Oceans

January 11th, 2018


Is it true that the Indian civilisation never attempted to conquer anything beyond the subcontinent? Did Indian and the Chinese courts establish diplomatic relations as early as the 10th century? How did trade transform …

Ep 25: The 2017 Kim Jong Awards

January 4th, 2018


Ideas are stubborn, and bad ones even more so. In North Korea, the Kim family used bad economic ideas with a heavy role for the government, no rule …

Ep.24: Editing Our Genes

December 21st, 2017


What does it mean to edit someone's genes? Is Malaria in its last days? What is CRISPR, if not a startup that makes chips?

Shambhavi Naik and Madhav Chandavarkar are guests on Episode 24 of the Pragati podcast to they …

Ep.23: What's Happened to Al Qaeda?

December 14th, 2017


What has Al Qaeda been up to since Osama? What happens in India and the subcontinent after the Islamic State falls? What does Bollywood director …

Ep.22: Death by Taxes

December 7th, 2017


Is taxation theft? Is the government of India any better than Gabbar Singh? Why do Indian actors pretend to be farmers?

Tune in episode 22 of the Pragati podcast to find out. Hosts Hamsini Hariharan and Pavan Srinath …

Ep.21: Kill the hospital, save the patient?

November 30th, 2017


Doctors protesting across Karnataka. Price controls on private medical care. Kangaroo courts for errant doctors. Missing patient empowerment. All …

Ep.20: The GDP: From World War I to Today

November 23rd, 2017


What is the GDP, and why is the world so obsessed with GDP growth? We associate human wellbeing with growth in the GDP -- but are there better measures? And what do the two World Wars and the rise of Hitler have to do …

Ep. 19: Catch up! Parking for Pollution & Asian Quadrilaterals

November 16th, 2017


Delhi has introduced high parking fees to combat pollution, but is it really helping? After a decade, the India-US-Japan-Australia quadrilateral is …

Ep. 18: All Quiet on the Western Front?

November 9th, 2017


With the impeachment of Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif and India's preoccupation with the Doklam standoff, little of the national mindspace is being occupied by Pakistan. To weigh in on current relations with our …

Ep. 17: Who Moved My Science?

November 2nd, 2017


While India has successfully sent a mission to Mars and has a globally competitive tech sector back home, we still struggle to do great scientific …

Ep. 16: The Perfidy of Parking

October 26th, 2017


Why should Indian cities consider paid parking as a solution to improve traffic? Should curbside parking be priced? In this episode of of the Pragati …

Ep. 15: Sand, Sanitation and Subsidies

October 5th, 2017


Can we use sand in India without having to deal with a sand mafia? Why do Indians have toilets at home, but defecate outside? And does anyone ever use a toilet for health reasons? Thejaswi Udupa and Nidhi Gupta join …

Ep. 14: Kabuliwaala, Trump and the GDP

September 21st, 2017


Is the Indian economy doing alright? Is it suffering from something worse than the painful effects of demonetization? Is 2017 the beginning of a new …

Ep. 13: Floods, Pyjama-Laadi and Mandarin Classes

September 7th, 2017


How do we stop urban flooding year after year? What is this mysteriously named pyjama-laadi scheme? Why should more Indians learn Mandarin? You'll …

Ep. 12: Kautilya's Legacy

August 24th, 2017


How can cities protect their heritage when growing rapidly? Why is India deporting 40,000 refugees? How should we think of the trajectory of India's …

Ep. 11: The sky is falling! IT is imploding!

August 10th, 2017


How do the recent job losses in the IT industry impact the economy? Did Nawaz Sharif really lose prime ministership over a font? What's with the inflation targeting mechanisms? In the first half of the 11th episode, …

Ep. 10: Terms and Conditions Apply

July 27th, 2017


Do you own your data? What do you give up every time you sign up for something new on the interweb? In the 10th episode of the Pragati Podcast, …

Ep. 09: Of Tax Reforms and Secularism

July 13th, 2017


Have the photos of food on your timeline been replaced by photos of bills? In the ninth episode of The Pragati Podcast, Hamsini Hariharan sits down with Anupam Manur, Research Fellow at the Takshashila Institution to …

Ep. 08: ISRO, Indian Ocean and Infrastructure

June 29th, 2017


Will ISRO be relevant in ten years? Will Britain give up its last colony in the Indian Ocean? How should India think China's infrastructure projects? …

Ep. 07: Ms. Robot, I Have a Doubt

June 15th, 2017


Not sure which TV show to pick up next? In the 7th episode of the Pragati Podcast, Hamsini Hariharan and Pavan Srinath discuss a number of shows that …

Ep. 06: Till Divorce do Us Part

June 1st, 2017


In the sixth episode of The Pragati Podcast, Pavan Srinath and Hamsini Hariharan talk about where the jobs have gone, the crackdown on conjunctions at World Bank, civil- military relations and Shuajiao Baba. In the …

Ep. 05: The Illicit Episode

May 18th, 2017


Pavan Srinath and Hamsini Hariharan catch up on some reading while the hullaballoo of the GST and the One Belt, One Road Project reverberates in the …

Ep. 04: Right wing, left wing or wrong wing?

May 4th, 2017


Left or right? Liberal or conservative? Paper or plastic? Political identities and political labels are becoming popular these days, when someone is …

Ep. 03: Budgets at Home and Military Ops Abroad

April 20th, 2017


The first full Pragati Podcast covers everything from swimming pools in Udupi to Indian military adventures in West Africa. As the budget season …

Ep. 02: The Answer is Tourism

April 19th, 2017


The American economist Alex Tabarrok, who is in Mumbai these days, feels that tourism could be "India's leading export sector." In his piece in …

Ep. 01: What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been

April 19th, 2017


Welcome to the first episode of The Pragati Podcast. As Pragati relaunches, editor Amit Varma gets together with founder Nitin Pai and frequent …

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