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Big Ideas for India Contest: Epilogue

May 6th, 2011 · 4 Comments

This brings to a close the contest. Some closing thoughts: We need to educate ourselves about the process of development. This is important if we have to answer two key questions – why is India poor, and what can be done to make India a rich, developed country in a generation (say by 2040)? India’s [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Winners – 7

May 5th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Winner 11, Abhishek Puri: Broadband. This is one answer and highly underrated option. The following scenario is envisaged: 1) Optic fibres running across to get the data without caps. We need fibre to home instead of outdated copper. Last mile access is contentious; while opening up last mile for private players is contentious, this needs [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Winners – 6

May 4th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Anshuman Goenka’s second response to Question 10   “How Can We Change the Functioning of the Education Sector?”: Start with an imaginative vision for the sector.  This could be, for illustration, Accelerated universal literacy: Currently India’s literacy is 74%, up from 65% in 2001. Functional literacy is lower. At the current rate, we would be fully [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Winners – 5

May 3rd, 2011 · 2 Comments

Winner 10: Anshuman Goenka, in response to Question 1 – “What should the government’s role be in India?”:  To answer this question in the context of India 2011, and avoiding the temptation to venture into political theory, one can think of two main areas into which specifics can be built in – the political role, [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Winners – 4

May 2nd, 2011 · 5 Comments

Winner 7: Prakash, in response to multiple questions: 1. India should have a high land tax. A high land tax will automatically incentivise the best usage of land. A tax slab, beginning at land value of Rs 15 lakhs onwards, maybe. That should protect most subsistence farmers.It will either improve the government revenue, or bring [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Winners – 3

April 29th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Winner 5: Rakesh Babu, in response to multiple questions: We need electoral reforms first, then you can continue with the economic reforms. This will solve 90% of the problems ** Information to farmers about what crops to grow, what the prices are etc. ** Make users pay more for using electricity at peak time. Give [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Winners – 2

April 28th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Winner 3, Mockingbuddha, in response to Should India be a soft state or an assertive one? A little bit of history. America faced this problem while it was growing big, in fact one of its Presidents got elected for saying that America will stay out of world politics. They even tried to stay out of [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Winners – 1

April 27th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Over the next few days, I will reproduce excerpts from the winning entries. The detailed responses for most of the winners can be found in the comments of the original posts. The winners, in no particular order: Winner 1: FirstBallSix, in response to “Is there an alternative to entitlements for the social sector?” At this [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Winners

April 26th, 2011 · 4 Comments

We have chosen 11 winners. Each of the winners will receive a copy of Atanu’s book “Transforming India: Big Ideas for a Developed India” soon. The winners: FirstBallSix Aaren Mockingbuddha Sushil Umang Saini Prakash Rakesh Babu Pratik Mhatre Jeevak Kasarkod Anshuman Goenka Abhishek Puri Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to everyone for having participate. [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: 150 Responses

April 25th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Thanks very much for the response to the Big Ideas for India Contest. There were 150 responses in all to the 13 questions. I want to thank you all for the participation, and apologise in advance if you thought your answer was better than one of the winners we have picked. There is always a [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 13: What can be done to improve India’s information infrastructure?

April 15th, 2011 · 8 Comments

Information availability is a key component of decision-making in any institution – be they corporations or governments. The Indian government has hoarded information. This asymmetry loads the dice against citizens and their participation in the decision-making process. The Right to Information Act passed in 2005 tries to prise out information from government. Is that the [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 12: How do we address India’s mass transportation needs?

April 14th, 2011 · 11 Comments

India’s transportation sector needs rapid change. For many decades, we barely built quality roads or added to the train network. Over the past few years, the slight momentum in road-building at the turn of the century has also slowed.While air travel has boomed with competition in the sector leading to increased availability and lower prices, [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 11: What can be done to improve quality and availability of healthcare across India?

April 13th, 2011 · 5 Comments

One of the more stark indicators of India’s health challenges is that half of India’s kids below five years of age suffer from malnourishment.Together with education, health is the other social sector that needs urgent attention. With costs of healthcare rising and insurance still not widespread, there is a crying need to ensure that there [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 10: How do we change the functioning of the education sector?

April 12th, 2011 · 10 Comments

No social sector has been harmed by the government’s action as much as education. Near complete control of the sector coupled with a disregard for the quality of education has set India back substantially in the development process. Manufacturing needs an educated workforce. Neither is India getting education, and nor are people getting the right [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 9: How do we serve the needs of India’s rural population?

April 11th, 2011 · 6 Comments

India has a large rural population of about 700+ million people. Living in one of India’s 600,000 villages is tough – with the large majority facing the dual challenges of low incomes and the lack of availability of basic services that we take so much for granted in urban India. There is a need to [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 8: How should India urbanise?

April 8th, 2011 · 6 Comments

With India’s big cities bursting at their seams and with small towns growing rapidly (as the latest census shows), India is urbanising rapidly. Even as one focuses on what can be made to improve quality of life in the existing towns and cities, there is a need to think of creating entirely new cities. The [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 7: What should India’s energy focus be?

April 7th, 2011 · 9 Comments

It is a shocking fact that apart from a few notable exceptions, India does not have adequate uninterrupted electrical power supply. Our energy policies seem to be a decade or more behind our needs. And with oil prices staying in the $100+ per barrel range, energy availability  becomes a key issue that has the potential [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 6: What is needed for Indian agriculture to become more productive?

April 6th, 2011 · 13 Comments

For India to develop, the shift from an agricultural economy to one driven by manufacturing and services is critical. Labour needs to be freed up from agriculture. For that, agriculture needs to become more productive. Reforms in the agricultural markets are important for increasing farm incomes. There are too many intermediaries – including the government [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 5: Which are the key economic reforms India needs to pursue?

April 5th, 2011 · 9 Comments

India’s first-generation of economic reforms started in 1991 and continued for much of the next decade under different governments. But over the past few years, for a variety of reasons, they have stopped. Even as the economy chugs along powered by the private sector, there are clear limits to how fast it can grow and [...]

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Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 4: Should India be a soft state or an assertive one?

April 1st, 2011 · 6 Comments

The last question on the governance model (before we move on to specific sectors) relates to how India should be perceived globally and in the neighbourhood. Sandwiched between Pakistan and China, India has few options to maneuver. Is there such a thing as a soft state? Is our ‘softness’ with its genesis in the non-aligned [...]

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