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

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

Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 2: Is there an alternative to entitlements for the social sector?

Given India’s deep and wide poverty, anti-poverty programmes have been the hallmark of most governments in the past 60 years. That they have clearly not worked is evident in the poverty numbers. Be it in urban India or in rural India, even as a small part of India shines, a large fraction of the population … Continue reading Big Ideas for India Contest: Question 2: Is there an alternative to entitlements for the social sector?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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