‘At least they have a job’ : Objectivity, social sciences & my research

In the last six months that I have been researching work in gig economy in Bengaluru I have had to revise my idealism and those social science theories that I carried from university.

Notes from an Indian highway

Towns and villages along Indian highways that connect major cities are being transformed in ways that will have significant bearing on the growth trajectory of this country. It is in these locations that India is changing perhaps more rapidly. One tends to imagine the metropolis as a site of reading transformation in a society, which […]

[Policy Thinking]: A Flowchart

In the type of work we do in our consulting practice – research, evaluation and advisory, there is seldom time to develop theoretical insights, during the preparatory phase or during an ongoing work. It helps us to have (relatively) quick process flows; application oriented concepts and most importantly actionable insights. This is where one cannot […]

Economics, Development & Policy Takeaways, 2017

It has been an extraordinary year in academic realm, especially in public policy and economics. This is the year when economics got realistic, if one regards the annual Nobel Prize in Economics as a defining moment in economics research. Richard Thaler won it for for showing how the human traits of ‘limited rationality, social preferences, and lack of […]

How to Get Away with Any Kind of Reporting in India

What follows is a response, partly visceral, to NYT’s piece How To Get Away With Murder in Small-Town India by its India bureau chief Ellen Barry, this week. It isn’t a personal attack on Ellen Barry. The piece is very well written and would hold for me as a sample of impactful writing,  It is also […]

Workers of the world can’t unite: May Day in neo-liberal times

Walking with workers on May Day morning was a humbling experience. Workers’ unions from various establishments across the state showed up for May Day rally at the Town Hall yesterday. I was also filling up the last of my field trips for masters’ thesis. So, this also comes from my field notes. The roads in […]

Kathmandu: Thamel, Jamel and the local

Among the capitals of the world Kathmandu perhaps has nothing noteworthy than its location on the road to Himalayas.The famous ones make it to the lists – “best cities to…” (travel, live, work etc). Whereas, Kathmandu makes it to none. This capital is on the itinerary than being on the bests list. It already does […]

The cross seems heavy to bear

In Oct – Nov, 2016 I spent six weeks in Scandinavia (Norway mostly) and in countries of Western Europe. This was to be my roving introduction to the region. To a traveler, the time he visits always appear as an interesting time. Likewise with me! It was to do with Brexit, immigration crisis and the […]

The Middle Path to Development: Lessons from Bhutan’s environment policy

If there is a place which can make a traveler feel intimate with it in the shortest time since her arrival, Paro would be it. A gushing river of clear water and a fort marks the entrance to the town. The air is an invitation to inhale deep and a reminder that this is not […]

Quick Take: Policy as the new law

Is policy the new law? The quick take here pursues this question. The observation appears to hold ground considering the manner in which important decisions are made and implemented by governments worldwide, although this applies more to democracies than other forms of political systems. There is an increasing preference to policy making over law making. This […]