The Diplomat

Taking India’s Climate Migrants Seriously

Last year, a little over 1,300 people lost their lives and several thousands were displaced because of incessant flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. The scale of the destruction was massive, with over 41 million people affected and 950,000 houses destroyed. This year is proving to be no different. Over the last couple of months, a large section of Northeast India has been severely ravaged by flash floods with over 100,000 affected in Assam alone. The situation is equally bad in the states

The Good Days Are Over: The Indian Economy has an Oil Problem

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office in 2014, the price of crude oil was an astronomical $106.85 per barrel. To his great fortune, in a short period of 15 months, the price would fall to an all-time low of $28.08 per barrel, with India’s import bill dropping a little over $75 billion between 2013–2014 and 2016–2017. Capitalising on this bonanza, the government would continue to impose an excise duty and VAT on petrol and diesel to further boost its revenues. Unfortunately, the government’s days of luck might have run out.
Huffington Post India

Germany's On Board, But Smart City Project Needs Government To Think Harder Too

The year 2015 has been a rather eventful one for Indo-German cooperation. In January, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and the visiting German Minister Barbara Hendricks signed an agreement, with Germany deciding to partner with India in developing three smart cities; a six-member joint committee was set up to evolve the way forward. Prime Minister Modi and Indian MNCs were then invited to Hannover in April for the world's largest annual industrial fair and a number of agreements larg
Scroll.in

Climate change: Powerful US cities are filling the space vacated by Donald Trump

When US President Donald Trump announced that his country would be pulling out of the Paris agreement, the immediate reaction across the globe was one of despair, anger and helplessness. The Paris agreement is widely seen as the last opportunity for the world to unite and limit the increase in global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius. How can this international agreement remain relevant when the world’s second-largest polluter chooses to remain outside its ambit and is not willing to be held res
The Conversation

How World Cities Moving Forward on Climate Change Leave the US President Behind

When US President Donald Trump announced that his country would be pulling out of the Paris agreement, the immediate reaction across the globe was one of despair, anger and helplessness. The Paris agreement is widely seen as the last opportunity for the world to unite and limit the increase in global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius. How can this international agreement remain relevant when the world’s second-largest polluter chooses to remain outside its ambit and is not willing to be held res
The Wire

How World Cities Moving Forward on Climate Change Leave the US President Behind

When US President Donald Trump announced that his country would be pulling out of the Paris agreement, the immediate reaction across the globe was one of despair, anger and helplessness. The Paris agreement is widely seen as the last opportunity for the world to unite and limit the increase in global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius. How can this international agreement remain relevant when the world’s second-largest polluter chooses to remain outside its ambit and is not willing to be held res
Project Earth

The Global Community of Cities Will Overcome Trump's Antiquated Climate Actions

When US President Donald Trump announced that his country would be pulling out of the Paris agreement, the immediate reaction across the globe was one of despair, anger and helplessness. The Paris agreement is widely seen as the last opportunity for the world to unite and limit the increase in global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius. How can this international agreement remain relevant when the world’s second-largest polluter chooses to remain outside its ambit and is not willing to be held res
Mint

The Vexed Question of Financing Indian Cities

About 814 million people are expected to live in Indian cities by 2050. Just in terms of scale, the task of effectively managing cities in India will potentially be touted as the world’s greatest managerial challenge. And while China might have an almost equal number living in its cities, it is better poised to handle its urban explosion than India. The numbers paint a disappointing picture. A 2010 McKinsey report estimates that India will need to spend $1.2 trillion by 2030, a far cry from current spending estimates. India’s annual per capita spending on cities stands at a measly $50. The corresponding figures for China and the UK are about $362 and $1,772, respectively.
Ideas for India

Financing Cities in India

At present, the government’s flagship urban development schemes including the Smart Cities Mission, AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation)1, HRIDAY (Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana)2 , etc. funds only a fraction of the required investment and cities are tasked with finding other ways to bridge the funding gap. For example, under the Smart Cities Mission, the government has allocated US$15 billion for a 100 cities to be disbursed over four years, with equ
The Diplomat

Amid Climate Disasters, South Asia’s Cities Need to Focus on Resilience

The last three months have been disastrous for large parts of South Asia. In India and Bangladesh alone, over 1,200 have lost their lives to flooding and 950,000 houses have been destroyed, affecting more than 41 million people. In Nepal, at least 143 people have died, and more than 460,000 people have been displaced from their homes. It doesn’t help that the region is one of the wettest in the world and receives an average annual rainfall of 1,000 millimeters (39.4 inches). The situation is wo
Medium

The Story of Nigeria’s Cursed Resource

Prior to the 1970’s, a number of development economists held the view that nations endowed with significant natural resource wealth, were poised to embark on a trajectory of rapid economic growth in the coming few decades. The end of the 2nd World War had filled the international community with optimism that these new found resources could prove to be the magic potion in efforts aimed at combating poverty and curtailing the economic inequality between the global south and north. As a country imp
Decent Neta

Why Effective Global Climate Governance Might Just Remain a Utopian Dream

175 countries signed the historic Paris climate deal in New York on 22nd April to coincide with International Earth Day, a deal that is being seen by many as our last chance to stabilise carbon dioxide concentration at 450-550 ppm and limit change in temperature to 1.5-2 degrees. Speaking at the event, actor Leonardo Di Caprio’s words reiterated the desired urgency, Whether this deal signed effectively puts us on the pathway to a secure climate future is debatable. It does initially succeed
Book Chapter| Palgrave Macmillan

Crony Capitalism and India’s Political System

The crooked politician needs the businessman to provide the funds that allow him to supply patronage to the poor and fight elections. The corrupt businessman needs the crooked politician to get public resources and contracts cheaply. And the politician needs the votes of the poor and the underprivileged. Every constituency is tied to the other in a cycle of dependence, which ensures that the status quo prevails. The following quote by Raghuram Rajan (2014), governor of the Reserve Bank of India
Huffington Post India

Why We Need To Actively Involve Indian Citizens In Urban Planning

Over the years, governance structures in most Indian cities have followed a simple and traditional top-down approach with little or no room for citizen engagement. People rely on the good intentions of the mayor or the municipal corporation, who they trust will take decisions in the overall interest of its citizens. This system has worked fairly smoothly in most Indian cities as the focus of urban local bodies has essentially been on the provision of basic services. And while expectations may ha
The Diplomat

Smart Cities: A Long Road Ahead For India

Just in terms of scale, there is no greater a managerial challenge in the world than the impending urbanization crisis that is about to hit India. A mammoth 600 million Indians are expected to live in cities by 2030, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the GDP. It is currently estimated that 30 people migrate every minute to major Indian cities from rural areas. The familiar adage that India lives in its villages is bound to become irrelevant in the next couple of decades. However, these cities,
Gateway House

Modi-Merkel: Smart City diplomacy

It has been ten months since India and Germany signed an agreement to partner in developing three smart cities. The government now seriously needs to move beyond slogans and aspirations and start addressing the more pressing issues specific to smart city development. Then only will the Modi-Merkel diplomacy be viewed as a success at home. Chancellor Angela Merkel is on a three-day visit to India. German assistance for India’s smart city mission is expected to feature prominently in discussions
Huffington Post India

The Comprehensive Guide To Being An Insensitive Indian Politician

If you are an Indian politician, it is critical that you come across as naturally insensitive or inconsiderate. The ability to swiftly make crass and regressive statements is now a vital and indispensable skill every Indian politician must strive to master through an unwavering level of commitment and practice. And if you are one of those empathetic politicians who feels the need to act on feelings, show concern or support and you aren't doing all of this for the "photo opportunity", then god sa
Huffington Post India

The Shameful Reality Of The Elections In Bihar

In the mid 90s, Bihar was famously gripped by a parallel mafia government that controlled dealings relating to land, mining, sand, liquor, excise, forest etc. The mafia not only utilised the levers of the government to further their interests but also ensured that officials' postings were short lived; this meant investigations initiated against them bore little fruit. They enjoyed the support of political parties as election victory depended on the muscle and money power of mafias rather than th
Swarajya

How Hawala Money May Be Influencing Bihar Elections

A hawala route leading to Bihar could resemble this: six months prior to elections, hawala money starts entering India and via installments, the money is transferred during various phases of election campaigns. The origin of the funding is usually Dubai. Funds are illegally routed from Dubai or Karachi (sometimes with the help of the D-company). The Dubai market rumoured to be directly under the control of the ISI, which has used this route in the past to move terror and drug money. The next sto
Huffington Post India

Why Paris Must Not Repeat Kyoto's Mistakes

World leaders and climate negotiators from 195 countries are in Paris for the 21st Conference of Parties Summit (COP21), with the intention of hammering out a new international climate deal. Over the years, little has been achieved in our fight against climate change. While the current greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are already close to 400 parts per million (from pre industrial revolution levels of 273ppm), in a business as usual scenario, this could eventually touch 750ppm (a
Load More Articles