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Building Sustainable & Scalable Migration Practises: Safe & Responsible Migration Initiative

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant humanitarian crisis brought migration to the fore in the Indian policy and development discourse. It made visible the significant role of migrant workers in our cities and economy and also made visible the multiple vulnerabilities they experienced. It became obvious that a robust society and economy would need significant focus on improving the safety nets and living conditions of low-income migrants, especially those crossing state borders.

Building Digital Rails for Urban India - Why We Invested in eGovernments Foundation

Setup in 2003, eGovernments Foundation aims to catalyse urban transformation and enhance ease of living and ease of doing business at a national scale. To that end, it builds and deploys DIGIT, a National Open Digital Ecosystem (NODE) in cities across India. The platform helps digitize and automate back-end processes and enables citizens to access government services on their mobile phones.

Leveraging the Power of Collaboratives to Advance Change: Why We Invested in RCRC’s Research Initiative

In 2020, a number of prominent livelihoods focussed Civil-Society Organisations (CSOs) across the country came together to form a National Coalition to enable a Rapid Rural Community or RCRC. Realising the devasting impact of the pandemic very early on, these organizations quickly understood that there was much to do together than they could otherwise do alone. One of the first tasks the coalition took up was to devise surveys to identify the short, medium and long-term impact of the pandemic o

An Entrepreneurial Approach to Tackling Poverty: Why We Invested in The/Nudge Foundation

India suffers from extreme economic inequality with 373 million ‘multi-dimensionally poor’ and 145 million Indians living below the poverty line, as per World Bank estimates. A recent 2020 report by the World Economic Forum also states that Indians born into poor families will take seven generations to reach the country’s mean income. With India accounting for 60% of the global increase in poverty, there is an urgent need for innovation and a strong bias for action.

Why we are partnering with CIIE.CO – Flourishing entrepreneurship in CivicTech, PropTech & LegalTech across India

History is replete with narratives of human resilience through ingenuity often also termed as innovation. Innovation combined with entrepreneurship has played a critical role from the industrial revolution to the present digital revolution in wresting control in favour of progress and human agency. India has leapfrogged legacy systems to innovate on the shoulders of millions of smartphones and access to internet. There was a unique convergence of digital infrastructures such as India Stack, pol

State Government-led collaboratives shed light on urgently needed solutions for migrant workers

The pandemic has highlighted the poor state of India’s 80-130 million migrant workers, who make up the informal workforce, powering high-growth sectors such as construction, manufacturing and urban services in India. The second COVID wave has been a particularly sobering reality check. It has shown the complex nature of this issue and the deep, multi-stakeholder resolve needed to secure a paradigm shift in the livelihoods and living conditions of migrant labour. The recent resurgence of COVID an

ESG Risks: Investors & Indian Boards

Companies that successfully incorporate sustainability into their core business strategy are better positioned to lead in an evolving, complex and increasingly transparent marketplace. These companies are also more attractive to institutional investors and are likely to attract the bulk of capital investments going forward. Barring a few exceptions in recent years, Indian companies have been notorious for poor ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) / sustainability standards. Though fundame

India Election Update: An Arranged Marriage in Delhi

With over 900 million eligible Indian voters likely to use their voting rights to elect 543 members for the lower house of the India parliament, a certain level of nervousness on the part of the political class seems natural. The central plot is a spending contest between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, as to who will cobble together a winning coalition to form the next government - a little like an expensive arranged marriage in Delhi (the last election expense b

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.

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

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

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
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