• In this episode, Tanvi Ratna, CEO of Policy 4.0, joins Priyadarshini, Associate Fellow, Carnegie India, to discuss the cryptocurrency space in India. World over, cryptocurrencies have reached a market capitalization of more than 2.5 trillion dollars in a little over a decade, since Satoshi Nakamoto--the person(s) who remain anonymous to this day--released the white paper on Bitcoin and set off this wild ride. In early 2020, the Supreme Court overturned the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on cryptocurrency transactions in India. Following this decision, cryptocurrency purchases in the country have soared.

    But the rapid rise in cryptocurrencies has met with concern from the government and regulators especially due to their price volatility and lack of transparency. In the last month itself, the squid-game token fiasco led to massive losses for the investors of this cryptocurrency. In recognition of these concerns, the union government will soon introduce a bill which seeks to ban all private cryptocurrencies, in favor of a public digital currency.

    Tune in to know what sort of investors characterize India’s cryptocurrency space? How could a renewed ban on all private cryptocurrencies play out? And finally, what does the global growth of cryptocurrencies indicate for the future of India’s financial system?


    Global Technology Summit 2021

    In case you enjoyed the discussion, be sure to register here for Carnegie India's Global Technology Summit 2021, where we'll be hosting many such discussions with experts and decision-makers on encryption, cryptocurrencies, data protection, the QUAD, AUKUS, and much more!


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  • In this episode, Deep Pal joins Shibani Mehta to delve deep into China’s influence in South Asia. In recent years, China’s engagement in South Asia has expanded significantly beyond commercial and development projects to encompass political and security interests. While this interaction often targets the needs of specific countries, even states with relatively robust state institutions and civil society struggle to grapple with the implications of China’s expanded footprint. Those without strong governance remain even more vulnerable to external interference in national affairs.

    China’s meteoric economic rise has resulted in a massive expansion in its international economic aid and development programs. China is thus emerging as an attractive alternative to the established players in the global development space, such as the IMF and the World Bank. However, analysts suggest that development aid is often unsustainable for the host country, creating onerous debt obligations while making only marginal contributions to local employment.

    How has China's profile as a key economic partner developed in the South Asian region? What impact has China’s economic aid had on its political influence in the region? And finally, how should India respond to China’s economic clout in South Asia?

    Deep Pal is a visiting scholar in the Asia program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is also a non-resident fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR). Before this, he has worked with NBR, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., and at the Institute of International Relations in Taipei, Taiwan. He also has a decade’s experience as a broadcast journalist for some of the most-watched television stations in India. Deep has recently authored the report ‘China’s Influence in South Asia: Vulnerabilities and Resilience in Four Countries’. Twitter: @DeepPal_

    Shibani Mehta is a research analyst with the Security Studies Program at Carnegie India. Her research focuses on India’s security and foreign policies. Twitter: @mehtasaurus


    China’s Influence in South Asia: Vulnerabilities and Resilience in Four Countries by Deep Pal


    To Follow our Work:

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  • In this episode, Matthew D. Green joins Udbhav Tiwari to delve into the debate surrounding end-to-end encryption. In February, the Indian government issued new rules requiring companies like WhatsApp to implement traceability in their end-to-end encrypted communications platforms. The decision originated from the government’s concerns about the proliferation of illegal activities on these services, including terrorism, child-abuse, and the spread of fake news. India’s actions come amidst a growing global debate concerning government access to encrypted data. While advocates claim that state access to end-to-end encrypted messages benefits national security, opponents argue that it constitutes a dangerous breach of privacy, while worsening cybersecurity standards.

    Is it possible to apply traceability without impacting the core benefits of end-to-end encryption? Could India’s adoption of this requirement hamper the cybersecurity of the country? And finally, how will the growing concerns about this system impact the future of encryption technology?

    Matthew Green is an associate professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University. He is a nationally recognized expert on applied cryptography and cryptographic engineering. He is one of the creators of the Zerocash protocol, which is used by the Zcash cryptocurrency, and is also a founder of the encryption startup Zeutro. Twitter: @matthew_d_green

    Udbhav Tiwari is a public policy advisor for Mozilla and a nonresident fellow at Carnegie India. Twitter: @udbhav_tiwari

    Further Reading:

    A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering by Matthew Green (Blog)

    Carnegie Publications on the Encryption Debate Across the World:

    Understanding the Encryption Debate in India by Anirudh Burman and Prateek Jha

    The Encryption Debate in India: 2021 Update by Trisha Ray

    The Encryption Debate in China: 2021 Update by Lorand Laskai, Adam Segal

    The Encryption Debate in Brazil: 2021 Update by Priscilla Silva, Ana Lara Mangeth, Christian Perrone

    The Encryption Debate in Australia: 2021 Update by Stilgherrian

    The Encryption Debate in Germany: 2021 Update by Sven Herpif, Julia Schuetze

    The Encryption Debate in the European Union: 2021 Update by Maria Koomen


    To Follow our Work:

    Website: www.carnegieindia.org

    Twitter: www.twitter.com/carnegieindia

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/CarnegieIndia/

    Youtube: www.youtube.com/c/CarnegieIndia/videos

  • In this episode, Shanthie Mariet D'Souza joins Shibani Mehta to analyze the question of aid and development in a Taliban led Afghanistan. The Western withdrawal from Afghanistan and the ensuing ascent of the Taliban has led to the collapse of the Afghan economy. The foreign aid, crucial towards sustaining the economy, has mostly stopped, resulting in food shortages, a decline in the value of local currency and a collapsing health system. While $1.2 billion has been pledged by international donors, it remains unclear whether this will be sufficient in restoring any semblance of normalcy in Afghanistan. How will aid to Afghanistan be structured after the ascent of the Taliban government? How will India, a key development partner in Afghanistan, approach its aid policy in the wake of the Taliban takeover? And finally, what will this situation mean for the future of Afghanistan’s development?

    Shanthie Mariet D’Souza is the founder and president of Mantraya, an independent research forum that seeks to make constructive contributions in the realm of strategy, innovation and alternatives. She is also a founding professor at the Kautilya School of Public Policy, at GITAM University, Hyderabad.

    Shibani Mehta is a research analyst with the Security Studies Program at Carnegie India. Her research focuses on India’s security and foreign policies.

    Further Reading

    No Time to Lose on Afghanistan by Shanthie Mariet D'Souza

    Interview: Shanthie Mariet D’Souza on how India was ‘ill-prepared’ for the dramatic Taliban takeover by Rohan Venkataramakrishnan

  • With the conclusion of the first in-person QUAD leaders’ summit, the 76th Session of the UNGA, the SCO summit, and the AUKUS alliance, the last two weeks have been momentous for world politics. In this episode of Interpreting India, Gautam Bambawale joins Deep Pal to discuss the major foreign policy events of the last two weeks and India’s contribution to them. How will the AUKUS alliance impact the QUAD and India in specific? How will the events of last week determine the international community’s response to the Taliban? And finally, what significance do these events hold for the future of Indian foreign policy?

    Gautam Bambawale is an Indian diplomat. He has served as India's Ambassador to Bhutan, Pakistan, and China. Deep Pal is a visiting fellow in the Asia program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

  • In this episode, Rumi Aijaz joins Anirudh Burman to discuss Delhi’s new Draft Master Plan, 2041. How has it improved upon the shortcomings of the preceding master plans? How does it compare with the planning process across other cities in India?

    In July, the Delhi Development Authority released the draft Master Plan 2041, making it the fourth master plan released for the city since the start of this process in 1957. It follows the city’s Master Plan 2021, which aimed to make Delhi a global metropolis and a world-class city. However, it was criticized for its reduced responsiveness to the needs of low-income communities and its inability to meet targets on time. The Master Plan Delhi 2041 also comes after the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic that devastated the health and sanitation resources of the city. In this episode, this episode discusses if Delhi's new Draft Master Plan 2041 is able to overcome some of the shortcomings of the previous master plans.

    Rumi Aijaz is a senior fellow at Observer Research Foundation, where he is responsible for the Urban Policy Research Initiative. His research focuses on building a better understanding of urban issues to produce new and correct knowledge for managing urban growth in India.

    Anirudh Burman is an associate research director and fellow at Carnegie India. He works on key issues relating to public institutions, public administration, the administrative and regulatory state, and state capacity.

    References and Further Reading:

    Delhi's Draft Master Plan 2041 Delhi Development Authority

    Delhi Master Plan 2021–41: Towards a People’s City? by Rumi Aijaz

    The Smart Cities Mission in Delhi, 2015-2019: An Evaluation by Rumi Aijaz

    Land Title Insurance in India: Lessons from U.S. Regulatory Approaches by Anirudh Burman

  • In this episode of Interpreting India, Avinash Paliwal and Thomas Ruttig join Deep Pal to analyze the present situation in Afghanistan, what the implications of the U.S. withdrawal might be, and what this might mean for India and other countries involved.

    Episode Background:

    The withdrawal of the United States and its NATO allies from Afghanistan has led to concerns over the Kabul government’s ability to survive in the face of an aggressive Taliban onslaught. The peace process, which the U.S. had initiated between the Taliban and the Afghan government, has also stalled without achieving a settlement. While President Ghani has asserted that the government forces are prepared to meet the challenges that the withdrawal presents, analysts remain pessimistic about the possibilities.

    Episode Contributors:

    Avinash Paliwal is a senior lecturer in International Relations and deputy director of the SOAS South Asia Institute | Twitter: @PaliwalAvi

    Thomas Ruttig is co-founder and co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network | Twitter: @thruttig

    Deep Pal is a visiting fellow in the Asia program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | Twitter: @DeepPal_

    Episode Timestamps:

    2:26 The Current Situation and Prospects for Peace

    8:48 On the Possibility of a Power-Sharing Agreement

    16:01 The Taliban and its Factions, and the India-Pakistan Dyad

    54:58 On the Role of Other Countries and Players

    57:40 Where is the Conflict Headed?

    Further Reading:

    A Troika of Four: Looking back at the March 2021 Afghanistan meeting in Moscow by Thomas Ruttig

    Afghanistan After the US Withdrawal: An Elusive Peace by Thomas Ruttig

    Engaging with the Taliban is Necessary by Avinash Paliwal

    Sino twist to Af-Pak puzzle: Given China’s Forays, India’s Afghanistan Strategy Must Look at Iran, Taliban, and Even Pakistan by Avinash Paliwal

    My Enemy's Enemy: India in Afghanistan from the Soviet Invasion to the US by Avinash Paliwal

  • In this episode, Rajeswari Sengupta joins Suyash Rai to evaluate the health of India’s financial sector. Together, they assess the impact of the second wave on India's financial sector. What measures can be taken to address some of its main issues? And finally, what does the health of the financial sector mean for the broader economy?

    Rajeswari Sengupta is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) in Mumbai, India. In the past she has held research positions at the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) in Chennai, the Reserve Bank of India, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in Washington D.C.

    Suyash Rai is a Fellow at Carnegie India. His research focuses on the political economy of economic reforms and the performance of public institutions in India.


    Non-performing Assets in Indian Banks by Rajeswari Sengupta and Harsh Vardhan

    Regime changes in Indias monetary policy and Tenures of RBI governors by Rajeswari Sengupta and Utso Pal Mustafi

  • Zaha Hassan and Nicolas Blarel join Carnegie India's Shibani Mehta to discuss the Israel-Palestine conflict. On May 10th, a raid on the Al Aqsa mosque by the Israeli police left hundreds of Palestinians injured. This cascaded into a war between Israel and Hamas. The ensuing violence has led to hundreds of casualties. A tenuous ceasefire has for now halted the violence, but it is likely that it will significantly change the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Already, several analysts have alleged that the violence marks the death knell for the already fragile peace process and the two-state solution. Other scholars point to the growing embrace of more radical solutions to the conflict in both the Israeli and the Palestinian side. This episode of Interpreting India assesses some of the broader effects of the present conflict. What does it mean for the two-state solution and the peace process? How has the international society and India reacted to the crisis? And finally, what shall be its likely impact on the future of the Arab-Israeli conflict?

    Zaha Hassan is a human rights lawyer and visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her research focus is on Palestine-Israel peace, the use of international legal mechanisms by political movements, and U.S. foreign policy in the region. Previously, she was the coordinator and senior legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team during Palestine’s bid for UN membership, and was a member of the Palestinian delegation to Quartet-sponsored exploratory talks between 2011 and 2012. She regularly participates in track II peace efforts.

    Nicolas Blarel is Associate Professor of International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands. He studies foreign and security policy-making, the politics of power transition in global politics, the politics of migration governance, and the international politics of South Asia. He has previously worked with the French Foreign Ministry’s policy planning staff (Centre d’Analyses, de Prévision, et de Stratégie) and has been a visiting fellow at various research institutions.

    Shibani Mehta is a Research Analyst at Carnegie India.

    Further Reading:

    Bringing Assistance to Israel in Line With Rights and U.S. Laws by Zaha Hassan, Salih Booker, and Josh Ruebner

    Modi looks West? Assessing change and continuity in India’s Middle East policy since 2014 by Nicolas Blarel

    Breaking the Israel-Palestine Status Quo by Zaha Hassan, Daniel Levy, Hallaamal Keir, and Marwan Muasher

    An Indian return to the Gaza strip? New Delhi has unique legitimacy to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by Nicolas Blarel and Sumit Ganguly

  • Alex Tabarrok joins Anirudh Burman to discuss if the existing law on patents is affecting India’s ability to vaccinate its citizens. As India battles a devastating second wave of Covid-19, many advocate for a waiver of intellectual property rights on coronavirus vaccines. However, some argue that this might be an incomplete solution; on its own, a TRIPS waiver would do little to alleviate the problem. In this episode, we understand the logic behind the proposal for the TRIPS waiver, and what must be done to globally increase vaccine supplies.

    Alex Tabarrok holds the Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center and is a professor of economics at George Mason University. Anirudh Burman is an associate fellow at Carnegie India.


    Patents are Not the Problem! by Alex Tabarrok

    Patent Theory versus Patent Law by Alex Tabarrok

    To Help India, Biden Must Unclog the Vaccine Supply Chains by Rudra Chaudhuri

    What Is Happening to India’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program? by Arjun Kang Joseph

  • In this episode, Srikanth Viswanathan joins Anirudh Burman to assess India's urban governance structures in the face of the second wave of the covid-19 pandemic. In the second wave, states have been given more leeway in handling the pandemic within their borders. How are states and local authorities equipped to manage the situation?

    Srikanth is the Chief Executive Officer of Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy. Anirudh Burman is Associate Fellow, Carnegie India.

  • In this episode, Yogendra Kumar joins Deep Pal to analyze the state of the international order. The conclusion of the Cold War in 1991 heralded a new age of peace and prosperity under the leadership of Western powers. Yet, there remain several problems that plague the international system. What can be done to stem the decay of the international order and its constituent multilateral organizations? Yogendra Kumar is a former Indian ambassador. Deep Pal is a visiting fellow at the Asia Program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


    Geopolitics in the Era of Globalisation: Mapping an Alternative Global Future by Yogendra Kumar

  • Pinaki Chakraborty, Director NIPFP, joins Carnegie India's Suyash Rai to analyze India’s fiscal responses to the pandemic. Together, they assess how India’s fiscal policy to tackle the pandemic has fared so far. What fiscal measures may be taken to boost economic output? What are some of the prominent obstacles likely to hinder these efforts?

    Further Reading:

    GST in India: Simple Tax in a Complex Federal System by Pinaki Chakraborty

    State Finance Commissions: How successful have they been in Empowering Local Governments? by Pinaki Chakraborty

    Many good things in Budget 2021. But wait for Modi govt to show its will, capability by Suyash Rai

  • What would a cashless India and world look like? Jonathan Dharmapalan joins Carnegie India's Rajesh Bansal to shed light on Central Bank Digital Currencies, which are meant to act as a replacement for cash. Together, they unpack what digital currencies are, and how they could affect the way we transact.

    As founder and CEO of eCurrency, Jonathan Dharmapalan provides technology solutions to central banks to issue digital currencies. Rajesh Bansal leads Carnegie India's Tech & Society program to find ways in which digital financial technologies can be made more inclusive.

    Further Reading:

    Govt can ban Bitcoin but for ‘digital rupee’ to succeed, India has to do a lot by Rajesh Bansal and Prateek Jha

    Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures by Bank of International Settlements

  • Introducing the hosts of Season 2, in the order that they appear on the trailer: Shruti Sharma, Suyash Rai, Anirudh Burman, Shibani Mehta, Rajesh Bansal, and Deep Pal.

  • Mekhala Krishnamurthy joins Srinath Raghavan to analyze India’s agricultural sector, its markets, and the impact of the new farms laws. Can these laws effectively tackle the main issues prevalent in India’s agrarian economy? Why have these laws stoked so much protest across certain farmer groups? And finally, how shall the agricultural landscape change once these laws are properly implemented?


    Understanding and misunderstanding e-NAM by Mekhala Krishnamurthy and Shoumitro Chatterjee

    Farm laws: First-Principles and the Political Economy of Agricultural Market Regulation by Mekhala Krishnamurthy and Shoumitro Chatterjee

    Why are Indian Farmers Protesting? by The Economist

  • Tanvi Madan joins Srinath Raghavan to discuss the Biden administration, its composition, and how this might have an effect on U.S.-India relations.


    View: The Modi government will find a Biden presidency to be less volatile by Tanvi Madan

    For Delhi, US election result is consequential in terms of how the next administration approaches China by Tanvi Madan

    Transcript: Dialogues on American Foreign Policy and World Affairs: A Conversation with Former Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken by Walter Russell Mead

  • In this episode, Sanjib Baruah joins Srinath Raghavan to unpack the Naga peace negotiations and the recent setbacks. They explore the factors affecting the positions of the various stakeholders. Further, they ask—what shall happen to the peace process going forward, if the antagonism between the government and the NSCN (IM) persists?


    A Pseudo Peace by Sanjib Baruah

    Question about Stakeholders in the Naga Conflict still Needs a Satisfactory Answer by Sanjib Baruah

    Confronting Constructionism: Ending India's Naga War by Sanjib Baruah

  • In this episode Rohit Chandra joins Srinath Raghavan to analyze the relationship between state and capital in India.


    Seminar Issue 734: Untangling Business-State Relations in India by Rohit Chandra and Rahul Verma

    Big potential, big risks? Indian capitalism, economic reform and populism in the BJP era by Rohit Chandra and Michael Walton

    Winner takes all: Big fish swallow the small ones amid demand slowdown by Krishna Kant

  • Radhika Pandey joins Srinath Raghavan to analyze India's inflation targeting system. They assess how the system has fared since 2015, particularly in the wake of the pandemic.


    Moving to Inflation Targeting by Ila Patnaik and Radhika Pandey.

    Higher Inflation Doesn't Mean RBI's Monetary Policy Committee Should Increase Interest Rates by Ila Patnaik and Radhika Pandey

    Inflation Targeting in India: An Interim Assessment by Barry Eichengreen, Poonam Gupta, Rishabh Choudhary