Environment
 
Getting India wrong
Partha Dasgupta
Posted on: 12 Aug 2013

In this article, Partha Dasgupta argues that deliberations on economic development, as in the recently published books by Bhagwati-Panagariya and Dreze-Sen respectively, are of little instrumental use if they ignore the role that high population growth and environmental destruction play in the persistence of poverty.
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Economists on the wrong foot
Ashish Kothari , Aseem Shrivastava
Posted on: 11 Sep 2013

This article asserts that the Sen-Bhagwati debate misses out two crucial elements – communities as agents of development, and ecological sustainability. It emphasises the importance of community empowerment, and backing community initiatives through state policies.
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The Paris Agreement: No more chances to fail
Milind Kandlikar
Posted on: 18 Dec 2015
Topics:   Environment

The Paris Agreement is being viewed with cautious optimism by most observers. In this article, Milind Kandlikar, Professor at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia, argues that although the Agreement is not legally binding and largely silent on equity matters, it is in India’s interest to make a credible contribution to global emissions reduction. The twin problems of providing energy for all and growth in emissions may be less coupled than suggested by the Indian government’s position.
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Case for electric vehicles through cleaner grid supply
Mudit Chordia
Posted on: 18 May 2016

The Indian government recently announced its plan to make India a 100% electric vehicle nation by 2030. In this article, Mudit Chordia, a Consultant at the University of Chicago Urban Labs, discusses the viability of such a plan in the Indian context.
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Coal and the climate change debate
Milind Kandlikar , E. Somanathan , Arvind Subramanian
Posted on: 03 Dec 2015
Topics:   Environment

In the run-up to the Paris Climate Summit, there has been a growing call among advanced nations to phase out fossil fuels. In this article, Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser, Government of India, argues that shunning coal is not viable for India. Instead, the world should come together to find effective techniques to ‘clean and green’ coal.

E. Somanathan, Executive Director, South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics, contends that it makes no economic sense to make further investments in coal, and that public policy should now be focused on renewable sources of energy.

Milind Kandlikar, Professor at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia, says that he is also not in favour of investing in coal, but is less optimistic about solar power in India in the medium term due to issues of grid integration and land requirements.

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Clearing the air
Naini Jayaseelan
Posted on: 23 Feb 2017
Topics:   Environment
Tags:   pollution

In this article, Naini Jayaseelan, former Secretary, Environment, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, discusses the pitfalls of basing policies to curb air pollution on comparisons of air quality indices across countries or cities.
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Incentivising states to conserve forests
Jonah Busch
Posted on: 11 May 2015
Topics:   Environment

Central tax revenues will now be shared among states not just on the basis of population, area, and income, but also forest cover. In this article, Jonah Busch, an environmental economist at the Center for Global Development, contends that the fiscal reform has the potential to become quite a potent climate instrument. It can serve as an example for other countries with similar tax revenue distribution systems and high rates of deforestation.
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Using science to improve Indian agriculture
Robert S. Zeigler
Posted on: 26 Jun 2015

Five years ago, the Indian government imposed a ‘temporary’ moratorium on the commercial release of Bt brinjal – a genetically modified crop - even after it had passed through the due regulatory processes. In this article, Robert S Zeigler, a plant pathology expert, outlines the benefits of transgenic crops and emphasises the need to expedite their adoption in India.
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Star power: Rating industries in Maharashtra by emission levels
Michael Greenstone , Rohini Pande , Nicholas Ryan , Anant Sudarshan
Posted on: 25 Jul 2017
Topics:   Environment

Maharashtra Pollution Control Board recently launched a programme to rate industries based on their emission levels – the first such initiative by a government regulator. An easy and accessible way to inform residents about industry emissions around where they live and work, Greenstone, Pande, Ryan and Sudarshan contend that the programme can infuse transparency and accountability into the system, and instil healthy competition among industries.
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Banning commercial surrogacy in India
Ajit Karnik
Posted on: 05 Oct 2016
Tags:  

In an attempt to protect the welfare of surrogate mothers, the Indian government has proposed to introduce legislation that will ban commercial surrogacy in the country. In this article, Ajit Karnik, Professor of Economics, Middlesex University, Dubai, discusses the threats that are associated with the welfare of surrogate mothers and argues that a ban would compromise their interests further as it would inevitably lead to the emergence of an illegal market for such transactions.
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