Civic Architects: The Policy Generation Group

In a democracy, people and their well being is at the core of an exemplary public policy mechanism, which is why proactive mass action can determine the fate of the policies that the State formulates. It is thus crucial that people demand sustainable solutions for existing concerns that deserve carefully crafted policies.

We believe that in the world’s largest democracy, effective public participation can turn policy making into a transparent and accountable process where the government can acknowledge issues that people heed and demand to be resolved. 

In our endeavour to unravel the complexity of Public Policy and expand the scope of public awareness and education in policy making, we are organising ‘Civic Architects’, a first of its kind Policy Workshop, in collaboration with The Economics Society, SRCC. (more…)

Clean and Affordable Energy-The Way Forward for India

Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in the UN Sustainable Development Summit, 2015 by all member countries of the United Nations. Countries agreed upon The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, known as ‘Transforming Our World’, which is a shared blueprint for the development and prosperity of people and the planet. It comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are to be achieved by all countries by 2030. These goals provide a holistic approach to move towards sustainable development covering poverty alleviation, health, education, growth, clean energy, and other areas. Certain targets and indicators have been agreed upon to quantify the progress towards these goals.  (more…)

Climate Change & Food Policies in the age of Social Media

If the current policies of India are to be critically examined, the response aims to focus on short-term and ad-hoc goals rather than long term sustainable solutions. Current social protection programmes are deemed expensive in nature and are based on a narrow understanding of people’s need. An important factor in the adaptation process is to measure the concrete effects of climate change on food production and agriculture. A deep understanding of how these effects play out on different aspects of food policy is what is essential for the country to avoid a national level food crisis. (more…)

Goa: Surging Tourists and Dwindling Beauty

By Akshat Jain, Madras School of Economics, Tamil Nadu.

Anna decided to quit her desk job in UK in 2012 and become a digital nomad permanently living in Goa. She was amazed by the sun-kissed beaches, vibrant environment and the multi-cultural society of Goa. Like Anna, thousands of foreign tourists come to the “Rome of the East” every year, seeking an experience of a lifetime. Goa has been a top tourist destination in India for both foreign as well as domestic travelers for decades. Since 2012, as per the data issued by the Department of Tourism in Goa, there has been an increase of 187% in the total number of tourists in the State. Such an exponential rise in the popularity of the State among tourists has harmed its environment and has disturbed the ecological balance. The serene beaches are now muddled with plastic and used bottles. Amid the generation of more than 7 million tonnes of waste per year, Goa has now declared a war on pollution by pledging to go plastic-free by the year 2022. (more…)

Milking the Symbiosis Dry: Ecological Damage of the Dairy Industry in India

By Ishita Puri, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai

Fritjof Capra, in his book The Systems View of Life remarked “As the twenty-first century unfolds, it is becoming more and more evident that the major problems of our time – energy, the environment, climate change, food security, financial security – cannot be understood in isolation. They are systemic problems, which means that they are all interconnected and interdependent.” His assessment of ecological issues and conservation could not have been more accurate. No effective solution can be realised if humanity continues to view the ecological issues of Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, exploitation of animals and poverty alleviation in vacuum. (more…)

Sustainable Livelihood through Education-The Way Forward for the Northern Hilly Areas

Ever increasing consumption, rapid growth in population and modern production systems have resulted in greater demand for natural resources. Hilly areas of Northern India are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change and indiscriminate exploitation of nature, as they are rich sources of biodiversity and natural resources. In these challenging times, sustainability is the way forward for these areas and sustainable livelihood is an important component of it. (more…)

The curious case of Punjab Preservation of Subsoil Water Act, 2009 and Air Pollution

By Akshat Jain, Madras School of Economics, Tamil Nadu.

India is going through a period that can be regarded as its worst environmental crisis. The air quality index in India is worsening with every passing day. 7 of the world’s 10 most polluted cities are in India. Many reasons have been cited for the plummeting Air Quality Index in north Indian cities; the most prominent amongst which is the burning of the stubble by farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. In Punjab alone, which accounts for more than 50% of cases of stubble burning during the Diwali period, there have been 48,155 recorded cases of stubble burning from September to November, 2019.  (more…)

Solid Waste Management in India’s Mega Cities: Crossroads for Smarter Cities

India’s metropolitan cities are often touted for their superior development models. However, when it comes to the subject of Solid Waste Management (SWM), the status quo is particularly severe in the four major Indian cities. This Policy Brief examines the status of Solid Waste Management in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru & Chennai while pointing out the city-specific challenges as well as policies. To approach the subject of SWM especially concerning our biggest cities, the paper also encompasses a range of policy recommendations, that can improve the health of SWM in India’s biggest urban quarters. (more…)

Megaprojects in India LQF

Development and Environment : Trends and Transformations

By Debokarsho Dutta, Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

The question of development is now widely understood to be multidimensional as opposed to unidimensional as it was for much of history. The contemporary challenges of poverty, disease, terrorism et. al. are intricately linked with themes of development and indices such as the Human Development Index (HDI) represent this nuanced modern view of development as opposed to the previous use of over-simplistic and somewhat misleading indicators such as per capita income or overall GDP rates. (more…)