Pragati January 2009: Ideas for India’s future

The January 2009 issue of Pragati is centred around ideas for India’s future: featuring an exclusive interview with Nandan Nilekani and a separate, independent review of his new agenda-setting book. “The moment you think of our people as human capital” he says, “automatically the challenge becomes how do we make sure they are healthy, educated, have roads to go to work and school, have lights to study at night, have jobs and can become entrepreneurs.” We couldn’t agree more. 

To that list we would add how do we make sure they are safe and secure. In this issue we argue that terrorism must enter the agenda of electoral politics; that it is necessary for India and the United States confront the Pakistani terror machine; and that there is a need for a more cerebral and sophisticated approach towards responding to terrorist attacks. 

This year is unlikely to be a good one as far as economic reforms are concerned, but we argue that there is a strong case for India to move forward on the stalled process of liberalising its real economy. 

And why should those concerned about distressed farmers care about geology? And just what are our textbooks doing to the minds of our youth? Find out in this issue.

Pragati – The Indian National Interest Review 
Issue 22 – January 2009

Contents [Download 2.7 MB PDF]


Politicise terror
Electoral politics is the best way to punish bad policies
Rohit Pradhan

Put Pakistan “on the table”
Terrorist aggression cannot be terminated by appeasement
Vanni Cappelli

The people have spoken
Democracy returns, and with it comes a new opportunity
Sushant K Singh

Essential readings of the month
Ravi Gopalan & Vijay Vikram

Human capitalism
A discussion on ideas for India’s future with Nandan Nilekani
Nitin Pai

Improving India’s anti-terrorist responses
The need for scenario planning and read teaming
Shaunak S Agarkhedkar

The empire strikes back
Thirteen reasons to feel gloomy about economic reforms in 2009 
Bibek Debroy

The biggest solo flight of them all
More reason to proceed with economic liberalisation
V Anantha Nageswaran

Underlying agrarian distress
Hydrogeology offers insights for irrigation policy
Suvrat Kher

Discarding ideological blinkers
India’s schools need an intellectual liberalisation
Renu Pokharna


National process re-engineering
Why reforms with a human face are possible and within reach
Harsh Gupta

4 thoughts on “Pragati January 2009: Ideas for India’s future”

  1. 3 cheers for Vanni Capelli.

    Straight-talk abt Pak that displays his level of understanding of the deeper issues involved and clarity of analysis that cuts right ot the point was an awesome combination.

    In an ideal world both Mr Capelli and Mr G Parthasarathy would be the NSAs of the US and India respectively. If wishes were horses….

  2. The idea of seeing our people human capital and making efforts through public policies for their security and development is not new, is definitely not new on the agenda but has been around for a long time. The question which needs to be asked or rather the focus needs to be on how to make policy implementation better because that is where even well meaning policies are failing.

  3. The ‘good news’ is that there is now emerging a ‘new’ breed of politician (if folks in their 50s can be called ‘new’) who are not beholden to foreign interests and very little dirt stashed away in foreign shores. Yup, I talk of the relatively clean image netas who are actually able to think independently, speak their mind and implement their policies with little vested interest interference.

    While Modi tops this list, the contributions of very clean and delivery-driven CMs like Nitish, Raman Singh, Naveen Patnaik, BS Yeddy, Sheila Dikshit, V Raje and BC Khanduri should not be overlooked. I really hope other big states – notably UP and Maharashtra also elect netas who deliver development and reward them with re-election.

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