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The Takshashila Future Deck

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Why Future Deck?
The Takshashila Future Deck is a set of cards designed to spark conversations about emerging challenges and opportunities that are facing India and the world.

Creating the Deck
This project was inspired by a similar deck created by the Centre for Strategic Futures, Singapore. Each card in the deck is a potential driver of India's future. The cards are grouped in the following sub-sets: Macroeconomic Shifts, Technology and Society, Citizenship and Governance, Future of Conflict and the Drivers of Growth.

Using the cards
The deck can be used in workshops to prioritise issues for further research, to examine the impact of the issues on public policy, and to craft scenario narratives about the future.

Participants can assume public roles and examine how individual cards could impact them, and also draw up new scenarios based on how two or more cards would affect each other.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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The Takshashila Future Deck

  1. 1. FUTURE DECK
  2. 2. Why Future Deck? The cards are designed to spark conversations about emerging challenges and opportunities that are facing India and the world. Creating the Deck. This was inspired by a similar deck created by the Centre for Strategic Futures, Singapore. Each card in the deck is a potential driver of India and the world’s future. Using the Cards. The deck can be used in workshops to prioritise issues for further research, as an aid to teach and learn, to examine the impact of the issues on public policy, and to craft scenario narratives about the future. Participants can assume public roles and examine how individuals cards could impact them, and can also draw up new scenarios based on how two or more cards would affect each other. Comments and New Ideas. We are always looking for new ideas to incorporate into the card deck, as well as new ways of using them. Do write to us at publications@takshashila.org.in Best wishes, The Takshashila Institution www.takshashila.org.in Note: The views expressed in the cards do not necessarily reflect the views of the Takshashila Institution.   FUTURE DECK Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Harshit  Sekhon
  3. 3.   ABOUT TAKSHASHILA Who are we. 
 The Takshashila Institution is an independent, non-partisan think tank on India’s strategic affairs and a school of public policy, registered in Chennai and with offices in Bangalore. Our mission.
 Takshashila contributes towards building the intellectual foundations of an India with global interests. It aims to establish itself as one of the most credible voices in India’s public policy discourse, known for its unambiguous pursuit of the national interest, through consistent high-quality policy advisories. Heritage and Inspiration. 
 The ancient city of Takshashila was the site of perhaps the world’s oldest public policy school. It was the intellectual fountainhead not only of Indian statecraft but indeed of all walks of human endeavour. The Takshashila Institution derives inspiration from that civilizational lighthouse in the pursuit of its contemporary objectives.
  4. 4. WE TEACH PUBLIC POLICY
  5. 5.   PUBLIC POLICY EDUCATION Takshashila has pioneered modern public policy education in India, and has over 300 alumni from multiple courses thus far. Graduate Certificate in Public Policy. The GCPP is a 12-week certificate course that provides a rigorous introduction to public policy and economic reasoning, equipping students with the skills and concepts required to engage in public affairs. It is largely online, can be taken from anywhere in the world, and is designed for working professionals. BCLIP Civic Leadership Incubation Programme. In association with the Bangalore Political Action Committee, Takshashila trains the next generation of civic leaders and local politicians in Bangalore, equipping them with the practice of urban governance. Executive Programmes. Takshashila conducts bespoke training programmes on public affairs and policy for business leaders, corporate professionals, think tanks, NGOs, media and others. Foundational Certificate in Public Policy. In partnership with Mount Carmel College Bangalore, Takshashila teaches a credit course for undergraduate students, providing a foundation in public policy. Nagara – The Democracy Game. Takshashila has developed a 3-hour role- playing game on understanding how democratic politics and decision making works in modern India. It can be played by groups of all ages. Read more at www.takshashila.org.in
  6. 6. WE TACKLE POLICY PROBLEMS
  7. 7.   TAKSHASHILA POLICY RESEARCH Takshashila aims to build the intellectual foundations of an India with global interests. Its policy research is focused on providing high quality advisories and recommendations on emerging issues of national importance. Takshashila’s research is public-facing and is open to all in the form of policy briefs, research reports, opinion articles, blogs and more. Shaping India’s New Growth Agenda. Takshashila partnered with the Hudson Institute, Washington DC to conduct a 2- day conference in Bangalore in August 2014 on how India’s new growth agenda can be shaped and what implications this will have for the world. The conference included panel discussions on labour, innovation, health, trade and investment. Recent Publications. A Survey of India’s Energy Prospects in the Middle East Region. Discussion Document by Kabir Taneja. Reforming ONGC Videsh for India’s Energy Security. Policy brief by Ameya Naik. Making India’s Labour Market More Flexible. Policy brief by Hemal Shah. Risks to India’s national security from tensions along the Iran-Pakistan Border. Strategic Assessment by Sumitha Narayanan Kutty and Pranay Kotasthane. China’s Economic Outlook in 2015: The Trump Card of a Yuan Deflation. Discussion document by V Anantha Nageswaran. Read them at www.takshashila.org.in
  8. 8. WE PERSUADE PEOPLE
  9. 9.   PROMOTING THE INDIAN NATIONAL INTEREST Bridging India’s governance gap is a marathon, and it can be run only when a lot more people engage in public affairs in an informed manner. Takshashila aims to engage all sections of the public with fresh, bold ideas that promote the Indian national interest and strengthen the Indian republic. Pragati – The Indian National Interest Review. Pragati is an online magazine on strategic affairs, public policy and governance that has been running since 2007. Articles examining India’s engagement with the world are published every week. " http://www.pragati.nationalinterest.in/ Indian National Interest Blogs. Pragati is complemented by a network of blogs where Takshashila’s fellows, scholars and analysts write regularly on policy matters. INI9 – 9 Minute Conversations. Takshashila and its people are active online, 24x7. Find us on: The Web" www.takshashila.org.in Twitter " @TakshashilaInst Facebook 
 www.facebook.com/takshashilainstitution Youtube
 www.youtube.com/user/takshashilainst
  10. 10. CITIZENSHIP AND GOVERNANCE FUTURE DECK
  11. 11.   “Village Changes its name to SnapDeal.com Nagar”, IBN Live. 20 July 2011. Web. Workshops and Speeches by the Takshashila Institution team. Rajagopalan, Shruti and Tabarrok, Alexander T., Lessons from Gurgaon, India's Private City (October 24, 2014). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 14-32. Nitin Pai, “NRI Voting Should Not Be Made Too Easy”, The Acorn. 25 Nov 2014. REFERENCES
  12. 12. Can the Constitution cause social revolution?
  13. 13. The Indian Republic is unique because it sees the government as an agent of social change. The Constitution of India upholds values, ideas and laws that may be different from prevailing social norms and traditions. This inherently implies a State-society conflict that does not exist in other republics. This conflict, caused by a contradiction between social norms and constitutional norms, works to delegitimise the State in the eyes of society. Society is less likely to see a government which upholds laws that question its traditions, as a representative government.   Disregard for laws is fungible, and a disregard for one set of laws creates an overall culture of lax respect for, adherence to and enforcement of laws. The task of social revolution has not traditionally been taken up by governments. It is therefore prudent in India’s case to question whether and how the government can or should change behaviour, through the political process or otherwise.   THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA CITIZENSHIP  AND  GOVERNANCE   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Kannan  B
  14. 14. Can our governments respond to networked societies?
  15. 15.   RADICALLY NETWORKED SOCIETIES CITIZENSHIP  AND  GOVERNANCE   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Pra:k  Gupte The onset of the internet and social media has created radically networked societies. This networking has also created new imagined communities, which have their own politics and political structures. These communities are not defined by geographical location, and they consist of groups of people with similar values and norms and who share a culture. In contrast, our governments are hierarchical structures. When these pyramid shaped governments interact with mesh shaped societies, structural conflicts arise. Such conflicts lead to the loss of moral authority of the government.     One way to prevent these conflicts is to restructure our governments as networks. The successful nations of the industrial age were the ones that were able to structure their governments according to the demands of the time. Similarly, in the information age, the nations that are able to structure their governments into networks will have a greater chance of success.
  16. 16. Liberty or self-determination?
  17. 17.   FINDING THE BALANCE A nation is defined as a group of people united by common descent, culture, or language; a state is a territory that is considered as an organised political community under one government. In a nation-state, there is a large degree of congruence between the nation, or the people, and the state, or the political institutions governing the people. Whether or not every community that thinks of itself as a nation should be entitled to its own state lies at the heart of the debate over “self-determination”. What is more important, liberty or self-determination?   If a nation that achieves self-determination ends up as an authoritarian state, which is not uncommon, would it be better off being under colonial or federal rule where its nationals enjoy greater liberty? In other words, is self-determination overrated? This question highlights the importance of reason in a democracy. Democracy in itself cannot be enough, because self- determination has a built-in externality: it ensures that a community is ruled based on the beliefs and preferences of its voters, and the decisions of each individual voter impacts every other voter. Self-determination as a system must also take responsibility for using political institutions appropriately In order to ensure that reason or liberty are not compromised. CITIZENSHIP  AND  GOVERNANCE   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Michael
  18. 18. Can a city be privately run?
  19. 19. The privatisation of public good provision is happening at an unprecedented rate in India. Everything from security to playgrounds now have private providers. The development of residential townships in Gurgaon was spearheaded by the private sector in the early 1980s. The private sector also took on sewage, water and electricity due to the failure in public provision. However, this sort of privatisation often has hidden costs. In Gurgaon, this has lead to excessive waste generation, water consumption and pollution levels due to diesel based electricity generation. Gurgaon lacked a government that built infrastructure to keep up with private sector led development.   PRIVATE PROVISION OF PUBLIC GOODS Investment with Private Participation (in USD as of 2013) Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  seaview99 CITIZENSHIP  AND  GOVERNANCE   Energy   3  billion   Transport   3  billion   Telecoms   7.3   billion   Water,   Sanita9on   135   million   World  Bank  Database,  2013  
  20. 20. Where is SnapDeal.com nagar?
  21. 21. In 2011, SnapDeal.com decided to use a part of its profits to help Shiv Nagar, a remote village in North India by installing 15 hand pumps to provide the village with the only source to potable water. The villagers voted to change the name of their village to express their gratitude. Do companies need help to be philanthropic? India is the first country to have a mandated Corporate Social Responsibility law. The law indicates that the government is unable to efficiently spend the money they receive through taxation and instead are requiring companies to tax themselves and spend the money more effectively than the government has been able to. It remains to be seen if the CSR law will help or hinder Indian philanthropy.   CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  waterdotorg CITIZENSHIP  AND  GOVERNANCE  
  22. 22. Should NRIs be allowed to vote?
  23. 23. While the idea of NRIs being given absentee ballot has received a certain level of popularity, the significance of this is rarely fully considered. Absentee ballots can be problematic because of the moral hazard issue. NRI voters will not have to bear the consequences of their choices regardless of whether the outcome is positive or negative. Another issue with NRI voters is constituency. The Representation of People (Amendment) Bill, 2010 allows NRIs to vote in the constituency of his/her place of residence as listed in his/her passport. However, an NRI might not be fully aware of the quality of the public services being provided in his/her stated place of residence. This reduces his/her desire to keep an elected representative accountable. Current electoral rules fail to address this issue. Without absentee ballots, only NRI voters who value their vote enough to pay the cost of travelling internationally to vote will do so. NRIs should be included in the Indian political system and have a voice but not in a way that lowers the economic cost on voters.   PROBLEMS WITH ABSENTEE BALLOTS Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Al  Jazeera  English CITIZENSHIP  AND  GOVERNANCE  
  24. 24. FUTURE DECK MACRO ECONOMIC SHIFTS
  25. 25.   Ministry of Home Affairs, 2011 Census: Aggregate Data Indira Rajaraman, “Taxing Agriculture in a Developing Country: A Possible Approach.” World Bank Group. Feb, 2004. Michael Moore, “An Indian Agenda for Trade and Investment Reform” Pragati. 15 Nov 2014. Mukul Asher, “India’s Budget 2014-15”, Pragati. 18 Jul 2014. Donovan Storey, “Setting the Scene: The Rise of Secondary Cities” LKY School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. April 2014. REFERENCES
  26. 26. What if he paid income tax?
  27. 27. Agricultural income has been exempted from the Indian Income Tax Act since 1961 and has remained under State control in order to bolster the agricultural sector and encourage growth. Taxing agricultural income would increase government revenue, improve cross- sectoral parity and increase the overall efficiency of the Indian economy. The tax exemption was intended to foster agricultural growth but despite the exemption, the contribution to GDP by the agricultural sector is falling. However, strong political opposition from the agricultural sector has prevented tax reforms.   TAXING AGRICULTURAL INCOME 0   5   10   15   20   25   2000   2005   2010   2013   as  %  of  GDP   Contribution of Agriculture, Value Added (World  Bank  Indicators) MACROECONOMIC  SHIFTS   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Lee  Tucker Financial  year  
  28. 28. Can trade be reformed?
  29. 29. A key reform area for India is trade and investment. Domestic policies that increase international competitiveness of Indian firms and encourage investment both on domestic and foreign fronts will play a big role in aiding economic growth. Reforms could include improving labour market flexibility, reducing red tape, rationalisation of taxes and tariffs, and innovations in ecosystems. Significant enhancements in these areas can help India receive more domestic and foreign investment. As Indian trade increases and India becomes more economically integrated with the world, these reforms will become necessary. Undertaking domestic policy reforms could have a whole host of benefits in the global environment.     INCREASING ECONOMIC INTEGRATION Contribution of Trade     (World  Bank  Indicators) 0   10   20   30   40   50   60   1995   2000   2005   2010   2013   as  %  of  GDP   MACROECONOMIC  SHIFTS   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  epSos.de Financial  Year  
  30. 30. Can the tax-GDP ratio be improved?
  31. 31. The tax-GDP ratio of India has been low for decades. An important reason for this is the extremely small tax base. The 35 million tax payers are conservatively considered to be only half the people who should be paying. In addition, there are several occupations where only 25-50 percent of true income is reported. Policy needs to be implemented using an evidence-based approach to track the missing taxpayers and to improve the true-income reported. This will allow for a fairer tax administration.   INCREASING INDIA’S TAX BASE 0   2   4   6   8   10   12   14   16   18   20   1964   1974   1984   1994   2004   2014   Tax-GDP Ratio (Indian Public Finance Statistics, 2013-14) MACROECONOMIC  SHIFTS   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Dinesh  Cyanman Financial  Year   as  %  of  GDP  
  32. 32. Would you live in Surat?
  33. 33.   GROWTH OF SECOND TIER CITIES Second-tier cities like Surat are assuming greater prominence as India’s megacities struggle to cope with the infrastructure demands of their rising population. McKinsey estimates that about 400 mid- sized cities in the emerging markets could generate almost 40 percent of global growth by 2025. In order to continue to increase the number of second tier cities, India needs to: •  Utilise intrinsic locational advantages like proximity to consumer markets •  Create strategic investment plans to attract businesses, industries and high-skilled workers •  Build infrastructure •  Increase local government capacity (IIHS  Analysis  based  on  Census  2011) MACROECONOMIC  SHIFTS   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Reinhiold  Behringer
  34. 34. Will India have rich and world class cities?
  35. 35. While cities have become symbols of India’s economic growth, urban municipalities remain economically weak resulting in poor infrastructure and service delivery in cities. The roots of their weaknesses lie in poor fiscal decentralisation in India unlike countries like China, where municipal bodies in major cities are allowed to keep a generous percent of the revenue they generate. India has heavy fiscal centralisation – the union government of India allocates funds to the state governments, which then allocate funds to urban governing bodies. The excessive controls over receipt and expenditure of municipal funds make them slow, over-regulated and insufficient for the needs of most cities. As a result, while cities generate substantial national revenue, they receive and aggregate revenue of only 0.75% of the country’s GDP. Fiscal decentralisation is necessary to enable fast and quality development of cities. The union government has resisted devolving authority to state and local bodies, especially in fiscal and financial matters. Local bodies know their needs best and should be allowed flexibility to retain and spend funds the cities generate themselves. How federal is the Indian federation otherwise?   FISCAL DECENTRALISATION MACROECONOMIC  SHIFTS   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Simply  CVR
  36. 36. INTERNATIONAL LANDSCAPE FUTURE DECK
  37. 37.   Soren Dayton, “Sharing India’s Democratic Talents”, Pragati. 6 Oct 2014. “Remarks by the President to the Joint Session of the Indian Parliament in New Delhi, India”. Office of the Press Secretary, The White House. 8 Nov 2010. Nitin Pai, “Why India must swing”, Yahoo Blogs. 26 May 2010. Pavan Srinath, “Potash from Russia with love”, Business Standard. 12 Sept 2013. Nitin Pai, “Confronting a new world order”, Business Standard. 18 May 2014 Nitin Pai, “So why should India project power abroad”, Yahoo News. 5 April 2011. REFERENCES
  38. 38. Can democracy be shared?
  39. 39. For many emerging economies the process of building a democracy has to be accompanied by the process of building a sense of nation. Indonesia, Nigeria and South Africa are some of the biggest emerging democracies that share characteristics with India but have yet to build democratic institutions like those in India. India can share what it has learned from being the largest democracy in the world with these countries. The lessons that India could share are much more relevant to the world than those of the USA or Europe who built their democracies while facing a different set of problems. India can help countries struggling to build democratic systems while furthering its national interest.   LEARNING FROM INDIA “We [Japan and India] should work together and let the world know what democracy is, and what democratic values stand for.” -Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India (blogs.wsj.com) INTERNATIONAL  LANDSCAPE   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Vineet  TImble
  40. 40. Should India be on the UN Security Council?
  41. 41. India has fought long and hard for a highly-coveted permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. With India accounting for one-sixth of the world population, it seems natural to expect so. President Obama, Prime Minister Cameron and several others have, on occasion, expressed their general support for India’s quest but have remained quiet when convenient. China and Pakistan have a vested interest in standing in India’s way. The issue boils down to whether India will benefit enough from being on the UNSC to endure a long and arduous battle to get there especially considering India’s extreme scarcity of diplomatic resources.     INDIA AND THE UNSC “We salute India’s long history as a leading contributor to United Nations peacekeeping missions. And we welcome India as it prepares to take its seat on the United Nations Security Council.” -Barack Obama, President of USA (bbc.co.uk) INTERNATIONAL  LANDSCAPE   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Zack  Lee
  42. 42. Should India swing between China and the USA?
  43. 43. As China’s military and economic growth continues, the tensions between China and the USA will also subsequently rise. This puts India in a very unique position. Despite differences in world views, the likelihood of war between India and China remains low with the presence of nuclear arms in both countries. However, India and China continue to battle for dominance in cyberspace as well as for access to resources and markets. While this means that having the USA remain the dominant global power is in India’s interest, China might soon become number two in the global pecking order. Thus, one option for India is not to align itself with the USA but instead swing between the USA and China. As long as the USA-China relationship is tense, India can leverage it to improve its relationship with both. It is important for India’s political leaders to realise the benefit of swinging between the two if India is to achieve this successfully.   NAVIGATING BETWEEN WORLD POWERS INTERNATIONAL  LANDSCAPE   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Danny  Howard “To paraphrase Henry Kissinger, India's options toward the United States and China must always be greater than their options toward each other. It serves our purposes best if we maintained closer relations with each side than they did with each other.” -Nitin Pai, Director of Takshashila Institution
  44. 44. Can cartels like OPEC be broken?
  45. 45. Cartels ensure fixed prices by coming to an agreement over market shares and total industrial output. India is on the wrong side of international cartels most of the time, and it is in our strong economic interest to champion the cause of free global trade. One such cartel - Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has successfully controlled the global oil market for over 40 years. To ensure economic growth in the long run, India will have to do its best to destabilise OPEC, or at least secure favourable terms. Cartels can be broken when a technological breakthrough makes new sources viable. The shale revolution in the US is one such breakthrough that can break oil cartels. The lifting of economic sanctions on Iran, a major non-OPEC oil producer will also help countries like India. New discoveries of oil reserves in the Arctic region can also break cartels. On the demand side, a change in the energy mix can lower dependence on cartels like OPEC.   INTERNATIONAL TRADE CARTELS INTERNATIONAL  LANDSCAPE   Photo  Overleaf:    CC  by  alex.ch
  46. 46. Is the Washington Consensus on its last legs?
  47. 47.   THE CHANGING GEOECONOMIC ORDER INTERNATIONAL  LANDSCAPE   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Peter  Liu In recent years, the Washington Consensus has represented the dominant aspirational geoeconomic order. This order is based on free markets, public spending cuts, trade liberalisation and privatisation of state enterprises. International organisations like IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organisation (WTO) have been strong advocates of this framework. However, the status quo is quickly altering. Given that norms are outcomes of a combination of domestic politics, ideological clashes, intellectual developments, and possibly historical learning, there is no guarantee that we will see greater support for free trade and market economics. Even discussions about the Washington Consensus versus the East Asian model appear antiquated now. The focus has now shifted to reduction of inequality following Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. India, on its growth path, will intersect with all these geoeconomic frameworks. It will be important for everyone to get a better grip on the mechanics of both how India’s growth affects the world and how the international developments influence India’s development.
  48. 48. Should India project power abroad?
  49. 49. We can no longer afford to be oblivious to the balance of power across our national frontiers. The age-old grand strategy of keeping the country together must shed its sub continental preoccupation and also concern itself with maximising and projecting national power. One such development is the emergence of China, a civilisational power with a clashing geopolitical worldview and a competing political model. To the extent that international norms are shaped by power, China will use its influence to change such norms in its favour, and attempt to make others, including India, play by its rules. India may have to project power abroad to deliver prosperity at home. The dominant view among the members of India's strategic community is that India lacks a strategic culture. The scholars who lamented the lack of a strategic culture were perhaps looking for Alexandrian or expansionist elements as determinants. However, India's strategic culture exists. It has developed and pursued a grand strategy that can simply be described as "keep the country united”. Unfortunately, this preoccupation with unity has blinded India to the need to be aware of developments beyond the subcontinent.   INDIA’S GRAND STRATEGY INTERNATIONAL  LANDSCAPE   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Adaptorr-­‐  Pllug
  50. 50. Are we heading towards a multi-polar world?
  51. 51.   A MULTI-POLAR WORLD IN THE MAKING INTERNATIONAL  LANDSCAPE   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Francois  Proulx   Even as the United States remains the pre-eminent global power, Washington seems either too preoccupied, reluctant or incapable of using its clout to enforce norms and punish transgressions even by small countries. Without US power, the nearly 70-year old UN system would collapse. Britain and France are no longer the kind of powers that can get Russia, China and other major countries to play by the rules agreed to in 1945. States that have the power, or the allies, to do what they want and get away with it are beginning to do actually so as evidenced in Syria, Ukraine and the South China Sea. It is also becoming clear that despite its massive global influence, China may not assume the USSR’s place as one of the two hegemonic global powers. India therefore, might be staring at a couple of decades of a "polycentric world", where a number of regional powers have enough room to maneuver in their respective neighborhoods. Some of these maneuvers could then set off ripples across a larger geography, some of which might affect India. As such, India will have to constantly work out and revise game plans for the contingency that such scenarios may pan out.
  52. 52. TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY FUTURE DECK
  53. 53.   Kukil Bora, “Mark Zuckerberg Meets Narendra Modi: Facebook CEO Assures Contribution to Digital India Initiative” International Business Times. 11 Oct 2014. Web. “TRAI Annual Report 2012-13”, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. “FIFA Secretary General and AIFF launch strategic plan for Indian football”, Football Development, FIFA.com. 15 Oct 2014. Web. REFERENCES
  54. 54. Can everyone be on Facebook?
  55. 55. Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook-led project, Internet.org to help provide internet access to all of India. In the information age, access to internet allows people from all over the world to compete on a level playing field. Less than 300 million Indians have access to internet but this number is likely to rapidly grow as technology spreads through the country. Over 900 million Indians have cell phones, indicating that there is great potential for internet use in India. Greater access to internet would need improved infrastructure, lower costs and widespread acceptance of new technology. Making access to internet akin to a basic right could shape the course of the Indian economy.   RIGHT TO INTERNET 0   100   200   300   400   500   600   700   800   900   1000   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   In  millions   Number of Cell Phone Users (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) TECHNOLOGY  AND  SOCIETY   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  twi[er.com/ma[wi1s0n
  56. 56. Do you have Whatsapp?
  57. 57. Global messaging services are growing at a rapid rate. While apps like WhatsApp gained popularity for increasing personal connectivity, businesses are now starting to pay attention. WhatsApp provides an easy way for a company to communicate with staff. For companies looking to cut costs, services like WhatsApp and Skype provide inexpensive options. While WhatsApp is predominantly used for informal communication, its increasing use in the business arena means that it could soon be commonly used for official purposes. There is great potential for businesses to do everything from organising events to providing customer service on WhatsApp.   BUSINESS ON WHATSAPP Launched   2009   Ac9ve   Users   600M   (forbes.com) Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Climate  Change,  Agriculture  and  Food  Security   TECHNOLOGY  AND  SOCIETY  
  58. 58. How will journalism survive?
  59. 59. Just as it is impossible to ask people to pay for breathing the air around them, news agencies have been unable to get people to pay to consume their product in India. People want to read news online, but are not always interested in paying for it. Similarly, television sources also end up relying on advertisement revenue to pay for them. News organisations will have to reevaluate their operating model, as every reader can end up being a free rider. The use of advertisements is giving diminishing returns, and paywalls & volunteer contributions have only worked rarely. When users do not want to pay for the news, whoever else pays for it can try to attach a few strings. The viability and the credibility of news are both at stake thanks to the internet, smart phones and a changed technological landscape. How news media remains vibrant, independent and successful in this age remains an unsolved challenge. HBO, The Economist and a few other news and entertainment sources are able to make consumers pay for what they read or watch. News organisations will have to discover means to stay profitable in the future.   FUTURE OF JOURNALISM Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  epSos.de TECHNOLOGY  AND  SOCIETY  
  60. 60. Will India play the FIFA World Cup?
  61. 61. India is ranked 159 in the FIFA rankings, and has never progressed past the first round of qualifications. In October 2014, FIFA declared India to be a priority country in Asian football development. FIFA seeks to revise the framework of Indian football over the next ten years with the eventual goal of qualification to the World Cup Finals. India inaugurated its football championship, the Indian Super League (ISL) in 2013. The ISL has clearly stated that it wants India to qualify for the 2026 World Cup which FIFA strongly supports. Indian football will need a complete overhaul to achieve its goal. Success stories of Spain and Iceland indicate that youth involvement at a grassroots level is an essential factor.   QUALIFYING FOR THE WORLD CUP FINALS “We are investing a lot in this country because we believe in its huge potential. It’s a fast growing economy with 1.2 billion people. There’s definitely space for other sports than cricket.” Jérôme Valcke, Secretary General of FIFA  (fifa.com) Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  US  Department  of  State TECHNOLOGY  AND  SOCIETY  
  62. 62. THE FUTURE OF WORK FUTURE DECK
  63. 63.   World Bank database. Retrieved November 2014. Mukul Asher, “Re-thinking MGNREGA”, Pragati. Oct 2014. Narayan Ramchandran, “What it takes to make in India”, Live Mint. 19 Oct 2014 “Move to open up government jobs for technocrats, specialists”, The Economic Times. 4 Nov 2014. Web. REFERENCES
  64. 64. Will there be fewer farmers?
  65. 65. Innovation in agricultural technology will result in an increase in the productivity levels of India’s agricultural sector. As productivity increases, the need for labour will decrease allowing people employed in agricultural areas to seek employment in the manufacturing or service sectors. The agriculture sector accounts for 47 percent of the labour force but only 18 percent of GDP. The movement of labour out of the agricultural sector could speed up India’s journey towards being a high- income country by increasing GDP. Many young adults entering the workforce in rural areas are choosing not to enter agriculture. Employment in other sectors for millions of new people every year remains an unsolved challenge for India.   SMALLER AGRICULTURAL SECTOR Employment in Agriculture (World  Bank  database) 0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70   1994   2000   2005   2010   2012   %  of  Total   Employment   THE  FUTURE  OF  WORK   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Climate  Change,  Agriculture  and  Food  Security  
  66. 66. Where will the farmer go?
  67. 67. As the number of people employed in the Indian agricultural sector decreases, the employment levels in the manufacturing and service sectors are expected to grow. Typically, countries like the USA and Germany saw their agricultural labour move on to the manufacturing industry resulting in a period of high industrial growth and increases in median income. However, India never experienced the manufacturing boom. Instead India is one of the first to have had services-led job creation and economic growth. It is not yet clear if the service sector can absorb all the extra labour from agriculture. This could result in a big increase in unemployment levels in India and slow its economic growth.   ABSORBING EXCESS LABOUR Service Sector (World Bank Indicators) 0   20   40   60   1990   1992   1994   1996   1998   2000   2002   2004   2006   2008   2010   2012   %  of  GDP   THE  FUTURE  OF  WORK   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Raj  Singh
  68. 68. Will she have rights?
  69. 69. There is currently a big debate on the legalisation of prostitution. Proponents like the All India Network of Sex Workers argue that engaging in prostitution is a choice and should have have the same benefits and rights as other occupations. The National Commission for Women states that a regulated industry could reduce forcible trafficking. However, as a hot button issue, it is not one that is appealing to lawmakers. Any political party that is in power is unlikely to champion the legalisation of prostitution during its reign. The lack of political support decreases the odds of real reform happening. Despite loud voices from NGOs and other groups that want the sex trade to be out in the open, politically, it is a long shot.   LEGALISING PROSTITUTION 3   Million   No.  of   Pros9tutes   4  Billion   Revenue   from   Human   Trafficking   1.2   Million   No.  of   Pros9tutes   under  18   (Havocscope) Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Mukul  Bha:a THE  FUTURE  OF  WORK  
  70. 70. Is the MGNREGA working?
  71. 71. The Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has not been successful in increasing income proportional to the economic resources distributed. Reforming the scheme could involve evaluating the merits of moving towards skill development instead of welfare. This will help the beneficiaries to have a sustainable livelihood as well as acquire assets and subsequently wealth. The reformulation of the scheme should include refocusing it towards outcomes instead of inputs. The success of MGNREGA will be determined by an increase in the number of people who no longer opt for it.   EVALUATING MGNREGA THE  FUTURE  OF  INDIA   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Eileen  Delhi
  72. 72. What if the Government hired trained professionals?
  73. 73. During the independence movement and in the early days of the Indian republic, the most talented people were working within government in various capacities. This does not hold true today. The talented and the trained now opt for jobs outside of the government. How can the government utilise this reservoir of talent currently outside its ambit? Many contemporary government functions like telecom regulation, cyber security and environmental risk management are complex technical tasks. Such tasks are best suited to administrators who understand the technical nuances. Lateral entry schemes or Short Service Commissions for talented technocrats can help bridge the governance gap. The government acknowledges this. In November 2014, the Union Government asked all ministries to carry out an exercise for identifying posts that require people with specialised or technical knowledge. As of today, various ministries have ad- hoc mechanisms for appointing Officers on Special Duty (OSD) for jobs requiring technical expertise. As governmental functions get complicated in a radically networked society, a formal mechanism to hire the best equipped will become imperative for efficiency and effectiveness.   GOOD GOVERNANCE NEEDS SPECIALISTS THE  FUTURE  OF  INDIA   Photo  Overleaf:  sourced  from  imagegranted.com
  74. 74. DRIVERS OF GROWTH FUTURE DECK
  75. 75.   Mukul Asher, “India’s Budget 2014-15”, Pragati. 18 Jul 2014. Atish Patel, “How would India handle an Ebola outbreak?”, Wall Street Journal Blog. 17 Oct 2014. Gardiner Harris, “Study Reassesses Dengue’s Impact on India”, New York Times. 7 Oct 2014. Web. Based on remarks presented in panel at the Takshashila-Hudson Conference held in Bangalore on 2 August on Shaping India’s New Growth Agenda. Nitin Pai, “Economic ties with China? Modi must move closer with caution”, Rediff.com. 15 Sept 2014. Anto T Joseph, “China’s $20 billion investment falls short of Japan’s $35 biillion”, DNA India. 19 Sept 2014. REFERENCES
  76. 76. Is tax administration changing?
  77. 77. The focus of the 2014-15 Budget on tax administration, and on reducing compliance costs of taxes and is a welcome change for India. The key tax administration points in the Budget proposal can be summarised as follows: •  Fresh cases under the retrospective taxation measures introduced in 2012 are unlikely to be pursued •  While retrospective taxation was not withdrawn but the scope of Advanced Tax Rulings was expanded •  India’s Transfer pricing regulations need to be more consistent with international practices   However, there is a need for far reaching changes in the spirit, purpose, organisational structures, skill sets, internal work processes, external communication and dispute management of tax organisations involving both direction and indirect taxes. Greater synergy between the two (including sharing of certain services to save costs), and emphasis on functional specialisation in their activities are needed. There is a need for far reaching changes in internal work processes, external communication and dispute management of tax organisations. This requires tax rules and regulations that are sensitive to economic and commercial conditions, and which are system-oriented and not individual-oriented.   INDIAN TAX ADMINISTRATION Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  401(K)  2012 DRIVERS  OF  GROWTH  
  78. 78. What if India is hit by Ebola?
  79. 79. India has yet to be hit really hard by a global epidemic. India’s large population, inadequate health care and absence of a proper sanitation system would be hugely problematic in the face of something like Ebola. Clearly there is a huge need for an Indian equivalent to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in order to properly handle a pandemic. India reportedly has 300 million severe dengue cases than are officially disclosed by the government. India has had dengue since before Independence and yet has failed to completely eradicate the disease. Nigeria was able to successfully contain its Ebola outbreak by September 2014. It seems unlikely that India will have similar success rates in the face of a pandemic.     DEALING WITH PANDEMICS Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  European  Commission  DG  ECHO DRIVERS  OF  GROWTH   Probability Distribution of Importing [Ebola] Cases MOBS Lab, Oct 2014 India is less at risk of importing the infection than those countries because of low air traffic with West Africa, but the country is 21st in a list of 30 nations most likely to see an Ebola case, even if air traffic is reduced by 80%.
  80. 80. Should it be easier to hire and fire people in India?
  81. 81. For India to transition to a modern economy, creation of good quality jobs is imperative. This requires a modern labour market, which currently suffers from extremely restrictive laws. This hinders industrial development, discourages the growth of businesses and encourages the growth of the informal sector. Two essential counterparts to employment are education and employability. Educated unemployment and shortage of completely skilled labour co-exist in India, so there is a need to develop skill sets to both match the supply with the demand, and prepare the supply for the demand. This will create an infrastructure of opportunity that can put India on par with other modern economies.   JOB CREATION Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Boaz DRIVERS  OF  GROWTH   Original data from NSS Employment and Unemployment Surveys adjusted for population censuses by IGIDR Industry Growth Rate (from 1993-94 to 2009-10) Share of Total Employment, 2009-10 (in %) Agriculture 0.00 52.3 Manufacturing 1.7 11.5 Services 2.7 25
  82. 82. Can India make more doctors?
  83. 83. Country Doctors per 1000 people India 0.7 China 1.9 UK 2.8 One of the biggest challenges to healthcare in India is that the ratio of qualified doctors to the population is very low, because medical education and new entries to the medical profession currently suffer from overregulation, by bodies which do not share the public interest in populating the industry with competing practitioners. It is important for this industry in particular to be competitive and rigourous because of the huge information gap that exists between the consumer and the service provider. For reliable and high quality healthcare service, therefore, the practice of medicine and healthcare cannot be dependent on and linked to the management and regulation of medical education.   CREATING MORE DOCTORS Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Calcu[a  Rescue DRIVERS  OF  GROWTH   World Bank database, 2012
  84. 84. Make in India or Make for India?
  85. 85. As identified by the Make in India initiative, India needs to create the right innovation ecosystem to enable the growth of its manufacturing sector, which is essential for global competitiveness in the economy. Such an ecosystem considers factors like regulation, infrastructure, skill development, technology, funding, and exit mechanisms. A developed and globally competitive manufacturing sector is advantageous to India because it requires the acquisition of skill sets that can then be transferred, further aiding the growth of the sector. However, it is also important to increase the ease of doing business in India to ensure that output is created for domestic use. An integrated domestic market is an important indicator of the success of the manufacturing sector in India. The Make in India initiative has the following aims: •  An increase in manufacturing sector growth to 12-14% per annum over the medium term. •  An increase in the share of manufacturing in the country’s Gross Domestic Product from 16% to 25% by 2022. •  To create 100 million additional jobs by 2022 in manufacturing sector.   MAKE IN INDIA INITIATIVE Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  BBC  World  Service DRIVERS  OF  GROWTH  
  86. 86. Will toilets be enough for a Swachh Bharat?
  87. 87. Prime Minister Modi has said that India needs latrines more than it needs temples. Throughout its history, sanitation in India has received funding from the Union government; as a consequence, India’s approach towards sanitation has been programmatic and supply driven. Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan needs to consider the significance of open defecation as a practice that is unconnected to the presence of latrines. The Finance Minister has called for an increased budget for sanitation and the proposal that every household will have a latrine by 2019. In addition to this, the campaign to end open defecation needs to focus on behaviour change, and monitor usage of latrines as well as construction.   INDIAN SANITATION Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Gates  Founda:on DRIVERS  OF  GROWTH   State Percentage  of  households  with  a   latrine  that  had  at  least  one  family   member  who  defecated  in  the  open   Uttar Pradesh 38.51 Madhya Pradesh 41.88 Rajasthan 57.43 Bihar 43.81 Haryana 34.92 Sanitation, Quality, Use, Access & Trends (SQUAT) Survey, Research Institute for Compassionate Economics
  88. 88. Can India overcome economic Balkanisation?
  89. 89. While inflation, revenue deficit, labour reform and subsides remain important macroeconomic issues that the government should focus on, economic reform should not neglect smaller and more domestic issues – integration of state economies and ease of trade internationally. These are as important as the integration of India into the global economy. One of the reforms which aims to do this is the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a uniform value added tax that is applied at every stage of sale or purchase, preventing profits to be made of tax and creating a more transparent and efficient tax administration. This system will increase coordination between the Union and states, and reduce the friction in transport and delivery of goods and services across states in India. India should examine similar domestic level reforms that can have greater long term benefits to its economy.   GOODS AND SERVICES TAX Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by    Miran  Rijavec DRIVERS  OF  GROWTH  
  90. 90. Is intellectual property still relevant?
  91. 91. The information revolution has made everyone both a producer and a consumer of information, taking most consumption practices out of the control of the traditional providers of information. Pirated material is widely available and difficult to regulate because sites that are shut down can come back through different IP addresses. Given this technology, the meaning of ‘property’ changes. Open sources of free art or software ensure the highest reach and minimum cost to the ‘producers’. This can be advantageous to corporates like software developers, who can utilise channels that resist intellectual property, to maximise their potential consumer base. Pirated software improves user awareness of the systems and turn all ‘pirates’ into potential consumers. Firms therefore now have the technology to take advantage of intellectual property theft and use it as long term investments. Constant modification of what constitutes successful business practice, to keep up with technology, is imperative for a modern economy.   INTERNET PIRACY Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Steve  Jervetson   DRIVERS  OF  GROWTH  
  92. 92. Can China build another Bandra-Worli Sea Link?
  93. 93. Xi Jinping on his visit to India in September 2014 expressed Chinese interest in making huge infrastructure investments in India over the next five years. Investing in infrastructure like highways and bridges gives China a good return on their surplus funds and reduces India’s cost of financing for infrastructure growth. Infrastructure investments also do not share the same dangers as becoming dependent on Chinese technology or undermining national security. This investment plan is an optimistic step up from India’s refusal to allow investments in Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust by Hong- Kong based Hutchinson Port Holding over a decade ago. Given India’s worsening trade imbalance, the plans show promise for India. At the same time, China’s intention to “more resolutely advancing or protecting China's territorial and resource interests and claims” should not be ignored.   CHINESE INVESTMENT IN INDIAN INFRASTRUCTURE Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Rckr88 DRIVERS  OF  GROWTH  
  94. 94. THE FUTURE OF CONFLICT FUTURE DECK
  95. 95.   “Obama’s Speech on Drone Policy”, The New York Times. 23 May 2013. Web. “Clouds of Hypocrisy”, The Economist. 24 Jun 2010. Pranay, Kotasthane, “A solemn reminder, courtesy Pakistan”, Pragati. 15 Nov 2014. Mehtab Haider, “32 plants to produce 40,000MW: PAEC”, The News. 27 Feb 2014. Web. Nitin Pai, “Climate Change and National Secuirity”, The Indian National Interest. April 2008 Nitin Pai, “Buying into superstition instead of military strategy”, Business Standard. 1 April 2012. Rohan Joshi and Pavan Srinath, “Spending for a modern armed force”, Pragati. 14 Mar 2014. REFERENCES
  96. 96. Should India focus on drones?
  97. 97. The use of drones in the military has proliferated greatly in recent times. Their roles have evolved from surveillance to air-to-ground attack roles against targets, largely in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Future conflicts fought between more advanced nations are likely to see the widespread use of more sophisticated and lethal combat drones. The US, UK, Israel and China all manufacture armed drones, with India buying a number of them from Israel, and the DRDO involved in a few indigenous projects. India might need to consider encouraging further private sector local development of such systems. Can it catch up with established players? P   ATTACK OF THE DRONES “New technology raises profound questions — about who is targeted, and why; about civilian casualties, and the risk of creating new enemies; about the legality of such strikes under U.S. and international law; about accountability and morality.” -Barack Obama, President of USA CC  by  Steve  Jurvetson   THE  FUTURE  OF  CONFLICT   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Qine:Q  Group
  98. 98. Is there a peaceful religion?
  99. 99. Globally, there are general beliefs about religions that mark them as inherently peaceful or innately violent. Buddhism is a clear example of a religion that is widely believed to be peaceful especially when compared to a religion like Islam that is now being equated with violence. However, the perceived predisposition to violence stands falsified the moment we survey the Sri Lankan civil war where a Buddhist nation-state that perpetrated systemic violence on religious minorities discovered unwavering justifications from monks and ancient Sri Lankan Buddhist texts to vindicate its stance. In the same vein, the Rohingya Muslims find themselves at the receiving end of systematic discrimination in a Buddhist majority Burma. Thus, it would be simplistic to assume that the adherents of Hinduism, Sikhism or Jainism are somehow less prone to using violence on account of their religion alone.  Preventing religion from entering the domain of the State should be a target we must never take our eyes off. Upholding a republican constitution that affirms fundamental individual rights must become our supreme goal. The good news is that for many of our challenges, we do not need to reinvent the wheel. Our constitution already presents us with a template that can help us ward off the evils of majoritarianism.       ROLE OF RELIGIONS IN CONFLICTS INTERNATIONAL  LANDSCAPE   Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  epSos.de
  100. 100. Will Pakistan nuke India?
  101. 101. The India-Pakistan relationship has long been conflict-ridden and seems likely to continue. Both heads of state, Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif are under pressure to stand up to the other. This is further complicated by each country’s nuclear weapon status. Neither country has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and it seems unlikely that either country will make a unilateral decision to back down on this issue. India has stated its nuclear program was developed for peaceful purposes but as Pakistan plans to build 32 more nuclear power plants, a peaceful future relationship seems less likely.   NUCLEAR ARMS 0   20   40   60   80   100   120   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   Median   India Pakistan Number of Nuclear Warheads (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 2014) Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Jaume  Escofet THE  FUTURE  OF  CONFLICT  
  102. 102. Will there be conflict over water?
  103. 103.   WATER WARS Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by    Nagarjun  Kandukuru THE  FUTURE  OF  CONFLICT   The last time war broke out purely over water was 4500 years ago, between two tribal states in Mesopotamia. The next war over water might not be far, both in time and location. The melting of the Himalayan glaciers as a result of the rise in the earth’s temperature will first increase the drainage through the major river systems into the ocean, followed by reduction in the their volumes once the glaciers begin to disappear. It is projected that some of the mightiest Himalayan rivers might end up as seasonal, monsoon-fed rivers like those in southern India. It is possible to envisage that a water deficient Pakistan will continue to adopt the proxy-war strategy in an attempt to secure a more advantageous territorial settlement. India must consider reviewing its strategic doctrines to deter ‘water wars’. India’s current “no first use” nuclear doctrine threatens punitive retaliation upon a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on its forces. While bringing water wars directly inside the nuclear red line might be disproportionately escalatory, a commitment to the use of force in the event of unilateral diversion of water resources by the upper riparian is likely to have a deterrent effect.
  104. 104. Will climate-change cause new conflicts?
  105. 105.   CONFLICTS TRIGGERED BY CLIMATE CHANGE Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  MendezEnrique THE  FUTURE  OF  CONFLICT   Sustained investment in military modernisation accompanied by a determined emphasis on achieving outcomes has never been more important. Glacial melt, rising sea levels and extreme weather will exacerbate ongoing conflicts and will require India to develop military capabilities to address a range of new strategic scenarios: from supporting international co-operation, to managing ‘hot peace’, to outright military conflict. As such, the use of military force—as is the general case— should be the last resort. If international climate change negotiations succeed in creating a co- operative atmosphere for problem- solving, credible military capability serves as an insurance policy. Long-term defence policy planning should ensure that the Indian armed forces have the capability to address future climate- change scenarios.
  106. 106. Is Stuxnet the new nuclear bomb?
  107. 107.   CYBERWARFARE IN THE FUTURE Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by    Eric  Constan:neau THE  FUTURE  OF  CONFLICT   Conventional discussions on cyber strategy have adopted the concepts and terminology from traditional warfare without always asking if they make sense when applied to the cyber domain. In many ways, this mirrors the 1940s and '50s, when it was believed that nuclear strategy was similar to conventional military strategy, causing the Cold War antagonists to develop ‘tactical’ nukes and vast arsenals. It was decades before the world understood that nuclear strategy is more about strategic deterrence than actual war fighting. Today, we are witnessing a militarisation of cyberstrategy across the world, led by China and the United States. This poses a dilemma for us: while premature militarisation might be wasteful and risk unintended conflict, delayed militarisation might cause us to repeat the errors of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) negotiations. Less obvious, and perhaps more important, the government has realised that it cannot develop the capacity to govern cyberspace on its own. The proposal to "set up a permanent mechanism for private public partnership" that taps into the expertise and human resources available in the country, and not just the government, could pave the way for correcting India's governance deficit.
  108. 108. Can India’s armed forces modernise?
  109. 109.   CAPITAL INVESTMENTS IN INDIA’S ARMED FORCES Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Jaskirat  Singh  Bawa   THE  FUTURE  OF  CONFLICT   Capital outlays for defence acquisitions have seen a systematic decline since 2010-11. The issue is exacerbated by the large size of India’s armed forces. All nations routinely reassess the size and strength of their armed forces. In 2008, Russia announced sweeping military reforms that envisioned reducing the size of its armed forces from 1.13 million to 1 million. However, not only are there no routine assessments on the structure of India’s armed forces, their size also continues to grow rather inexplicably. This expansion skews the revenue-to-capital ratio further in favour of revenue allocations, and stalls modernisation.  
  110. 110. Should we get 100% FDI in defence?
  111. 111.   INDIGENOUS DEFENCE Photo  Overleaf:  CC  by  Prabhu  B  Doss     THE  FUTURE  OF  CONFLICT   Indigenisation of defence production has hitherto met with limited success. Even offsets that require foreign suppliers to spend part of the contract price in India do not result in the transfer of knowledge, skills and human capital that are essential for India to build a modern defence industry.   India could open its defence sector to foreign investors in order to produce the equipment our armed forces need. The biggest argument for indigenisation is that reliance on foreign suppliers is risky because supplies can be withheld in order to coerce us. That risk can be mitigated if we procure military equipment from countries with which India has extensive economic ties, and vice versa. Reducing the incongruence between our top trading partners and our top arms suppliers ought to be an important policy goal. Defence procurement has geopolitical consequences as well. Awarding the tender to the lowest bidder might be the best method to resurface parade grounds — but not for billion-dollar purchases of equipment. Blacklisting companies from friendly powers exposes India to purchases from less friendly ones.

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