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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

16 Jun2018

Burgeoning Indian cities need infrastructure development to keep pace with growth

Published by The Economic Times

Cities are, in many ways, the future of India. The number of metropolitan cities with a population higher than one million jumped from 35 in 2001 to 50 in 2011, and is expected to reach 87 by 2031. Today, 40 crore people call an Indian metropolis home. That will double by 2050. This swift growth places huge pressure on infrastructure. A March 2011 report by a high-powered expert committee chaired by Isher Judge Ahluwalia (goo.gl/r5ZLM3) found that the duration of water supply in Indian.

3 Jun2018

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana: The arithmetics of housing for all

Published by The Economic Times

n 2014, GoI set out to improve housing conditions for the urban poor, and launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), a housing for all (HFA) by 2022 scheme. There are three possible paths to achieve this goal, some approaches stronger than others. Analysis by Amitabh Kundu of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi, and Arjun Kumar of the Institute of Human Development (IHD), New Delhi (goo.gl/hBHskT and goo.gl/pGp8F6) also prompt the broader question as to whether non-housing policies may better help the urban poor. The first approach examined is...

31 May2018

Why cancelling the LPG subsidy is a poor option

Published by Hindustan Times

Air pollution kills more than 16 lakh people in India every year — more than smoking, malnutrition or even a lack of water and sanitation. And while the toxic soup of outdoor air pollution over Delhi and many other cities rightly gets a lot of attention, indoor air pollution from household cooking and heating with biomass fuels kills almost as many, or about eight lakh people, every year. A majority of rural households continue to use biomass (such as wood and cow dung) as their primary cooking fuel. Various measures have promoted cooking with LPG, a significantly cleaner fossil fuel. An LPG...

30 May2018

Is loan waiver a panacea for rural distress?

Published by The Financial Express

On the eve of the Karnataka election, waivers of farm loans were one of the major election promises. Now, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy wants to fulfill his pre-poll promise and even threatened to resign if he cannot fulfill his promise. As has been seen time and time again, “farmers first” provides political mileage. With more than 55% of Indians earning their livelihood from the agricultural sector, it comes as no surprise that political parties like to place their bets on the farmers’ cause. However, the real benefit to the farmers won’t come from loan waivers. We studied responses to...

25 May2018

Poverty: The direct approach isn’t always best

Published by Mint

Sometimes in life, it is clear that the direct approach isn’t the best one. This is true in many areas, even when it comes to policymaking. Take, as an example, the area of extreme poverty. It seems logical, at first, that the most effective response should be head-on: giving money and assets to protect people from income shocks. In recent times, microcredit schemes have been presented as a panacea, attracting a lot of money around the world. However, a series of trials have shown that microcredit doesn’t do much good—often not even increasing average incomes, and burying the poor in debt.

25 May2018

Ease of doing business: Land record reforms ahoy!

Published by The Economic Times

Ensuring clear property titles can go a long way in making the land market more transparent and efficient. Completion of survey and resurvey activities, and digitisation of cadastral maps will cost about Rs 213 crore. However, this will have multiple benefits. Evidence shows that strengthening property rights reduces the risk of expropriation and corruption. It also improves the mechanisms for peaceful resolution of disputes and contract enforcement.

21 May2018

Do Children Cause Global Warming?

Published by Project Syndicate

Across all cultures, raising a child is considered one of the most rewarding things a person can do. Yet a chorus of campaigners, scientists, and journalists suggest that everyone should think twice before procreating. The United States’ public radio broadcaster NPR asks, “Should We Be Having Kids in the Age of Climate Change?” The Nation magazine wants to know, “How Do You Decide to Have a Baby When Climate Change Is Remaking Life on Earth?” The Guardian counsels readers: “Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children.” And the New York Times warns that having a child is the worst...

18 May2018

Time for Indian states to pick best opportunities to compete globally

Published by The Economic Times

Free trade provides the greatest opportunity to improve human welfare. India is transforming, thanks to its strong performance selling products and services around the globe. But what interventions, at a State level, can do the most to ensure Indian exports are globally competitive? Research by Amitendu Palit, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, provides answers. In Andhra Pradesh, Palit looks at approaches that would align with the ongoing coastal economic development strategy, Sagarmala, and with the State’s strategy, which seeks to fully utilise the...

14 May2018

How to improve agricultural productivity

Published by Mint

Global attention has been devoted to water scarcity and its effect on Indian farmers. However, new analysis from Indian researchers suggests that far more good could come if irrigation were combined with seed improvement. Tata Trusts and Copenhagen Consensus have commissioned new research by noted experts from India and around the world, looking at measures that would help Indian states respond to major challenges and improve their competitiveness, economic performance, and the well-being and prosperity of citizens. The new research focuses on establishing how much different policies would...

14 May2018

Diabetes and heart disease should be top health priorities

Published by Hindustan Times

Chronic diseases claim more Indian lives than infectious diseases, and take a huge toll: Between 2012 and 2030, non-communicable diseases and mental health conditions are expected to cost India $4.58 trillion. The government supports states to respond, but much more needs to be done. New research for India Consensus, a collaboration between Tata Trusts and Copenhagen Consensus, reveals some strategies should be prioritised against specific diseases. The analysis by Professor Shreelata Rao Seshadri of Azim Premji University with Vijayalakshmi Hebbare fills evidence gaps by identifying the...

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