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LSE India Observatory Seminars


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5  Jul  2017   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Skilling for Youth Empowerment: Partnering for Inclusive Development

Various Speakers 

Wednesday 5th July 2017, 6pm to 7.30pm, Room 32L.LG.04, 32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, LSE

Speakers: Yogesh Chauhan (Director Corporate Sustainabillity, Tata Consultancy Services), Anant Jani (Asha for Education), Radha Kapoor Khanna (Founder & Executive Director, Indian School of Design & Innovation)

Chair: Ruth Kattumuri (Co-Director, LSE India Observatory)

India’s youth population is estimated to reach 464 million by 2021. With its working age population estimated to be 28% of global working population by 2020, empowering this population and enhancing human capital is a key priority for the development of the country.

The UK has sought to address its challenges of educational and income inequality and low productivity by focusing on skills for its youth.
To facilitate these processes, both India and the UK have invested in major initiatives, such as the Skill India program in India and T-levels and formal apprenticeships in the UK, to empower their citizens with technical and vocational training. Equipping people with the required skills, and enabling for and with relevant opportunities necessitates multi-dimensional and multi-sectoral engagement. It calls for coordination between public, private and non-profit organisations and private corporations.

This panel discussion brings together narratives, field experiences and analyses on initiatives for skilling youth in India and the UK. Participants from diverse sectors will discuss opportunities and partnerships to enhance skills and employability for inclusive and sustainable development in both the countries.

This event is free and open to all but pre-registration through Eventbrite is required to attend. This event will be followed by a reception.

Link to further information

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

3  Jul  2017   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Should India Be Designing Emissions Trading?

Anwar Sadat (Sir Ratan Tata Post-doctoral Fellow (2016-17) from the Indian Society of International Law)

Monday 3rd July 2017, 3.30pm to 4.30pm, Room 32L.LG.03, 32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, LSE

Chair: Dr Ruth Kattumuri Co-Director of the LSE India Observatory

Discussants: Professor Athar Hussain Institute of Global Affairs and Professor Tirthankar Roy Department of Economic History

India has been adhering to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities during climate change negotiations. India has now moved beyond this principle and follows the policies of co-benefits, a policy that meets climate change goals and delivers developmental benefits.

India is the second highest supplier of CDM credits to international markets and has launched energy-efficiency certificate markets in nine of its energy-intensive industries under the programme ‘perform, achieve and trade’, which demonstrates India to be a notable carbon market.

The following developments of the last decade underline that India should start contemplating emissions trading on a pilot basis: (i) trade-related implications of the growing number of countries joining emissions trading (ii) energy-related disputes at WTO weaken India’s policy to rely heavily on renewable energy programme (iii) emergence of 2 degree Celsius setting the cap on India’s emissions, which could become the foundational norm with legal implications. Further, in order to achieve the goal for a stable climate future, India will most likely be required to mitigate its carbon emissions. This paper recommends that India is in a strong position to expand its emissions trading portfolio.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come first served basis.


For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

25  May  2017   LSE India Observatory Seminar

An SVAR Approach to Evaluation of Monetary Policy in India: Solution to the Exchange Rate Puzzles in an Open Economy

Soumya Bhadury (National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER))

3pm to 4pm, Room 32L.2.04, 32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, LSE

Chair: Athar Hussain

This seminar is based on the speaker’s paper with William Barnett and Taniya Ghosh.

Following the exchange-rate paper by Kim and Roubini (J Monet Econ 45(3):561–586, 2000), we revisit the questions on monetary policy, exchange rate delayed overshooting, the inflationary puzzle, and the weak monetary transmission mechanism; but we do so for the open Indian economy. We further incorporate a superior monetary measure, the aggregation-theoretic Divisia monetary aggregate. Our paper confirms the efficacy of the Kim and Roubini (J Monet Econ 45(3):561–586, 2000) contemporaneous restriction, customized for the Indian economy, especially when compared with recursive structure, which is damaged by the price puzzle and the exchange rate puzzle. The importance of incorporating correctly measured money into the exchange rate model is illustrated, when we compare models with no-money, simple-sum monetary measures, and Divisia monetary measures. Our results are confirmed in terms of impulse response, variance decomposition analysis, and out-of-sample forecasting. In addition, we do a flip-flop variance decomposition analysis, finding two important phenomena in the Indian economy: (i) the existence of a weak link between the nominal-policy variable and real-economic activity, and (ii) the use of inflation-targeting as a primary goal of the Indian monetary authority. These two main results are robust, holding across different time period, dissimilar monetary aggregates, and diverse exogenous model designs.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

10  May  2017   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Energy Poverty: Concepts, Measurement and Impacts on Quality of life

Hippu Salk Kristle Nathan (Subir Chowdhury Fellow (2016-17) from National Institute of Advanced Studies)

11.30am to 1pm, Room TW2.9.05, Tower 2, LSE

Chair: Ruth Kattumuri
Discussants: Ehtisham Ahmad, Athar Hussain

This talk highlights the missing priority of energy poverty in energy research and the lack of consensus whether to consider energy as resource or capacity, output or outcome, and quantity or service. Invoking the three approaches in literature to measure energy poverty—economic, engineering, and access-based—the study critiques the economic measure by arguing against the notion of income poverty line, which suffers from arbitrary categorisation of people as poor and non-poor. Under the engineering approach, the study develops a framework with availability, affordability, and acceptability of energy services, devices, and carriers. The study finds the access-based approach for measuring energy poverty as the most suitable to the conventional understanding of poverty.

This research uses the 68th round of national sample survey data and proposes a novel method by introducing a transitional group between energy-poor and non-poor. It considers depth and severity as complements to poverty incidence, rather than substitutes. It defines poverty gap as the proportion of energy consumption in a household from non-efficient energy sources. It evaluates energy poverty among states of urban India and explores the relationship between urban household energy poverty and quality of life expressed in terms of deprivations in nutrition, education, and income.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

14  Jun  2016   LSE India Observatory Seminar

India Observatory Seminar

Various Speakers 

2pm to 4.30pm
Room TW2.9.05, Tower 2, LSE

Speaker: Shalina Susan Mathew (Sir Ratan Tata Post-doctoral Fellow (2015-16) from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras)

Changing Dynamics of Women’s Employment in Kerala, India: A Study of Labour Market Participation Decisions.

Speaker: Swapnendu Banerjee (Subir Chowdhury Fellow (2015-16) from Jadavpur University, Kolkata)

Trade liberalization and Quality Innovation: A Theory and Some Evidence.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

17  May  2016   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Multi-level Finance and the Euro Crisis: Causes and Effects

Various Speakers 

Speakers: Ehtisham Ahmad and Giorgio Brosio

Representing a unique contribution to the analysis and discussion of the unfolding Eurozone crisis in terms of the relationship between central and local government, this book addresses a number of important fiscal and political economy questions. To what extent have local and regional governments contributed to the crisis? To what degree have subnational services and investments borne the brunt of the adjustments? How have multi-level fissures affected tensions between different levels of government from the supranational to the local? This volume covers these and many other critical issues that have been largely ignored despite their relevance.

Link to further information

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

4  May  2016   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Other Regarding Principal and Moral Hazard: A Microeconomic Analysis

Swapnendu Banerjee (Subir Chowdhury Fellow (2015-16) from Jadavpur University, Kolkata)

2pm to 3.30pm, Room 32L.LG.02, 32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, LSE

Chair: Ruth Kattumuri

Using the classic moral hazard problem with limited liability we characterize the optimal incentive contracts when first an other-regarding principal interacts with a self-regarding agent. The optimal contract differs considerably when the principal is ‘inequity averse’ vis-a-vis the self-regarding case. Also the agent is generally (weakly) better-off under an ‘inequity averse’ principal compared to a ‘status seeking’ principal. Then we extend our analysis and characterize the optimal contracts when both other-regarding principal and other-regarding agent interact.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

22  Jan  2016   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Developments in Relations Between Pakistan and India

Zahid Hussain (The Times of London and The Wall Street Journal)

6.30pm to 8pm, Room TW1.G.01, Ground Floor, Tower One, LSE

Chair: Athar Hussain

Following the election of a new government in India and recent increased high-level contact between the two countries, Zahid Hussain will discuss challenges and current prospects for change in Pakistan and India’s bilateral relations.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

27  Oct  2015   LSE India Observatory Seminar

ADB Report - A Smarter Future: Skills, Education and Growth in Asia and the Pacific

Juzhong Zhuang (Asian Development Bank)

1.30pm to 2.30pm, Room TW2.9.04, Tower 2, LSE

Chair: Athar Hussain

The ADB report shows that developing Asia has done well in expanding access to education. But continued economic transformation requires the region to focus more on the quality of education, and to ensure that its workforce has the full complement of skills - cognitive, non-cognitive, and technical - needed for sustained growth. To achieve this goal, developing Asia must base public financing on measurable educational outcomes; design curricula that are well matched to student capabilities and labour-market needs; make sure that curricula are delivered well; and ensure that the disadvantaged receive high-quality education. Above all, decisions in these areas must be guided by robust data metrics for better monitoring, performance evaluation, and accountability.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

7  May  2015   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Bagri Fellows Seminar

Various Speakers 

12pm to 2pm, Room TW2.10.01B, Tower 2, LSE

Speaker: Jason Garred (Bagri Fellow)

Access to Raw Materials and Local Comparative Advantage: The effects of India's freight equalization policy

Speaker: Jonathan Colmer (Bagri Fellow)

The Productivity Effects of Labour Demand Shocks: Evidence from India

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

20  Apr  2015   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Formal and Informal Seed Sector in India and Bangladesh: An examination of mechanism and institutions

Saurabh Kumar (Subir Chowdhury Fellow (2014-15) from CUTS International, India)

1pm to 2pm Room TW2.10.01B, Tower 2, LSE

This paper examines policies, mechanisms and institutions related to the formal and informal seed sector in India and Bangladesh. Informal seed trade is defined as the sum of farmers’ seed production and exchange. Seeds produced and traded by farmers at the informal level is still a major part of the seed sector in India and Bangladesh. Although governments in both the countries have tried to replace it with formal seed production and trade, the legislative framework, institutional weakness and constraints in mechanism impose limits to these efforts. In this context, a re-evaluation of the existing scenario is needed to improve seed production and supply in both countries.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

4  Mar  2015   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Second Demographic Transition or Competing Aspirations: An exploratory analysis of fertility transition in Kolkata, India

Saswata Ghosh (Sir Ratan Tata Post-doctoral Fellow (2014-15) from the Institute of Development Studies Kolkata)

1.45pm to 3pm, Room TW2.10.01B, Tower 2, LSE

Fertility transition occurred during 1970s in Kolkata (erstwhile Calcutta), capital of the state of West Bengal, India, and remained persistently at the lowest-low fertility level. It currently has the lowest fertility rates (TFR 1.2) in India. This could be a case of second demographic transition (SDT) or pertaining to constrains in childbearing and childrearing, and/or aspirations for children. Using primary data of 600 couples (1,200 individuals), and employing quantitative and qualitative methods the present study found that constraints in childbearing and childrearing; and aspirations for children; have strong negative and significant effect on second and higher order childbearing among couples, particularly among women. In our study there was no strong evidence of decline in the importance of marriage, family and children as posited by SDT. Thus we argue that SDT might have to be redefined in a developing country context. Further research is required to validate this argument.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

25  Feb  2015   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Political Commitment to Public Services in India

S. Vivek (Stanford University)

Most people in Tamil Nadu have access to schools, basic healthcare, water, transport and other basic public services – with remarkable impact on people’s well-being. In this seminar, Dr S.Vivek will examine how Tamil Nadu developed its commitment to services, and how it relates to the politics of public services elsewhere in India.

Link to further information

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

13  Feb  2015   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Strengthening Relations Between Europe and India: Which partnership for the Twenty First Century?

Various Speakers 

This event, jointly organised by the LSE European Institute, LSE India Observatory and King’s College London India Institute, aims to discuss some aspects of India-EU relations involving academics and policy makers.

The discussions will explore the following themes:

◾ General issues of involvement and engagement, including perceptions and worldviews
◾ Trade and economic cooperation
◾ Security cooperation and strategic issues
◾ India and Europe’s involvement in international forums and global governance.

Analysing European and Indian areas of common interest, complementarities, convergence, priorities and concerns, along with changed geopolitical realities, will be key to imagine the basis of a stronger partnership in the twenty-first century.

Link to further information

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

27  Nov  2014   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Climate Change and Indus River System Floods, 2010 - 2014: Faulty institutions and governance deficit

Uzma Hanif (Sir Ratan Tata Post-Doctoral Fellow (2013-2014) from Forman Christian College, Lahore)

12.30pm to 2pm, Room TW2.10.01B, Tower 2, LSE

Chair: Professor Athar Hussain

Across the world extreme climatic events have become more common due to the on-going process of climate change which affects all regions of the world in various ways with none immune. The impact is also felt in Pakistan where, according to forecasts, worse is yet to come.

The Inter-government Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its fifth assessment report, identifies floods as key climatic events which pose a threat to infrastructure, the built environment and livelihood. This threat is particularly grave in South Asia, which depends heavily on seasonal rains for farming. Within South Asia, Pakistan, the land of five rivers, is especially prone to droughts and floods, both occurring in the same year.
The Indus system is the main source of food, water and energy for Pakistan. The recurrent floods over the past five years have inflicted a heavy toll in human and animal lives and physical damage. This study explains that deficits in constitutional, legislative and administrative structures, an unstable macro-economic environment, and faulty institutions have compounded the damage and loss caused by floods.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

17  Jun  2014   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Bagri Fellows Seminar

Various Speakers 

1.30pm to 3.30pm, Room TW2.9.05, Tower 2, LSE

Speaker: Johannes Boehm (Bagri Fellow)

Inputs and Productivity in India: The role of institutions and foreign markets.

Speaker: Anokhi Parikh (Bagri Fellow)

Land Assembly in Maharashtra: The myth and muscle of the market.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

8  May  2014   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Dalit Discrimination in Contemporary India and in the UK

Various Speakers 

Co-hosted with LSE Inequality and Poverty Programme and The Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations UK

Speakers: Santosh Dass, Arun Kumar, Jayaseelan Raj and Clarinda Still. Chair: Alpa Shah.

Link to further information

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

20  Mar  2014   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Visiting Fellows Seminar

Various Speakers 

2.30pm to 5pm, Room TW2.9.05, Tower 2, LSE

Speaker: Michitaro Oka (Visiting Fellow at the LSE Asia Research Centre from Meiji University, Japan)

Interlinked Credit and Labour Markets in Gujarat: The trustability of the institution of ‘Kayami’.

Speaker: Srijit Mishra (Subir Chowdhury Fellow (2013-14) from Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai)

Technology, Development and Farmers' Suicides in India: A misplaced debate.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

13  Feb  2014   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Social Protection, Economic Growth and Social Change: Goals, issues and trajectories in China, India, Brazil and South Africa

Various Speakers 

5.30pm to 7pm, Thai Theatre, Room NAB.LG.03, New Academic Building, LSE

Speakers: Francesca Bastagli, Tony Hall, Ruth Kattumuri

Chair: David Piachaud

This highly original and thought-provoking book examines the recent expansion of social protection in China, India, Brazil and South Africa – four countries experiencing rapid economic growth and social change. It documents developments in each country, analyses the impact of government cash transfers and discusses future trends. It shows that social protection has complemented economic growth and supported development efforts. Social protection has been fundamental to promoting equitable and sustainable societies.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

11  Feb  2014   LSE India Observatory Seminar

India Observatory Seminar

Various Speakers 

12.30pm to 4.30pm, Room TW2.10.01B, Tower 2, LSE

Speaker: Laura Aumeer (Thailand Government Scholar 2013)

Local Movements in a Globalised World: A study of the impacts and influences of the relationship between the grassroots and the international within Thailand’s civil society.

Speaker: Thiemo Fetzer (Bagri Fellow)

Can Workfare Programs Moderate Violence? Evidence from India.

Speaker: Silvia Masiero (Bagri Fellow)

Imagining the State through Digital Technologies: A case of State-Level computerisation in the Indian Public Distribution System.

Speaker: Francesco Obino (Bagri Fellow)

‘Voice’ and Legitimacy in Post-aid World Politics: International development NGOs and their decentralisation in India.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

5  Dec  2013   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Crop Insurance for Adaptation to Climate Change in India

Mamata Swain (Visiting Commonwealth Fellow and Ravenshaw University, India)

3pm to 4pm, Room TW2.10.01B, Tower 2, LSE

Chair: Ruth Kattumuri

In India, agriculture is inherently a risky venture due to uncertainty in production and volatility in price, and more so in the context of increased climatic aberrations and globalisation. Therefore, there is a great need for crop insurance to provide economic support to farmers, stabilise farm income, induce farmers to invest in agriculture, reduce indebtedness and decrease the need for relief measures in the event of crop failure. Dr Swain critically analyses the two important crop insurance schemes currently under implementation in India namely the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (an area based crop yield insurance scheme) and the pilot Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) (an area based rainfall insurance scheme). Dr Swain contends that in the context of climate change with increasing agricultural risk, there is a need to redesign insurance products not merely as a risk transfer mechanism but as a potent device to reduce risk and crop loss by inducing desirable proactive and reactive responses in insurance users.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

4  Jun  2013   LSE India Observatory Seminar

India Observatory Seminar

Various Speakers 

3pm to 5pm, Room TW2.10.01B, Tower 2, LSE

Speaker: Taneesha Mohan (Tata PhD Fellow)

Labour Tying Arrangements: An Enduring Aspect of Agrarian Capitalism? A Case Study of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

Speaker: Mrutuyanjaya Sahu (Subir Chowdhury Fellow (2012-13) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India)

Neoliberal Urban Development and Involuntary Resettlement in India.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

29  May  2013   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Development in Caste Society

Avatthi Ramaiah (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai)

12.45pm to 1.45pm, Room 32L.3.05, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

Chair: Polly Vizard

Development has been defined in more than one perspective. While usually it is understood as economic growth, the UN has defined it as a condition that enables people to lead long and healthy lives, to be knowledgeable, to have access to the resources needed for a decent standard of living and to be able to participate in the life of the community. Thus the core objectives of development are to free people from obstacles that affect their ability to develop their own lives and communities; empower people to take control of their own lives; to express their own demands and to find their own solutions to their problems. In short, freedom becomes central to the debate on development. This seminar will focus on whether the caste system allows such a freedom to individuals and groups within its structure, and what challenges it poses to accomplishing the objectives of development.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

24  May  2013   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Pakistani Election: Outcome & Implications for the Future

Various Speakers 

12pm to 1.30pm, Thai Theatre, Room NAB.LG.03, Lower Ground Floor, New Academic Building, LSE

Panellists: Ehtisham Ahmad and Athar Hussain

The Pakistani election held on May 11th 2013 is the first time a democratically elected government has been succeeded by another without a military coup. The election comes against the backdrop of substantial decentralisation of powers from central to provincial governments. The election results show a marked regionalisation of politics in Pakistan. Bar some minor exceptions, seats in the National Assembly won by each party are from one province only. As warned by the Taliban, the run-up to the election and the polling day have been marked by targeted killing of candidates and terrorist attacks. However, the election campaign has been lively. The population has shown its fervour for democracy by travelling long distances to polling stations and queuing for hours to cast their votes. Notwithstanding the condemnation of the election as “unIslamic”, women turned out in force to cast their vote. Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N emerged as the single largest party. He is poised to become Prime Minster after 14 years. The furore over vote-rigging will be the least of his troubles. In his campaign, he promised to turn around the ailing economy and end the crippling power shortages. The purposes of the meeting is to discuss the outcome of the election and analyse its implications for dealing with the ills of the economy and the threat of terrorism that hangs over the country.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

15  May  2013   LSE India Observatory Seminar

Regional Economic Integration in South Asia: Trapped in conflict?

Amita Batra (University of Edinburgh)

3pm to 4pm, Room TW2 10.01B, 10th Floor, Tower 2, LSE

Chair: Ruth Kattumuri

The talk will be based on the speaker’s recent book Regional Economic Integration in South Asia: Trapped in Conflict? (London: Routledge, 2012). The talk will examine how South Asia, with historically and geographically proximate countries and exceptional economic dynamism of its largest economy when caught in persistent conflict, demonstrates underperformance of its potential for economic integration.

Giving a background analysis of the economic and trade profile of the South Asian region and the nature and chronology of conflict therein, the talk will present the quantitative estimates of the cost of conflict in terms of loss of trade for South Asia. In particular the multi-dimensional representation of conflict in an augmented gravity model and its econometric estimation with a dataset extending over the time period 1965-2000 will be discussed. The talk will highlight how disputed borders and persistent conflict can debilitate trade relationships and prevent a region from exploiting its trade potential.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.

6  Feb  2013   LSE India Observatory Seminar

India Observatory Seminar

Various Speakers 

12.30pm to 2pm, Room TW2.10.01B, Tower 2, LSE

Speaker: Luke Swainson (PhD student, Australian National University)

Greening the Economy: Putting theory into practice in Aceh Province, Indonesia.

Speaker: Satyapriya Rout (Sir Ratan Tata Post-doctoral Fellow (2012-13) from University of Hyderabad)

Sustaining Southeast Asia's Forests: Community, Institutions and Forest Governance in Thailand.

Speaker: Scott MacDonald (Thailand Government Scholar 2012)

Solar Photovoltaic Energy in Thailand: An assessment of government support mechanisms.

For further information please contact india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.