Episode 169: Taking Stock of Covid-19

How should India handle Covid-19? Every option on the table carries huge costs, and will take countless lives. Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 169 of The Seen and the Unseen to help navigate the complex decisions that policy makers are being forced to make with little information.

Also check out:
1. India must shut itself down to contain the coronavirus — Shruti Rajagopalan (Mar 16)
2. Shruti Rajagopalan on India and the coronavirus — Marginal Revolution (Mar 25)
3. The lockdown may be doing us more harm than good — Shruti Rajagopalan (Mar 30)
4. Assessing Healthcare Capacity in India — Shruti Rajagopalan and Abishek Choutagunta
5. Pandemic Policy in Developing Countries: Recommendations for India — Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok
6. We have miles of roadblocks to remove before we sleep (Apr 13) — Shruti

Episode 206: Lessons From 2020

…world itself. (Amit)
5. We should think more about inter-generational tradeoffs, and consider lowering the voting age. (Shruti)
6. Software is eating the biological world. (Alex)
7. Science is not the problem. The problem is economic illiteracy. (Shruti)
7.5. We should move from collectivized decision-making to respecting individual choice. (Alex)
8. We need to rethink education. Not just the delivery of it, but how we think of education itself. (Amit)
9. A bigger problem than state capacity is state will. (Alex)
10. Politicians don’t always behave in a rational, self-interested way. (Shruti)
11. Politics is driven only by tribalism. (Amit)
12. The internet is even better than we thought. (Alex)
13. Markets don’t solve everything. (Shruti)
14. We should worry more about computer viruses. (Alex)
15. We should take a closer look at how we relate to other…

Episode 180: Elite Imitation in Public Policy

Indian decision makers often blindly copy public policy from abroad, without considering whether it would work in local conditions. Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok join Amit Varma in episode 180 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain the damage caused by such ‘isomorphic mimicry,’ and why it happens in the first place.

Also check out:
1. Premature Imitation and India’s Flailing State — Shruti Rajagopalan & Alexander Tabarrok.
2. Modern Principles of Macroeconomics — Tyler Cowen & Alex Tabarrok.
3. Modern Principles of Microeconomics — Tyler Cowen & Alex Tabarrok.
4. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State — Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
5. The Delhi Smog — Episode 44 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul).
6. Is India a Flailing State? — Lant Pritchett.
7. We Are…

Episode 237: The Importance of the 1991 Reforms

The liberalisation of 1991 lifted more than a quarter of a billion people in India out of poverty. And yet, we often don’t recognise their importance, and have gone backwards in the last decade. Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah join Amit Varma in episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss what life was like before 1991, where we had gone wrong, what we put right and what remains to be done.

Also check out:
1. The 1991 Project.
2. The quest for economic freedom in India — Shruti Rajagopalan.
3. Ideas and Origins of the Planning Commission in India — Shruti Rajagopalan.
4. The Art and Science of Economic Policy — Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah).
5. The Economics and Politics of Vaccines — Episode 223 of The Seen…

Episode 85: DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State

…forced into jugaad to cope with it, and that this jugaad might seem to be a good thing, but represents the enormous cost that all of us pay.

Also see:
1. Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread.
2. ‘Narendra Modi Takes a Great Leap Backwards’ — Amit Varma
3. ‘The Landscape of Freedom in India’ — Amit Varma
4. ‘The Humanitarian Cost Trumps Any Economic Argument’ — Amit Varma
5. ‘What the RBI data on demonetization tells us’ — Shruti Rajagopalan
6. ‘Demonetisation and Welfare’ — Shruti Rajagopalan and Larry White
7. ‘Formalization of the economy is a form of coercion’ — Shruti Rajagopalan
8. Episode 2 of The Seen and the Unseen, on Demonetisation, with Suyash Rai
9. Episode 18 of The Seen and the Unseen, on restaurant regulations, with Madhu Menon

Episode 200: The Hunter Becomes the Hunted

The tables are turned in episode 200 of The Seen and the Unseen. Host Amit Varma is in the firing line, replying to questions from 22 of his past guests and fans as Shruti Rajagopalan plays proctor. They talk about poker, podcasting, politics, policy and the personal.

Show Notes
1. Select episodes of The Seen and the Unseen featuring Shruti Rajagopalan (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Manu Pillai (98, 127, 156), VK Karthika, Rajat Ubhaykar, Chinmay Tumbe, Prem Panicker (41, 46), Joy Bhattacharjya, Akshaya Mukul, Ira Mukhoty, Parvati Sharma, Manimugdha Sharma, Supriya Gandhi, Harsha Bhogle, Karthik Muralidharan, Srinath Raghavan (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Pranay Kotasthane (1, 2), Hamsini Hariharan (1, 2, 3, 4), Russ Roberts, Arvind Subramanian, Ram Guha (1, 2, 3), Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Narayani Basu, Amardeep Singh, Aakar Patel, Rahul Verma, Ashok Malik, Barun Mitra+Kumar Anand, Matt Ridley, Neelesh Misra, Puja Mehra,…

Episode 153: The Indian Economy in 2019

…for the Indian Economy in 2020? — Vivek Kaul
9. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State — Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan)
10. The Bad and Complex Tax — Episode 74 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan)
11. GST — Episode 3 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Devangshu Datta)
12. GST Revisted — Episode 28 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul)
13. India’s Lost Decade — Episode 119 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra)
14. Demystifying GDP — Episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajeswari Sengupta)
15. In Service of the Republic — Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah
16, Every Act of Government Is an Act of Violence — Amit Varma
17. Narrative Economics — Robert Shiller
18. Where…

Episode 233: Pranay Kotasthane Talks Public Policy

…before learning public policy — Pranay Kotasthane.
18. The Double ‘Thank-You’ Moment — John Stossel.
19. Opportunity Cost Neglect in Public Policy — Emil Persson and Gustav Tinghög.
20. Whose Money is it Anyway? — Amit Varma.
21. The 4 Ways to Spend Money — Milton Friedman.
22. Discover Your Inner Economist — Tyler Cowen.
23. In Service of the Republic — Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah.
24. The Art and Science of Economic Policy — Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah).
25. Amit Varma’s prescient 2017 tweet on the price caps on stents.
26. Episodes of the Seen and the Unseen on GST with Devangshu Datta, Vivek Kaul and Shruti Rajagopalan.
26. Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread.
27. Narendra Modi Takes a Great…

Episode 138: Twelve Dream Reforms

Times are bad — but pessimists can dream! Tired of only talking about problems, Shruti Rajagopalan, Rajeswari Sengupta and Vivek Kaul join Amit Varma in episode 138 of The Seen and the Unseen, to propose solutions! Three each. Many bad jokes and Bollywood songs are thrown in.

Also check out
1. Population Is Not a Problem, but Our Greatest Strength — Amit Varma.
2. Alone in the City — Amit Varma
3. Where Are the Jobs? — Ep 87 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Yazad Jal)
4. Education in India — Ep 77 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amit Chandra)
5. Urban Governance in India — Ep 31 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan)
6. The Bad and Complex Tax — Ep 74 of The Seen and the

Episode 247: The Business of Winning Elections

…Ramachandra Guha.
9. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism — Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul).
10. Political Ideology in India — Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma).
11. Dreamers: How Indians are Changing the World — Snigdha Poonam.
12. Young India — Episode 83 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Snigdha Poonam).
13. Maharashtra Politics Unscrambled — Episode 151 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sujatha Anandan).
14. The Lost Decade — Puja Mehra.
15. India’s Lost Decade — Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra).
16. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms — Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah).
17. Hamsini Hariharan’s tweet on ‘Indic’.
18. Private Truths, Public Lies — Timur Kuran.

Episode 227: Taking Stock of Our Economy

…Episode 138 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan, Rajeswari Sengupta and Vivek Kaul.)
16. The Seen and the Unseen episodes on Demonetisation and GST.
17. Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread.
18. Understanding Indian Healthcare — Episode 225 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan).
19. Women at Work — Episode 132 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Namita Bhandare).
20. Past episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on Covid-19, featuring (in reverse chronological order) Ashwin Mahesh, Gautam Menon, Ajay Shah, Anirban Mahapatra, Ruben Mascarenhas, Chinmay Tumbe, Rukmini S, Vaidehi Tandel, Vivek Kaul, Anup Malani and Shruti Rajagopalan.
21. India’s Problem is Poverty, Not Inequality — Amit Varma.
22. Anup Malani on India’s COVID Second Wave — Episode 13 of Season 5 of Grand Tamasha, hosted by Milan Vaishnav.

Episode 194: The First Assault on Our Constitution

The constitution of India, it has been said, is not a book but a periodical. Starting with Jawaharlal Nehru, every prime minister who wanted to do something unconstitutional simply amended the constitution. Tripurdaman Singh joins Amit Varma in episode 194 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss India’s First Amendment, which began a rot that never ended.

Also check out:
1. Sixteen Stormy Days — Tripurdaman Singh.
2. Imperial Sovereignty and Local Politics — Tripurdaman Singh.
3. The books of CA Bayly.
4. Shruti Rajagopalan on our constitutional amendments.
5. The Right to Property — Episode 26 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
6. ‘Not murder but mimicry’ — Kapil Komireddi’s tweet.
7. Modi’s Lost Opportunity — Episode 119 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Salman Soz).
8. India’s Greatest Civil Servant —…

Episode 191: Our Cities After Covid-19

…Spatial Economics: The Declining Cost of Distance — Karen Harris, Andrew Schwedel and Austin Kimson.
8. Triumph of the City — Edward L Glaeser.
9. Order Without Design – How Markets Shape Cities — Alain Bertaud.
10. The Importance of Cities — Episode 108 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Reuben Abraham & Pritika Hingorani.)
11. The Seen and the Unseen episodes with Alex Tabarrok on FSI and Rent Control.
12. Urban Governance in India — Episode 31 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
13. Taking Stock of Covid-19 — Episode 169 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
14. The Nuances of Lockdown — Episode 176 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Anup Malani).
15. India’s Economy in the Time of Covid-19 — Episode 177 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul).<br…

Episode 188: What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been

…Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra).
17. Episode of The Seen and the Unseen on GST with Devangshu Datta, Vivek Kaul and Shruti Rajagopalan.
18. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State — Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
19. ‘Narendra Modi Takes a Great Leap Backwards’ — Amit Varma.
20. Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread.
21. Restart: The Last Chance for the Indian Economy — Mihir Sharma.
22. We Are Fighting Two Disasters: Covid-19 and the Indian State — Amit Varma.
23. The State of Our Farmers — Episode 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil).
24. India’s Agriculture Crisis — Episode 140 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra and Kumar Anand).
25. We Must Save Our…

Episode 35: The Bhopal Gas Tragedies

In episode 35 of The Seen and the Unseen, economist and lawyer Shruti Rajagopalan explains why there were three Bhopal Gas Tragedies, not just one.

Also read: Bhopal Gas Tragedy: Paternalism and Filicide (pdf link) — Shruti Rajagopalan

Episode 215: A Writer Learns to See

…9. The Art of Translation — Episode 168 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Arunava Sinha).
10. राधा सौंदर्य — Beni Prasad Beni.
11. Thandi Hawayein Lehrake Aaye.
12. Aakar Patel at The Windowpane Sessions.
13. A Scientist in the Kitchen — Episode 204 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Krish Ashok).
14. A Meditation on Form — Amit Varma.
15. Jackson Katz’s TedX talk about violence against women and the passive voice. (Also, this quote.)
16. Demystifying GDP — Episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajeswari Sengupta).
17. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State — Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
18. Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread.
19. Our Colourful Past — Episode 127 of The Seen and the Unseen (w…

Episode 100: The 100th Episode Ramble

The Seen and the Unseen reaches 100 episodes! Yea! Economist Shruti Rajagopalan, the most frequent guest on the show, joins host Amit Varma as they shoot the breeze about the 99 episodes before this, the horrors of 2018, and the further horrors of 2019.

Also check out:
These past episodes with Gunvant Patil, Vikram Doctor, Harsha Bhogle, Gideon Haigh+Prem Panicker, Rajesh Jain, Vishwanath S, Parth Shah, Amit Chandra, Alex Tabarrok, Naveen Noronha, Kumar Anand, Vivek Kaul, Ashok Malik, Nikita+Supriya (on #MeToo), Devika+Nidhi+Hamsini and Matt Ridley.

And also with Shruti on the Right to Property, DeMon, GST, #MeToo and Caste.

And ah, The Matunga Racket.

Episode 225: Understanding Indian Healthcare

We may have been in denial earlier, but no more. Covid-19 has laid bare how badly India’s healthcare system is broken. Before we can fix it, we must understand it. Karthik Muralidharan joins Amit Varma in episode 225 of The Seen and the Unseen to shed light on his many years of studying this field. The discussion also contains thoughts on whether GDP is edible, and a bout of antakshiri right at the end.

Also check out:
1. Fixing Indian Education — Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan).
2. Past episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on Covid-19, featuring (in reverse chronological order) Gautam Menon, Ajay Shah, Anirban Mahapatra, Ruben Mascarenhas, Chinmay Tumbe, Rukmini S, Vaidehi Tandel, Vivek Kaul, Anup Malani and Shruti Rajagopalan.
3. We Are Fighting Two Disasters: Covid-19 and the Indian State — Amit…

Episode 228: The Kavita Krishnan Files

…Unseen (w Namita Bhandare).
9. Metrics of Empowerment — Episode 88 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Devika Kher, Nidhi Gupta and Hamsini Hariharan).
10. The #MeToo Movement — Episode 90 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Supriya Nair & Nikita Saxena).
11. An Economist Looks at #MeToo — Episode 92 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
12. Misogyny is the Oldest Indian Tradition — Amit Varma.
13. Men Must Step Up Now — Amit Varma.
14. Over 1600 Teachers Died of COVID-19 After Poll Duty for Panchayat Elections — Manoj Singh.
15. Enid Blyton on Amazon.
16. Little Women — Louisa May Alcott.
17. To Kill a Mockingbird — Harper Lee.
18. The Awakening, and Selected Short Stories — Kate Chopin.
19. Max Beerbohm and James Thurber on Amazon.
20. Crime and…

Episode 74: The Bad and Complex Tax

GST was supposed to be a Good and Simple Tax, but has ended up as just the opposite. This is hurting the poor the most. Economist Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 74 of The Seen and the Unseen to suggest a way out.

Also check out
Simple Rules for a Complex World — Shruti Rajagopalan
GST — Episode 3 of The Seen and the Unseen with Devangshu Datta
GST Revisited — Episode 28 of The Seen and the Unseen with Vivek Kaul

Episode 82: Swachh Bharat

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is short-sighted, and does not achieve its purpose. Why? What can we do? Economist Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 82 of The Seen and the Unseen to break it all down.

Also read
India needs sewage systems, not free toilets — Shruti Rajagopalan
That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen — Frédéric Bastiat
The Use of Knowledge in Society — Friedrich Hayek
Public Choice: Politics Without Romance — James Buchanan
Where India Goes — Diane Coffey and Dean Spears
Why Are Our Cities So Messed Up — ep 31 of The Seen and the Unseen
How We Messed Up Our Caste Problem — ep 52 of The Seen and the Unseen

Episode 123: India’s Supreme Court

As the recent sexual harassment case indicates, all is not well with the Supreme Court of India. Constitutional economist Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 123 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why the Supreme Court has gone wrong on both ends of the tradeoff between Independence and Accountability.

Also check out:
Justice Is Dead, Long Live the Justices — Shruti Rajagopalan
Imagine No Possessions — Episode 26 of The Seen and the Unseen
Fixing Our Judicial System — Episode 62 of The Seen and the Unseen
Ek Baar Jo Maine Commitment Kar Di — Amit Varma
Where Have All the Leaders Gone? — Amit Varma

Episode 119: Modi’s Lost Opportunity

Despite being a Congress spokesperson, economist Salman Soz was hopeful in 2014 that the Modi government would be good for India. As the title of his new book indicates, that turned out to be quite The Great Disappointment. Soz joins Amit Varma in episode 119 of The Seen and the Unseen to elaborate on the many economic failures of the Modi government. He also tackles tough questions on the Congress party .

Also check out:

1. The Great Disappointment — Salman Soz

2. India’s Lost Decade — Ep 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra)

3. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State — Ep 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan)

4. The Bad and Complex Tax — ep 74 of The Seen and the Unseen ( w Shruti Rajagopalan)

5. The

Episode 92: An Economist Looks at #MeToo

Will the #MeToo movement change behaviour by changing incentives? Economist Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 92 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about Criminal Economics in the context of crimes on women in India.

Also check out:
Changing the Costs for the Rational Sexual Predator: Shruti Rajagopalan in Mint
Men Must Step Up Now: Amit Varma’s editorial in Pragati
The Importance of #MeToo: Episode 90 of The Seen and the Unseen
Metrics of Empowerment: Episode 88 of The Seen and the Unseen
Fixing Our Judicial System: Episode 62 of The Seen and the Unseen

Episode 26: The Right to Property

The Right to Property is the underpinning of all our rights — and yet, the Indian constitution does not consider it a Fundamental Right, though it once did. Constitutional expert Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma to discuss why this right is important, and the consequences of its being weakened in India.

Also read: Why We Need The Right To Private Property — Shruti Rajagopalan

Episode 226: Helping Others in the Fog of Pandemic

…Mascarenhas, Chinmay Tumbe, Rukmini S, Vaidehi Tandel, Vivek Kaul, Anup Malani and Shruti Rajagopalan.
5. Despatches 36: The broader, continuing disaster — Amit Varma.
6. We Are Fighting Two Disasters: Covid-19 and the Indian State — Amit Varma.
7. Community: The Structure of Belonging — Peter Block.
8. History of European Morals — WEH Lecky.
9. The Expanding Circle: Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress — Peter Singer.
10. Tolstoy’s Chicken and the Expanding Circle — Amit Varma.
11. The Astonishing Hypothesis — Francis Crick.
12. Resisting State Injustice — Episode 120 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Jason Brennan).
13. The Lake Wobegon Effect.
14. Poker at Lake Wobegon — Amit Varma.
15. The Second Coming — William Butler Yeats.

This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus. Check out their course, The Great Revolutions of…

Episode 229: The Practice of Medicine

In these difficult times, no one’s had a harder time than our medical professionals. They see death every day, and they fight it. What is it like to be a doctor in India? Lancelot Pinto joins Amit Varma in episode 229 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the practice of medicine in general, and the battle against Covid-19 in particular. Also discussed: the incentives of doctors, the importance of sleep, how to quit smoking, and the Epidemic of Sighing.

Also check out:
1. Past episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on Covid-19, featuring (in reverse chronological order) Ashwin Mahesh, Gautam Menon, Ajay Shah, Anirban Mahapatra, Ruben Mascarenhas, Chinmay Tumbe, Rukmini S, Vaidehi Tandel, Vivek Kaul, Anup Malani and Shruti Rajagopalan.
2. Robin Cook on Amazon.
3. The Case Against Sugar — Gary Taubes.
4. The Big Fat Surprise:…

Episode 248: The Decline of the Congress

…of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah).
15. The Baptist, the Bootlegger and the Dead Man Walking — Amit Varma.
16. Caste in Indian Politics — Rajni Kothari.
17. Politics In India — Rajni Kothari.
18. Lessons from an Ankhon Dekhi Prime Minister — Amit Varma.
19. The Burden of Democracy — Pratap Bhanu Mehta.
20. Myron Weiner, Saadat Hasan Manto, Shivani and Harishankar Parsai on Amazon.
21. Murdahiya — Dr Tulsiram.
22. Raag Darbari (Hindi) (English) — Shrilal Shukla.
23. Dynastic parties: Organization, finance and impact — Pradeep Chhibber.
24. 24 Akbar Road — Rashid Kidwai.
25. Congress after Indira: Policy, Power, Political Change — Zoya Hasan.
26. The future of the Congress party — A Conversation between Yamini Aiyar, Zoya Hasan and Rahul Verma.
27. Why big companies squander brilliant…

Episode 224: Modeling Covid-19

…Sheila Jasanoff.
5. The Big Question: Can India Find a Way Out of Its Covid Nightmare? — Shahid Jameel interviewed by Bobby Ghosh.
6. Past episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on Covid-19, featuring (in reverse chronological order) Ajay Shah, Anirban Mahapatra, Ruben Mascarenhas, Chinmay Tumbe, Rukmini S, Vaidehi Tandel, Vivek Kaul, Anup Malani and Shruti Rajagopalan.
7. My Family and Other Animals — Gerald Durrell.
8. A Cricket Tragic Celebrates the Game — Episode 201 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ramachandra Guha).
9. Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction — Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner.
10. We Are All Gamblers — Amit Varma.
11. Range Rover — Amit Varma’s column on poker for the Economic Times.
12. Demystifying GDP — Episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajeswari Sengupta).
13. The New World Upon…

Episode 252: The State of Our Economy

…7. India’s Start-Up Ecosystem — Episode 171 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satyanand).
8. The Tragedy of Our Farm Bills — Episode 211 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah).
9. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on agriculture (in reverse chronological order): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
10. Previous episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on Covid-19: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.
11. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms — Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
12. Taking Stock of Our Economy (May 2021) — Episode 227 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ila Patnaik).
13. The Indian Economy in 2019 — Episode 153 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul).
14. Demystifying GDP — Episode…

Episode 223: The Economics and Politics of Vaccines

…Indian Covid-19 Vaccination — Amrita Agarwal & Ajay Shah.
7. Vaccination in India: How Will Demand Change When Persons Above Age 18 Are Eligible? — Renuka Sane & Ajay Shah.
8. The Best Way to Vaccinate Most Indians in the Least Time — Shruti Rajagopalan (Sep 14, 2020).
9. Vaccinating India: What Next? — Naushad Forbes (March 16, 2021).
10. India’s Covid Crisis Has a Familiar Culprit — Mihir Sharma (April 13, 2021).
11. Biden Admin Remakes Vaccine Strategy — Erin Banco (March 29, 2021).
12. NYT Covid Vaccinations Tracker.
13. Previous episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on Covid-19: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
14. In Service of the Republic — Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah.
15. The Art and Science of Economic Policy — Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar…

Episode 238: The State of Indian Sport

…whisky-swilling shooters and café-stopping runners were once Olympians too — Joy Bhattacharjya.
9. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms — Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan & Ajay Shah).
10. A Shot At History: My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold — Abhinav Bindra and Rohit Brijnath.
11. A Cricket Tragic Celebrates the Game — Episode 201 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ramachandra Guha).
12. The Tamilian gentleman who took on the world — Amit Varma.
13. The Girl From Haryana — Amit Varma.
14. Relative Age Effect (Wikipedia).
15. Outliers: The Story of Success — Malcolm Gladwell.
16. The Psychological Impact of the Partition of India — Edited by Sanjeev Jain and Alok Sarin.

Do follow Joy Bhattacharjya and Nandan Kamath on Twitter.

Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free!

Episode 214: Raghu Sanjaylal Jaitley’s Father’s Scooter

…— Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma).
22. The Three Languages of Politics — Arnold Kling.
23. Naya Daur, the anti-Nehruvian film from 1957.
24. Nehru’s Hero: Dilip Kumar In The Life Of India — Meghnad Desai.
25. The Twitter threads on Mahmood Farooqui by Kavita Krishnan and Audrey Truschke.
26. Misogyny and our Legal System — Episode 58 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Madhav Chandavarkar and Hamsini Hariharan).
27. The Harshacharita of Banabhatta.
28. Murty Classical Library of India.
29. The End of History and the Last Man — Francis Fukuyama.
30. The Light that Failed — Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes.
31. Elite Imitation in Public Policy — Episode 180 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok).
32. What Really Happened? — Lawrence H White…

Episode 211: The Tragedy of Our Farm Bills

…16. We Are Fighting Two Disasters: Covid-19 and the Indian State — Amit Varma.
17. Public Choice Theory — Episode 121 of The Seen and the Unseen.
18. Analysing the 2021 budget — Ajay Shah.
19. The Theatre of the Budget (2020) — Episode 159 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah and Vivek Kaul).
20. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State — Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
21. Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread.
22. India’s Water Crisis — Episode 60 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vishwanath S aka Zenrainman).
23. The Delhi Smog — Episode 44 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul).
24. Episode of The Seen and the Unseen on GST: 1, 2, 3.
25. Pratap Bhanu Mehta…

Episode 177: India’s Economy in the Time of Covid-19

Our economy was going down, down, down well before Covid-19 struck. And now? Vivek Kaul joins Amit Varma in episode 177 of The Seen and the Unseen to spread his usual quota of sunshine and joy.

Also check out:
1. TikTok and Indian Society — An online course by Amit Varma.
2. Bad Money — Vivek Kaul.
3. Taking Stock of Covid-19 — Episode 169 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
4. The Nuances of Lockdown — Episode 176 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Anup Malani).
5. The Indian Economy in 2019 — Episode 153 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul).
6. India’s Lost Decade — Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra).
7. The Art and Science of Economic Policy — Episode 154 of The Seen…

Episode 210: Feeding the Hungry in the Pandemic

…Seen and the Unseen on the pandemic: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
7. We Are Fighting Two Disasters: Covid-19 and the Indian State — Amit Varma.
8. Reforming Urban Governance — Episode 48 of The Seen and the Unseen (w V Ravichandar).
9. Urban Governance in India — Episode 31 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
10. Where Have All The Leaders Gone? — Amit Varma.
11. AAP and Down — Mayank Gandhi and Shrey Shah.
12. Politics and the Sociopath (2014) — Amit Varma.
13. Fixing Indian Education — Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan)
14. Education in India — Episode 77 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amit Chandra).
15. Our Unlucky Children (2008) — Amit Varma.
16. Fund Schooling, Not Schools (2007) — Amit Varma.
17….

Episode 131: Political Ideology in India

The usual spectrum of left and right does not apply to Indian politics. But does that mean that our politics is based on identity and patronage, and not ideology? Not quite, says political scientist Rahul Verma, as he joins Amit Varma in episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain the two ideological cleavages that divide India.

Also check out:
1. Ideology and Identity — Pradeep K Chhibber and Rahul Verma
2. Religious Practice and Democracy in India — Pradeep K Chhibber
3. Religion and Ideology in Indian Society — Episode 124 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Suyash Rai)
4. Imagine No Possessions — Episode 26 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan)
5. Crime in Indian Politics — Episode 114 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Milan Vaishnav)

Episode 52: Caste in Modern India

Modern India’s greatest shame is that even after 70 years of Independence, we still haven’t solved the problem of caste. Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 52 of the Seen and the Unseen to shed light on some of the ways in which we have messed up at an institutional level.

Episode 53: Pakodanomics

Narendra Modi famously invoked a pakoda seller last week when he spoke about job creation in India. How apt is that invocation? Columnist Vivek Kaul, who coined the term ‘Pakodanomics’, and economist Shruti Rajagopalan join Amit Varma in episode 53 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the prime minister, the pakoda seller and India’s job problem.

Also read: Why Pakodanomics is Not the Answer to Creating Employment — Vivek Kaul

Episode 94: Rajesh Jain and Dhan Vapasi

…of the show is about Jain’s political journey before this: supporting Modi, changing his mind etc. The conversation about Dhan Vapasi starts at 1:03:25.

Also check out:

  1. The Dhan Vapasi website
  2. The Dhan Vapasi Manifesto
  3. The Dhan Vapasi Bill
  4. Rajesh Jain’s website
  5. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State — Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (on Demonetisation)
  6. Why Are Our Cities So Messed Up? — Episode 31 of The Seen and the Unseen (on Urban Governance)
  7. The State of Our Farmers — Episode 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (on Agriculture)
  8. Reclaim the Sky — Episode 11 of The Seen and the Unseen (on FSI)
  9. Shruti Rajagopalan’s talk on the many changes to our constitution