January 5, 2023
2022 saw significant challenges and disruptions across the globe. From the Russia-Ukraine war to the deepening climate crisis, from the continued socio-economic aftershocks of the pandemic to debates on India’s polity and federal dynamics, scholars at CPR remained at the forefront, enriching the public discourse and interpreting the impact of these developments.
Through the year, CPR scholars published more than 800 commentaries in the mainstream media, 75 policy briefs and reports, 19 working papers, 15 book chapters and 31 journal articles.
Here are some key highlights of CPR’s research, discussions and other engagements.
Select Research Outputs
Accountability, State Capacity and Governance
The 14th volume of Accountability Initiative’s annual Budget Brief series was released. Using government reported data, these briefs analysed the trends in allocations, release, expenditure and implementation of nine flagship social sector programmes of the Government of India.
CPR’s State Capacity Initiative released a series of working papers that analyses the principles and debates of the rich discourse on administrative reform in civil services. The working papers draw largely on the reports of committees constituted by the Union government at various points of time and are therefore more focused on reform conversations about the higher civil services, and particularly the IAS.
Climate, Energy and the Environment
In a series of working papers, scholars of CPR’s Initiative on Climate, Energy and Environment (ICEE) explored some of the key institutional issues faced by State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) and their counterparts in union territories, the Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) in the Indo-Gangetic Plain.
In another report, Manju Menon and Kanchi Kohli highlighted the scope and functions of a dozen tree laws implemented in different states in India.
Partha Mukhopadhyay authored a policy brief to explore asset monetization. The brief highlighted how India can unlock the value of investments in public sector assets by tapping into private sector capital and efficiencies.
Foreign Policy and Strategic Affairs
Shyam Saran authored a path-breaking new book titled, How China Sees India and the World. Published by Juggernaut, the book is the most authoritative account of the India–China relationship and how China perceives our country.
The Russia-Ukraine war resulted in an unprecedented refugee crisis. A brief by Nimmi Kurian looked at how institutionalised biases within EU’s decisionmaking process are changing the notion of the border in fundamental ways with enormous consequences for the rights of the vulnerable.
CPR’s Politics Initiative devised a study protocol that maps out the Lok Sabha election manifestos of the Congress, the BJP and the CPI(M) since 1952. These three parties represent the ideological spectrum of Indian politics, and the study maps the evolution of issues that matter to Indian democracy.
In a working paper, Namita Wahi of CPR’s Land Rights Initiative reviewed the constitutional and legal framework underlying the right to water in India, and presented a comprehensive analysis of judicial decisions that have enforced this right, based on insights from two original datasets.
A series of reports by CPR’s Initiative on Cities, Economy and Society focused on initiatives and measures to improve portability and access to social protection and welfare for women and children affected by migration. The reports covered the states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
CPR’s Scaling City Institutions for India (SCI-FI) Initiative released a report that discusses a framework to conceptualize and measure urban distress in the Indian context. This framework can help the cities to ‘build back better’ as we recover from the ongoing pandemic and steer inclusive development in the face of emerging challenges including climate change.
Select Public Engagements
In 2022, CPR organised over 60 events, workshops and discussions on a range of issues.
Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav
CPR celebrated Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav by launching a special lecture series, ‘India and the World’, bringing together distinguished speakers who have a long and deep engagement with India. In this series, we were delighted to host, Peter Varghese (Vice Chancellor, University of Queensland, Former Australian High Commissioner to India), Nabil Fahmy (Founding Dean, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy & Distinguished University Professor of Practice in International Diplomacy, The American University in Cairo and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Egypt), Ibrahim Gambari (Chief of Staff to the President, Nigeria), Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei (Egyptian law scholar and diplomat), Tshering Tobgay (Former Prime Minister, Bhutan) and Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan (Minister of Public Enterprises, Republic of South Africa).
CPR also launched a podcast series on the Indian Civil Services (ICS) as part of India Speak: The CPR Podcast. Hosted by Yamini Aiyar, the series featured Dr KP Krishnan. In the first episode, they discussed the structure of ICS and its evolution since its inception. In the second episode, they highlighted the shifts in the design of the ICS, whether explicitly through policy changes or implicitly, in adapting to the complex social and political challenges of the country. The third episode focussed on the ailing framework of India’s steel frame and the implications of economic transitions on the direction of ICS reforms. In the final episode, they talked about the relationship between India’s democracy and the civil services.
CPR Dialogues 2022
After a two year pandemic induced hiatus, we returned with our flagship conference, CPR Dialogues. Addressing the theme of ‘New Perspectives for a Changing World’, the speakers for this year included leading names like Adam Tooze (Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of History and Director, European Institute, Columbia University), Parameswaran Iyer (Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog, Government of India), Suman Bery (Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, Government of India), Saurabh Garg (Chief Executive Officer, Unique Identification Authority of India, Government of India), Buggana Rajendranath Reddy (Minister of Finance & Planning, Commercial Taxes, Legislative Affairs, Skill Development & Training, Andhra Pradesh), Palanivel Thiaga Rajan (Minister for Finance and Human Resources Management, Government of Tamil Nadu), Shrayana Bhattacharya (Senior Social Protection Economist, World Bank in India), Amitabh Kant (India’s G-20 Sherpa and Former Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog, Government of India), Kelly Sims Gallagher (Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy, Fletcher School, Tufts University), and Gerry Shih (India Bureau Chief, Washington Post). Watch all videos from CPR Dialogues here.
CPR launched a new series titled, Know Your Regulator in partnership with the Forum of Indian Regulators (FOIR) and the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA). The series brought together people entrusted with the task of regulating Indian markets and various parts and aspects of the economy- the chairpersons and members of India’s regulatory agencies.
CPR also held discussions on books by leading policy researchers and practitioners. These included Pranab Bardhan’s A World of Insecurity: Democratic Disenchantment in Rich and Poor Countries, Vijay Gokhale’s After Tiananmen: The Rise of China, Sharat Sabharwal’s India’s Pakistan Conundrum: Managing a Complex Relationship, Mukulika Banerjee’s Cultivating Democracy: Politics & Citizenship in Agrarian India and MR Sharan’s Last Among Equals: Power, Caste & Politics in Bihar’s Villages.
Select Policy Engagements
In September 2022, a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between CPR’s Accountability Initiative and the Government of Meghalaya to understand the on-ground status of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the state. The project involves interviews with key stakeholders across various indicators, discussions with government departments, and household-level field surveys across the 11 districts of Meghalaya.
The Accountability Initiative partnered with the Chief Minister of Rajasthan’s Economic Transformation Advisory Council (CMRETAC) to understand data use for better policy formulation. This project includes mapping data generation, use, and processes across education, health and family welfare, and rural development departments. The study will focus on identifying limitations, duplication, and redundancies. It will recommend methods to manage data flows and use it for effective decision-making, while considering global and domestic best practices.
Awards and Recognition
The Scaling City Institutions for India (SCI-FI) Initiative at CPR won the award for the ‘best non-profit engagement model in sanitation: rural and urban’ at the 6th edition of the ISC-FICCI Sanitation Awards Ceremony and India Sanitation Conclave. CPR’s SCI-FI Initiative was presented the award in recognition and appreciation for the unique urban-rural convergence model for faecal sludge management in Dhenkanal in Odisha. The initiative has been working in the state since 2014, offering technical expertise to the state and local-level administration to achieve safely-managed sanitation for all.