think tank Archives


The “twittersphere” has been abuzz, with claims of anti-intellectualism and a few admissions of fault since Nicholas Kristof’s philippic appeared. “Political science Ph.D.’s often aren’t prepared to do real-world analysis,” says Ian Bremmer, a Stanford political science Ph.D.
It is perhaps a sign of their efficacy that think tanks in India have come under the gun, on the ground that they are funded by foreign sources and are therefore “subversive.” Rohini Nilekani, a significant philanthropist in her own right, has made a powerful argument on the contributions made to Indian public policy by think tanks and the questioning of some of these organizations obtaining some of their resources from outside India. The piece in Open on ‘Foreign Funding of NGOs’ with the subtitle ‘Should FDI in India’s thinktank sector worry us?’, has served its purpose by triggering a long-overdue reasoned debate. The author lays out various questions that might warrant their own conference or white paper.
Trade in services came on the policy scene in the 1980s. It played an important role in reforming telecom sectors across the world, especially because of the Regulatory Reference Paper that was an integral part of the Basic Telecom Services agreement. Trade agreements are simply one more element used to lock in regulatory commitment, thus facilitating investment and thereby good performance. The famous story about how one can trade hair-cutting services across borders illustrates the connection with ICTs. How can one trade hair cuts, a service that is consumed at the moment of production?