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Facilitators

Founder, The Equals Project
Assistant Programme Manager, Takshashila Institution
Research Analyst, High-Tech Geopolitics Programme, Takshashila Institution
Fellow, High-Tech Geopolitics Programme, Takshashila Institution
Research Analyst, Indo-Pacific Studies Programme, Takshashila Institution
Research Analyst, Indo-Pacific Studies Programme,Takshashila Institution
Professor, Head of Geospatial Programme, Takshashila Institution
Research Analyst, Indo-Pacific Studies Programme, Takshashila Institution
Programme Manager, Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy, Takshashila Institution
Urban planner & Co-founder, Sensing Local
Senior Resident Fellow, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy
Senior Resident Fellow, Disability (Inclusion & Access) Vidhi Centre for Legal Polcy
Senior Resident Fellow, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy

Date & Time

Sat, 9 Dec 2023 11:00 am Sun, 10 Dec 2023 6:30 pm

Location

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

December 9th, Saturday

TimeEventFacilitator/Speaker
11:00 amChasing Justice: Can Constitutions Deliver Justice?Shruti Viswanathan
11:30 amExploring Bail through Judicial DataLeah Verghese, Smita Mutt & Nitin Ramesh
12:30 pmMore Than Free Rides: Implications of Karnataka’s ‘Shakti Scheme’Ananya Desai
3:00 pmAI Governance for IndiaSatya Sahu, Rijesh Panicker & Anushka Saxena
4:30 pmIndia-China Trade: A Framework to Understand Dependencies and VulnerabilitiesAmit Kumar

December 10th, Sunday

TimeEventFacilitator/Speaker
11:30 amGoverning our Cities from Up AboveDr Y. Nithiyanandam
1:00 pmThe Quad in the Indo-PacificBharat Sharma and Kripa Koshy
3:00 pmPublic Parks in Karnataka: Access, Authority and AccountabilityAkhileshwari Reddy, Manmayi Sharma, Sneha Priya Yanappa & Ankit Bhargava
5:00 pmIs a ‘One Nation One Election’ Model Prudent for India?Ananya Desai

December 9th, Saturday

11:00 am | Chasing Justice: Can Constitutions Deliver Justice? | Facilitated by Shruti Viswanathan

This workshop will explore the concept of justice through a constitutional lens. We will unpack the concept of justice and what that means in a deeply unequal society. The workshop will include an interactive simulation where participants will work with each other to build their version of a just society. The workshop will serve as a simulation for how law making and consensus building works.

No previous reading in law is required. The primary language of interaction for this workshop will be English.

11:30 am | Exploring Bail through Judicial Data | Leah Verghese, Smita Mutt & Nitin Ramesh

The news of Umar Khalid’s bail plea being adjourned to January was on the front page recently. This and other stories of denial of bail cast a harsh light on the arbitrariness surrounding undertrial detention and the discretionary nature of bail determinations in Indian courts.

Bail is a crucial legal process in India, allowing individuals accused of crimes to secure temporary release from custody before or during their trials. The basis of this right is constructed upon the logical adaptation of the principle of ‘presumption of innocence’ enshrined under Article 22 of the Constitution of India. Denial of the right to bail, therefore, results in limitation on life and liberty for an accused whose guilt is unproven and impacts their capacity to seek fair trial against any arbitrary detention.

The connection between these gaps in the bail system and its correlation to high rates of pretrial incarceration is corroborated by the data on prisons recorded by the National Crime Records Bureau, given that 77.1% of India’s prison population comprises undertrial prisoners (as of December 2021).

Although much has been written about undertrial detention and denial of bail there is very little data-based conversation on this subject. In this session, researchers from DAKSH will present insights from its recently launched High Court Bail Dashboard and raise questions about how bail is determined and administered. For non-lawyers DAKSH will also describe how judicial data is gathered and why it is useful. We will keep some time for the audience to ask us questions that they think can be answered by this dataset. We will try to steer the discussion beyond data to touch on communication between courts and prisons, how undertrial prisoners’ status is monitored and what happened to bail during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also It will conclude with an open discussion on current policy attempts to reform bail and imagine the path forward.

12:30 pm | More Than Free Rides: Implications of Karnataka’s ‘Shakti Scheme’ | Facilitated by Ananya Desai

Karnataka’s ‘Shakti Scheme’ began offering free state bus transport to women in 2023. With the government’s focus on their financial empowerment, has the policy shown any success so far? What have been its outcomes? Join Ananya Desai in discussing the many implications of this scheme, both for the government and the women it seeks to empower.

3:00 pm | AI Governance for India | Satya Sahu, Rijesh Panicker & Anushka Saxena

Artificial intelligence has immense potential to enhance human capabilities and drive growth in several industries. It can also greatly improve education, healthcare, and governance outcomes, particularly benefiting low-income countries. However, this potential may not be realised if the AI market remains concentrated in the hands of a few dominant players. While global AI governance efforts primarily focus on ethics and safety, it is crucial to consider AI governance from a national interest perspective. This involves examining how AI adoption can help humans flourish, strengthen democracy, and promote a stable global order.
Satya, Anushka, and Rijesh will attempt to bring to the fore the need for Artificial Intelligence Governance from an Indian perspective. Findings from Takshashila’s recently published discussion document on a Pathway to AI Governance, will take centre stage as the discussion touches upon governing values, characterisation of the AI supply chain, and the constraints and concerns at each of its stages. The session will be structured as a discussion between the speakers for around 30-40 minutes, and will then be thrown open for questions and answers.
4:30 pm | India-China Trade: A Framework to Understand Dependencies and Vulnerabilities | Amit Kumar
Conventional notions of comparative advantage and free trade have come under severe strain. States have tended to leverage economic interdependence for coercion and to achieve political objectives.  In addition, deepening systemic competition between the geopolitical West and China has intensified recourse to economic coercion.  Consequently, terms like dependence, vulnerability, strategic vulnerability, and critical vulnerability arising from asymmetric trade interdependence have become a recurrent theme in strategic studies and planning, forcing countries to evaluate options like decoupling, self-sufficiency, diversification, and de-risking. The 2020 Galwan Valley clash transformed India-China relations in more ways than one. Not only did it disrupt peace and stability along the LAC but it also eroded the limited mutual trust that existed. Amid this, India’s burgeoning trade deficit with China has acquired greater salience for the Indian strategic affairs community. In 2022, the trade deficit surpassed the US$100 billion mark for the first time, triggering a debate over the strategic implications of India’s economic dependence on China. Often terms like dependence & vulnerability and strategic & critical are interchangeably and synonymously used leaving policymakers susceptible to approaching respective issues from a one-size-fits-all mindset. Such a broad-based approach would most likely have a high economic cost, impacting developmental goals. Thus, a framework is needed to identify strategic and critical vulnerabilities arising from asymmetrical trade interdependence to devise sound solutions while not causing great harm to economic interests.

December 10th, Sunday

11:30 am | Governing our Cities from Up Above | Dr Y. Nithiyanandam

This talk will delve into the foundations of space and spatial technologies, showcasing diverse use cases. The objective is to raise awareness among the general public and policymakers regarding the potential improvement of urban governance and overall quality of life in cities grappling with daily challenges. The session will underscore the positive impact of emerging technologies in addressing real-world issues, while also shedding light on instances of misuse or unnecessary application of these technologies.

1:00 pm | The Quad in the Indo-Pacific | Bharat Sharma and Kripa Koshy

India is set to host the Quad Summit in 2024. Over the years, the Quad has evolved to assume numerous domains as part of its public-goods agenda. How does India see the Quad’s role in the Indo-Pacific, and how do other Quad countries see India’s role in the Quad? What is the Quad’s regional role? Join Bharat Sharma and Kripa Koshy as they discuss the Quad’s dynamic role as a minilateral focused on public-goods.
3:00 pm | Public Parks in Karnataka: Access, Authority and Accountability | Akhileshwari Reddy, Manmayi Sharma, Sneha Priya Yanappa & Ankit Bhargava

Parks are important green spaces in our urban areas that not only improve human health and wellness, but also promote a sustainable quality of life for citizens and cities alike. Unfortunately, in the Garden City of India, parks at the neighbourhood level do not serve their residents very well. They lack basic amenities such as children’s play spaces, adequate lighting, sanitation facilities, and measures for maintenance of the same. These are reinforced by laws that lack clarity on governance responsibilities, efforts at data collection and identification of avenues for intervention. 


In this setting, vulnerable urban residents such as persons with disabilities, invisibilised waste pickers and tired gig workers are excluded from accessing the health and recreational value of parks. Join us as we take you through our projects that unfurl three prominent dimensions: first, an analysis of park legislations pinpointing their deficits; second, a study on park accessibility for persons with disabilities, gig workers, and waste pickers; and third, an exploration of alternative, citizen-centric park management methods. 

 

5:00 pm | Is a ‘One Nation One Election’ Model Prudent for India? | Facilitated by Ananya Desai

The idea of simultaneous Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections has been revived recently, and we are less than a year away from the next general election. With the debate centred around reducing electoral costs versus preserving the country’s federal structure, which should India prioritise? And what are the possible consequences of syncing electoral processes nationwide? Join Ananya Desai in discussing these critical questions.

In collaboration with

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Facilitators

Shruti Viswanathan

Founder, The Equals Project

Shruti is the founder of The Equals Project, an initiative that explores constitutional history and nation building. Shruti is a graduate of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore

Ananya Desai

Assistant Programme Manager, Takshashila Institution

Ananya Desai manages the GCPP (Defence & Foreign Affairs) programme at the Takshashila Institution. She has a degree in Liberal Arts with a specialisation in International Relations and Political Science from Christ University, Bangalore. She wrote her undergraduate dissertation on ‘Forms of Protest in India’, and is deeply interested in the convergence of policy studies and intersectionality.

Satya Sahu

Research Analyst, High-Tech Geopolitics Programme, Takshashila Institution

Satya is a research analyst working with the High-Tech Geopolitics programme at Takshashila Institution. His research interests span a broad range of topics including Semiconductor Geo-Politics, Artificial Intelligence Regulation, and India’s Technology Law and Policy landscape.

Rijesh Panicker

Fellow, High-Tech Geopolitics Programme, Takshashila Institution
Rijesh is a Fellow with the High-Tech Geopolitics programme at the Takshashila Institution. He works on issues related to the evolution of and geopolitics surrounding quantum technologies.

Anushka Saxena

Research Analyst, Indo-Pacific Studies Programme, Takshashila Institution
Anushka Saxena is a Research Analyst with Takshashila’s Indo-Pacific Studies Programme. Her long-term project at Takshashila entails working on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and its reforms. She is also co-curating the weekly Newsletter, ‘Eye on China’.
She tweets @SaxenaAnushka_

Amit Kumar

Research Analyst, Indo-Pacific Studies Programme,Takshashila Institution
Amit Kumar is a Research Analyst with the Indo-Pacific Studies Programme at the Takshashila Institution. His research focuses on the Chinese economy and technology and India-China relations. His long-term project at the Takshashila entails creating a framework for identifying strategic and critical vulnerabilities in asymmetric trade relationships that contributes to the debate around de-coupling and de-risking and applying the framework to the India-China Trade relations. He is also co-curating the weekly newsletter, ‘Eye on China’. Amit has completed his Master’s in Diplomacy, Law, and Business at the Jindal School of International Affairs (JSIA), O.P. Jindal Global University.

Y. Nithiyanandam

Professor, Head of Geospatial Programme, Takshashila Institution

Dr Y. Nithiyanandam is a professor and the head of the Takshashila Institution’s Geospatial Programme. He is working on several themes in defense and national security. He possesses a doctorate in urban spatial informatics and has 14 years of academic and research experience in geoinformatics. His research interests include advanced remote sensing and image processing, GIS analytics, urban and ocean informatics, and geo-intelligence.

Bharat Sharma

Research Analyst, Indo-Pacific Studies Programme, Takshashila Institution

Bharat is a Research Analyst working with the Indo-Pacific Studies Programme at Takshashila, where he studies the role of the Quad and its place in the Indo-Pacific, along with functional interests in the Indian Ocean Region and maritime security. He studied Philosophy and International Relations at Ashoka University.

Kripa Koshy

Programme Manager, Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy, Takshashila Institution

Kripa Koshy is a Programme Manager (for the Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy) at the Takshashila Institution. She has previously worked with the public and third sector. She holds a Bachelors in International Development Studies from McGill University and a Masters in Public Administration from Queen’s University.

Ankit Bhargava

Urban planner & Co-founder, Sensing Local

Ankit is a co-founder at Sensing Local, based in Bengaluru, which works at the intersection of urban planning and governance to tackle civic and environmental challenges in cities. His core focus is using systems thinking, participatory processes and visualisations to unpack wicked problems. He has over 13 years of experience working on projects across thematics, such as air pollution, sustainable mobility, water management, way-finding systems and urban governance. 

Sneha Priya Yanappa

Senior Resident Fellow, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy

Sneha is a Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, Karnataka. Prior to joining Vidhi, Sneha graduated with B.A. L.L.B degree from Symbiosis Law School, Pune in 2018 and obtained her BCL degree from University of Oxford in 2019, as a J.N Tata Scholar and K.C Mahindra Scholar. Her areas of interest include constitutional law, international humanitarian law and human rights law. At Vidhi, she works on issues of urban development, municipal governance and education. She also regularly writes on various issues that concern city governance, the environment and access to public spaces.

Manmayi Sharma

Senior Resident Fellow, Disability (Inclusion & Access) Vidhi Centre for Legal Polcy

Manmayi is a Senior Resident Fellow working with the Disability (Inclusion and Access) team. Manmayi is a graduate of the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi (2016). Prior to joining Vidhi, Manmayi worked at the law firm of Dhir & Dhir Associates, where she litigated and provided advisory services to various clients in matters pertaining to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. She has also previously worked with the Centre for Law and Policy Research, where she litigated in the areas of public health, women’s rights and rights of disabled.

Akhileshwari Reddy

Senior Resident Fellow, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy

Akhileshwari Reddy is a Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, Karnataka. She holds a B.A., L.LB (Hons.) degree from the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS, Kolkata) and an LL.M from the London School of Economics and Political Science. At Vidhi, her work primarily focuses on improving the legal landscape governing urban governance, sanitation and socioeconomic rights in India.