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Friday, September 07, 2007

The role of think tanks

Robert J. Samuelson has an interesting opinion piece in The Washington Post about the role of think tanks in the US setting, and a proposal for a book project that addresses a live issue (the challenges of ageing) in the US. A deep flaw of the intellectual landscape in India is that if you picked one topic, it isn't easy to find six good quality authors to debate it.


  1. "if you picked one topic, it isn't easy to find six good quality authors to debate it."

    Apparently we like to talk - not sure what about!

    Your blog is probably a case in point - feedburner went from ~80 to ~1000 in the past months with little specific comments on any subject. Are we too general in our outlook and thought process with little to contribute to any specific topic (I seriously doubt there are no experts).

    Also, wrt the post, there were at least four (or five) responses from think tanks, published in WaPo, defending their thinking capabilities soon after Samuelson's column.

  2. There is not only a dearth of independent economic or political or policy-driven think-tanks in India but also the lack of attention given to the ideas generated by them.

    The surfeit of think-tanks in US necessarily proves that the school master is at home as they are supported and respected as professional bodies.

    It’s time we gear up and capitalise on our intellectual capital rather than emulate ideas from other world economies which may not be practical or feasible given our economic set-up.

    Therefore the need of the hour is to be fiercely independent given that India is now becoming an increasingly globalised or a globally integrated economy. Even today, our energy security is closely inter-twined with our political relationship with a wide range of countries around the globe. Our food security, our technological security, indeed our national security (given the latest stand on NPT) are closely linked to developments around the world.



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