ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Prabir PurkayasthaSubscribe to Prabir Purkayastha

Evolving a New Internet Governance Paradigm

The Edward Snowden revelations on pervasive and dragnet surveillance over the internet by the US National Security Agency (and other allied security agencies) - coupled with the nature of control the US exerts over the internet and telecommunications the world over - make it imperative that there is a new international framework to govern the internet.

Bt Brinjal: Need to Refocus the Debate

The Bt brinjal debate has featured technological worries relating to genetically modified crops, which appear relatively minor in comparison to the critical issue of who controls Indian agriculture and therefore who controls food security in India. While there cannot be a mere technological fix to the problems of Indian agriculture, technology - and therefore GM - will still be part of the solutions. Sadly, techno-worries - pitched by many who are opposed to technology and modernity - have held centre stage in the Bt brinjal debates.

How Much 'Carbon Space' Do We Have? Physical Constraints on India's Climate Policy and Its Implications

It is necessary to determine the role of various nations, including India, China and the other major developing countries in keeping the total atmospheric stock of greenhouse gases below 450 ppm (carbon dioxide equivalent) which, in turn, would provide a 50% probability of keeping the global temperature increase below 2°c. An analysis of future emissions of co2 in Annex I countries, large developing nations and other nations is done using a gams-based emission model. This analysis underlines sharply the historical responsibility of the developed nations for global warming and their duty to cut emissions drastically to mitigate climate change. Also large developing nations like China and India also need to contribute strongly to mitigation. It is argued that this necessity makes evident that carbon offsets will act as "double burden" on developing nations, as also a major disincentive to innovation in critical migration technologies in the industrialised world. The analysis implies that India needs an alternative climate policy that recognises proactive action for climate change mitigation while ensuring that the developed nations do not pass on their burden to the global South, which would otherwise seriously

Maran's OneIndia Plan

Far from creating a positive impact on the economy, the OneIndia plan is going to bankrupt the two public sector telecom companies and grievously affect the rural telephony programme. The public sector companies have to realise that they can survive only by using their copper line infrastructure to offer value-added internet services.

Restoring Conceptual Independence to Technology

Neither of the prevailing views of technology - as violently subjugating nature or as a derivative of science - quite describes the way technology is actually practised. A bird's-eye view of science and technology can only lead to a misunderstanding of the relation between the two. This essay looks at the relationship from the point of view of a practising technologist, taking as its starting point a better understanding of the design process and the design paradigm.

Power Sector Policies and New Electricity Bill

The Draft Electricity Bill 2000 aims to introduce far-reaching reforms in the power sector curtailing the state's role drastically. However, the author argues, major experiments with deregulation elsewhere in the world have dismally failed, with the small consumer bearing the brunt. The objectives of India's power sector policy before the reform period are still valid and should form the basis for any reforms. There can be no free market in electricity when there are shortages. Instead, the emphasis should be on strengthening the grid, integrating power systems better and making the best use of installed capacities.

Under the Nuclear Shadow

South Asia on a Short Fuse by Praful Bidwai and Achin Vanaik, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1999.

Bill Gates in the Dock

One of the measures that the US justice department is contemplating, in its anti-trust case against Microsoft, is compulsorily licensing Microsoft products to others to break its monopoly. This is in sharp contrast to the strenuous US opposition to compulsory licensing under the WTO framework.

Power Policies Need for a National Debate

Power Policies: Need for a National Debate Prabir Purkayastha Arun Ghosh For a healthy development of the power sector, the following objectives have to he met: minimising of investment costs to enable better utilisation of available resources; minimising of net outflow of resources, especially foreign exchange; minimising of costs of energy production to bring about economies in power supply and keep power tariffs at affordable levels without having to resort to heavy and unsustainable subsidisation; and maximising of security of power supply and its insulation from external and international developments.

Induction of Private Sector in Basic Telecom Services

Basic Telecom Services Prabir Purkayastha Indian telecom reforms have taken a direction very different from that of those taking place in the advanced countries and have been, besides, vitiated by a lack of transparency and suspicions of crony capitalism. The reforms may result in a better service for business users but are unlikely to benefit the majority of users or lead to any major expansion of the telecom network. The high fees quoted in the tenders for basic service are illusory and are tracers that the Department of Telecommunications is making out of its own revenue to private operators. The tariffs for the majority of consumers are bound to go up sharply as a result of such transfers.

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