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On the Contrary by IDR


On the Contrary by India Development Review (IDR) is a show about listening to people not like us. In every episode, host Arun Maira chats with experts as they share differing perspectives on an issue—caste, environmental sustainability, dissent. The goal is to get people who might sit on differentRead more

Popular episodes

Social impact: What does it mean and how do we measure it?

Dec 7 • 27:07

In this episode, Hari Menon, who heads the India office of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Vineet Rai, founder and chairperson of Aavishkaar Group, discuss all things social impact—what it means, how the investing world calculates it, and why we need to expand our definition of what ‘counts’ as impact....

Technology: Democratising or dividing?

Nov 23 • 29:20

Kiran Karnik, former president of NASSCOM, and Osama Manzar, co-founder of Digital Empowerment Foundation, discuss the promises and pitfalls of technology, the gaps in its application in India, and the role the government can play in making access to technology more equitable....

What makes a good city?

Nov 9 • 30:40

What makes a city liveable? Who should benefit the most from the growth of a city—financial investors or its residents? On this episode, Sheela Patel, director of SPARC, and Ireena Vittal, former partner at McKinsey, answer these questions and more....

Climate change: Top down, bottom up

Oct 26 • 32:21

In this episode, we discuss how global climate policy is made, how it negatively impacts communities on the ground, and what needs to change when it comes to policy at a national level. Speakers include Nitin Desai, Indian economist and key draftsman of the landmark Brundtland Commission report, and Ulka Kelkar, Director of the Climate programme at World Resources Institute....

COVID-19: Vaccine vs Virus

Oct 12 • 35:22

Microbiologist and virologist, Dr Gagandeep Kang speaks with Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the founder-chairperson of one of India’s largest pharmaceutical companies, about India’s flawed vaccine roll-out, and the trade-offs between patents and pricing. ...

The purpose of education: learn, do, become.

May 11 • 48:18

Politician and educator, Atishi Marlena, and founder of some of India’s leading educational institutions, Pramath Raj Sinha talk about the purpose of education in a rapidly changing world. Can government schools provide a ‘good’ education to our children? Is the private sector the answer to a failing system? What are our children and youth really learning in their schools ...

Fighting the pandemic: two contrasting approaches

May 4 • 45:52

Nachiket Mor, expert in health systems design, and Dr Abhay Bang, public health expert with deep experience working at the grassroots, debate the approach India must take when fighting the second wave of COVID-19. Mor is in favour of a more centralised approach, grounded in science and trust. On the contrary, Bang believes local communities know best when it comes to their...

A Message from IDR

Apr 27 • 01:10

Given the dire crisis that our country is facing because of the second wave of Covid-19, On the Contrary is taking a break this week....

Environment vs Economy

Apr 20 • 25:29

In the race for economic growth, who wins and who loses? In this episode, Bittu Sahgal, environmental activist and writer, and TV Narendran, CEO and Managing Director of Tata Steel, discuss the conflict between the economy, industry and environment....

The architecture of good markets

Apr 13 • 41:36

In this episode, business leader and ex-President of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Naushad Forbes, speaks with former journalist and philanthropist Rohini Nilekani, about what a good market looks like. They discuss what markets must include, whom they should serve, and the role they must play in enabling inclusive economic growth....

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