In 1950, Indians embraced the political freedoms guaranteed by their Constitution. In 1991, Indians took a giant leap toward economic freedom by liberalizing large parts of India’s controlled economy. Preserving and enhancing these freedoms is today’s challenge.
This program engages with the ideas and importance of these economic and political freedoms, through academic research, policy outreach and advocacy, mentoring, public engagement and communication, and by building a network of academic scholars, technocrats, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and students.
India experienced tremendous economic growth in the last three decades, lifting over a quarter of a billion people out of extreme poverty. However, substantial challenges remain as Indians face flagging economic growth, inadequate access to education and healthcare, environmental degradation, social and economic disenfranchisement of various groups, corruption, stifled entrepreneurship, and lack of state capacity. Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding of the structural issues in India’s democratic politics, constitutional constraints, and markets, that stand in the way of a freer and more prosperous India.
Ideas of India Podcast is a fortnightly podcast hosted by Dr Shruti Rajagopalan. She engages top thinkers working on Indian political economy, history, culture, and beyond to examine the ideas that can propel India forward.
The podcast also provides, for doctoral and postdoctoral candidates working on the most pressing questions facing India, a platform to present their research to a wider audience.
The 1991 Project is an effort to revive the discourse on economic growth-centered reforms in India by focusing on economic ideas. Our team will publish essays, data visualizations, lecture series, podcasts, and policy papers demystifying the Indian economy in the coming months. It will also create a public history repository comprising policy documents, event timelines, and biographical accounts of the reformers who made these changes possible.
Oral Histories Initiative: An important part of The 1991 Project is to understand the political economy of policy reforms. It is essential to preserve the institutional memory of the active participants in the process to understand and learn how India might continue to address its structural problems. Our goal is to speak with the technocrats, bureaucrats, politicians, and economists, who worked on India’s liberalization and record their experiences in the form of oral histories.