The staggering challenges of protecting the ecology from climate changes seem to grow bigger as market-centric solutions have primacy in setting the policy agendas. CPS re-imagines the concerns of the ‘environment’ as trigger for holistic attention to cross-cutting policy issues such as water, health, energy, migration & urbanization. CPS intends to create a platform for nurturing inter-disciplinary approach to develop policy solutions based on the principles of care and inclusion.
Research is presently being undertaken in the following areas:
Water and Sanitation
Managing the water resources for a country the size of India presents a complex and difficult challenge. There is evidence to suggest that with each passing year, water stress levels are increasing across the length and breadth of the country. Sanitation is a further challenge to the governance landscape. Given the context, the Water and Sanitation research group will build on the substantive past research and newer questions, such as: How does one design flexible water and sanitation management systems for the rural and urban populace? With further rural-urban migration, are our governance mechanisms able to adapt to the new demands?
How can we create newer models of transparency, accountability and participation in the creation of ‘liveable’ cities?
One of the aims of this research group is to understand public health in the context of a changing welfare state and greater reliance on private providers, economic growth in some sections of the country and increased precarity in others. The emergence of new technologies for large scale data gathering and computation offer opportunities to create unified data bases which can offer new insights to disease trends and provide evidence for the design of interventions, while such systems can also become a vector for surveillance and control. The research group on health policy aims at an involved understanding of these and other issues at the level of policy formation, implementation and evaluation in conversation with other disciplines such as sociology, history, psychology, engineering and environmental science.
Research initiatives focus on history of policy for communicable and non-communicable diseases in India, gender and health, sexual health, mental health, access to health care, urban healthcare, and challenges and possibilities of integrated health informatics system.
India’s energy sector is in the midst of a transition from fossil to renewable, in response to the climate change and urban air quality problems. The challenges of providing clean energy –24/7 electricity and clean cooking fuels, sustainable transport, sustainable agriculture and sustainable energy sources for industry need strategic policy interventions backed by evidence and analysis. A systems perspective with be used to develop an understanding of issues related to technology, systems, sustainability and impacts. The impacts of disruptive technologies on employment and the economy as well as the equity impacts of policy implementation will be the prime focus.
The attempt will be to develop new tools and techniques that combine quantitative with qualitative approaches. New frameworks for linking micro and macro perspectives will be developed. Some topics of interest are green buildings, smart grids, electric vehicles, zero carbon futures, sustainable biofuels, direct benefit transfer. The effectiveness of market based approaches versus legislation and mandates and hybrid approaches will be examined. Policies that can spur innovation and support competitiveness and energy security need to be identified and articulated. The attempt will be to catalyse collaborations with faculty in Energy, Climate Studies and the several engineering and science departments and regulators, Governments and think tanks.
Waste from one life-form often becomes food for another, thereby resulting in a circular system that rejuvenates and sustains various life-forms. Circular Economy (CE) is a regenerative system in which resource input, waste emission and energy leakage are minimized by slowing, closing and narrowing material and energy loops. This can be achieved through long lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacture, refurbishing and recycling- the idea is to use the products and materials to their maximum value and functionality.
The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) is focusing on conceptualizing and developing a Circular Economy framework. Nearly 62 million tonnes of solid waste are generated annually in India and about 70-75% of this waste remains untreated. Millions of waste pickers and scavengers work in hazardous conditions to salvage a livelihood. Attempts at de-segregation are becoming increasingly complex given the introduction of new packaging techniques and an increasingly large volume of online sales. The effort at CPS will include creation of ‘tools’ that can help to facilitate life-cycle tracking of MSW from cradle to grave. We look forward to engaging with several stakeholders deeply involved in the waste value chain.