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  • Financial Inclusion for Women Business Enterprises: The ‘Missing Middle’

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    Co-authored by Anupama Ramaswamy and Sanjana Singh The growing awareness on the role of women entrepreneurs in catalyzing economic and social development hasn’t translated into financing support for women owned businesses in India. Gender Gaps in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Globally, women’s share of entrepreneurial activity is lower than that of men, with very little advancement over time. The gap...

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  • Four Developments that will Redefine the Climate and Sustainability Realm

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    With ‘sustainability’ entering the millennium development goals agenda, and the global commitment on 2 degrees becoming a necessity, this piece looks at four trends that will potentially redefine the environment and climate realm. A greater role for environmental governance With the immediate need for an international commitment on reducing emissions to curb global increase in temperatures by 2 degrees,...

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  • ARMIS: Using Data to Enhance Urban Mobility

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    Written in collaboration with Ankit Chatri In a significant move towards using information technology and data to enhance the operations of auto rickshaws in Chennai, the Transport Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu has conceptualised the Auto Rickshaw Monitoring Information System (ARMIS). The system will use GPS enabled digital meters to track the movements of auto rickshaws on...

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  • Data Systems in India: The Case for an Audacious Overhaul

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    This blog is an outcome of a discussion on the current state of data systems in India and the case for an audacious overhaul in light of ‘Digital India’ initiative with Mr TCA Srinivasa Ragavan. Mr Raghavan is a Senior Associate Editor in the Hindu Business Line. He has been a consultant to the Reserve Bank of India’s history...

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  • International Literacy Day Over the Years

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    A need based evolution of the interpretation of the term ‘literacy’ Literacy by definition broadly means the cognitive skills of reading and writing. A person who could read and write in any language was considered literate. But, the impact and significance of literacy is ever-changing and has evolved over the years. When UNESCO announced the celebration of the International...

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  • Data Analytics for the Kerala Harvest Festival of Onam

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    It was a customary Onam celebration at Athena with a colorfully arranged Onam pookalam (traditional flower arangement) adorning the entrance until Dr. Ram walked in. He took one look at the pookalam and claimed he could see a schematic expansion series of squares, circles and triangles embedded in concentric circles. Dr. Ram explaining the schematic expansion serious in our...

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  • How Can Chennai Listen Better to Data? A Case for Putting Data to Work in Cities

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    During a recent brainstorming exercise on ‘designing interventions to improve the status of Solid Waste Management’ in a pilot ward in a city near Chennai, we came across an interesting array of data on a range of parameters starting from the type of vehicles available for garbage collection and transportation, amount of money spent on fuel per day, number...

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  • Breastfeeding in India

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    “Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers” – WHO, 2015. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, as this practice is known to stimulate brain development,...

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