Founded in 1992, the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania is the only research institution in the United States dedicated to the study of contemporary India. A national resource, it fills an urgent need for objective knowledge of India's politics and society, rapidly changing economy, and transformation as both an ancient civilization and major contemporary power. The Center's key goals are to nurture a new generation of scholars across disciplines and to provide a forum for dialogue among the academic, business, and foreign policy communities. Through its collaborative research initiatives, seminars, conferences, publications, and outreach, the Center provides in-depth, policy-relevant analysis of the most pressing issues facing India and the Indo-US relationship today.

Corruption, Technology, and Reform: A Mixed View from the States

By Jennifer Bussell Could the computerization of public service transactions help curb petty corruption in India? Over the last two years, the corruption pervading India’s government has received remarkable media attention, thanks, in part, to scandals surrounding the Commonwealth Games, 2G telecom licenses, and the Adarsh housing society. This has shaken the complacency of many... Continue Reading

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Principles and Prospects of Resizing India’s States

By Louise Tillin The rationale and process behind the creation of new states in India. As elections are held in Uttar Pradesh (UP), India’s largest state, attention has been drawn again to the question of whether the numbers and boundaries of India’s states ought to be reconsidered. In a move unthinkable 60 years ago when UP was presented as an indivisible... Continue Reading

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Constructing Change: Energy Efficiency and India's Buildings Sector

The urban sprawl is creating unique challenges and opportunities related to natural ecosystems. As a result, policy makers need to think innovatively about a range of issues from land-resource planning to broader ecological and energy implications. The resulting challenges include reducing pollution, increasing biodiversity, managing peak energy demand and cost, heat-stress health implications,... Continue Reading

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Money, Muscle, and the Market for India’s Criminal Politicians

Insight into why corruption and criminal records are common characteristics for election candidates in India. By Milan Vaishnav This month, a great deal has been written on “criminals” in the electoral domain, as voters have been going to the polls in five states across India. It is perhaps a sign of the times that one of the most often quoted statistics on modern Indian... Continue Reading

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A New Era for Environmental Litigation in India

By Shibani Ghosh Analysis on the recent establishment of a tribunal for environmental issues in India. 2011 was a landmark year for environmental litigation in India, a country with a rich history of environmental movements, grass-roots activism and a responsive higher judiciary. Although litigation on environmental issues has flourished for more than three decades, 2011 is distinctive... Continue Reading

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A Ray of Light in the Forests of India

Better forest laws and a more sustainable use of India’s forests could be instrumental in changing the lives of forest tribals. The 250 million forest-dependent people in India have been victims of major historical injustices such as continuation of repressive colonial forest laws and are amongst the poorest in the country. To empower forest communities, India has passed two historic... Continue Reading

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Beyond Acquiescence and Surveillance: Media Regulation in India

A critical analysis of current  media policy and regulation in India. The increasingly complex and elusive media landscape has thrown fresh challenges to an unsettled ecosystem of media policy in India. Advanced communications technologies have fundamentally altered the ways in which information and meanings are delivered, organized and received. These new advancements call into question... Continue Reading

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India’s Defense Production Policy: Challenges and Opportunities

An overview of India's efforts to modernize her military and defence systems. In response to security concerns in the neighborhood and as it emerges as a regional superpower, India has embarked on a grand scheme of defense modernization. A recent study published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) places India as the largest importer of arms between 2006 and 2010... Continue Reading

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