NCGR and Governing the Ungovernable (ENGLISH)

August 14, 2018

Dr. Ishrat Husain is a leading economist, who has played many important roles both in policy and academia.

Today we discuss a subject on which he has been very passionate—civil service reform. He led the National Commission on Government Reform in Musharraf’s time and has recently written a book called “Governing the Ungovernable”.

He has important ideas on institutions, governance and civil service reform. In the coming days the new government might even use his ideas to implement their much-awaited reform. 

There a number of research and writing themes that emerge in this podcast. So please listen and further the debate. 

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan here http://www.libertybooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Nadeem%20ul%20haque&category_id=0Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

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Gwadar–Where is it going? (Urdu)

August 9, 2018

Gwadar has been a chimera for Pakistan for long. For 15 years it has been hyped up. A port was built. A city was laid out. Highways built. The promise of a deep-water port which will be gate for central Asia through Pakistan. The debate has been long and costly. Returns still awaited. 

Now with CPEC Gwadar is again being held up as important for Pakistan’s future.

We will talk to Naveed Iftikhar on his research into Gwadar to discuss

  • What was the promise of Gwadar?
  • Why has it not taken off?
  • What were the mistakes?
  • What is the promise?
  • How can it be made to work?

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan here http://www.libertybooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Nadeem%20ul%20haque&category_id=0Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

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Our Democratic Mess (URDU)

July 22, 2018

In collaboration with "Hafte Ki Seedhi Baat," "Soch Bichar" addresses the constitutional issue again today. 

Elections are upon us, just 3 days away.

It is time to reflect again on

  • Why we are not been able to achieve democracy?
  • Why our democratic government overstep their bounds all the time?
  • Why we have dynastic parliament?
  • Why our democrats erode our institutions?

Adnan Rasool a PHD candidate in Georgia has launched a podcast “Hafte Ki seedhi Baat” but more importantly is researching on constitutional issues.

We had a fascinating discussion on why it is the poor constitutional design that is leading to a poor-quality democracy. Several themes for reform were discussed.

We hope that there will be a wide-ranging discussion on these issues and a policy community on constitutional reform developed. That is the only way forward. People must push for reform by discussing such ideas and pushing for change. Don’t leave it to politicians who are benefitting from the system to change the system.

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Why is urban design in Pakistan so bad? (ENGLISH)

June 27, 2018

Those of you have listened to Soch Bichar or followed my work will know that a good analysis of Pakistan’s economy (and indeed of development) will put urban development at the center of inclusive growth for welfare improvement as well as balanced development. This is why we return t0 this subject very often to see how many different perspectives we can get.

Today Sarah Nadeem Ahmed a young urbanlogist who has worked with the urban unit as well as international organizations joins us to talk of how poor urban design of our cities is impacting on life, productivity and happiness.

This is an extremely important subject that we have not started to research or debate. I hope many of you will be inspired to talk about how urbanization and urban design impacts us all.

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Is Education a Panacea? (ENGLISH)

June 21, 2018

Nadia Navawalla who has joined us om earlier episodes has been talking thinking research for the last few years. We discuss here what education means and should we think of education as a panacea. 

 There seems far too much agreement among the donor consultant community that education which never is properly defined is a panacea. It will solve all problems.  Do you agree. Listen to this episode and make up your mind.

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan here http://www.libertybooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Nadeem%20ul%20haque&category_id=0Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

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Higher Education and Development. (ENGLISH)

June 15, 2018

Ehasan Masood is a science writer, journalist and broadcaster. He has been the editor of Research Professional News (including Research Fortnight) and has been teaching international science policy at Imperial College London.

He is the author of many books https://www.amazon.com/Ehsan-Masood/e/B0034NTAGU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1528550817&sr=8-1

In this episode, we discuss the issue of higher education and development. In the modern world where technology is evolving and changing, how should we think of higher education and its role in development policy. 

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Water (ENGLISH)

June 11, 2018

Water is in the news. Suddenly Pakistan has started taking water seriously. Perhaps the CJP triggered it.

It is great that we are taking the issue seriously. Water is indeed a lifeline issue and should be taken seriously. All experts have been agreed for a while that we are headed towards a water crisis. Yet the government and civil society has mostly been in oblivion till the CJP spoke. 

Here we speak to Rafay Alam, an environmental lawyer who has been researching water for the last few years. He has talked to us on urban issues before. 

This episode offers a wealth of information on water.  If you really want a quick update and deep education on water issues in Pakistan, listen to this. 

Rafay also gives us a reading list on the subject.

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan here http://www.libertybooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Nadeem%20ul%20haque&category_id=0Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

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Research and Education Entreprenuership (URDU)

June 6, 2018

Waqar Mahmood is an educational/research entrepreneur. “He has successfully started a Al-Khwarizmi Institute of Computer Science (KICS)” 

Their website says “It was envisioned as an institute for advanced and high quality applied research working in collaboration with industries and other academic institutions on national and international levels to bring about the IT revolution in Pakistan and help build a knowledge driven economy. We strive to gather capable and competent researchers at one platform and provide them with favorable and motivational environment for creating innovative technologies and products.”

It is very successful in every way because

  • It has visionary leadership
  • It is autonomous
  • It has modern HR and management

You must listen to this visionary leader about what he has achieved and about what he says should be done to achieve the potential of universities.  

Hope HEC listens.

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Urban Planning from a Planner’s Viewpoint (URDU)

May 28, 2018

Nadeem Khurshid and Mohamed Shoaib are 2 town planners actively involved in town planning. Their perspective is very important to get.

The community of town planners is totally excluded from city management and has no career in our cities.  Is that good or bad.  Learn more by listening to this episode.  

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan here http://www.libertybooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Nadeem%20ul%20haque&category_id=0Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

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law and Justice Reform Again (ENGLISH)

May 26, 2018

Today my guest is Irfan Qadir, who was the Attorney General of Pakistan till 2013. An accomplished and well-known lawyer, who has been a leading proponent of judicial restraint and reform. 

We have been running with the colonial system for 70 years and it is overstretched and at the limits of its capacity. Irfan tells us of the many inconsistencies in our judiciary that seems to be concerned more with its own pomp and glory and less with justice and learning. 

The outmoded legal and judicial system may be one of the most important reasons why we are low on the Ease of Doing Business and Competitiveness Indices. We must debate and discuss this issue far more than we do.

If any of you have thoughts on legal and judicial reform please come to Soch Bichar where all thinking people meet. 

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Configuring the Energy system (ENGLISH)

May 21, 2018

Energy system is plagued with leakages while the government continues to build more and bigger power plants. Even though the price of oil has gone down by about $100 from its peak in 2007-8, the circular debt continues to plague us while load-shedding remains intact.

Last episode I talked about how the power system needs to be reconfigured. 

Here I go into detail because I thought some things need explaining.

We have a haemorrhaging patient and we are relying on more and more blood transfusions and not fixing the haemorrhage.

My contention here is we need to operate on the system and fix.

Listen to it and see if you agree. And remember without discussion ideas die.

REMEMBER TO SUBSCRIBE TO SOCH BICHAR.

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Another take on Civil Service Reform 2 (ENGLISH)

May 18, 2018

As I keep saying in Pakistan we have worked very hard to maintain the colonial system for our brown elite that has inherited it. Not surprisingly the main beneficiaries of this colonial system are the ones mort invested in preserving it—the civil service, the judiciary and the army.

Civil Service Reform remains a big issue and we will continue to explore it with as many people as possible.  I would urge all young people to think about it, research it and write about it. 

Here we take up the issue with Hasaan Khawar a young Pakistani who has been a civil servant and is now a consultant and a development practitioner. 

We will have 3 conversations with him to try to keep the podcast shorter.

Here is the second. 

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Youth in focus: The new UNDP HDR. (URDU)

May 18, 2018

The much-awaited UNDP Human Development Report focused on youth has been successfully launched and welcomed in Pakistan.  Led by Adil Najam and Faisal Bari, it is probably one of the largest research projects in Pakistan’s history. A large team (40 members) worked on it for 4 years to produce a detailed report listening to the youth on Pakistan. 

 

Those of you who have followed this podcast will have heard of the youth bulge and its impact on many factors in the economy. Here listen to Adil’s report on the Youth bulge in Pakistan. Adil Najam (who appears for the third time on Soch Bichar) very eloquently gives you the gist of this very important work. 

Listen to it and develop further research on this important area 

 

Related material if interested is

http://www.pide.org.pk/pdf/Working%20Paper/WorkingPaper-68.pdf

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan here http://www.libertybooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Nadeem%20ul%20haque&category_id=0Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

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How the Raj Matters? (english)

May 14, 2018

lhan Niaz a young historian (Associate Professor at QAU and Author of 4 books) has just completed a well-researched manuscript on the state in the days of the Raj.  He asks several pertinent questions.

  • Was the Raj only an extension of the British government?
  • Did it adapt to local history and conditions?
  • How did it influence subsequent history?

I found this to be fascinating conversation.

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan here http://www.libertybooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Nadeem%20ul%20haque&category_id=0Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

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Social Science research in Pakistan (ENGLISH)

May 11, 2018

Speaking to Ilhan Niaz a young historian (Associate Professor at QAU and Author of 4 books) on the research culture in Pakistan, how broken it is and how it can be fixed.

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan here http://www.libertybooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Nadeem%20ul%20haque&category_id=0Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

 

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Aid and Public Policy (English)

April 29, 2018

A conversation with Raza Rumi on a course on 'Public Policy and Aid' that he is teaching at Cornell Institutie of Public Adminsitraiton.  

Raza is well known Pakistani scholar that we have met in an earlier podcast. 

Those interested in Public Policy will find very useful ideas for thought and research here. 

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Regional Connectivity (ENGLISH)

April 21, 2018

Pakistan since its inception has been dependent on aid and aid-financed policy advisers. Lacking indigenous thinking, policy has always felt insecure and looked to easy solutions based on greater dependency on external agents.

Following such advice policymakers have felt inadequate to tackle domestic policy issues. Donors in recent years have pushed the agenda of regional integration as vital to economic development.

The initiation of CPEC is vital to the opening out of Pakistan to Central Asia and eventually to Pakistan playing a vital role in Asian trade and connectivity. CPEC is also playing a vital role in providing much needed energy and road infrastructure.

We discuss regional connectivity with Haroon Sharif who has managed regional policy issues as a senior adviser in the World Bank and DFID. He has also had experience in several Pakistani policy positions and is now serving as an advisor to the National Defense University.

While all economists agree on opening out the economy and the need to develop trade in your neighborhood and beyond, it is not quite clear whether an uncompetitive economy beset with poor governance and high cost of doing business will be able to take advantage only of regional policies. 

Haroon sheds light on issues related to regional connectivity and how we can benefit from CPEC.

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan here http://www.libertybooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Nadeem%20ul%20haque&category_id=0Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

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Thoughts on Development (English)

March 27, 2018

Khalil Hamdani has had extensive experience in development policy having served in PIDE, and several UN agencies for 30+ years. In particular he led the effort to develop FDI policies in several developing countries. 

Here we discuss his ideas on development, FDI, role of economists and policies for development and their limits. 

Several important ideas are discussed including approaches to research and thought.

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan here http://www.libertybooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Nadeem%20ul%20haque&category_id=0Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

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The roots of political disorder in Pakistan (URDU)

March 15, 2018

Zaigham Khan is a well-known Pakistani anthropologist who has been analyzing recent events very provocatively in several columns in newspapers. 

In this episode, he takes a ‘deep dive’ into Pakistan’s continuing struggle to find stable system of governance. While the current political impasse in which the judiciary, politicians and the establishment are all seeking supremacy is under considerable discussion on a daily basis in the media, there is little understanding of the deeper causes of the country’s political impasse.

Here we examine this continuing crisis from several points of view—historically, sociologically, economically and of politically.

The discussion is very interesting and informative especially who want to move beyond the mundane debate of the media pundits and the vacuous politicians.

If you want to learn and especially if you want to conduct some research in this area, you must listen to this podcast.

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan here http://www.libertybooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Nadeem%20ul%20haque&category_id=0Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

 

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The New Wealth of Nations (ENGLISH)

March 5, 2018

What is the wealth of nations? How can we measure it? What is the impact of education on wealth? Will the spread of education increase or decrease inequality of incomes?

These profound questions affect all peoples and countries and are frequently discussed at many levels by the media, political leaderships, writers, thinkers and of course economists. 

Adam Smith initiated the subject of economics with his book An Inquiry into the Wealth of Nations. Since then much serious economic research has focused on how people and nations can achieve wealth and welfare equitably.

Surjit Bhalla is one of the finest economists from India who has frequently contributed to economic research and debate has now put out a new book, The New Wealth of nations.

Surjit has contributed in a very significant manner to the literature in economics. He he has also written 2 books on cricket and also has been one of the leading forecasters and analysts of Indian elections. 

Surjit’s new book is provocative and creative, shedding light on issues of country and global prosperity and equity. As always, he does very fine quantitative work providing solid evidence for his arguments.

Listen to this very interesting podcast. It will certainly provoke you into thinking and investigating his ideas further.

Listen to this and let us reinvigorate research and debate into change. 

Listen to this fascinating discussion. There is much to learn and research here. 

You can also look at my book “Looking Back: How Pakistan Became an Asian Tiger in 2050” now available in hard copy in Pakistan here http://www.libertybooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Nadeem%20ul%20haque&category_id=0Soft copy here. https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Back-Pakistan-Became-Asian-ebook/dp/B06X94135J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488133596&sr=1-1&keywords=nadeem+haque

Listen and learn and write some papers on this subject.  Don’t forget to cite Soch Bichar

Please subscribe to Soch Bichar if you like it. Tell you friends about it. That is the only way to grow a public discussion. And we need a wider conversation on these important subjects.

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