Colloquium on Liberty, Democracy, and Public Choice

Event Date: 03 Nov To 06 Nov 2016; Time: 9:00am-6:00pm
Venue: Goa

Despite 67 years of political independence and democracy, India is throttled by political practices that stifle individual liberty, the license-permit quota raj that still exists for the poor, and ill-informed public policies that curtail entrepreneurship, restrict opportunities for growth, and stunt economic development. Current socio-political attempts to deal with these issues have seen the growth of a prominent anti-corruption movement and subsequent passing of a watered down anti-corruption bill, the birth of the populist Aam Aadmi Party, and most significantly the rise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. However, none of these have identified or addressed the core issues within the Indian political system – a large and opaque bureaucracy, an overwhelmed and ineffective judiciary, an alarmingly pliant Constitution, deeply entrenched interest groups, and a culture of dynastic politics.

Over the last three decades, public choice theory has emerged as a prominent research agenda in economics and political science that addresses central themes in this tradition with the tools of economic analysis. Specifically, public choice theory has focused on the working properties of alternative political arrangements in an effort to understand constitutional features that are most likely to advance individual autonomy and flourishing as understood by the individuals who must live under a given constitution.

This conference for academics will focus on the leverage that the public choice approach has given political scientists and economists over understanding how democracy works and how institutions such as constitutions can be constructed to produce better social outcomes. We hope to discuss the impact that this school has had both within the academy and in the real world of politics, with a special focus on the Indian context.

CCS Colloquium is a two-day (three nights) residential program and forum for in-depth discussion centred on a chosen theme/policy. The Colloquium provides participants an opportunity to disentangle themselves from the distractions of everyday life to reflect on issues of fundamental and enduring importance. Our hope is that participants will go on to share their advanced understandings and to develop innovative ideas and approaches for bringing specific policy solutions to advance liberalism today.

The colloquium will address the following themes:

  1. Politics and Constitutionalism
  2. Majority Rule, Voting Cycles, and Democracy
  3. Democratic Deficiencies
  4. Federalism
  5. The Generality Principle
  6. Constitutionalism and Credible Commitment

Eligibility: Participation to the Colloquium is by invitation only. For any details, contact manasi@ccs.in

Liberty Connect: CCS Alumni Meet in Delhi, Oct 2016

Event Date: 09 Oct 2016; Time: 7:00-8.30 pm
Venue: CCS office, New Delhi

 CCS Alumni Meet in Delhi

YOU, our alumni, represent the future of liberalism in India and we want to hear from you on how you’ve been working to promote choice and accountability in your circles! Catch up with us over high tea on 9 October 2016 at the CCS office.

Vrinda Bhandari will be giving a keynote on the Role of Privacy with respect to states and markets. The talk will be followed by high tea.

Vrinda Bhandari is an alumnus of the University of Oxford where she read for the BCL and the Masters in Public Policy, after being awarded the Rhodes Scholarship. She completed her B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) from National Law School of India University, Bangalore. She is currently practicing as an Advocate in the Courts in New Delhi. Vrinda has a deep interest in issues related to free speech and privacy and in criminal law, and has worked extensively on issues involving defamation and sedition law.

Network with other graduates from across over a 100 programs conducted in policy research and training—a strong cohort of individuals passionate about creating a freer society. If you are a graduate of our Internships, or the LSS, ISPP or ìpolicy courses – Register NOW for the meet up!

For more information, contact Manasi Bose (alumni@ccs.in | +91 9810772964)

Colloquium on Maximum Governance, Minimum Government : Ideas to Implementation

Event Date: 18 Aug To 20 Aug 2016; Time: 9:00am-6:00pm
Venue: Hotel Trident, Udaipur

Centre for Civil Society is organizing a colloquium on ‘Maximum Governance, Minimum Government.’ The colloquium aims to facilitate a robust discussion and dialogue on this theme and most importantly will help bring a clearer understanding on how best to bring a paradigm shift in the role of the government—from controller to facilitator, from producer to financier, and from an inspector to informer to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The focus of the Colloquium is not so much on what but how to fulfill this commitment that the government has undertaken. We will have less than 20 participants and like a typical colloquium, there will be a set of readings to guide the discussion. There will be five thematic sessions of two hours each, based on the selected readings. The last session would be on Next Steps, which will help organise the ideas and suggestions that came up earlier and delineate some steps to work further on them.

  • Session I: Delineate Policy Formulation & Policy Implementation
  • Session II: Consolidate, Delayer, Devolve & Exit
  • Session III: Leveraging Expertise: Capacity Building, Lateral Entry & Performance Incentives
  • Session IV: Empowerment Needs Growth: Taking Care of Business
  • Session V: E-government: A Route to Efficient, Transparent & Inclusive Government?
  • Session VI: Next Steps

The Colloquium hopefully furthers and deepens the dialogue and understanding of the idea of ‘maximum governance, minimum government.’ Since its focus is more on how, it should offer concrete, actionable steps to achieve citizen-centric, accountable and effective governance.

Eligibility: Participation to the Colloquium is by invitation only. For any details, contact samta@ccs.in or click here

Launch of Delhi Citizens' Handbook 2016 by Mr. Manish Sisodia

Event Date: 16 Aug 2016; Time: 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Venue: India International Centre (Annexe), Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi

To download Delhi Citizens' Handbook 2016 click here.

DCH 2016

Centre for Civil Society takes pleasure in inviting for the launch of Delhi Citizens' Handbook 2016 by Mr. Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, and a panel discussion on the theme “Jann ki Baat: A Citizen’s Perspective” on 16 August at Lecture Hall 2, India International Centre (Annexe), Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi. Request you to confirm your participation by registering here.

The Delhi Citizens' Handbook features research papers assessing the impact and relevance of policies that shape the lives of ordinary citizens in the national capital on eight core areas of urban governance: Trade & Commerce, Education, Health, Water, Urbanization, Power, Governance, and Environment, and is envisioned as a critical resource for productive public intervention and for ensuring an informed discussion on achieving effective and accountable governance.

The panel discussion will be centered on exploring ways to address policy shortcomings in areas most crucial for decent urban living, and recommendations on how to mitigate their adverse implications for ordinary citizens and will consider recent policy innovations such as the Mohalla Clinics and Delhi Solar Energy Policy 2015, as well vulnerability assessment to water supply shocks, etc.

Agenda of the event

5:00-5:10pm - Introduction by CCS and Welcome Remarks by Dr Ronald Meinardus, Friedrich Naumann Foundation
5:10-5:50pm - Panel Discussion 'Jann ki Baat: A citizens' perspective on urban governance in Delhi'
6:00-6:20pm - Launch of the Handbook and Keynote Address by the Chief Guest Mr Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, New Delhi
6:20-7:20pm - Presentation by researchers; 7 minutes pitch each on 8 themes
7:20-7:30pm - Closing Remarks and Vote of Thanks
7:30-8:00pm - High Tea

The Delhi Citizen’s Handbook 2016 emerges from an intensive six-week internship program Researching Reality initiated by Centre for Civil Society. An effort to identify and address lacunas in everyday governance, Researching Reality offers intensive training in research and public policy to undergraduate and graduate students across various disciplines. Over the course of the internship, interns are expected to draft research papers that rely on primary and secondary data. Interns conduct an analysis of the feasibility, impact and outcomes of various policies. This is achieved through engagement with modular legislations and relevant literature, interaction with key stakeholders, and extensive field surveys. This includes the study of various agencies, boards, corporations, departments, schemes and programs of the state governments and Municipal Corporations; evaluating existing systems to recommend sustainable and long-term policy improvements in the functioning of government structures. Each year, interns identify core areas of governance and assess the efficacy of prevailing institutions and propose policy recommendations. The Delhi Citizen’s Handbook 2016 focuses on:

  • Trade & Commerce: The relevance and reach of the Delhi Shops and Establishments Act (1956)
  • Education: The operation of School Management Committees (SMCs) under the Directorate of Education
  • Health: The emergence and functioning of “Mohalla Clinics” in Delhi and community participation in preventive efforts
  • Water: Citizen Vulnerability Assessment to water supply shocks and the hazards of raw-water extraction
  • Urbanization: Cost Analysis of a unit of Jhuggi Jhopri and a review of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958
  • Power: The cost-benefits and receptivity towards the Delhi Solar Policy 2016 in city households
  • Governance: Accuracy and Consistency of Information Displayed under RTI in the websites of Department of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Education, Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Commission for Women, Delhi Transportation Commission and Directorate of Vigilance
  • Environment: Assessment of five Urban Local Bodies in meeting the targets for Swacch Bharat Mission with respect to open defecation and public urination

Policy Round Table for Parliamentarians on New Education Policy

Event Date: 02 Aug 2016; Time: 6.30 PM- 8.00 PM
Venue: Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi

Centre for Civil Society (CCS) organizes a regular policy round table event which acts as a platform for interaction between policy makers and civil society members to discuss and debate key policy issues. The current event focused on the New Education Policy.

Read the summary report here and access images of the event here.