Ethnographic note about a book launch in Lutyens 

Today evening embodies the Lutyens seminar circuit, with the book launch of an Indian American Policy Wonk Milan Vaishnav’s book launch ‘When Crime Pays’ about crime and money in Indian Politics. Prof Yogendra Yadav was wonderful with his academic depth and ground level insights. I sat beside the Chief Economic Advisor and quipped about the economic survey. 
Prof YY spoke about the various manifestations of the CPM; one in Kerala, one with Civil Society and one in Delhi, the discursive party of anti globalisation. An in depth discussion regarding electoral financing in India, with the introduction of electoral bonds, as a point in the finance bill. The phenomenon of the Bahubali, as a solution provider in the Hindi belt. As student of development and modernity, the evening was a wine and vegetarian wonton infused discussion of electoral politics on the ground where most of the audience spoke about Boston as Barakhamba Road rather than Bareilly. This being mediated by an American think tank, in the French Cultural Centre in India’s power corridors. Rich Irony indeed.

My response to an article in the Straits Times by Prof Jeff Funk

I disagree with Prof Funk, with whom I had exchanged mails way back in 2010. Academic research focuses on the fundamentals, the market is not the audience for such outputs. The output is the basis for applied research as rightly articulated in the article. Academia is a place to experiment, take long shots and so called neoliberal Market efficiencies do not apply. The problem is one of information access rather than relevance of academic science. The market lens is not the best KPI. VC led innovation is takes science closer to the audience, does not necessarily take science to the next level. A negative result in a lab is a legitimate output.

The original article here: