Q&A with : Professor Anup Malani, Lee and Brena Freeman Professor, at the University of Chicago Law School
Updated on: 29 Jun 2016
The soon to be launched initiative will work to enable development while working with relevant stakeholders in the government, the bureaucracy and NGOs
The University of Chicago, along with Ratan Tata-led Tata Trusts is set to launch the Tata Centre for Development at UChicago to address India's development challenges. The focus of the venture will be on "evidence-based research" which will look to ensure that the research is not limited to being an academic exercise.
"Now more than ever before, there is an urgent need to address social and economic development challenges in India," Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts, said according to a press release. The centre, which will be located in New Delhi, will build capacity for government, corporate and non-profit groups across the country.
Forbes India spoke with Professor Anup Malani, Lee and Brena Freeman Professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and faculty director of the Tata Centre for Development, about the partnership, the goals set to be addressed, and the specific techniques for achieving results.
Question: What prior involvement has University of Chicago had within India before the launch?
The University of Chicago has had a long history in India. I think that there are two notable early pieces of involvement. First is the contribution of Susan and Lloyd Rudolph, two political scientists from the University of Chicago, who documented Indian history for quite some time, and played a major role in understanding it. The second one occurred when Tata Trust set up the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on the interest of one of our graduates who became its first director. Several of our faculty members have also been heavily involved in TISS.
There is also a lot of other work that is going on here. For example, I run a large randomized controlled trial in Karnataka, and Michael Greenstone worked on a project in Gujarat a few years ago where we were trying to improve the information that state pollution regulators had on pollution emitted by plants. The result was a big reduction in pollution. We have a large number of these sorts of projects.
Q: What led to the creation of the Tata Centre for Development?