Jul 9, 2020
31. Trans Lives: Quest for Dignity
33 min

Trans rights activist Bittu and Tejas AP discuss the challenges faced by the Trans community in India, the politics and policies around trans rights and gender equity, and the quest for marginalised individuals to live a life of dignity.

This is the second of 2 episodes on BIC Talks discussing trans rights, trans lives and the long road to true gender inclusion and equity in India. Previously on Episode 27, lawyer Jayna Kothari had spoken to Tejas AP about the important legal judgments in India that have promoted trans rights, and the for positive rights for gender minorities. 

Bittu and Tejas take the conversation forward and discuss the deeply problematic politics and policymaking process that led to the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, and subsequent actions. They also discuss more progressive legislative moves at the state level in South India. In the end, Bittu and Tejas discuss how people can become better allies, and help build a more equitable society. 

Bittu is an Associate Professor of Biology and Psychology at Ashoka University, and a genderqueer transman who believes in the annihilation of caste, class and gender. 

Tejas AP (he/him/his) (@tejasap) lives and works in Bangalore. He heads Research Communications at Azim Premji University. 

BIC Talks is brought to you by the Bangalore International Centre. Visit the BIC website for show notes, links and more information about the guest.

NL Hafta
NL Hafta
Hafta 303: Covid vaccines, the state of the Indian media, and the government’s attempts to regulate it
Timecodes 00:00 - Introduction and headlines 11:18 - The current race for vaccines 28:22 - Freedom of speech and state of Indian media 01:04:12 - Subscriber letters 01:20:39 - India not being part of the RCEP 01:27:53 - Chitra and Smita’s recommendations 01:36:52 - Subscriber letters 01:59:21 - Recommendations In this week’s Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, and Mehraj D Lone are joined by Smita Prakash, editor-in-chief of ANI, and Chitra Subramaniam, journalist and co-founder of the News Minute. The conversation kicks off with the recent developments around Covid vaccines. Chitra says: “I have the sense that China is going to emerge with some kind of a people’s vaccine...If they come up with a vaccine that’s universally affordable and the price point is right, I don’t see why any country will not take it.” On the state of the media today, Smita says, “The media itself has changed. You had 100-150 newspapers and one Doordarshan and All India Radio which were state-owned..." She adds: “There are many sites which are looking at news, not just as ‘we’ll take on the government or policy’. There are many more stories to do...Now, it’s no longer just reporting, it’s content creation.” The discussion moves on to the Indian government’s attempts to regulate the media. Mehraj says, “The government, the judiciary is asking for more regulation, also because self-regulation has pretty much failed in India. The Press Council of India and the News Broadcasting Standards Authority have been reduced to making statements. They are no longer regulators but just bodies who issue statements.” The panel also discusses how Covid has broken class barriers, India’s decision to not join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as an alternative to Trump, and a lot more. Tune in! Recommendations  Smita Greatest Urdu Stories ever told  The Ultimate Goal: A Former R&AW Chief Deconstructs How Nations Construct Narratives Chitra Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup  The Remains of the Day  Raman Trial 4 Lakhimpur Kheri: Case of 3-year-old’s rape and murder gets mired in family dispute ‘Only God can help us’: Lakhimpur Kheri family mourns rape, murder of minor daughter Amid ‘love jihad’ claims, Lakhimpur Kheri victim’s family waits for justice Mehraj The Trump vote is rising among Blacks and Hispanics, despite the conventional wisdom Why we shouldn’t get too excited about a Covid vaccine  Abhinandan Their Lordships and Masters  'Caste' Argues Its Most Violent Manifestation Is In Treatment Of Black Americans See for privacy and opt-out information.
2 hr 4 min
Value centered design in Digital space with Navneet Nair
Daniel Kahneman in his book, "Thinking fast and slow", mentions that people are innately irrational when it comes to making decisions. Same goes with how they consume everyday products. In the book "Design of everyday things" Don Norman speaks about how people blame themselves if they are not able to pull the drawer rather than blaming the designer. Well, there definitely seems to be a pattern. Lets explore few of them and more importantly a designers role in this setup. Being a Digital product designer myself, I have few insights. But to know more, today I have Navneet Nair with us on Audiogyan. Navneet is Head of Design at PhonPe. For the last two decades, he has been a hands-on practitioner of design and user focussed creative arts. Navneet has worked in both individual contributor roles and in leadership positions at startups and established companies like Yahoo & Google. Questions * How big or small role does design play in today's Indian startup ecosystem? * You have spoken about the irrational user. Tell us more about it. How have you translated those learnings in your projects, at Google, yahoo or even now in PhonePe? * You speak about value centered design. Can you tell us in detail what do you mean? Are there any best practices which you have implemented at Phonepe? How effective it has been? * If you had to teach designers, either economics or being a full stack designer - what would you choose and why? * Know the rules to bend the rules - What has been your experience while dealing with budding designers who come from user centered school of thought? How can they develop value centered design approach? Reference Links * ( ) * * ( ) * ( )
51 min
The Pragati Podcast
The Pragati Podcast
IVM Podcasts
Ep. 155: The Nobel Pursuit of Science
Professor Gautam Menon talks to host Pavan Srinath about the Nobel Prize, what they mean for scientists, and how they shape science. In episode 155 of The Pragati Podcast, Gautam and Pavan discuss the outsized role that the Nobel Prize plays in being an aspirational goal for young scientists, how they create role models, the work, and the people who win the awards, and the dynamics at play. Gautam I Menon (@MenonBioPhysics) is a Professor of Physics and Biology at Ashoka University. Prior to joining Ashoka, he was a Professor with the Theoretical Physics and Computational Biology groups at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, where he was the founding Dean of the Computational Biology group. He works on biophysical problems and the modeling of infectious diseases. He is an initiating member of the Indian Scientists' Response to COVID-19 (ISRC). Before working on biological problems, he worked in the broad fields of statistical physics and soft condensed matter physics. Visit for detailed episode notes and links to the Nobel winners and research who are discussed in the episode. For all queries and feedback, email us at or reach out to host Pavan Srinath at @zeusisdead on Twitter: Follow The Pragati Podcast on Instagram: & Twitter: & Facebook: The Pragati Podcast is made possible thanks to the support of The Takshashila Institution and the Independent Public-Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF).
59 min
Econ Central
Econ Central
Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul
Ep 15: Goodbye and All That
Sad news, folks: this is it for Econ Central. Amit Varma and Vivek Kaul explain why they are ending this show at just episode 15 -- and also recommend a whole bunch of books to read as a goodbye gift. Also check out: 1. Moonflower Murders -- Anthony Horowitz. 2. The Paper Menagerie -- Ken Liu. 3. The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories -- Ken Liu. 4. The Nothing Man -- Catherine Ryan Howard. 5. Netherland -- Joseph O'Neill. 6. The Thursday Murder Club -- Richard Osman. 7. The Bear Came Over the Mountain -- Alice Munro. 8. Runaway -- Alice Munro. 9. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage -- Alice Munro. 10. All Alice Munro's books on Amazon. 11. How to Make the World Add Up -- Tim Harford. 12. Archives of Dear Economist. 13. Dear Undercover Economist -- Tim Harford. 14. Collected Poems -- Mark Strand. (A sample.) 15. The Best of It: New and Selected Poems -- Kay Ryan. 16. The Housekeeper and the Professor -- Yoko Ogawa. 17. The Blank Slate -- Steven Pinker. 18. How Innovation Works -- Matt Ridley. 19. The Innovator's Dilemma -- Clayton M Christensen. 20. The Myth of Basic Science -- Matt Ridley. 21. The Evolution of Everything -- Episode 96 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Matt Ridley). 22. That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen -- Frédéric Bastiat. 23. The Law -- Frédéric Bastiat. 24. The Deficit Myth -- Stephanie Kelton. 25. Rathin Roy's sarcy tweet. 26. That Will Be England Gone -- Michael Henderson. 27. Essays -- George Orwell. 28. Politics and the English Language -- George Orwell. Amit and Vivek will continue to do whatever else they are doing. You can keep listening to Amit's podcast, The Seen and the Unseen, and reading The India Uncut Newsletter. Do also check out his online course, The Art of Clear Writing. Vivek writes regularly at Do browse all his books on Amazon or elsewhere.
31 min
The Big Story
The Big Story
The Quint
581: Why is Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine Looking Like India’s Best Shot for COVID?
Even as India battles a big spike in COVID cases, forcing some states to reimpose certain restrictions on people's movements, the good news is that vaccine developers are inching towards success in a rapid pace. Recently, the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and Swedish-British pharma AstraZeneca was announced to be 70 percent effective after a large-scale trial. This of course comes on the heels of a string of announcements from other research groups: Pfizer's announcement from 9 November, of the interim results of its candidate vaccine proving to be more than 90 percent effective (which they later revised to 95 percent), Russia's announcement that came on 11 November, on Sputnik V showing 92 percent efficacy in late-stage trials, And Moderna's announcement from 16 November about its candidate's 94.5 percent efficacy. And not to mention India's very own candidate — COVAXIN being developed by Bharat Biotech, who on 23 November said that the vaccine is expected to be 60 percent efficacious. What do these different levels of efficacy mean for us in this vaccine race? Why is the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine looking like India's best shot? Tune in to The Big Story! Producer and Host: Shorbori Purkayastha Guests: Dr Shahid Jameel, Virologist and Director, Trivedi School of Biosciences at Ashoka University Interview: Vaishali Sood, Editor, Quint Fit Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz Listen to The Big Story podcast on: Apple: ( Saavn: ( Google Podcasts: ( Spotify: ( Deezer: (
12 min
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