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Podcast: India’s economic woes and the patchy history of election polling

india Updated: Mar 13, 2019 09:30 IST
Hindustan Times
Hindustan Times
Hindustan Times
Grand Tamasha,Milan Vaishnav,South Asia programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

This week on Grand Tamasha, Milan Vaishnav (Director of the South Asia programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) discusses the latest economic figures from India with Roshan Kishore (Data and Political Economy Editor, Hindustan Times).

The Government of India reported that GDP growth in the third quarter of 2019 slipped to 6.6 percent—the slowest pace in five quarters. India’s GDP growth forecast for 2018-19 has also been revised downwards to 7 percent from 7.2 percent.

Milan and Roshan discuss the political implications of India’s slowing economy, the nature of rural distress, and how to make sense of India’s contested employment data.

Then, Milan speaks with Neelanjan Sircar, one of India’s leading public opinion experts. Sircar, an assistant professor at Ashoka University and senior visiting fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, explains why pollsters have such a hard time forecasting elections in India and how to make sense of the public opinion surveys that are coming in ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Sircar explains why it is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for an Indian version of Nate Silver—the star number cruncher of American elections—to emerge.

Milan also talks with Sircar about the status of the heated election race in West Bengal, a state Sircar has been researching for a decade.

First Published: Mar 13, 2019 09:30 IST