This is Nitin Pai's cyberspace.

I have started writing occassional columns for Sakal, a leading Marathi newspaper.

contact: @acorn

I’m interested in coffee, philosophy, sharp objects, public policy, tech and stationery.
You are in the structured section of my domain where I have my blog posts, newspaper columns, updates on my teaching and research, and other things you had always been warned about.
My raw notes with thoughts-in-progress are in the unstructured digital garden.

▸ What I’m up to now.

This is a partial list. I’ll add the rest over the next few weeks. I recommend you check these out before looking at the stream of blog posts below ↓

▸ Recently been writing about: ☼ information ageliberal democracygeopoliticseconomicsCovid-19philosophy and everything else

▸ In these columns: ☼ Debates with my DaughtersMintSakalThe PrintThe HinduPragatiPax Indica

▸ And the blog posts follow:

This is where The Acorn blog now resides.

2021 - The Year in Fiction
December 31, 2021 // My favourite books of fiction of 2021

Interrogating the Deep State
December 22, 2021 // My conversation with Josy Joseph at the Bangalore Literature Festival

Insurgencies can be defeated by strengthening democratic and federal politics
December 20, 2021 // AFSPA is a red herring. Restructuring the Rajya Sabha will better address states' grievances

The contest to create the web’s third generation has intensified
December 6, 2021 // The internet is being reshaped by market rivalry, state control, geopolitics and a social backlash

We should support a global ban on destructive anti-satellite tests
November 22, 2021 // Reckless behaviour by as responsible a space power as Russia calls for action to preserve humanity's access to space

Cautious re-globalisation through bubbles of trust
November 12, 2021 // The Quad must take a strategic approach to economic interdependence and take a middle path between the extremes of technological sovereignty and laissez-faire globalisation

Decarbonisation will change geopolitics
November 8, 2021 // The global balance of power will shift before the world can change its outdated political structure. Therein lies the problem.

The unlikeliness of a directed microwave weapon
November 8, 2021 // I am not convinced that there is a directed electromagnetic energy weapon involved.

Reframing the social media policy debate
October 26, 2021 // The case for cognitive autonomy and to move from attempting "social media regulations" to "online social reform".

Amid the new US-China missile rivalry
October 25, 2021 // India must propose a Global No First Use Treaty to reduce risks while investing in space situational awareness & technological capabilities to secure itself

The coming regulation of social media is an opportunity for India
October 11, 2021 // India's competitive advantage in the tech economy has always been high quality human capital at scale. The challenge now is to create millions of people who can exercise good judgement in addition to writing great code.

On strategic autonomy
October 5, 2021 // Strategic autonomy is not about refusing to take sides in itself; but rather avoiding getting into situations where taking sides means losing the capacity for independent action.

Towards an Indian strategy for the Information Age
October 4, 2021 // Key points from the chapter in "India's Path to Power: Strategy in a World Adrift"

A strategy for India in a world adrift
September 28, 2021 // An analysis of India’s strategic path amidst tectonic external and domestic shifts by an independent group of leading policymakers, analysts and thinkers

India must invest in more sophisticated cyber weapons
September 27, 2021 // Without offensive cyber capabilities it is impossible to defend the nation's information sphere.

Early thoughts on AUKUS and India
September 16, 2021 // AUKUS is a military pact within a military pact. Non-inclusion has opportunity costs for India; but also offers other opportunities for partnership.

Organic farming should not be an article of faith
September 13, 2021 // Policies that respect the farmer's economic freedom are the best route to sustainable agriculture

Exploiting the projects that China builds
September 1, 2021 // Instead of handwringing on Beijing's growing geopolitical footprint, New Delhi should exploit both the asset and liability side of such projects.

Fighting the Strong Force
August 31, 2021 // The Chinese Communist Party wants to separate kids from their smartphones. Even the Taliban might have surrendered on this front.

Extracting value from underutilised public assets is good public policy
August 30, 2021 // The National Monetization Pipeline (NMP) is a desirable shift in thinking especially if state and municipal governments can use the model to extract revenues from their unutilised assets

Where the United States failed
August 25, 2021 // A lot of people are offering commentaries on why and how the United States failed in Afghanistan. Yet the more important question that few are asking is "Where the United States failed."

On diplomatically engaging the Taliban
August 20, 2021 // The Taliban will chafe at being treated as puppets by their external backers and reach out India. But New Delhi can afford to wait.

Make China accountable for the Taliban’s actions
August 16, 2021 // It is in India's interests to prefer a Pax Sinica over Afghanistan. Beijing has skilfully avoided commitment -- and been let off the hook -- for too long. Its culpability has been ignored: By supporting the Taliban it has thrown the Afghan people to the wolves.

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