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Choke Point: India — A Wilson Center-Circle of Blue Joint Initiative

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Streamed live on Apr 2, 2014

On April 2, Circle of Blue and the Wilson Center present the findings of their Choke Point: India initiative, an exploration into the water-energy-food confrontations in the world's second most populous country.

India's ambition to be a modern influential state is driven by decades of technical innovation and policy initiative to secure adequate supplies of energy, food, and water. A nation that has known hunger solved that challenge by fostering popular programs that provide free electricity for pumping free water to farmers. But in providing such valuable resources at no charge, India has generated an inefficient cycle of ecological and economic risk that wastes energy, impedes economic performance, and produces serious ecological and public health risks.

Huge grain surpluses are endemic and rot in warehouses. Though India's electrical generating capacity has more than doubled over the last decade, most of it fueled by coal, India's mining companies cannot keep pace with rising demand. New power plants run below their generating capacity due to fuel shortages. Brownouts and blackouts are endemic. Clean energy alternatives are not close to achieving mainstream status. And India's hydroelectric development is seriously hindered by the difficulty and danger of building new power projects in the Himalayas.

The presentation by Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue's senior editor and chief correspondent, encompasses India's globally distinct contest for resources in India's food-growing Punjab region, coal mining regions in Chhattisgarh and Meghalaya, solar and wind development in Rajasthan, and hydro-electric construction in Uttarakhand.

Speaker

Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue

Discussants

Upmanu Lall, Columbia University

Michael Kugelman, Woodrow Wilson Center

Diego Rodríguez, World Bank

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