In our next video in the ‘Sparking A Conversation’ series, Dr Mahesh Rangarajan discusses the relationship between development and nature. In a country like India, with a billion people and vast inequality, how can a balance be achieved between building the nation economically and doing so ethically? Does the need to follow the Western ideas of modernization come at the cost of our environment?

The period between 1945 and 1973 saw both accelerated growth of wealth as well as accelerated depletion of resources and waste generation in the Western world. In the last few decades, India has shifted its prerogative towards becoming a modern, developed nation, thus straining the environment in its pursuit of catching up to China and the USA. In such as case, can we expect the poor of the country to protect nature when they are struggling themselves while trying to stay relevant in the fast-paced rat race of persistent growth? In other words, is it possible to have the best of both worlds, and achieve growth while still being incentivised to protect our environment? 


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