Research to Scale up Engaging Indian Public Policy: UChicago Center in Delhi 5th Anniversary

Research to Scale up Engaging Indian Public Policy: UChicago Center in Delhi 5th Anniversary


PRESENTER: You may recognize a
moderator for our second panel from TV. Faye D’Souza is a senior
television journalist and a news anchor
from Mirror Now. Her reporting focuses
on issues that matter for citizens of India
on taxation, education, health, and urban development. Please join me in
welcoming Faye D’Souza. [APPLAUSE] FAYE D’SOUZA: Good morning. It’s a pleasure to
be here, and I’m be very happy to have
been invited and extremely intimidated by everyone
else on the panel here. So I’m going to speak
as little as possible so as not to expose myself. India is a country of
massive and very, very interesting problems. 67% of our population is engaged
in the process of growing food, and somehow, still, we
have the largest population of hungry people in the world. Our health care industry,
private health care industry, is expected to grow to
$300 billion by 2022, but we have the
largest population of people who don’t have access
to basic primary health care– basic primary health care. We’re among the lowest
spenders of health as a government in the world,
spending only about 1 and 1/2% of our total GDPR. Our economic crisis
right now, while we’re a very ambitious
country, is punctuated by terrible job loss. Air pollution, I don’t
need to tell you about it. You got here this morning, so
some of it is in your lungs already. Climate change was being
talked about yesterday. Indians as a race would be among
the worst affected by floods, and water issues,
and polluted rivers, and other impacts
of climate change. So we are, perhaps, in most need
of research-based innovation than anywhere else in the world. And to be able to marry
research-based innovation and findings with things
on the ground, solutions, passing on that information,
creating products that we can implement and
actually change people’s lives, is, perhaps, the biggest
challenge that India is facing. More so now than ever
before, because we’re also, quite unfortunately, at a
point where a Nobel Laureate of economics dismissed by a
Union minister for having ideas that are too, what he
called, “left-wing.” We’re also at a point where our
prime minister very famously said he prefers hard
work to Harvard. So we are bringing in– MICHAEL GREENSTONE: What did
he say about the University of Chicago? [LAUGHTER] FAYE D’SOUZA: Nothing so far. Well, one of your alumni
who headed our RBI has received quite a mouthful,
but we won’t go there. But it is a challenge. It’s always been a challenge. It’s perhaps more pronounced now
than it has ever been before. Also, as a country,
we tend to focus on things that make for
good journalism and good PR rather than things that
actually will solve problems on the ground. So these are the
things that I want to put forward to our panel
before we start discussing the challenges that India
has, that can perhaps be fixed with research-based
innovation and solutions, and also because we have
the largest population right now that can be
used to test these ideas. Like I said, we have
an amazing panel. So I’m just going
to get straight to it so they give each
share their ideas with you. Professor Michael
Greenstone is a director. He’s with the
University of Chicago, director of the Becker-Friedman
Institute of Economics, director of Energy Policy
Institute at the University of Chicago, director of the
Tata Center for Development at the University of Chicago. His research is focused
on testing innovative ways to increase energy access
but improve efficiency. And he’s also served
as the chief economist for President Obama’s Council
for Economic Advisors, but he’s specifically
going to talk about how to incentivize people
to innovate on air quality and improve air quality,
specifically in India. I’m very happy to introduce
Dr. Nishamt Agarwal. When children say they want
to grow up and be superheroes they’re referring to
becoming Dr. Nishamt Agarwal. [LAUGHS] He’s,
perhaps, the closest we’ll get to growing up
and saving the world. His research actually is– it’s going to save countless
lives, not just in the West, but also in countries like
India where we will, perhaps, be able to detect cancer
earlier and thereby actually save people’s lives. It’s a very tangible
thing to introduce. So I’m very happy to do that. Dr. Sudhir Nair is
the head and neck surgeon from the Tata
Memorial Center at Mumbai. It’s among the largest centers
for cancer in the country. And the doctors– anyone
who’s been inside– and I live in Mumbai– anyone
who’s been inside the Tata Memorial Center will tell you
that the work that the doctors do is selfless and saintly. Because everyone from across
the country, this large country, goes to that one
hospital for help. And these doctors work
day in and day out trying to save people’s lives. It’s the most amazing
thing you will ever see if you have the time to
go see how the work happens at that hospital. So I’m really happy to reach
Doctor Nair personally. Mr. AK Rastogi is the
chairperson of the Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board. He’s worked with the government
for a very, very long time, and he brings in a very
interesting perspective on how people
inside of government can use research and
insight to change lives and what they’re doing in
Jharkhand, specifically. Mr. Rastogi, welcome, and thank
you for giving us your time. But I do want to start
with Mr. Ganesh Neelam. He’s the head of innovations and
technology at the Tata Trust. Ganesh spearheads the
energy-related projects, and he engages with
various partners. He’s specifically
working on changing the lives of tribal
people across the four central states of India. And that’s very, very
important work as well. Ganesh? GANESH NEELAM:
Morning, everybody. A warm welcome to all of you
to this fiftieth anniversary of the Tata Center. Or, not the Tata Center; the
University of Chicago Center in India. It actually will be
a Tata Center, also, maybe in 10 years down the line. We’ll have that– – Force of habit. GANESH NEELAM: And thanks a lot
to the University of Chicago for inviting the
trust to share what the trust does in the space. And the partnership that we
have the Tata Center in Delhi. Just to give a brief– I don’t know how many of you
will know about the Red Cross we are in guess all
this philanthropy. So we are a 127-years-old
philanthropy started by our founder, Jamsetji Tata. And it is basically
in our blood is that what we earn as the
company we basically give it back to the community. That’s been the
motto of the trust. And we basically
have our dividends from the mean parent
company, Tata Sons, and we use that evidence to
give it back to the community through our development programs
such as livelihoods, education, health care. So we’re mostly
into implementation and also work closely
with the different state and the national government. The trust have been pioneers
in promoting institutions within India. So if you name
institutions like IISD, the first science
institution in India, was, again, started by Jamsetji Tata. TIFR, one of the most
renowned institutions on fundamental research,
was promoted by the trust. TISS– yesterday, we heard
a brief about Tata Institute for Social Sciences. So that’s, again,
promoted by Tata trust. So you have endless
institutions which the trust has been promoting
for last 100, 100-odd years overall. And the recent additions
to these institutions have been TIGS which,
basically, is again a partnership with the
University of San Diego for us to work on genetic
research for, say, issues like malaria, dengue,
and other [INAUDIBLE].. And one more institution which
we recently promoted over three years back was a
foundation for innovation and social entrepreneurship. So it a senior of
mine, [INAUDIBLE] basically looks after it. And he’s also closely
associated with the University of Chicago and this
partnership that we have. So we have been working and
promoting a lot of institutions over the years, and
in the last few years, we also have been
working very closely on looking at some
strong partnerships with different universities
within India and also outside India. And some of these partnerships
are the partnership that we have with MIT. We have a Tata Center at MIT and
a similar parallel institution in IIT Bombay. Again, the focus
has been to see how we can look at the
technology and research that these institutions work
on and get them to action. So it’s not only a
research, but it also gets converted into action
to the trust presence within India. And how do we take action
on these type of programs? The second important element
of this partnership has been– it will be problem
statement driven. So it’s basically
also understanding the challenges and issues that
a country like India faces. How do we feed that back
in to the university system and ensure the professors
and the students take up these
research activities to come up with some good
solutions for the community to do adopt, and then see
how it gets scaled up. So we are doing it with MIT,
and we have a very similar and a very strong partnership
with the University of Chicago, which has been underway for
last two to three years. The Tata Center, which we
are all sitting here, right? And this partnership
basically, again, as I said, is towards taking the strengths
of the University of Chicago, which is mostly on economic
and social research, and how do we basically
look at some issues that a country like
India is facing, work together on taking this
research into some very strong solutions that the
system can adopt, institutions like
the Red Cross can adopt, and see that
we actually deliver it to the community which
needs it the most. So that’s been a partnership
with the Tata Center for the last few
years, and we hope we continue this partnership
for many more years to come. One of the important programs
that the Tata Center is currently doing is
on the air pollution, basically on the Star
Rating Program, which– we find it really exciting. And the benefits
of it could be seen that many state governments
are coming ahead and asking for us to work on that
program closely together and see how we
can take it ahead. So this is just an example,
and with the center, we are hoping to pick up some
other important challenges like the farmer distress
issues, doubling farmer income– which is a major piece
that the government is now pushing across very strongly. So how do we work
closely with the center? Because the trust
also has a very strong [INAUDIBLE] of
working on livelihoods of the rural and tribal
communities, mainly the small and marginal farmers. So how do we work
with the center on coming up with some really
strong vertical solutions to the system, as well as us
to implement it on the ground and enable a better life
for these small and marginal farmers to meet their
aspirations over the years to come? So we are hoping that
this partnership continues on a long-term basis
for us to take it ahead, and we’ll work together on
taking some real problems for us to engage in and
then see how it actually could be brought into action. The trust, basically,
will be the bridge between the university and the
system, or also the [INAUDIBLE] partners that we
work very closely to ensure that the research
is not only in research, but also gets into
action very intensively. That’s the core
focus that we have. And as our mission is to work
with about 100 million lives, basically, positively impact
these 100 million lives by 2020, we hope
that the center will be playing an important role on
achieving that mission that we have within the trust
and its ecosystem. So thanks a lot,
everybody, for being here, and thanks to the
Center for inviting me to speak on this behalf. And a warm welcome, again, from
the Tata Trust to all of you, and we hope we continue this
partnership on a long term. Thank you very much. [APPLAUSE] FAYE D’SOUZA: Thank you, Ganesh. I want to now invite Professor
Mike Greenstone to speak to us about the Star Rating Program. It’s one that has actually
made a huge impact and has been
extremely successful. It’s a great example of how
research and innovation can help public policy. Professor Greenstone? MICHAEL GREENSTONE: Excellent. Thank you. Happy to be here today. There we go. OK, so thank you, Ganesh,
for those terrific words. It’s wonderful to be in
partnership with Tata Trust. In many respects, what the TCD– which is a creation
of the Tata Trust and the University of Chicago– is is an aim to solve a
problem that can often exist in academia, which is that
ideas can get created, and then they can
sit-in journals– which I like to read, but I’m
in a club of about 11 people who like to read them– and that those ideas will never
really enter the real world. And this relationship
and the creation of TCD is meant to solve that
very problem, obviously, as it relates to
India in particular. And I’ll just say, when we
began on this enterprise, I think we had hopes
that there would be lots of interest, and
engagement, and research, and impact in India from the
University of Chicago faculty. But there was a
little bit of a bet, and there’s been a just
unbelievable, bountiful supply of Chicago faculty, including
several who are here today, who have found that interacting,
and engaging, and positioning their research to look
at India is rewarding, both in terms of being
able to test new ideas, but also to get those ideas
out in the real world. So with that, let me
just talk a little bit about the Star Rating
Program, which is one example. And again, at this point,
this might be repetitive, but the Tata Center
for Development at the University
of Chicago aims to combine the rigor of the
Chicago economics tradition with the Tata Trust’s deep
engagement and long history in India to produce research
and impact in India. The model that we have
and that we focus on is– you could think of it as
almost a three-step process. The first step is, pose
an interesting question, and then do some
research around that to try to answer that question. Every academic wakes up every
single day trying to do that, and that’s what the University
of Chicago can bring to that. The second is that that
research, as I said, often ends up in journals
that I like to read, and not so many other people. And so how do you translate
that research into something that other people can
understand in the broader world? And so a big part of that
is outreach where we take– and we’ve built a really
terrific, top-notch team, many of them who are here
today, working around the room somewhere,
thinking about better ways I could be explaining
things right now. And they’re really experts at
taking these academic ideas, and making them accessible,
and delivering them to decision-makers. And then, the third part is
to take those translated ideas and convert them into action. And we’re going to talk about
an important example about that. And there’s plenty
of other examples. Plus– [INAUDIBLE]—- we’re
going to have a surprise bonus at the end of this panel
that nobody knows about. But It’ll be very exciting. OK, so the specific thing
I wanted to talk about is information transparency. So there’s been an idea in
environmental regulation for a long time that
part of the problem– maybe when you look outside– is that nobody knows
who’s doing the polluting, and that if you would
just arm the public with that information, they
would either apply pressure to the industry or they would
apply pressure to the regulator and, in some way– slightly unclear how
exactly that would happen– that that would
lead to reductions in emissions or compliance
with whatever the norms are. This idea took off
in the United States in the 1980s like rocket fuel. And so there’s examples
of it all over the world. This is actually only a partial. The first one was a toxic
release inventory in the United States which provided the
public with, to my eye, completely incomprehensible
information about emissions from individual plants
There, Canada has a program. There’s a program in Africa. Ma Jun, who is really
a superstar in China, started a program. And then, there’s also
a program in Australia. Now, what all of those
programs have in common is that no one ever
bothered to figure out if they were working. It was just great
that they exist. And so what we are trying to do
is we started the Star Rating Program in collaboration with
the Maharashtra pollution control board to try and
take that really basic idea and see if you could– if that was effective
at leading to greater compliance with laws. So the first thing was
just to compile information on all the plants of a certain
category in Maharashtra who– what their pollution
emissions were. Then, that, of
course, is reported in things like micrograms
per cubic meter, which is not something that normal
people talk about very often. And so we turned
it in– and I’ll show you this in a second–
into industry performance ratings that are just stars,
kind of like Yelp or, I guess, Zomato. Then we distributed report
cards and published the ratings on the website, all
with the idea of, well, maybe this will be effective. And the research
component of this is that we did this
for several plants. We only made the information
public for half of them, randomly assigned. And then we’re going to test
whether or not this leads to reductions in pollution. This program has been
very successful in terms of drawing a lot of attention
and political excitement. The chief minister
launched it in 2017. The Maharashtra
Pollution Control Board distributes report
cards, actually, and it’s begun to seep into
the regulatory process. They now hold meetings
in towns in Maharashtra and then make the
industries come on stage and accept their report cards. The five-star industries come
and very gleefully accept it. And then they issue the
one- and two-star ones in public, which sometimes,
people a little reluctant to come on stage and
pick that one up. But nevertheless, they have
to come up and do that. And then, they’ve started
to use those stars to alter the way that they regulate. So if you’re five-star– the chairman and I talked
about this last night. This is in Jharkhand. But there is regulatory
relief if you get five-star, and you face fewer inspections,
and things like that. And the one-star gets
greater attention. Now, these kind of things,
it’s like the story about the tree falling in
the middle of the forest. So we were worried we were
going to build this website, and no one would know about it. And so a lot of effort
has gone into making sure that people actually know. And so I actually– I don’t have a Facebook page,
and I don’t have a Twitter account, so I don’t really
know what any of this means, but I think it’s a lot. And there is a map
from the website which shows all the
industries who have ratings. And then you can click on them. You can click on
this guy, zoom up, and you would see
the whole history of this plant, what their
ratings are, and provide exactly this information– although in a much more
accessible way than we believe has been done previously
anywhere in the world. People got so excited
about this program that the Odisha state
government has contacted us. And this is the scale-up part. And we’re now we’re
working with– have launched a
Star Rating Program. In Jharkhand, they
have launched one. The chairman is here today. We’re very proud to
have him as a partner. They’re, in many
respects, doing something that’s much more ambitious
than what Maharashtra is doing. Maharashtra, you get
samples maybe once or twice, a couple of times a year. They’re going to base their
stars on continuous emissions monitoring. So I guess every 15 seconds or
something like that, there will be a reading out of the stack. It’s really extraordinarily
impressive what they’re doing, and we’re very proud to
be able to work with them. This idea, as I
said, has taken hold. Odisha and Jhahkhand
have launched it. We’re in discussions with
several other states– I would say Uttar Pradesh, and
Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana, and Kerala– pretty advanced discussions. And we expect that this will
expand to these other states, and there is initial
interest from other ones. So this is meant to be an
encapsulation of idea research, translation– this is
meant to be translation, the stars as opposed to
micrograms per cubic meter– and then scale up. And in many respects,
it’s a model for what we’re trying
to do with the TCD. And as I said, there’ll be– We’re going to talk about
some other examples, and then there’ll be a
special surprise bonus example coming soon. OK, thank you very much. [APPLAUSE] FAYE D’SOUZA:
Thank you, Michael, and with 30 seconds to spare. MICHAEL GREENSTONE: Wow. FAYE D’SOUZA: I do want
to invite Dr. Nishamt Agarwal to speak right now. Again, a brilliant example
of how research can change lives and how
research can actually be brought in to public policy
to save human [INAUDIBLE].. NISHAMT AGARWAL: Thank you. Thank you, Faye. Your introduction was
very much exaggerated. You don’t want to hear
when my wife calls me. But I think everyone in this
room is actually a superhero. Anyone who does not
accept the status quo and wants to make the world
better, for me, is a superhero. So thank you, everyone. So I’m going to switch
subjects a little bit and talk about oral cancer. So there are about 600,000
cases of oral cancer worldwide. India has about a third of
them– so about 200,000. It is the third most
common cancer in India. It’s the most
common cancer in men and the fifth most
common cancer in women. There is a pretty
significant toll. Treatment for oral cancer
is about 500,000 rupees, which is much greater than
the per capita annual income for most people
who work in India. And people who get treated for
oral cancer generally cannot afford their treatment, so they
have to sell assets or borrow loans– borrow money with loans. And they don’t always
return to the workforce. So it is a very, very
significant health and economic burden. So don’t get grossed out. I don’t know how
this is displaying, but this is a tongue, and
this is a cancer, which is not supposed to be here. And this is,
unfortunately, this stage– this is probably a
stage three cancer– that most patients present with. So at stage three or stage four,
the prognosis for this patient would be about a 30% to 40%
five-year survival– so pretty abysmal. And that’s with full
treatment, which would be a combination
of surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy. But unfortunately,
most of our patients present at advanced
stage cancers. This is the ideal state. This is what we
would love to see. This is a chip shot. If this patient recurs– this is my fault. If the
patient in the previous picture recurs– it’s maybe not my fault,
just the aggressiveness of the tumor. But this is so rare, that we
see a lesion in an early stage, in a pre-cancerous state,
or a stage one, stage two. So as Michael alluded
to, this is a journal. It’s from the American
Dental Association. We published this. We were very happy this
was evidence-based clinical practice guideline for the
evaluation of potentially malignant disorders
in the oral cavity. So all the major medical
centers in the US contributed with author zero. I was an author. Again, we were very
proud of our work, and we published
guidelines to show what the workflow would
be if a patient has a suspicious lesion. And the problem with
our guidelines– again, this is the theoretical
versus practical practicality of this– it actually falls apart
at the first arrow. So we did a lot of work. We published this. It was, I think, the
most-downloaded article. But it’s not practical. So for this, in India, a
person would need a biopsy. And the ratio of a patient,
a high-risk patient, to someone who can actually
perform the biopsy, perform it and interpret
it, is 1 to 2,000. So the odds are against
us to find an expert who could actually do this. So we can’t even go
further down because we can’t perform a biopsy. We don’t have the
resources in the field. So we went back to
the building blocks. So you can criticize
us for this, but this is sort of
the foundation of life. So DNA gets transcribed
to RNA, which gets translated to protein. Decades of research
has indicated that cancer is a
genetic disease, meaning there’s mutations or
errors that occur in our DNA. And there are different
parts of the genome. So there’s the whole genome,
which is about 300 billion base pairs, or the exome,
which is the coding part. So that’s the part that
actually becomes protein. So there is about 20,000 genes
in the exome of a human being. So there’s a lot of genes that
could be, potentially, mutated in cancer. So for our work, what we
defined were seven genes. So out of 20,000, we
identified the seven most frequently mutated
genes on oral cavity cancer. So if you look, this
is an idealized version of the human genome right here. So 23 paired
chromosomes is normal. Because of mutations, you
get the cancer genome. Now, if you look
at this closely, you would see that there are
a lot of mutations that occur all throughout the genome. And if I give it
a second to look, maybe I’ll guess
there’s 20 mutations. If I spend a longer time, I’ll
probably get the right amount. But if I look at each single
book and read it 10,000 times– which is this
depth of coverage– how much will I
read a single word? I’m very unlikely to make
a mistake, because I will see all of these mutations. So the cancer genome
is only slightly different than our
natural human genome. And so what we’re really– the problem is that we’re
looking for very rare events, sometimes as rare as one in
1,000 or one in 10,000 events that we’re trying to identify. So this is our first president. I was going to use
Bala, but I don’t think he looks good with a mustache. But you can see,
again, the challenge is finding these rare events. So I made it easier. So this is normal George
Washington, normal George Washington, and
here’s the George Washington with a mustache. So again, the challenge
is to identify very, very rare events– one in 1,000. But now we have the technology,
the next-generation sequencing, which you may have heard of,
which allows us pretty readily. Where the Human Genome
Project was completed in 2003 at a cost of a few billion
dollars and took over 10 years, Now we can do the same amount
of work in a matter of weeks at about $1,000. So this is all doable now. So what we did was, we are
able to find the needle in the vast majority of cases. So we developed a highly
sensitive and specific assay to identify tumor DNA– so these mutations that
are shed from tumors into the saliva of patients. So noninvasive, minimally
invasive, and this is field-ready. So all you do is rinse
your mouth with saltwater, and then you put it
in a preservative which is stable indefinitely
at room temperature. So there’s no freezing,
and the processing only occurs when the centralized
lab receives the specimen. So this is pretty practical. And this is– it’s a
liquid biopsy, essentially. So this is p53, which is the
most commonly-mutated gene in human malignancy. This is the primary tumor
in A. And then, this is the oral [INAUDIBLE]. So you can see these
lollipop plots, they are sort of mirror images. So we have about
90% concordance. So we don’t really have
to go back to the tissue. So that first
algorithm where you need expert surgeons to
do a biopsy, and expert pathologists, now you
don’t need any of that. All you have to do is rinse
your mouth with salt water and then send out your sample. So the whole technology
lifecycle is a bit complicated, and it’s actually very hard
to bring things to market. But I really want to
thank the TCD for helping us make this happen. At every step of the way,
we said, we want to do this. And it’s always, yes,
sure, how can we help? And they facilitated
every process of this. And so we are in a pretty
advanced stages now. We have collaborations
with Sudhir’s group at Tata Memorial
Hospital, HCG, which is an oncology hospital
throughout the country, Manipal Dental Medical School, and
then, really, our backbone is Strand Biotech. So this was a company
about 20 years ago, and it is located
all throughout India and actually has
everything we need, including bioinformatics,
clinical research, and clinical diagnostics, to
bring this to market in India. So this has really
been a lot of work for the last year and a half. But we’ve made
great achievements, and we really think that
we can bring this to market within the next year or two. Our goal right now is still
to decrease the costs. Our goal– we’re trying
to get at less than $100, which still sounds like
a lot, but relatively to the costs of health
care when you’re treating an
advanced-stage cancer, it’s pretty insignificant. So we’re making good progress. And again, I want to
thank the Tata Charitable Trust for making this happen,
because with any other funding, this would not be doable. So thank you very much. [APPLAUSE] FAYE D’SOUZA: Thank you. It’s time now for that special
surprise that we were promised. I just want to bring in
[? Leni ?] [? Chaudhary, ?] who’s going to introduce
something very interesting that, I understand,
we’re debuting. MICHAEL GREENSTONE:
It’s a bonus. FAYE D’SOUZA: It’s a bonus. Definitely, it’s a
special peak to you. PRESENTER: Thank you. Thank you so much, Faye. Well, in continuation
to what Michael mentioned that Nishamt
said, we definitely want status quo to change. And with that, I wanted to say
that the same principle guides a whole lot of our
other work, and we couldn’t use this opportunity
to talk about all our other work as well. So I wanted to particularly
mention about the work that we are doing in the
space of water quality monitoring and water
pollution and to address the issue of translating
research and making it available to different
stakeholders in a more customized and a more
user-friendly manner. So this work on water pollution
has been guided by the work of professor [? Suprati ?]
[? Guha, ?] who has pioneered this piece of work in the
entire university and globally. In India, particularly,
it’s a pathbreaking work. And as an extension to that,
what we have attempted to do is to, again, look
at the static data, which is from the
government sources, from other sources, which is
about monitoring the water quality and making it
available to users in a way which they can actually use
it in their day-to-day lives. So along with the academic
orientation of the data, along with the requirement
of researchers, it is being customized
to meet the requirements of policymakers, regulators,
common people who will be using that data to
make lifestyle decisions or livelihood decisions. So we are in the
process of making this data available to people
through a dashboard, which is going to be launched
very, very soon. But I just have a snapshot
of that website which I wanted to present before you. MICHAEL GREENSTONE:
First time ever seen. [LAUGHTER] [INAUDIBLE]. So the idea is you can name
any water body in India and then zoom in and find
out very detailed readings. Again, moving away, just as
we did from air pollution, away from things like
parts per million to whether or not it’s
drinkable, whether or not you can bathe in it. The technical measures
are also there. And this would be the first
time that people would ever have access to this
information in any way beyond in some super dusty
book that the Central Pollution Control Board has put out, which
is unavailable in any location. And in many senses
it’s emblematic of what we’re trying to do with TCD. And it was really all– I don’t know if
[? Supatik ?] is here. I saw him earlier. PRESENTER: [INAUDIBLE] MICHAEL GREENSTONE: OK, he
stepped out for a minute. He’s embarrassed
at what he’s done. But it’s really set off
by his tremendous work. And it will use– [APPLAUSE] [INAUDIBLE] FAYE D’SOUZA: No, no, no. MICHAEL GREENSTONE:
And it will rely on government measurements,
measurements that [? Supatik’s ?]
team is doing, and– FAYE D’SOUZA: Other sources. MICHAEL GREENSTONE:
Other sources. First time ever. FAYE D’SOUZA: You
know, this is amazing because, as a journalist, we’ve
spent a lot of time talking about air and water quality. There’s so little
usable research. Just to be able to
translate that into, can you use it to cook? Can you use it to drink? Can you use it to
grow vegetables? And this is heartbreaking for
a country like India where perhaps, going
forward, water crisis is going to be our
biggest problem. So thank you for
that amazing work. I want to be able to start
this conversation right now with the panel. We’ll also open
this up to questions from the room in a little while. But I want to start
with Mr. Rastogi. We’ll pick up on the point of
dusty books in your department. And there is a lot of work that
is done by pollution control boards in various states. Unfortunately, again,
the media pulls up these boards on a regular
basis for, perhaps, failing, but we don’t look at it
enough for the work that has been done. How important, in your
mind, is research like this in helping you do your job? AK RASTOGI: First of
all, I’d like to thank the University of Chicago. See what happens first time I’m
meeting the university, which are coming forward
for research-based to the field-level
transformation. But I have not seen much of
the universities coming forward for that. See, first time
that I met people from the University of Chicago,
the perception about research, industry, and regulators,
that was different. A regulator seems to be
an idealistic situation. We are sitting, ideally,
away from the public. Industry, they are also
afraid of the regulator. And researchers, journalists,
that all in their own domain. We see a lot of things
have been done in the past, and we have been
continuing to do this. But see, enactment, what
I feel like, enacting law is not sufficient. You have to take
people on the road. Suppose somebody is polluting. So unless you see them, show
them, what pollution you are creating– but reliability of
data is not there. It is not, like
Michael has said, transparency is not available. It is not in the public domain. So what pollution control laws,
especially in Jharkhand, what we are doing, we are
absolutely on [INAUDIBLE].. Industry data is available
every 15 seconds. That is also in public
domain [INAUDIBLE].. So public is not
able to interpret it, whether you are within
permissible limits, or whether you are not. This is not for the
public for interpretation. This is Star Rating, and that
is such what we are doing is. That will help us and tell us,
the people, that which industry stands where. If it is five star, the
rating means that they are more than compliant. FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes. AK RASTOGI: So the
public, also, will have a perception that, you
know, this industry is good. Because we cannot say– you
cannot close the industry, because development
has to go side-by-side. Now what we have to do is,
this is a five-star industry, and this is a one-star industry. Our focus will be on industries
which are not performing well. So like you said
we have been having a lot of battles
with the journalists that air pollution is there. Now, [INAUDIBLE]
again has come up. So we’ll have a lot of issues. But my point of view is
we have to inform people, and we have to inform industry
what corrective measures have to be taken. And how will they behave? That will depend how we
communicate with them. FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes. AK RASTOGI: That is
also very important. FAYE D’SOUZA: So changing
the role of the regulator from just someone
who raps people on the knuckles to actually
offering them solutions and pushing them
to solve problems. AK RASTOGI: That was really
difficult for the regulators because your mindset
is that you regulate. And I think people
are changing now. What we have done,
every month, we are holding
stakeholder meetings. FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes. AK RASTOGI: And we are open. Sometimes, regulators
have criticized that you are not open. Now, everything
is on the website. You can see your data. And now we are offering
that if you are complaint, a lot of incentives will
be given to the industry. Like we have mandatory
inspections– we say that once
you are complaint, once you are five-star– or not even five-star. Once you are complaint
and your data is available on the website,
anybody can consider your data. But when reliability
there of the data, so you need not
to go and inspect the industry again and again. And then the pollution
is contained. FAYE D’SOUZA: That’s amazing. I also want to bring
in Dr. Nair, who’s been sitting very quietly. Dr. Nair– SUDHIR NAIR: Yeah. FAYE D’SOUZA: Again, for someone
like you who sees people, like I said, from
across India come in at very late stages
of treatment, where even for you, it’s, perhaps,
disheartening because there’s so little that can be
done at that stage, how important would it be to
be able to take these ideas, and take this
research, and make it tangible on the ground
through information to trained people
who can implement it? Can it only be done through
government health programs, or can the private
sector play a part? SUDHIR NAIR: I think it’s a
combination of both government agencies as well as
private partners, because there’s a lot of
social awareness to be created. As I mentioned previously, that
we have published a paper where we saw why are people
coming, presenting late with oral cancers, which
are actually very happening in the most visible
part of the body? Still, the patients
are presenting to us in the late stage. Even young, very young patients,
less than 20, 30 years, they present with very advanced
cancer in Tata Hospital. So one of the reasons
is, as Nishamt mentioned in his speech, that a
majority of these patients are misdiagnosed. [INAUDIBLE] OK. Majority of these
people are misdiagnosed. Either non-diagnosed– they are
not diagnosed as oral cancers, or they are diagnosed
as something different. A biopsy facility
will not be available. Proper diagnosis,
non [INAUDIBLE].. So they are not referred
to a specialist. So all these issues
leads to delays. So we see around six
to seven months’ delay at the start of the
disease, probably, than what the picture
Nishamt is saying is T3, it’s actually T1 for
us, that type of lesion. FAYE D’SOUZA: OK. SUDHIR NAIR: I
mean, what he says, T3 means it’s an American AJCC
classification of the tumor size. That is actually the
[LAUGHS] beginning stage– FAYE D’SOUZA: [INAUDIBLE] AK RASTOGI: –that we
see cancer in India. We see that type of
patient, I’m very happy, because I can excise it, close
it, and send the patient home in an week’s time. But otherwise, we need a complex
reconstruction, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, all sort
of treatment modalities. Cost escalates. Stay– patient stays more
days in the hospital. And the waiting
period increases. We have a waiting period of
two months in Tata Hospital, see that these patients come. So I’m just saying
seven months’ delay; we are also adding two
months to their misery, so from they get to treatment. So I thin the concept
Nishamt developed to detect cancer using a more
easier way to avoid experts delaying the– FAYE D’SOUZA: The process. AK RASTOGI: –diagnosis,
experts delaying the process, we have machines,
using low-cost machines which can detect these
cancers quite early. I mean, that would be great–
it’s a revolutionary idea. Maybe we may have to
take it in, and we are thinking about planning
for a large-scale screening, targeted screening
studies in India. There was a one screening study
in 2005 from RCC [INAUDIBLE] They did one whole district. They screened for oral cancers. And so really, one
important screening study in all of the world
where it showed that targeted screening
of high-risk population improves survival. That’s the only study available,
and it’s from RCC [INAUDIBLE].. It’s published in
2005 in Lancet. But that was screening was
based on trained health care providers. You train people, show them
the pictures of oral cancer, then send them to
the community, ask them to inspect
everybody’s oral cavity. See if there’s
anything suspicious. They are referred
to the hospital, and then the
experts, specialists, treat those patients. Now, we don’t need
a trained if you have a simple, portable
machine or an instrument. People go out in the community,
quickly check the saliva, find out, send them back. So targeted screening
is shown to reduce the– improves the survival, and
this is a great opportunity. FAYE D’SOUZA:
Professor Greenstone, quick question to you. Obviously, what the
University of Chicago has achieved with these
specific projects is different. It’s pathbreaking. It’s something that can be
studied to move further. What do you think is the key
here between relationships between government
and researchers, government and the
university, and maybe the funding and
the support that’s coming in from the Tata Trust? MICHAEL GREENSTONE:
Yeah, so none of this would be possible without
the Tata Trust, of course. I think there’s this step
between the research, when I write a paper
from Nashamt and he writes a paper for me, that’s
all great, and we have a club. But there is this step– although I do have to renew my
subscription to the American Dental Association. NISHAMT AGARWAL: Don’t do it. You don’t need it. MICHAEL GREENSTONE: But there
is this step with connecting with the outside world. And that is– I think it’s kind of
uncharted territory. FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes. MICHAEL GREENSTONE: And trying
to find a way to communicate across the academic and
practitioner boundary– or void, I guess– I think we’re just
figuring that out. And so the chairman has
been a terrific partner, and we’re incredibly
excited to have him. Now, He described what it was
like when our team showed up there. I think not every chairman of
pollution control, the State Pollution Control Board,
would have that reaction. Some might wonder, how do I get
the people out of my office? And I think it
requires an openness on both sides to
talking about things and thinking about things
slightly differently than you do when you’re in
your own world. FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes. Nishamt, ideally, where would
you like to see this research– what impact would you
like to see on the ground? And what support do you think
research like this needs? NISHAMT AGARWAL: So I think
at a very basic level, the purpose of research
is to change the world and make it a better place– maybe not for us
or our generation, but at least for
generations to come. FAYE D’SOUZA: You know you
sound like a superhero, right? [LAUGHTER] NISHAMT AGARWAL: [INAUDIBLE]
I think I’m jet-lagged. [LAUGHTER] So we do a lot of theoretical
research in universities. But I think you UChicago
TCD, this combination is a very unique combination. So you come up with the idea. Other places would be like, OK,
how do we make money off this? This is the exact
opposite, right? Here’s money; go make it happen. And it’s amazing, right? And it’s happening. So what our goal is in
terms of our project, I think, in general, is to
detect cancers early, decrease the burden of cancer that
the patients and the families have, so they can
go back to life and live their normal
life– whether that’s working, taking care of their
children; whatever it is. The other thing that
disturbs me even more is a lot of these
cancers are preventable. And I joked last
night at dinner, everyone had their
beer and their wine. Those are carcinogens. But we’re doing
this to each other, and we’re going to
continue to do this to us. And a lot of cancers are
actually preventable. So there has to be more of
an effort beyond what we’re discussing today
to wipe this out. Cancer would be acceptable if we
all developed it at late ages, when we’re 80s and 90s,
and we’d die from that. But yeah, as Sudhir mentioned,
patients in their 20s and 30s are getting these
types of cancers, and it’s really–
it’s not acceptable. FAYE D’SOUZA: Just really
quick, before I open this up to the room, a question to you. From inside of government,
what challenges do you face when you want
to implement research that comes to your office? AK RASTOGI: See first, the
perception of the government, of regulators– they believe in the
implementation of laws. FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes. AK RASTOGI: That is
their first task, also. But once you come
to the government with a specific
project and saying, these will be the impact
analyses, I think nowadays, government are willing
to accept them. And what happened
in our case, also, we realize this is not a time– that you can’t only use a stick. You can’t only use
a stick to regulate. Then, research comes. Because we have–
now we had a regime of environmental compensation. Now we have started imposing
environmental compensation on different companies–
those who were violating. But what is the impact? How industry behaves? How a polluter behaves? If that is known to us
through the research, I think that will be
more acceptable to us. The government will see
that this is the impact, and this is the way. No, only punitive measures,
that you send somebody to the prison, it’s
not going to work. And government thinks
it positively, no? Well, the research is
field-oriented for us. FAYE D’SOUZA: So we
have a few minutes. I’m going to open this up right
now to questions from the room. [INAUDIBLE] Yes, go ahead. AUDIENCE: Well,
thank you very much. Very, very enlightening. I’m [? Dafiz ?] [? Imir ?] from
[? Iri. ?] One of the things that we’re looking at is the
whole issue of air pollution, particularly from [INAUDIBLE]. along with colleagues here. I was very interested
in the Star Program. But it’s linked to what was
just being said about incentives and understanding incentives. If you have a system whereby
you essentially name and shame, how do you, then, translate
that into changing behavior to get the impact? One of these issues in
what we’re facing in Delhi is that everyone knows
what the issue is. Everyone knows what
the problem is. What we don’t know is
getting the right incentives to change the behavior. How do we do that? FAYE D’SOUZA:
Professor Greenstone? MICHAEL GREENSTONE:
Yeah, so I think– terrific. The Star Rating Program
aims to do exactly that, and it aims to provide
incentives for firms to become five-star as
opposed to one-star. And in truth, we’re
in Maharashtra, where we don’t have enough
samples for a statistically significant result yet. But I think in about
six months, we will. And then, we’ll have a
sense of whether or not this public
disclosure program is providing enough incentives for
firms to clean up effectively. So that’s one aim. But there are plenty of
other ways one could do that. We’re working with
the state of Gujarat– it’s also a two-city project– and have a cap-and-trade program
for particulates emissions. And that has now been
running for a while and has very exciting results. It seems to be
reducing the emissions and reducing industry
compliance costs quite a bit. That kind of market
mechanism a surefire way to provide an incentive for
people to reduce emissions. And there are several other
projects that we have ongoing. And of course, the
regulators have a wide variety of their own
tools available as well. AK RASTOGI: Yeah. FAYE D’SOUZA: Mr. Rastogi? AK RASTOGI: Yeah, [INAUDIBLE]. See, what you have said,
incentivizing industry or air polluters– once you have are complaint,
we do not have any mechanism to incentivize them. Now, what we are doing is,
we have announced in our– in Jharkhand, what
we have done is, if you are compliant
industry, you need not to come to the
pollution control board, and then you get your renewals. Because there are certain
mandatory requirements to run industry under
the Air and Water Act. So you need now to come
to the pollution control? Directly from our
website, you can do that. So the impact was, the moment
we announced what has happened, is industry has started
regulating themselves. Now their data is
visible on our website. It is visible to
the public also. Now there is a pressure on
them from the civil society that you are not
complying the norms. So the change is not
going to come in a day. It will take some time. But we have started the journey. I think I am hopeful that
we will be able to achieve our targets very soon. Second, like you
said, the behavior, how to change the
people’s behavior. Pollution doesn’t come
only from the industry. There are many more causes,
many more pollutants, those who are creating
that pollution. We help to create awareness. Like for single-use plastic,
we did a lot of awareness. And it creates a lot of
impact on the environment and human health, also. But you have to tell people– I know it’s very easy to
say that you will phase out single-use plastic, but it’s
very difficult to do that. And you have to tell people,
you have to tell them– FAYE D’SOUZA: I just
want to ask you, when it comes to crop
burning, or firecrackers, or single-use plastic,
there is no industry policy to name and shame. AK RASTOGI: Yes. FAYE D’SOUZA: Is banning
the best way to do it? Just take it off the market? Just make it contraband? Is that the best way to do it? AK RASTOGI: See, this is by
your personal experience. A lot of research is there. The moment you ban, a lot
of illegal trade happens. So it is you have data. Our government of India has
enacted extended producer responsibility. Those who produce it, they
have to recollect their views. What we have done in
case of Jharkhand– because I am well
aware about my state– last about 20 days,
what we have done– we have collected
the plastic, and it was taken to a [INAUDIBLE]
plant where it can be used as alternative fuel. Because all this– and then you
cannot ban anything unless you create an alternative. FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes. AK RASTOGI: And second, a
lot of employment is there. So creating mechanisms
to regulate, creating mechanisms
to reduce and recycle, that is the only option. And provide them alternatives. Or what do they do
if you say it is bad? I don’t think that people
know a lot of contraband items are there, and they
are easily available. So why do you want
to go to that regime? So we said, rather,
you reuse, recycle, and that provides a lot of them. But that is also a
natural resource. Petrochemicals are there. FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes. AK RASTOGI: Then that can be
put to another, better use. And we are working on it. FAYE D’SOUZA: Gentleman
in the third row? AUDIENCE: Hi. Thank you so much for
sharing your views. I was wondering,
are there any plans to engage with our hardworking
central government as well? Because some of
this pollution tends to cut across state
lines, as we’re seeing in Delhi right now. While it’s [INAUDIBLE]
great that Jharkhand and other progressive
states are employing this, but what about industries
where the pollution can happen downstream? I don’t think Delhi is
necessarily polluted just because of the pollution
being generated here, but it’s coming in
from state lines. So are there any
plans to engage? MICHAEL GREENSTONE:
Yeah, no, there’s– a lot of the work we do,
the MOEFCC or the CPCB plays an important role in. And indeed. later today, I
will be going to the [? MYF ?] and talking to them about some
of the programs we’re doing and ways to get them to be
used across multiple states. But I think the chairman will
have a much better [INAUDIBLE].. FAYE D’SOUZA: You
have our best wishes, and we wish you very
good [INAUDIBLE].. [LAUGHTER] AK RASTOGI: I think I’ll
be happy to announce that the [INAUDIBLE]
government of India are also thinking that you start
Star Rating your industries. It’s not that the Star Rating,
but there is the Ministry of Mines and Ministry of Coal. What they are doing,
they have created their internal
assessment of in which mine is less polluting, which
industries are less polluting. Maybe a similar kind
of rating program. Ministry of Coal, Ministry
of Mines, and [? MYF, ?] we are working on it. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. [LAUGHTER] FAYE D’SOUZA: Can we
give a round of applause to the pollution control
board of Jharkhand? [APPLAUSE] Any questions for the doctors? [INAUDIBLE] AK RASTOGI: I like to
make one more point. FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes,
please, go ahead. AK RASTOGI: Like [? Leni ?] has
made presentations regarding water bodies in India. I think my request to
your center would be, a lot of water bodies
are inside forests. Because I deal with forests and
environment, also, in my state. We have done a lot of
studies of water bodies, and inside forests, they
are much better off. Their [INAUDIBLE] level is less. There, you can simply drink
that water without– only by filtration. So my request would
be that you can get [INAUDIBLE] the research
with the water board is available, because I
know a lot about in the US. But in India, I think we
could not do much about it. But water bodies which are
inside forests, that water quality, vis a
vis water quality, outside water quality,
that will also help. Because larger water
bodies out there that water can be utilized
for potable purposes. So I think that that could also
be taken up with you project. FAYE D’SOUZA: [INAUDIBLE] AUDIENCE: Yeah,
sure, [INAUDIBLE].. FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes,
if I may, I’d like to give an opportunity
to the young lady. We haven’t had a woman
ask a question yet. AUDIENCE: Hi. So something I really
liked about this panel was that we talked a lot
about how important it is to translate academic
research into data that someone can make a decision about. And it got me thinking about
how we could do the same, or what tools could be
built to do the same, for the public policymaking
process itself. For example, I’ve had all
the privileges of education, and I barely understand how
public policy gets made. [LAUGHS] And so I work for
the Water-to-Cloud team. And we have a lot of data. And the analysis part
is what’s easier for us. But what’s harder is
figuring out which ministry or which tribunal
passed what order when, and what the archives
of that look like. So I’m wondering if you
guys have ideas about how– what tools we can build
to make public policy itself a more understandable
process so that individuals can better interact with it? FAYE D’SOUZA: Because if
the lack of understanding of public policy might be
because it’s unscientific, in many cases. AUDIENCE: And it’s
convoluted, right? There’s a lot of decision
makers, a lot of stakeholders. And that’s not
archived anywhere. That’s not– people are not
making tools so that you can make decisions about– FAYE D’SOUZA: Yeah,
in fact, anyone from the panel that
wants to take this? I know that within
the legal community, there’s a lot of
online digitization that’s happening of
laws, of judgments, of previous observations
that were made, so people can now
access judgments from across our country. Should we have the same thing
from the government side, from policies, [INAUDIBLE]? AK RASTOGI: Most of
the laws, before they make passed in the parliament,
after the cabinet approves, that is presented
in the website. FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes. AK RASTOGI: And they
ask for public comments. FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes. AK RASTOGI: And only a few
people comment on them. FAYE D’SOUZA: Only a few people
know that such a thing exists. AK RASTOGI: It’s already
put in the website. So maybe they have to be
a little more proactive and go to the website,
download the laws. Maybe spend some time. Go through the list– hundreds
of sections, subsections. And you can comment on it. FAYE D’SOUZA: Also,
a lot of times, these things are put up for
public comment and feedback like you said very difficult
ways to understand. And the public feedback
is rarely taken on board. So that’s discouraging. AK RASTOGI: So I think that
is where NGOs can chip in, and they can make it a little
more palatable for the public and put highlights, important
aspects of these things. FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes, you wanted– MICHAEL GREENSTONE:
Yeah, this is– it’s not a direct
answer to your question, but I think it’s related. There are two features of the
American political policymaking system that I think
that I wish I saw in– there’s some that I wish I
didn’t see in other countries, but these are two
that I wish I would see in other countries,
including India. The first is the
Congressional Budget Office. And the Congressional
Budget Office has as their mandate to
do budget scoring of bills and to make assessments of
what the impacts on the budget and the economy will be of
various different legislative proposals. And when you go back
in time before there was a Congressional
Budget Office, the quality of the
debate about bills was much worse, because
basically, nobody had any information. The only information
that was available came from the president’s
team, and so Congress didn’t have an independent voice. It didn’t have any
independent analysis. So that is an extraordinarily
useful institution. A related one is– it has one of the
world’s worst names– the Office of Information
and Regulatory Affairs, OIRA. And it basically
conducts the same style of thing for regulations. Now, that only exists
inside the White House, and so there isn’t an
independent one from Congress, but it kind of spreads
sunshine around so that there is information. And then, when they
ask for public comment, there is much more information
available to the public to base their comments on. FAYE D’SOUZA: [INAUDIBLE] [? NISHAMT AGARWAL: ?]
I think more powerful than public policy is to
change individual behavior. Regardless of the public
comments on policy, I think it’s not as
useful as if you actually change individual behavior. So if we all decide that we’re
not going to drink water out of a plastic bottle, and
if anyone here has that, and we say, why
are you doing this? This is a great achievement. And I don’t need to
pass a law for this. So I think it’s very hard. That’s the challenge, is to
change individual behavior. But I think that’s
the grassroots effort that we can make. FAYE D’SOUZA: Mr.
Rastogi, is there a need for a better
understanding of how our government structures work? Because in India, unfortunately,
unlike in other parts of the world, people only see
the minister, or the state government. The actual structure that’s
behind every ministry, how the laws get made,
that isn’t too much that’s understood
or known about that. Should we remedy that? AK RASTOGI: I think that is
available on the website. What he has said is,
whenever– because I have been a party to many bills
laid in the state legislature. And my feeling is that
a lot of people, they do not come forward. Nobody reads those. It is all– most of the time,
it is available on the website, and we hardly get
public comments. So either we have to be more
open in the public square, because website, it is
there, and we hardly receive any comment. Second, what it could
be that if you have, at least if you propose
something, in India, you have a provision
to introduce even a private
bill that can also be placed in the parliament. FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes. AK RASTOGI: That
is also possible. And structure, it is available
on every ministry’s website what administrative
structure you have. And how the law is passed, it is
also available on the website. But it is not– people, they’re not
able to understand how it, government, works? FAYE D’SOUZA: Yes. AK RASTOGI: That
could be because I am being a part
of the government, but I don’t feel that. But from other sides,
people may feel other ways. [? FAYE D’SOUZA: ?] In fact,
I want to give you an example. When the city of Mumbai
decided to cut down 2,500 trees in an island
that can barely afford that, there were public comments
that were invited. They got 80,000
objections from citizens, and they ignored every
last one of them, and they went ahead and
cut those trees anyway. As a citizen, that’s
very disheartening, to have actually– I don’t think– I think the steel
flyover in Bangalore was another example where
citizens came together. But this was an amazing
example of citizens who came– literally showed
up in the middle of the night and said, we will not
allow you to cut our trees. And the trees got
cut nevertheless. So maybe there has to
be– while I completely agree citizens have
to be more active, the government has to be
more receptive to what citizens want. AK RASTOGI: That is true. That– because I also read in
the newspaper regarding that incident, I also– just being a
forester, basically, I have a forest officer. So [INAUDIBLE] have
[INAUDIBLE] by that. I think what is happening
is that we have to create a balance between the two. And I don’t know what was
the situation in Mumbai, why they were forced
to take [INAUDIBLE].. But I know sometimes, I
have seen in many places, government do succumb to
that, and they do consider. If you do it in Kolkata, in
West Bengal, because it’s very close by,
and whenever there is people crying for the
trees, and government, in most of the cases, has
avoided cutting trees. FAYE D’SOUZA: Well,
I could tell you what went on behind the scenes,
but we only have five minutes. Yes? I’ll just– very quickly. Very quickly, yes. AUDIENCE: Again, a question on
the five-star rating, as well as a spin-off on what you
suggested or spoke about. A lot is being done
about saying that you are a five-star, or a four, or
a three, and awards, et cetera. But is the government
or any other body trying to assist
people who are ones and twos to reach the five-star
level or the four-star level? Has any such program been
organized, or any initiative in that regard? AK RASTOGI: The basic
idea of five-star rating is not only to tell people
that you are five-star. See, what data you get,
there are three stages, what Michael has said. One is quantity of data. Second is quality of data. And then, from quantity to
quality, how do you migrate? Basically, that is
the five-star rating. Because if you tell industry
that you are not five-star, you are zero-star, that
is not going to work. We have to help
industry that from zero, how do you move to five-star? That is, actually, the
Five Star Rating Program. It’s not that we only you that
you are minus a star, or zero star, or you are one star. We will tell that calibration,
your installation of devices is wrong, what
measures you can take. And there, otherwise,
simply rating industry that you are bad,
and you are good, is not going to
serve any purpose. The idea is to helping. And that is what the five
star rating program is. FAYE D’SOUZA: I believe
we’ve run out of time. Gentlemen of the panel,
thank you so much, not just for giving
us your time, but also for the
work that each of you are doing quietly
behind the scenes. But you are saving the
world for all of us. I do believe that this is
the path going forward, when research, and
time spent in labs and in universities actually
aids government and aids public policy. And I suppose the media
and the rest of us need to find ways to offer
more support in terms of passing the information
around, getting more citizens to become
active, getting more parts of private industry,
perhaps, to support what’s going on in these rooms. So thank you so much. AK RASTOGI: Thank you, Faye. [APPLAUSE]

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