Growth, green growth or degrowth?
New critical directions for India’s sustainability

Date: September 12 & 13 (Friday and Saturday)
Venue: Magnolia room, Habitat World, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi
Organizers: Rajeswari S. Raina, CSIR-NISTADS, & Julien-François Gerber, TERI University
Sponsors: Ford Foundation, ICSSR, and Indian Society for Ecological Economics

The symposium will be articulated around three broad questions:

1. Does the Indian economy need to “grow” further? Is “growth” per se a meaningful parameter? What are the other parameters (differentiated by space, class, demographic or cultural features) that can be used meaningfully in India? PANELISTS: Jean Drèze (on what should grow/degrow in the Indian economy), Vandana Shiva (on a critique of capitalist growth and on alternatives), Ajay Dandekar (on an historical overview of conventional growth in India).

2. What should be understood by “green growth”? Is it an oxymoron? How can we go beyond the current single focus on “modern green technologies” as the way to reach sustainability? Why do economists (even enlightened ones like Nick Stern) always turn to technologies instead of talking about norms, values or politics that would enable sustainability? PANELISTS: Kanchan Chopra (on green growth), Mansoor Khan (on the biophysical limits to growth), Rohan D’Souza (on the history and ambiguities of “green growth” in India, e.g. through renewable energy mega-projects).

3. What are the alternatives to growth (“green” or not)? Couldn’t “prosperity without growth” become a rallying slogan for myriads of grassroots alternatives that are already present and often isolated and under threat, especially in the rural world? How could this slogan be applied to the Indian context? PANELISTS: Ashish Kothari (on the orchestration of alternatives), Aditya Nigam (on linking environmental and socialist movements around degrowth), Sagar Dhara (on the energy and material basis of alternatives).