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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Cyril Shroff Examines India’s Financial Crisis

Question: How is India approaching the financial crisis?

Cyril Shroff: India has not really had, a sort of severe impact for the financial crisis. The impact had been somewhat muted because of prudent financial management as well as some basic structure factor which have insulated it from the global financial crisis. And I could recite specific reasons for that, for some of them include the fact that our economy had been primarily domestic focus of the dependents on rest for demand as well as for capital has also been somewhat limited.  Secondly, our financial system has always pursued the policy of more prudent management.  Our banks are well-capitalized. We have not had exposure to toxic assets and these are some of the factors that have contributed to insulating us somewhat from global conditions. 

Question: Is India similar to an E.U. country in its approach?

Cyril Shroff: If I would compare with European country I think it’s still much, much better off. Our financial institutions, not even one of them is broke. Even in the beginning, of this sub-prime crisis the only impact was the fact that there was actually increase liquidity into India as a result of Fed rate cuts in the US. So the regulatory response was really to try and sterilize the extra liquidity that was coming in. As far as the second major milestone event in the financial crisis, the Lehman bankruptcy even that didn’t have much of an impact because their little counterparty risk which Indian banks had to Lehman or events which flew out of that. So we’ve had a muted impact. That being said, the global conditions have had some impact as much as capital flows have been reduced and have been more subdued, our capital markets have, our stock markets have fallen quite significantly since the peak. They are reviving in more recent weeks but they had at one point of time come down quite sharply.

Recorded on: April 29. 2009

India has not felt the bite as badly as other countries.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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R.P. Eddy wrote about a coming pandemic in 2017. Why didn't we listen?

In his book with Richard Clarke, "Warnings," Eddy made clear this was inevitable.

Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Coronavirus
  • In their 2017 book, "Warnings," R.P. Eddy and Richard Clarke warned about a coming pandemic.
  • "You never get credit for correctly predicting an outbreak," says science journalist Laurie Garrett in the book.
  • In this interview with Big Think, R.P. Eddy explains why people don't listen to warnings—and how to try to get them to listen.
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Creativity: The science behind the madness

Human brains evolved for creativity. We just have to learn how to access it.

Videos
  • An all-star cast of Big Thinkers—actors Rainn Wilson and Ethan Hawke; composer Anthony Brandt; neuroscientists David Eagleman, Wendy Suzuki, and Beau Lotto; and psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman—share how they define creativity and explain how our brains uniquely evolved for the phenomenon.
  • According to Eagleman, during evolution there was an increase in space between our brain's input and output that allows information more time to percolate. We also grew a larger prefrontal cortex which "allows us to simulate what ifs, to separate ourselves from our location in space and time and think about possibilities."
  • Scott Barry Kaufman details 3 brain networks involved in creative thinking, and Wendy Suzuki busts the famous left-brain, right-brain myth.

What if Middle-earth was in Pakistan?

Iranian Tolkien scholar finds intriguing parallels between subcontinental geography and famous map of Middle-earth.

Image: Mohammad Reza Kamali, reproduced with kind permission
Strange Maps
  • J.R.R. Tolkien hinted that his stories are set in a really ancient version of Europe.
  • But a fantasy realm can be inspired by a variety of places; and perhaps so is Tolkien's world.
  • These intriguing similarities with Asian topography show that it may be time to 'decolonise' Middle-earth.
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New study explores how to navigate 'desire discrepancies' in long term relationships

With the most common form of female sexual dysfunction impacting 1 in 10 women, this important study dives into how to keep a relationship going despite having different needs and wants in the bedroom.

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Sex & Relationships
  • A new study highlights the difficulties faced by women who struggle with decreased sexual desire, and explains how to navigate desire discrepancies in long-term relationships.
  • Hypoactive sexual desire disorder is one of the most common forms of female sexual dysfunction, impacting an estimated 1 in 10 women.
  • Finding other ways to promote intimacy in your relationship is one of the keys to ensuring happiness on both sides.

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