On 13th February 2020, Prof Smita Srinivas delivered a keynote speech at the National Law School of India University on "Global South Classification Challenges in Economic Development Plans". The keynote was part of the international seminar at the NLSIU's Institute for Public Policy and a project led by Dr. Anjali Karol, funded by the Urban Studies Foundation with Indian and Colombian scholars looking at urban, regional, and national considerations of planning and policy.
In her address, Prof Smita Srinivas called for the very notion of the "global south" to be reconsidered. The talk began with the history of industrial and technology choices, and considerable variety of paths since the Asia-Africa Bandung Conference of 1955, major theoretical gaps in economics, and the practicalities of institutional design and governance in national and decentralised economic plans. Does a global south or a "southern" planning exist? According to Prof Srinivas, in economic development plans, only in some very specific and perhaps accidental - institutional convergence; rather we need caution in scholarship about too-easy claims about a "Global South" or post-colonial solidarity.