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Ashok Kotwal
A symposium on Piketty: Introduction
Posted on: 15 Jun 2015
First, I would like to direct readers to a piece by Robert Solow – a Nobel Laureate a ... read on »
Emerging challenges: Economic and social
Posted on: 06 Aug 2014
The recent parliamentary election may well turn out to be a significant event in Indi ... read on »
The challenge of fulfilling aspirations
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Posted on: 15 Jul 2014
The recent parliamentary election may turn out to be a watershed moment in Indian his ... read on »

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Emergence of Bandhan as a bank: A new era in the Indian banking industry
Somdutta Basu , Souvik Dutta , Abhirup Sarkar
Posted on: 27 Aug 2015
Topics:   Finance

At a time when the Indian banking industry is experiencing a steep rise in bad loans, Bandhan – an MFI with a near 100% loan recovery rate – has converted into a bank. Based on a survey of 112 Bandhan clients in West Bengal, this column highlights the features of Bandhan’s lending model that have enabled it to keep its bad loans at negligible levels.
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India’s monetary policy in unusual times, uncharted waters
Arvind Subramanian
Posted on: 26 Aug 2015
Topics:   app to spy on phone spy a cell phone how to spy on cell phone
" target="_blank"> Macroeconomic Policy
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There is a lot of discussion of the right course of monetary policy for India. In this article, India’s Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian argues that the country’s real policy interest rates have diverged significantly for consumers and producers, and are unusually high for the latter. There is a clear need for more consideration of the appropriate measure of restrictiveness in these unusual times.
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Is the policy focus shifting from school education to higher education in India?
Ashish Bhardwaj , Anamika Srivastava
Posted on: 25 Aug 2015
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling

The overall allocation for education has been reduced in the 2015-16 union budget, with an increase in allocation for higher education and decrease in allocation for school education. In this article, Bharadwaj and Srivastava explore whether the policy focus is really shifting from school education to higher education. They argue that while it is important to focus on higher education and skill development to plug the gap created by poor quality school education, this can only be a transitory arrangement.
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The political economy of data
Florian Blum , Rohini Pande
Posted on: 21 Aug 2015 " target="_blank"> Political Economy
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"> data
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Recent experiences, especially from Scandinavian countries, show that opening administrative data sources can substantially improve public policymaking. In this article, Pande and Blum contend that while investment in data infrastructure is needed to produce and use statistics, the decision to collect and open data also depends on political economy considerations. Such forces are particularly strong in India and pose a major constraint on effective policy reform.
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Road to riches? An evaluation of India’s rural road programme
Shilpa Aggarwal
Posted on: 19 Aug 2015
Topics:   Infrastructure
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"> transport
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Access to roads is believed to be essential for economic growth and poverty alleviation. This column evaluates the short-term impact of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana – India’s flagship rural road programme. It finds positive effects on trade between villages and cities, primary school enrolment, and use of productivity-enhancing agriculture inputs. However, school dropout rates among teenagers increased owing to better access to jobs.
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The significance of local power structures in Bihar’s coupon-based PDS
Chetan Choithani , Bill Pritchard
Posted on: 17 Aug 2015
Topics:   Corruption
Tags:   Bihar , PDS

In 2007, Bihar introduced the coupon system in PDS to curb leakages at fair price shops. This column argues that even though the administrative logic of the coupon system is fundamentally sound, such reform can be effective only when accompanied by institutional transformations that broker change in the existing local politics of inclusion and exclusion.
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Moving beyond the growth-versus-redistribution debate
Maitreesh Ghatak
Posted on: 14 Aug 2015
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" target="_blank"> Economic Thought
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" target="_blank"> Economic Growth
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, Poverty & Inequality

The two dominant narratives on the state of the Indian economy – one centred on growth and the other on poverty – are in a constant state of conflict. In this article, Maitreesh Ghatak, Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, argues that we need to move beyond the stale growth-versus-redistribution debate and focus on economic mobility through investments in human capital.
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Is maternal health in India worse than we thought?
Diane Coffey
Posted on: 12 Aug 2015
Topics:   Health

Since India does not have a national system to monitor health during pregnancy, the fraction of women of child-bearing age who are underweight - 35.5% - is used as a proxy for the fraction of pre-pregnant women who are underweight. This column presents new research that finds that the actual proportion of pre-pregnant women who are underweight is 7 percentage points higher than this figure.
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India’s Monetary Policy Committee: Formation blues
Amartya Lahiri
Posted on: 10 Aug 2015
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" target="_blank"> Macroeconomic Policy
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"> RBI
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The government and RBI are in the process of finalising the structure of India’s Monetary Policy Committee. In this article, Amartya Lahiri, Professor of Economics at the University of British Columbia, makes recommendations for the composition of the committee that would help preserve the independence of the RBI in monetary policy oversight and conduct in form and spirit.
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Charting a course for the Indian economy
Karthik Muralidharan , Arvind Subramanian
Posted on: 05 Aug 2015 " target="_blank"> Economic Growth
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" target="_blank"> Macroeconomic Policy
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, hiv aids transmission first signs of aids hiv facts" target="_blank"> Political Economy
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"> I4IConversations
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Karthik Muralidharan (Associate Professor of Economics, University of California, San Diego) speaks with Arvind Subramanian (Chief Economic Adviser, Government of India) on a broad set of issues ranging from the uniqueness of the Indian development model, the political economy of reforms, reducing factor misallocation in the economy, enhancing State capacity, financing India's infrastructure needs, to the implications of the Fourteenth Finance Commission, improving the design of social welfare programmes, and climate change.

This is the third in the series of I4I Conversations.

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