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Ashok Kotwal
On demonetisation
Posted on: 23 Dec 2016
On the evening of 8 November, the Prime Minister announced on national television that Rs. ... read on »
Introduction to e-Symposium: The GDP conundrum
Posted on: 16 Nov 2016
Ever since India’s Central Statistical Organisation came out with the new GDP series with ... read on »
Introduction to e-Symposium: The idea of a universal basic income in the Indian context
Posted on: 26 Sep 2016
The idea of an unconditional basic income given to all citizens by the State, has caught o ... read on »
Debate: The Aadhaar Bill
Posted on: 02 May 2016
In a debate on the Aadhaar Bill, commentators from academia and civil society will ... read on »

Latest

Financial inclusion: Concepts, issues, and policies for India
Nalini Gulati , Nirvikar Singh
Posted on: 17 Aug 2017
Topics:   Finance

The International Growth Centre recently brought out a synthesis paper (Singh 2017) that lays out the basic concepts surrounding financial inclusion, and reviews a wide range of IGC and other studies on financial inclusion. At a workshop organised by the IGC in collaboration with Ideas for India and Indian Statistical Institute, Rohini Pande (Harvard Kennedy School), S. Krishnan (State government of Tamil Nadu), Ashok Bhattacharya (Business Standard), and R Gopalan (ex-Ministry of Finance) discussed the key lessons emerging from research, implications for policy, and areas where further work is needed.
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Post demonetisation: Is digital finance in India’s future?
Anit Mukherjee , Divyanshi Wadhwa
Posted on: 16 Aug 2017

Analysing RBI data from June 2017 – six months after demonetisation was announced on 9 November 2016 – Mukherjee and Wadhwa show that reliance on cash has reverted to pre-demonetisation levels, and the sharp increases in digital transactions did not sustain. While consumers don’t seem ready to give up cash just yet, the experience proves that the digital financial ecosystem of India is in good health.
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Assessing the effectiveness of active labour market programmes in developing countries
David Mckenzie
Posted on: 14 Aug 2017
Topics:   Jobs

Job growth is a key policy concern across developing countries and there are been an increased interest in the role of active labour market programmes that provide vocational training to job-seekers, wage subsidies to employers, or search and matching assistance. In this article, David Mckenzie critically evaluates recent studies on these programmes, and finds that the effect on employment and wages is limited.
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Straw men in the debate on basic income versus targeting
Martin Ravallion
Posted on: 11 Aug 2017

A universal basic income as a poverty-reduction policy is often contrasted unfavourably with targeted transfers. In this article, Martin Ravallion argues that five of the common arguments employed against basic income are really straw men that overstate the relative effectiveness of targeted transfers. While a universal basic income is not yet feasible in many countries, more universality and less fine targeting would create better social policies.
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Are India’s government-subsidised solar shops thriving or barely surviving?
Jennifer Richmond , Kartikeya Singh
Posted on: 10 Aug 2017

Government of India’s Akshay Urja programme sought to support the establishment of at least one shop per district for the sale of subsidised solar-powered technologies. Based on a survey of shop owners, this column finds that while the programme has been successful in establishing a network of solar shops across the country, many of the owners struggle to connect their products to large markets of consumers.
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Governance and public service delivery in India
Farzana Afridi , Nalini Gulati
Posted on: 07 Aug 2017

The International Growth Centre recently produced a synthesis paper (Afridi 2017) bringing together insights from its research on governance and public service delivery in India, over the past seven years. At a workshop organised by the IGC in collaboration with Ideas for India and Indian Statistical Institute, Amarjeet Sinha (Ministry of Rural Development), Rajesh Mahapatra (Hindustan Times), and Sandip Sukhtankar (University of Virginia) discussed the findings on key governance challenges and what can be done to address them.
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Demonetisation, cattle slaughter ban, and India’s cyclical agrarian crisis
Parag Waknis
Posted on: 04 Aug 2017

In this article, Parag Waknis discusses why India’s rural economy is always on the precipice of crisis, and how the recent shocks of demonetisation and cattle slaughter ban exacerbated the crisis by destroying rural incomes and choking off farmer’s main source of emergency funding, respectively.
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Should emerging markets worry about US monetary policy announcements?
Poonam Gupta , Oliver Masetti , David Rosenblatt
Posted on: 03 Aug 2017

Emerging economies are routinely affected by monetary policy announcements in the US. This column finds that US monetary policy surprises have a significant impact on emerging economies’ exchange rates, equity prices, and bond yields. The impact is larger for surprise tightening of policy than for surprise easing, and disproportionately larger for large surprises. The spillover effects of policy announcements of other advanced economies are much weaker than those of the US.
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What does the new IIP series tell us about the state of manufacturing in India?
Radhika Pandey , Amey Sapre , Pramod Sinha
Posted on: 02 Aug 2017
Topics:   Economic Growth

In May 2017, the Central Statistics Office released the new series of the Index of Industrial Production with 2011-12 as the base year, after a comprehensive revision of computation methods. The series almost entirely reverses the performance picture of Indian manufacturing, showing sharp upward revisions in the growth of activity. This column finds that the new index is likely to show inflated growth during times of falling inflation. Thus, deciphering the actual change in production continues to be difficult.
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Midday meals scheme: Are corruption claims exaggerated?
Monika Yadav
Posted on: 31 Jul 2017

Soon after Aadhaar was made compulsory for availing midday meals in schools, the government claimed that the move had helped expose several instances of schools siphoning off funds under the scheme by reporting inflated student enrolment. Comparing official data with that from the Indian Human Development Survey, this column shows that corruption in the scheme is less than what is being alleged - and not of the nature that Aadhaar can check.
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