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Ashok Kotwal
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
Posted on: 15 Jul 2014
The recent parliamentary election may turn out to be a watershed moment in Indian his ... read on »
I4I turns 1!
Posted on: 06 Aug 2013
It has been a year since the voice of ‘Ideas for India’ was first heard. Our mission was t ... read on »

Latest

The crisis of farmer suicides
Maitreesh Ghatak
Posted on: 04 May 2015

More than 15,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide per year, on average, in the last two decades – a suicide rate that appears to be higher than that of the general population. In this article, Maitreesh Ghatak emphasises the need to think of farmer suicides as a policy problem, rather than tragedy, and to deliberate on the causes and remedies.
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Responding to external shocks
Ashima Goyal
Posted on: 30 Apr 2015

Following the global financial crisis of 2007-08, the Indian economy was exposed to various shocks. While the major source of shocks was external, the effects were magnified by certain lapses in domestic policy. This column discusses what policies worked and what did not work to reduce excessive rupee volatility, and how the lessons were applied to prepare for any future shocks.
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Promoting the use of a novel water-saving agricultural technology among Indian farmers
Anil Bhargava , Kajal Gulati , Travis J. Lybbert , Nicholas Magnan , David J. Spielman
Posted on: 28 Apr 2015

The Met Department has forecasted a below-normal monsoon in India this year. This column analyses the demand for a water-saving agricultural technology — laser land levelling — among farmers in Uttar Pradesh. It also discusses how such information can feed into the design of a novel approach to combining public subsidies with private service provision to encourage the technology’s uptake among small-scale, resource-poor farmers.
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14th Finance Commission: A trust-based approach towards local governments
Dinesh Mehta , Meera Mehta
Posted on: 27 Apr 2015

The 14th Finance Commission has been hailed as ‘path-breaking’ for recommending larger fund allocations to state governments and giving them more autonomy in spending these funds. In this article, Meera Mehta and Dinesh Mehta highlight that the Commission has also recognised the need to trust and respect local government bodies, and has allocated much larger funds to them. Will this approach work and will state governments cooperate?
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Making the best out of waste
Sourabh Bhattacharjee , Ujjwal Kumar Sinha
Posted on: 24 Apr 2015

Given rapid urbanisation and the increasing amounts of solid waste generated in India cities, there is a pressing need for effective waste management processes. In this article, Sourabh Bhattacharjee and Ujjwal Sinha, who have been associated with a successful waste management project in Saharanpur, provide an outline of the project and highlight lessons for other Indian cities.
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Analysing net foreign earnings of India’s corporate sector
J. Dennis Rajakumar
Posted on: 22 Apr 2015
Topics:   Trade

The corporate sector is the linchpin of the ‘Make in India’ campaign. This column finds that the sector is increasingly relying on imported inputs and its net foreign earnings are on the decline, thus contributing to the country’s current account deficit. It suggests that ‘Make in India’ should emphasise domestic procurement of inputs and strengthen technological capabilities in the country.
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The Chhattisgarh experience and the National Food Security Act
Prasad Krishnamurthy , Vikram Pathania , Sharad Tandon
Posted on: 20 Apr 2015

Many of the reforms introduced under the National Food Security Act are modeled on PDS reforms implemented in Chhattisgarh. These reforms are widely believed to be responsible for the state’s success in improving the distribution of food grains through PDS. However, this column shows that Chhattisgarh’s success pre-dates most of the reforms on which the Act is modeled.
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Can solar micro-grids deliver basic electricity access in Indian villages?
Michaёl Aklin , Patrick Bayer , S.P. Harish , Johannes Urpelainen
Posted on: 17 Apr 2015

About one-third of India's population remains without access to basic electricity services. This column discusses preliminary lessons from an experiment in rural Uttar Pradesh that seeks to set up solar micro-grids in unelectrified habitations. It finds that while the cost of solar power is a potential obstacle to its adoption, the technology does generate substantial benefits in the form of improved lighting and reduced kerosene expenditures.
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Maoist violence and MNREGA
Gaurav Khanna , Laura Zimmermann
Posted on: 15 Apr 2015
Topics:   Jobs , Conflict

The spate of Maoist attacks on security personnel in Chhattisgarh this week serves as a reminder that Moaist insurgency is the single biggest internal security threat faced by India. This column analyses the impact of MNREGA on Maoist violence and finds a spike in police-initiated attacks on Maoists following the implementation of the job guarantee scheme in 2006. This is possibly because MNREGA provides credibility to the government’s commitment to development, making the local population more willing to share information on Maoists.
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How serious are India’s manufacturing skill gaps?
Aashish Mehta
Posted on: 13 Apr 2015

It is widely believed that skill gaps are constraining Indian manufacturing, and closing these gaps has become a national priority. This column argues that the public debate on India’s skill gaps rests on weak conceptual foundations. While some industries do suffer from real skill gaps, others are constrained by commercial difficulties that may be better addressed through policies other than skill development programmes.
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