To view a list of all completed IGC India Central research projects, please click here.
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
Posted on: 15 Jul 2014
The recent parliamentary election may turn out to be a watershed moment in Indian his ... read on »


Has the ICDS helped reduce stunting in India?
Monica Jain
Posted on: 09 Oct 2015
Topics:   Health

While stunting has declined sharply in India, the levels remain disturbingly high at 38.7%. This column evaluates the impact of the supplementary feeding component of ICDS – India’s flagship programme for early child development - and finds sizable positive effects on heights of 0-2 year olds. However, these gains are achievable only if the programme is focused on this age group and if food is delivered regularly.
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Economic development and Maoist insurgency
Anand Shrivastava
Posted on: 07 Oct 2015
Topics:   Conflict
Tags:   naxalism

The Indian government’s two-pronged strategy to counter Maoist insurgency involves economic development and military repression. Analysing data for 2006-2011, this column finds that increasing wages led to a small but statistically significant increase in conflict. It suggests that when the reason for conflict is absence of rights of low-income local communities on natural resources, this strategy by itself will not solve the problem and may even exacerbate it.
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Are banks responsive to credit demand shocks in rural India?
Sankar De , Siddharth Vij
Posted on: 05 Oct 2015
Topics:   Finance

The output of Kharif crops is estimated to decrease by about 2% this year due to deficient monsoon rains in some Indian states. How responsive are commercial banks to a credit demand shock in rural India? Analysing data on rainfall and agricultural credit during 1993-2010, this column finds that banks increase the supply of agricultural credit to farmers following a drought, but that the additional credit is directed towards existing customers.
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Tackling India’s dengue problem
Chandrakant Lahariya
Posted on: 01 Oct 2015
Topics:   Health

The dengue virus has infected 25,000 people in India this year, with about 6,000 in Delhi alone. In this article, Chandrakant Lahariya, a public health policy expert, contends that the dengue situation represents a failure of local public health administration, and calls for a holistic approach to address the root causes and ensure long-term solutions.
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No toilet, no bride: Toilet ownership and marriage prospects of men in India
Britta Augsburg , Paul Andrés Rodríguez Lesmes
Posted on: 30 Sep 2015
Topics:   Health

A growing body of research shows that costs are a key barrier to sanitation investments by households. Based on a survey in Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, this column finds that apart from financial and health considerations, the decision of households to acquire toilets is influenced by the belief that toilet ownership improves prospects of finding good marriage matches for sons.
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Can microcredit improve food security among the rural poor?
Asad Islam , Chandana Maitra , Debayan Pakrashi , Russell Smyth
Posted on: 28 Sep 2015

A core objective of microcredit in Bangladesh is to make the rural poor more food secure. To what extent has this been achieved? Analysing household data from Bangladesh, this column finds that participants of microcredit programmes are more food secure, with improved calorie availability, reduced child stunting and better maternal nutritional status. However, programme participation in itself does not improve dietary diversity.
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Household savings and India’s current account deficit
Nikhil Gupta
Posted on: 25 Sep 2015

India’s current account deficit widened consistently in the post-crisis period between 2008-09 and 2012-13. This column finds that while the public sector was the key driver of this trend in the first two years, the increased consumption/investment by households was responsible for the high deficit in the later period. It recommends that policymakers should now incentivise household savings rather than consumption/investments, which implies limited scope for further interest rate cuts.
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Building a movement, assessment to action
Rukmini Banerji
Posted on: 23 Sep 2015
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling

While citizen-led assessments of children’s learning have been applauded for building awareness around the issue, observers have pointed out that information does not automatically galvanise action. In this article, Rukmini Banerji, of the education NGO Pratham, contends that citizen-led assessments can lead to citizen-led action for improving learning by making the problem visible, engaging with people, and demonstrating how change can be brought about.
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Adult education, knowledge and confidence
Ashwini Deshpande , Christopher Ksoll , Annemie Maertens
Posted on: 21 Sep 2015
Topics:   Education , Gender

Illiteracy, in India and elsewhere, is largely a female phenomenon. This column analyses a literacy programme aimed at adult women in India and finds that it has impacts beyond increasing literacy and numeracy. The general knowledge of participants improved and they were less likely to be over-confident about what they know – attributes that may contribute to better educating their children and absorbing new information.
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Drug quality and global trade
Amir Attaran , Robert Bate , Aparna Mathur , Ginger Zhe Jin
Posted on: 18 Sep 2015
Topics:   Health , Trade
Tags:   Africa

There is a perception amongst pharmaceutical experts that some Indian manufacturers and/or their distributors segment the global medicine market into portions that are served by different quality medicines. This column finds that drug quality is poorer among Indian-labelled drugs purchased in African countries than among those purchased in India or middle-income countries. Substandard drugs – non-registered in Africa and containing insufficient amounts of the active ingredient – are the biggest driver of this quality difference.
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