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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
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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Basic income in a poor country
Pranab Bardhan
Posted on: 26 Sep 2016

Pranab Bardhan, Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley argues that even though universal basic income is being considered unaffordable in some developed countries, it may well be feasible and desirable in a poor to medium-income country partly on account of low poverty thresholds and existing social safety nets that are threadbare and costly to administer.

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Introduction to e-Symposium: The idea of a universal basic income in the Indian context
Parikshit Ghosh
Posted on: 26 Sep 2016

The idea of an unconditional basic income given to all citizens by the State, has caught on in the developed world. Does it make sense for India? To examine the issue, I4I Editor Parikshit Ghosh is hosting an e-Symposium on the idea of a universal basic income in the Indian context. Over the next week, economists Pranab Bardhan (University of California, Berkeley), Abhijit Banerjee (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Maitreesh Ghatak (London School of Economics), Debraj Ray (New York University), Kalle Moene (University of Oslo) and T.N. Srinivasan (Yale University) will contribute to the e-Symposium.

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Insights from long-term studies of Indian villages
Himanshu , Praveen K. Jha , Gerry Rodgers
Posted on: 23 Sep 2016

Much of our knowledge of change in rural areas depends on longitudinal village studies. Drawing upon a number of village studies carried out over the years in India, this column provides a broad picture of how the economic and social structures of villages are changing, and the consequences for production, employment, migration, inequality and other key issues.
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Modi and his challenges: Leading India on its march to prosperity
Rajiv Kumar
Posted on: 21 Sep 2016
Topics:   Political Economy
Tags:   Gujarat

Despite Narendra Modi’s successful leadership as Chief Minister of Gujarat, some question his ability to achieve the same progress at the national level as India’s Prime Minister. In this article, Rajiv Kumar analyses Modi’s political background and state- and national-level experience to assess his capacity to navigate India through a politically and economically important time towards its goal of becoming a prosperous economy.
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Why are older women missing in India? The age profile of bargaining power and poverty
Rossella Calvi
Posted on: 19 Sep 2016
Topics:   Gender

The ratio of women to men is particularly low in India relative to developed countries. It has recently been argued that close to half of these ‘missing’ women are of post-reproductive ages. What drives this phenomenon, however, remains unclear. This column finds that this can be explained, in large part, by gender inequality in intra-household allocation of resources and the consequent gender asymmetry in poverty.
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Moving towards better definitions of ‘urban’ in India
Komal Hiranandani , Mudit Kapoor , Vaidehi Tandel
Posted on: 15 Sep 2016
Topics:   Urbanisation

According to the 2011 Census, 31% of the country is ‘urban’. Using definitions of urbanisation that are different from those used by the government, this column demonstrates that this figure may be an underestimate. It is important to recognise and fix the flaws in the current method of defining urban areas as it forms the basis for important policies such as eligibility for government schemes.
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Building connections: Political corruption and road construction in India
Jonathan Lehne , Jacob Shapiro , Oliver Vanden Eynde
Posted on: 13 Sep 2016
Tags:  

Rural infrastructure programmes of the government create new opportunities for growth but also for corruption. This column studies India’s flagship rural road construction programme and finds evidence that local politicians favour members of their caste or kinship networks in the allocation of contracts. This raises construction costs, adversely affects road quality, and increases the likelihood of ‘missing’ roads.
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Surrogacy bill: Boon or ban(e)?
Maitreesh Ghatak
Posted on: 07 Sep 2016
Tags:  

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 proposes a complete ban on commercial surrogacy and restrictions on altruistic surrogacy. In this article, Maitreesh Ghatak, Professor of Economics, London School of Economics, contends that the bill does not provide any compelling argument for the ban. Rather, by singling out those who are not even allowed the option of altruistic surrogacy, it reveals its biases.
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Making India open-defecation free by 2019
Bhaskar Pant
Posted on: 06 Sep 2016

Swachh Bharat Mission – the flagship sanitation programme of the Indian government – aims to make India open-defecation free by 2019. However, this has only been achieved in 17 of 686 districts so far. In this article, Bhaskar Pant outlines the key reasons due to which the government’s efforts are not being reflected in the results, and makes suggestions to increase the effectiveness of the programme.
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Data openness and the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill
Samayita Ghosh , Khusdeep Malhotra
Posted on: 05 Sep 2016
Topics:   Political Economy
Tags:   data , IT

According to the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016, the acquisition or use of any geospatial information will require permission from a government authority. In this note, Ghosh and Malhotra highlight the importance of reliable geospatial information for development work. In their view, instead of restricting the production and use of such information, the government should regulate its quality and promote learning around it to ensure responsible and ethical use.
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