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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

Modi’s economic reforms: Foundation laid but time running out
Eswar Prasad
Posted on: 27 Feb 2015

Anticipation is running high that the Modi government will announce sweeping economic reforms in their first full-year budget, especially since their tenure so far has been bereft of any dramatic changes. In this article, Eswar Prasad, Senior Professor of Trade Policy, Cornell University, contends that Modi has laid a good foundation for reforms in his first nine months in office. But the hard work still lies ahead and time is running out.
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Enhancing women’s participation in water governance
Priyam Das
Posted on: 25 Feb 2015
Topics:   Gender , Urbanisation

Women’s participation has become a key theme in water and sanitation projects. However, projects that have made provisions for women’s participation have yielded mixed results in terms of the quality of their participation. This column analyses community-managed urban water supply projects in Madhya Pradesh to understand the gap between women’s motivation to participate and their ability to do so, and what can be done to close the gap.
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Should the less educated be barred from village council elections?
Rohini Pande
Posted on: 23 Feb 2015

In December 2014, the state government of Rajasthan issued an executive order barring citizens with less than eight years of formal education from running for village council chief elections in all but tribal areas. In this article, Rohini Pande, Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, contends that this will discriminate against able leaders who have been denied schooling because of gender, poverty or caste.
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Why the World Bank’s International Comparison Program has limited use for India
Ranjan Ray
Posted on: 20 Feb 2015

Preliminary results from the World Bank’s International Comparison Program, which seeks to compare the economies of 199 countries across the globe, were released recently. In this article, Ranjan Ray, Professor of Economics, Monash University, highlights several features of the exercise that limits its usefulness for a diverse country such as India, and makes recommendations for the next round.
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Three concerns about AAP’s promise
V. Ramani
Posted on: 18 Feb 2015
Topics:   Political Economy

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has come to power in Delhi with a historic mandate. In this article, V Ramani, Partner at Access Advisory and former bureaucrat, flags three key concerns around their approach towards tackling corruption, public finance, and economic growth.
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Assessing teacher quality in India
Mehtabul Azam , Geeta Gandhi Kingdon
Posted on: 16 Feb 2015
Topics:   Education

Research in the US has pointed out that the most important determinant of the quality of education is the quality of teachers but that students’ achievement is not linked to observable teacher characteristics such as qualification or experience. Using data from selected private schools in Uttar Pradesh, this column estimates the contribution or ‘value added’ of teachers to student scores in external examinations.
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Public spending on health coverage: Are we raising the right questions?
Samik Chowdhury , Indrani Gupta
Posted on: 13 Feb 2015
Topics:   Health

The National Health Assurance Mission – India’s first move towards Universal Health Coverage – is expected to be launched soon. In this context, this column analyses the extent, distribution and quality of current public spending on healthcare. It suggests that the planning for a national programme for health coverage should take into account issues of fragmentation, inequity and inefficiency in the public healthcare system.
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‘Cry, the Beloved Country’: Mending Punjab’s economy
Nirvikar Singh
Posted on: 11 Feb 2015

The growth rate of Punjab, which once ranked among India’s most affluent states, is slowing. In this article, Nirvikar Singh, who holds the Sarbjit Singh Aurora Chair of Sikh and Punjabi Studies at University of California Santa Cruz, diagnoses key issues with the Punjab economy and provides his perspective on what it would take to mend it.
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Taking education beyond educationists
Rukmini Banerji
Posted on: 09 Feb 2015
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling

ASER – Annual Status of Education Report – has been tracking learning outcomes of children in rural India for the past 10 years. In this note, Rukmini Banerji, Director of the ASER Centre/Pratham, highlights how this model of measurement is different from the traditional models of student assessments seen in India or elsewhere. She also points out key policy changes that have taken place in education in India, at least partly in response to ASER findings.
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Solar power for street vendors? Lessons from an experiment in Bihar
David Szakonyi , Johannes Urpelainen
Posted on: 06 Feb 2015

Rapid urbanisation in developing countries is aggravating the issue of insufficient access to energy for basic needs such as lighting. This column discusses lessons from an experiment in Bihar wherein street vendors were provided solar-powered lights, the batteries of which were charged at centralised stations installed in urban marketplaces. Based on problems encountered in terms of the mode and cost of operation, it suggests that the provision of electric grid connections, with stand-alone solar lights as backup, may be a better approach.
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