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The International Growth Centre (IGC) and Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) are organising a Summer School in Development Economics between 16th and 20th July 2015 at ISI Delhi Centre. More details available here. Last date for applications: 30 April 2015.
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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 »

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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 allocating more funds 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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Getting more out of India’s 'Tourist Visa on Arrival' scheme
Natasha Agarwal , Magnus Lodefalk
Posted on: 10 Apr 2015
Topics:   Trade
Tags:   tourism , FDI

The Government of India has extended the ‘Tourist Visa on Arrival’ scheme - now expected to be renamed 'Visa Online (ETA)' scheme - from five countries in 2010 to 44 countries in 2014. In this article, Natasha Agarwal and Magnus Lodefalk highlight some of the limitations in the design and implementation of the scheme, and make recommendations for maximising its economic benefit and effectiveness.
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Bovine economics
Shanta Gokhale
Posted on: 08 Apr 2015
Topics:   Agriculture
Tags:   Maharashtra

About a month ago, the state government of Maharashtra instituted a ban on the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, in addition to the existing ban on the slaughter of cows. In this article, Shanta Gokhale discusses the economic consequences of the move on farmers.
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Can bank account-based payments boost savings?
Vincent Somville , Lore Vandewalle
Posted on: 06 Apr 2015
Topics:   Finance

‎The Finance Ministry plans to focus on mobilising savings in the next phase of PMJDY, the financial inclusion scheme. This column presents results from an experiment in Chhattisgarh, which tests whether the method of payment of wages and other transfers affects household finances. It finds that people that are paid through their bank account save more than those that are paid in cash.
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