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Posts by Bharat Ramaswami

Aadhaar that doesn’t exclude

Aadhaar is in the news today partly because of security concerns and partly because of reports that the poor are unable to receive PDS rations because of failures in Aadhaar authentication. In this ar...

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Union Budget 2018: What will the pivot to agriculture cost?

The Union Budget 2018-19 focusses heavily on agriculture and rural development. In this article, Bharat Ramaswami analyses the key proposals pertaining to investment in agricultural markets and infras...

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Aadhaar Bill: Move towards a surveillance State?

Most advanced economies have had some version of UID for a long time, example, the Social Security number in the US, the Social Insurance Number in Canada, etc. This is recorded not only in interactio...

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Aadhaar Bill and government benefits: Risk of increasing exclusion?

Supporters of Aadhaar express the hope that will reduce inclusion errors and corruption by eliminating ghost beneficiaries, say in schemes like MNREGA. Are there substantial benefits to be reaped on t...

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Aadhaar Bill and government benefits: Better targeting and reduced corruption?

Supporters of Aadhaar express the hope that will reduce inclusion errors and corruption by eliminating ghost beneficiaries, say in schemes like MNREGA. Are there substantial benefits to be reaped on t...

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Aadhaar Bill: Incremental information-gathering powers for government?

The government already has the means to collect a lot of information on citizens (example, phone conversations and logs, credit card transactions, income tax records, bank account details, etc.). Conv...

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Protectionism under the guise of food security

India has backed out of the commitment it made at the WTO negotiations in Bali in November 2013. The implicit explanation is that the government needs to accumulate food grain stocks to provide subsid...

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Two views on the Budget

The Modi government’s first Budget has received a mixed response. Eswar Prasad and Bharat Ramaswami present two distinct views on the Budget. While Prasad is of the opinion that the Budget hits the...

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Bali conundrum: WTO and Indian agriculture

The outcome of the recent WTO meetings at Bali is a stopgap arrangement, which implies that the Indian government does not have to make any changes in the implementation of the new Food Security Act i...

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Some reflections on the National Food Security Act

The Food Security Bill became an Act with little parliamentary opposition. Yet the public debate has lingered. Would subsidised food grains reduce malnutrition? Won’t it be better to invest in heal...

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A suggestion for WTO negotiations

India’s new food security law is likely to breach WTO’s limit on farmer support. India is keen to ask for a temporary exemption from the rule so that the law can be implemented unhindered. But, i...

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Doing a number on the Food Security Bill

In a recent article, Kotwal, Murugkar and Ramaswami pointed out errors in estimation by Surjit Bhalla that led him to assert that the Food Security Bill will increase cost of food subsidy by 336%, an...

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