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Ashok Kotwal
The challenge of job creation
Posted on: 15 Dec 2017
The process of economic transformation that entails labour transitioning from low- to high ... read on »
GST Explainer: Introduction
Posted on: 16 Oct 2017
Seventeen years after its framework was formed, India’s biggest tax reform – the goods and ... read on »
Introducing a new feature: ‘Explainers’
Posted on: 16 Oct 2017
Our day-to-day lives are tossed around due to economic changes, resulting sometimes from g ... read on »
On demonetisation
Posted on: 23 Dec 2016
On the evening of 8 November, the Prime Minister announced on national television that Rs. ... read on »

Tag: Andhra Pradesh

Common tongue? How mother tongue instruction influences education
Tarun Jain , Revathy Suryanarayana
Posted on: 27 Feb 2017
Topics:   Education


The recently released draft of the National Education Policy stresses the importance of education in the mother tongue, especially in the formative years at school. This column seeks to uncover the link between vernacular language use in schools and educational achievement using data from large-scale historical events in South India. It finds that mother-tongue instruction led to persistent increases in educational achievement in primary and secondary schooling.
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Public health insurance for tertiary diseases: Lessons from Andhra’s Aarogyasri programme
Sisir Debnath , Tarun Jain
Posted on: 12 Apr 2016
Topics:   Health


Private health insurance covering tertiary diseases is limited to the upper middle class in India. One reason for low take-up of publicly-financed health insurance among economically weaker sections is that treatment of tertiary diseases relies critically on specific information on facilities and treatment options. This column presents evidence from Andhra’s Aarogyasri programme suggesting that community networks might be an important channel through which such information is obtained.
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From the top to the bottom of MNREGA
Megan Sheahan
Posted on: 08 Jan 2016

MNREGA – the world’s largest public works programme - is intended to be demand-driven and has local implementation at its core. In this note, Megan Sheahan, Research Support Specialist at Cornell University, shares her experience of visiting MNREGA work sites in some of the most deprived communities in Andhra Pradesh. She finds that while the scheme has enabled a jump in earnings and created useful assets for villagers, beneficiaries have little control over the timing or type of work allocated to them.
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Citizens’ trust in local politicians and implications for good governance
Lata Gangadharan , Tarun Jain , Pushkar Maitra , Joseph Vecci
Posted on: 10 Jun 2015
Topics:   Political Economy


The new state of Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in June 2014, after a prolonged movement by the people of Telangana region for a separate state. Based on field experiments among citizens in the two successor states, this column finds greater trust in politicians in Andhra relative to Telangana, which may facilitate effective functioning of the State and signal citizens’ expectations from the government.
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Rising school enrolment, plunging test scores
Renu Singh
Posted on: 27 May 2015
Topics:   Education


Since India made eight years of education compulsory, the number of 6-14 year olds going to school has grown by almost two million. Analysing data from (undivided) Andhra Pradesh, this column finds that the rise in enrolment is associated with a worrying collapse in learning standards. Exploration of factors leading to this decline is essential in the wake of increasing investment in elementary education.
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Transforming landholding agricultural workers into farmers
Ravi Kumar
Posted on: 07 Jan 2015

Some believe that MNREGA has negatively impacted agriculture by reducing the supply of labour available for farm work. This column refutes this view and argues that MNREGA has enabled agricultural workers with small and marginal landholdings to move up the social and occupational ladder – from wage workers to farmers - by complementing their farm income and providing for start-up investments in agriculture.
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Workfare as an effective way to fight poverty: The case of India´s MNREGA
Shamika Ravi
Posted on: 11 Dec 2014

The fundamental appeal of a workfare programme, vis-à-vis a welfare programme, is that it helps in targeting the beneficiaries. This column assesses the welfare impact of MNREGA on poor rural households. It finds that the programme had a significant effect on extreme poverty in the first few years of implementation by improving food security, financial inclusion and mental health.
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Building state capacity for better programme implementation: Lessons from the Andhra Pradesh Smartcard Programme
Karthik Muralidharan , Paul Niehaus , Sandip Sukhtankar
Posted on: 03 Dec 2014

Biometric payment systems are posited to reduce leakages in public welfare programmes but there is limited evidence on their effectiveness. This column presents evidence on the impact of the Andhra Pradesh Smartcard Programme on MNREGS and Social Security Pension beneficiaries, based on a large-scale randomised controlled trial. It finds substantial economic benefits, and concludes that using biometric payment infrastructure to deliver welfare payments can be a game changer for governance in India.
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Politics and MNREGA: A limited Link in Andhra Pradesh
Christopher B. Barrett , Yanyan Liu , Sudha Narayanan , Megan Sheahan
Posted on: 19 Nov 2014

The Ministry of Rural Development claims that MNREGA needs to be changed in order to reduce politics and corruption in the scheme. One of the studies cited by the Ministry is an analysis of the extent of political manipulation of MNREGA funds in Andhra Pradesh. In this column, the authors of the study assert that while politics may influence programme expenditure in some places and to a small extent, this is not universally true and does not undermine the effective targeting and good work of the scheme at large.
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To decentralise or not to decentralise? The dilemma of MNREGA in Andhra Pradesh
Diego Maiorano
Posted on: 14 Oct 2014
Topics:   Political Economy


Employment generated under MNREGA has been on the decline in recent years across India. This column analyses whether political dynamics influence the implementation of MNREGA by contrasting the implementation models of two of the top performing states – Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. It concludes that a combination of the top-down, supply-driven approach of AP and the demand-driven Rajasthan model is required.
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Can MNREGA buffer negative shocks in early childhood?
Aparajita Dasgupta
Posted on: 29 Aug 2014

Exposure to negative shocks such as drought during early childhood is known to have lasting, detrimental effects on human development outcomes. This column examines whether a household’s access to MNREGA, later in the life of the child, can offset the impact of early childhood shocks. It finds that programme access, although incapable of correcting for past deficiencies, does mitigate the impact of recent shocks.
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Andhra Pradesh’s youth training and employment scheme: Did it work?
Rajendra Kondepati
Posted on: 07 Jul 2014
Topics:   Jobs


To promote youth employment, the state government of Andhra Pradesh launched an innovative public-private partnership programme for skill development, training and job placement for the youth. This note traces the beneficiaries of the programme and finds high drop-out rates among candidates placed in jobs under the programme. It suggests changes in the programme design to make candidates stay in their jobs for longer.
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Giving up too early on malnourished children? Catch-up growth and Midday Meals
Abhijeet Singh
Posted on: 14 Apr 2014
Topics:   Health


It is widely believed that malnourishment in the first few years of childhood adversely affects cognition and adult economic outcomes. This column presents new research which shows that full recovery from early malnourishment is possible. Based on data from the state of Andhra Pradesh, it is found that the Midday Meals programme of the Government of India has been successful in compensating for early nutritional deprivation.
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Direct Benefits Transfer: An idea whose time has come
Varad Pande
Posted on: 14 Mar 2014

About a year ago, the Government of India launched a Direct Benefits Transfer programme that involves transferring government benefits and subsidies directly to residents through a biometric identification system. In this Note from the Field, Varad Pande, a government official who has been closely associated with the roll-out of the programme, reviews its promise and potential.
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Has community monitoring helped reduce corruption in public programme delivery?
Farzana Afridi , Vegard Iversen
Posted on: 12 Mar 2014
Topics:   Corruption


MNREGA mandates social audits of public work projects undertaken under the Act in order to empower beneficiaries to scrutinise programme expenditures, and monitor programme delivery. Has community monitoring helped reduce corruption and improve programme delivery? This column presents results from the first study that rigorously assesses the impact of India’s only large-scale community monitoring initiative - in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
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Building an inclusive and high-performing school system
Karthik Muralidharan
Posted on: 29 Jan 2014
Topics:   Education


Clause 12 of the Right to Education Act aims to reduce social stratification in education by requiring private schools to reserve one-fourth of their seats for economically weaker students, with the government reimbursing their fee up to a maximum of per-child spending in public schools. This column argues that the RTE Clause 12 is an opportunity to build an inclusive and high-performing school system in India, and outlines an implementation protocol for the Clause.
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Understanding the relative effectiveness of government and private schools in India
Karthik Muralidharan
Posted on: 22 Jan 2014
Topics:   Education


Data suggests a steady increase in the share of students attending private schools in rural India. This column analyses data from the largest and longest evaluation of a school choice programme in India, conducted over four years in the state of Andhra Pradesh, to assess whether private schools are indeed more effective than government schools.
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Cutting delays in MNREGA wages
Saloni Chopra , Reetika Khera
Posted on: 10 Oct 2012

Officials in charge of paying MNREGA wages in the state of Andhra Pradesh can now expect to receive fines if there are delays. This column shows how this move was made possible by a simple automated system, how effective it has been, and how the rest of India should follow suit.
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