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Ashok Kotwal
On demonetisation
Posted on: 23 Dec 2016
On the evening of 8 November, the Prime Minister announced on national television that Rs. ... read on »
Introduction to e-Symposium: The GDP conundrum
Posted on: 16 Nov 2016
Ever since India’s Central Statistical Organisation came out with the new GDP series with ... read on »
Introduction to e-Symposium: The idea of a universal basic income in the Indian context
Posted on: 26 Sep 2016
The idea of an unconditional basic income given to all citizens by the State, has caught o ... read on »
Introduction to e-Symposium: Ideas for reforms in education policy in India
Posted on: 18 Nov 2015
A New Education Policy is being formulated in India based on a time-bound grassroots consu ... read on »

Tag: pollution

Clearing the air
Naini Jayaseelan
Posted on: 23 Feb 2017
Topics:   Environment
Tags:   pollution


In this article, Naini Jayaseelan, former Secretary, Environment, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, discusses the pitfalls of basing policies to curb air pollution on comparisons of air quality indices across countries or cities.
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Happy Seeder: A solution to agricultural fires in north India
Ridhima Gupta , E. Somanathan
Posted on: 12 Nov 2016

It is believed that much of the pollution in Delhi in November every year originates in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana where farmers burn their fields to dispose of crop residue. This column discusses a simple, practical and cost-effective solution to deal with the problem.
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How much will people pay for clean air? Evidence from China
Koichiro Ito
Posted on: 12 Aug 2016
Topics:   Environment


Policymakers in emerging economies such as India and China are ramping up efforts to confront pollution. A new study of the air purifiers market in China finds that people are willing to pay a lot to get rid of pollution, but the amount varies widely depending on a person’s income. This sort of metric can enable policymakers to assign values to their policies and guide their decisions.
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Improved cooking stoves in India: Evaluating long-run impacts
Esther Duflo , Michael Greenstone , Rema Hanna , Claire Walsh
Posted on: 13 Jul 2016
Topics:   Environment , Health


Improved cooking stoves are increasingly seen as an important technology to address indoor air pollution. While laboratory experiments have shown that they could have big effects on smoke exposure and emissions, this column finds limited long-run health and environmental impacts of an improved cooking stove programme in Odisha. This indicates the importance of testing interventions in real-world conditions taking into account willingness to pay, usage, and changes over time.
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Driving restrictions in Delhi: Real benefits and warning signs
Gabriel Kreindler
Posted on: 15 Jun 2016

The driving restrictions policy that Delhi experimented with in January was implemented for a second time in April for a fortnight. This column finds that the policy lowered traffic congestion; the impact was notable in size and consistent over the two rounds. However, drivers managed to partly circumvent the policy legally, and the policy caused some disruption to economic activity.
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Case for electric vehicles through cleaner grid supply
Mudit Chordia
Posted on: 18 May 2016

The Indian government recently announced its plan to make India a 100% electric vehicle nation by 2030. In this article, Mudit Chordia, a Consultant at the University of Chicago Urban Labs, discusses the viability of such a plan in the Indian context.
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Ganga pollution cases: Impact on infant mortality
Shareen Joshi
Posted on: 26 Feb 2016
Topics:   Environment , Health


In response to a writ petition against pollution of the river Ganga due to industrial waste, the Supreme Court of India in 1987 mandated the tanneries in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh to either clean up or shut down. This column finds that the ruling resulted in a significant drop in river pollution, which in turn reduced infant mortality in the city.
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What is causing Delhi’s air pollution?
Eric Dodge , Rohini Pande
Posted on: 15 Feb 2016
Topics:   Environment


Several policies aimed at reducing Delhi’s air pollution have been implemented this winter, but what remains unclear is where the pollution comes from. This column takes stock of what we know about pollution sources and the portion contributed by each. It contends that good information systems are required to turn the critical convergence of public concern, policymaker attention, and academic contribution into a smart policy response.
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Driving Delhi: The impact of driving restrictions on driver behaviour
Gabriel Kreindler , Jasmine Shah
Posted on: 08 Feb 2016

In an attempt to address Delhi’s grave pollution problem, the state government experimented with a driving restrictions policy for a fortnight in January. Based on a phone survey of a sample of 614 drivers in the city, this column describes how the policy changed drivers’ behaviour in terms of labour supply, number of daily trips, travel modes, and satisfaction, between restricted and unrestricted days while the policy was in effect.
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Pricey diesel
E. Somanathan
Posted on: 31 Mar 2014
Topics:   Health


India was recently ranked 174th out of 178 countries, on air pollution. A key contributing factor is diesel vehicles. This column shows that diesel subsidies benefit the rich more than the poor, and emphasises the need to change current regulation to enforce fuel improvement measures. Although such policies seem expensive, the positive effects on sickness, health expenditures and productivity would outweigh the costs.
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Economists on the wrong foot
Ashish Kothari , Aseem Shrivastava
Posted on: 11 Sep 2013

This article asserts that the Sen-Bhagwati debate misses out two crucial elements – communities as agents of development, and ecological sustainability. It emphasises the importance of community empowerment, and backing community initiatives through state policies.
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The unintended child health consequences of the Green Revolution in India
Nidhiya Menon
Posted on: 09 Sep 2013
Topics:   Health , Agriculture


While the Green Revolution in India greatly enhanced agricultural production, the enhanced use of fertilisers led to the contamination of surface and ground water. This column analyses the impact of fertiliser agrichemicals in water on infant and child health. It is found that exposure of mothers to these contaminants in the month after conception increases the chances of infant death within a month of birth, and also has long-lasting negative effects on child health.
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Getting India wrong
Partha Dasgupta
Posted on: 12 Aug 2013

In this article, Partha Dasgupta argues that deliberations on economic development, as in the recently published books by Bhagwati-Panagariya and Dreze-Sen respectively, are of little instrumental use if they ignore the role that high population growth and environmental destruction play in the persistence of poverty.
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Did the metro help reduce air pollution in Delhi?
Deepti Goel , Sonam Gupta
Posted on: 17 May 2013

The Delhi metro has been operational for over a decade now. Has it helped reduce the high levels of air pollution? This column presents initial findings from research that suggests that the metro has encouraged people to switch from private to public mode of travel, resulting in positive effects on air quality in the city.
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Eliminating Delhi’s November smog
Ridhima Gupta , E. Somanathan
Posted on: 14 Dec 2012
Topics:   Environment , Health


Around this time every year, the air in Delhi becomes almost unbearable. As politicians and the press point fingers, this column offers up a happy solution.
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Has environmental regulation been successful in India?
Michael Greenstone , Rema Hanna
Posted on: 16 Jul 2012
Topics:   Environment


India has an impressive number of environmental regulations – but have they been a success? This column presents evidence that while initiatives such as catalytic converters for cars have reduced air pollution, there has been far less success in tackling water pollution. It argues that regulators will only be effective when they are given enough power and legitimacy.
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