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Does being local matter? Administrative decentralisation and human development

In this post, Chaudhary and Iyer discuss the administrative decentralisation reforms brought about by the Panchayati Raj Act, and measure the effect of decentralisation on the provision of public serv...

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The panchayat asset register: An instrument to conserve India’s commons

With common lands making up nearly a quarter of Indian territory, the State has taken steps to protect them from encroachment. The Indian Constitution grants panchayats custodial rights to protect vil...

  • Perspectives

DUET: Decentralise employment generation to urban local bodies

Dilip Mookherjee supports Drèze’s suggestion to decentralise employment generation to urban local bodies, and contends that the moribund nature of urban local government is a key reason for the neg...

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Open defecation in cities: A faltering India story

Despite significant public investment in urban sanitation, over 37 million people in Indian cities resort to open defecation. This column examines the existing information on open defecation in urban...

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the most dynamic state of them all?

This column analyses the economic performance of 16 major Indian states over the last three decades. It finds that Bihar has improved the most during the 2000s, Kerala has always been a star performe...

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Governance by ordinance

The UPA government recently explored taking the ordinance route to promulgate six anti-corruption bills. This article traces the shift from the post-Independence culture of healthy parliamentary deba...

  • Perspectives

Direct Benefits Transfer: An idea whose time has come

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 identifi...

  • Notes from the Field

Has community monitoring helped reduce corruption in public programme delivery?

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 mo...

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India's illiberal speech climate

India’s cultural watchdogs and hate speech laws are increasingly seeking to restrict free expression in the country. This article contends that the right to take offence is fundamentally incompatib...

  • Perspectives

Re-conceptualising crime and punishment

A Delhi court has awarded the death penalty to the convicts in the December 2012 gangrape incident. This article discusses the moral basis and dangers of relying on this form of punishment for deterr...

  • Perspectives

Does the quality of electricity matter?

India is home to almost a quarter of the world population that does not have access to electricity. This column estimates the impact of increased access to and improved quality of electricity on inco...

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UID project: Does evidence matter?

The Indian government has been pushing to make UID compulsory, and is now moving towards charging for use of authentication services. This article asserts that the three key selling points of UID –...

  • Perspectives

Religion and relief in Muzzafarnagar

The communal riots that broke out in Muzzafarnagar in the state of Uttar Pradesh in September last year took several lives and left hundreds homeless. In this Note from the Field, Rohini Somanathan s...

  • Notes from the Field

Unintended consequences of India's child labour ban

Bans and regulations against child labour are among the most popular policy tools used to address the problem throughout the developing world. But how well do they work in practice? This column analy...

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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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Azim Premji University

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Sciences Po Paris

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Most Popular Governance Posts

Unique Health Identification and Aadhaar: A case for mandatory linkage

As part of the Digital India initiative, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) issues a Unique Health Identification (UHID) number to each patient, which documents their entire journey in th...

  • Perspectives

Caste dominance in rural India: Cause and effect

Rural India remains a caste-based society. This column explores why caste continues to play such an important role and what the effects are. It argues that trade and agricultural productivity suffer, ...

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Why did the Indian economy stagnate under the colonial rule?

How did the Indian economy fare under the colonial rule? Is the average Indian significantly better off after Independence? This column examines trends in GDP per capita in order to determine the stan...

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