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Misguided policy and school inequality in rural India

Despite government efforts, stark inequality in India’s schools persists, particularly in rural areas. This column argues that the failure may lie in policy design – rather than helping the worst scho...

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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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A plague on all houses

Which is better, India´s liberal capitalism modelled on the US or China´s authoritarian state-controlled capitalism? This column argues that dysfunctional governments in both systems are leading to da...

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Searching for the soul of monetary policy in India

What is the thinking behind the current policy of the Reserve Bank of India? This column argues that its rules for deciding on India’s interest rates are based on assumptions that hold in developed ec...

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Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: Falling demand or funds crunch?

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) – India’s flagship job guarantee scheme - provides every rural household in India with a guaranteed 100 days of work in a year at minimum wage o...

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Food for thought: On the design of school subsidy programmes

Despite significant increase in primary school enrollments, student attendance rates are less than 70% in public schools. This column argues that India needs to start evaluating its existing school su...

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The Transfer Raj

When Chief Ministers come to power in India, they extensively reshuffle civil servants postings. This column asks why state politicians transfer bureaucrats, whether they favour loyalty over competenc...

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How do Indian voters respond to candidates with criminal charges: Evidence from Lok Sabha elections

An alarming number of India’s politicians have criminal records or some charges against them. This column asks how they manage to get away with it. It looks at evidence from parliamentary elections in...

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Manufacturing, management and mysteries

The private sector is crucial to India’s development. This column asks how it can be more effective. Looking at a large sample of Indian manufacturers it suggests that what many firms may be missing i...

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Right to Food: Let's get it right

The proposed inter-state resource allocation in the upcoming National Food Security Bill is anti-poor. It will result in unequal treatment of equally poor individuals across rich and poor states. This...

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A national shame: Hunger and malnutrition in India

One area where India’s development falls desperately short is nutrition. Child malnutrition rates are higher in India than in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa. This column argues that there can be no ...

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Walking the poverty line

As India’s Planning Commission seeks to review its measurement of poverty, the issue has become a hot topic for public debate. This column argues that while poverty lines should be used as benchmarks ...

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