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Do value-added taxes benefit firms? Evidence from the adoption of state-specific value-added taxes

Value-added tax (VAT) systems have grown popular in the last 30 years, especially among developing countries looking for ways to raise tax revenue efficiently. Using 2000-2012 data on product, state-s...

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Does going cashless make you tax-rich? Evidence from India’s demonetisation

During 2014-2017, the share of adults using electronic payments in the developing world increased by over a third, and policymakers have expressed optimism regarding the role of this trend in promotin...

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Fixing incentives for power plants to reduce outages

Consumers in India face frequent power outages despite relatively high-quality infrastructure and ample supply of power plants. This article identifies a novel explanation for India’s blackouts: whe...

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Surrogacy bill: Implications and way forward

Contributing to the ongoing debate on India’s surrogacy bill, Dutta and Sarkar discuss the potential implications of the bill on the country’s billion-dollar surrogacy industry. They contend that ...

  • Perspectives

Improving School Governance at Scale: A Randomised Evaluation of the Madhya Pradesh School Quality Assessment Programme

Weak governance is a critical constraint in delivering quality education in developing countries. This project conducts a randomised evaluation of one of the most ambitious recent attempts by a develo...

  • IGC Research on India

Can the female sarpanch deliver? Evidence from Maharashtra

One-third of all seats in village councils are reserved for women. The government has proposed an increase in quota to 50%, and in the period of reservation from five to 10 years. Based on a survey co...

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Banning commercial surrogacy in India

In an attempt to protect the welfare of surrogate mothers, the Indian government has proposed to introduce legislation that will ban commercial surrogacy in the country. In this article, Ajit Karnik, ...

  • Perspectives

The Political Effects of Programmatic Development Policy: Can Bihar Break the Clientelist Trap?

This project aims to understand the conditions of supporting the continuation and expansion of programmatic governance in Bihar state. Bihar’s "clientelism trap" (incentives to return to clientelist...

  • IGC Research on India

Modi and his challenges: Leading India on its march to prosperity

Despite Narendra Modi’s successful leadership as Chief Minister of Gujarat, some question his ability to achieve the same progress at the national level as India’s Prime Minister. In this article,...

  • Perspectives

Building connections: Political corruption and road construction in India

Rural infrastructure programmes of the government create new opportunities for growth but also for corruption. This column studies India’s flagship rural road construction programme and finds eviden...

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Surrogacy bill: Boon or ban(e)?

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 proposes a complete ban on commercial surrogacy and restrictions on altruistic surrogacy. In this article, Maitreesh Ghatak, Professor of Economics, London School...

  • Perspectives

Data openness and the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill

According to the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016, the acquisition or use of any geospatial information will require permission from a government authority. In this note, Ghosh and Malhotr...

  • Notes from the Field

I4I Panel Discussion: Two years of Modi government

In a panel discussion organised to mark the 4th anniversary of Ideas for India, Parikshit Ghosh (Member of the I4I Editorial Board & Associate Professor, Delhi School of Economics) moderates a discus...

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How participatory is work planning under MNREGA?

In 2014, the Ministry of Rural Development introduced the ‘Intensive Participatory Planning Exercise’ (IPPE) framework in 2,500 most backward blocks of the country, with the objective of making th...

  • Notes from the Field

Justice delayed is development denied: The effect of slow courts on economic outcomes in India

India's formal judicial system is infamously slow, even for a developing country. What is less well established is whether this matters to economic outcomes. This column uses state-level variation in ...

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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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Rethinking cadre allocation procedures in civil services

The allocation procedure of All-India Services’ officers to states is an important aspect of personnel administration in the public sector. This article shows that a change in allocation policy in 2...

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