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Does political reservation for women improve programme delivery?

This column outlines results of a study that assesses the impact of women leaders on corruption and other aspects of the quality of delivery of MNREGA. It argues that administrative experience, traini...

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Do roads bring votes in rural India?

A large-scale rural roads programme in India has provided access to over two-third of villages that lacked a paved road in 2001. Do citizens reward incumbent governments electorally for these improvem...

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Oral democracy

Critical scrutiny of the challenges of electoral democracy including elite capture, corruption, and patronage has led to a revival of the idea of direct democracy – giving power directly to groups o...

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Are independent candidates unimportant for political representation?

Independent candidates are often deemed ‘frivolous’ or ‘spoilers’ by mainstream political figures and authorities, although there is little to no evidence on their effect on elections. This ar...

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Bank and its critics

There has been a lot of commentary in recent weeks on the Reserve Bank of India, around its capital base, performance, and autonomy. In this post, Amartya Lahiri contends that RBI has a more coherent ...

  • Perspectives

Promoting women in grassroots governance: Strategies that work

There are more than a million women elected to the Panchayati Raj Institutions of local governance in India. Despite constitutional provisions, women face many barriers when they participate in local ...

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Does choice of procurement contract matter for cost and quality of highways?

In the past, infrastructure projects in India have suffered from long delays, massive cost overruns, and poor quality of assets. A widely held belief is that public private partnerships (PPPs) can sol...

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Food subsidy – PDS, cash, or both?

Should food subsidies – currently availed in the form of subsidised cereals – be given out in the form of cash instead? In this post, Krishna and Agrawal contend that rather than asking this binar...

  • Perspectives

Anganwadi: A workforce of women with a near-impossible mandate

With a workforce of 1.4 million women, the Anganwadi system forms the backbone of India’s Integrated Child Development Services Scheme – the world’s largest community-based programme for child d...

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How leader identity impacts group coordination

In principle, leaders can facilitate group coordination towards a common goal but in diverse societies, their effectiveness may depend upon their social identity, and how citizens react to leader iden...

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Heart of darkness: Misplaced priorities of Jharkhand’s District Mineral Foundation

In 2015, the central government launched District Mineral Foundations in the districts affected by mining, which are mandated to collect royalty from all mining activities and use the funds for the we...

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Do Indian voters mind their representatives getting rich in office?

Asset declarations, requiring politicians to disclose their financial information, are becoming increasingly common across the world. In India, financial declarations are part of public affidavits fil...

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How governance and public expenditure impact human development

The state of Madhya Pradesh displays wide variance in human development outcomes across its districts. This article examines the link between public expenditure, quality of governance, and human devel...

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Do dishonest people gravitate towards the public sector in India?

The corruption level in the public sector may not only depend on punishments and systems put in place to deter corruption, but also on who chooses to enter the sector. This article finds that people w...

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The strategic logic of money flows in Indian elections

Why do political candidates give voters handouts during election campaigns, even when they are unable to monitor voter behaviour? Based on a qualitative study in Mumbai, this article argues that compe...

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Recent Contributors

Anandi

Anandi Mani

Blavatnik School of Government

Lakshmi

Lakshmi Iyer

University of Notre Dame

Naveen

Naveen Sunder

Cornell University

Ashwini

Ashwini Deshpande

Ashoka University

Rajesh

Rajesh Ramachandran

Heidelberg University

Britta

Britta Augsburg

Institute for Fiscal Studies

Bet

Bet Caeyers

Institute for Fiscal Studies; NHH Norwegian School

Sara

Sara Giunti

University of Milan-Bicocca

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Most Popular Governance Posts

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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Rural development programmes: Implementation challenges and solutions

With a majority of the population living in rural areas in India, rural development is key to the development of the country. Based on his experience of working closely with the district administratio...

  • Perspectives

Governance and public service delivery in India

The International Growth Centre recently produced a synthesis paper (Afridi 2017) bringing together insights from its research on governance and public service delivery in India, over the past seven y...

  • Perspectives