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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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Bihar verdict: Development, cow politics, and caste

The Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance of JD(U)-RJD-Congress defeated the Modi-led NDA in the recent Bihar assembly elections. In this article, Maitreesh Ghatak, Professor of Economics at the London Sch...

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Connecting the red corridor: Infrastructure provision in conflict areas

The government’s efforts to develop rural infrastructure have been particularly intense in the 90-odd districts that are affected by Maoism. How successful has the implementation of flagship infras...

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Breaking the silence on growing intolerance

Recent violent incidents in the country indicate a growing intolerance towards those whom we disagree with, as well as an unwillingness of politicians to defend the rights of people to speak and live...

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Economic development and Maoist insurgency

The Indian government’s two-pronged strategy to counter Maoist insurgency involves economic development and military repression. Analysing data for 2006-2011, this column finds that increasing wage...

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Outlays to Outcomes: Understanding pathways to improving learning outcome

This project responds to a specific Government of Bihar request to assess the effectiveness of its "Mission Gunvatta" programme, which aimed at improving the learning outcomes of children attending el...

  • IGC Research on India

What do we know about corruption in India?

Despite ample media coverage of corruption, there remains a gap between headline-making scandals, policy options under discussion, and the actual evidence base drawn from empirical research on corrup...

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The need for police reform

The police in India are still mainly governed by the Police Act of 1861. In this article, Abhijit Banerjee, Professor of Economics at MIT, emphasises the need for police reform in order to check misu...

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Is the MNREGA fund crunch making the programme clientelistic?

Fund allocation for MNREGA has seen a steady decline in real terms over the last few years. Analysing official MNREGA data along with survey data from Rajasthan, this column shows that in the face of...

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The political economy of data

Recent experiences, especially from Scandinavian countries, show that opening administrative data sources can substantially improve public policymaking. In this article, Pande and Blum contend that w...

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The significance of local power structures in Bihar's coupon-based PDS

In 2007, Bihar introduced the coupon system in PDS to curb leakages at fair price shops. This column argues that even though the administrative logic of the coupon system is fundamentally sound, such...

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Charting a course for the Indian economy

Karthik Muralidharan (Associate Professor of Economics, University of California, San Diego) speaks with Arvind Subramanian (Chief Economic Adviser, Government of India) on a broad set of issues rang...

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He is a criminal but he is our criminal: Criminally accused politicians in India

The recent increase in the number of criminally-accused politicians elected to state assemblies has caused much furore in India. Despite the potentially important consequences and the widely divergent...

  • IGC Research on India

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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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