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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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Elucidating avenues for corruption: Micronutrient fortification strategies in India’s Midday Meals Programme

Globally, iron deficiency is a leading cause of anaemia, a condition that is particularly harmful during early childhood, causing fatigue and slower physical and cognitive development with potentially...

  • IGC Research on India

Why numbers matter

The delayed and partial release of data from the ‘Rapid Survey on Children’ by the Indian government has given rise to questions and speculation. In this article, former bureaucrat V. Ramani disc...

  • Perspectives

PDS computerisation: What other states can learn from Kerala

Given the leakage in the Public Distribution System, Indian states are being encouraged to computerise their PDS. This column analyses Kerala’s experience with PDS computerisation and highlights me...

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Do ruling coalition-affiliated MLAs bring more development to their constituencies?

Despite the dismantling of the License Raj in the 1990s, interaction with government officials remains an important impediment to doing business in India. This column analyses the role of politics in...

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Citizens' trust in local politicians and implications for good governance

The new state of Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in June 2014, after a prolonged movement by the people of Telangana region for a separate state. Based on field experiments among citizens ...

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How effective are gram sabhas?

Village panchayats across India are mandated to organise local public meetings called gram sabhas several times a year, wherein villagers discuss issues such as local public good provision. This colu...

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14th Finance Commission: A trust-based approach towards local governments

The 14th Finance Commission has been hailed as ‘path-breaking’ for recommending larger fund allocations to state governments and giving them more autonomy in spending these funds. In this article...

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The Chhattisgarh experience and the National Food Security Act

Many of the reforms introduced under the National Food Security Act are modeled on PDS reforms implemented in Chhattisgarh. These reforms are widely believed to be responsible for the state’s succe...

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Maoist violence and MNREGA

The spate of Maoist attacks on security personnel in Chhattisgarh this week serves as a reminder that Moaist insurgency is the single biggest internal security threat faced by India. This column anal...

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Strategically greasing the wheels: The political economy of India’s rural employment guarantee scheme

Inefficient and capacity-constrained bureaucracies often pose a significant hurdle to the effective implementation of anti-poverty programmes in developing countries.

  • IGC Research on India

Should the less educated be barred from village council elections?

In December 2014, the state government of Rajasthan issued an executive order barring citizens with less than eight years of formal education from running for village council chief elections in all b...

  • Perspectives

Three concerns about AAP's promise

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has come to power in Delhi with a historic mandate. In this article, V Ramani, Partner at Access Advisory and former bureaucrat, flags three key concerns around their approa...

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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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