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Governance

Escaping the subsidy-quality trap in India’s retail electricity market

Cross-subsidies in retail electricity tariffs leave distribution utilities with neither the incentive nor the capital to improve reliability, particularly for their most subsidised consumers. Using bi...

  • Articles

When criminality begets crime: The role of elected politicians

The criminalisation of politics has become a massive threat to society. While the impact of criminally accused leaders on economic outcomes has been studied in the literature, little is known about th...

  • Perspectives

DUET: Decentralise employment generation to urban local bodies

Dilip Mookherjee supports Drèze’s suggestion to decentralise employment generation to urban local bodies, and contends that the moribund nature of urban local government is a key reason for the neg...

  • Perspectives
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What voters reward: Evidence from the 2009 Indian parliamentary elections

Do voters care about economic outcomes? This column analyses the 2009 parliamentary elections in India and finds that voters favoured parties that delivered high growth in their states and rejected t...

  • Articles

Can workfare programmes moderate violence?

It is widely known that income shocks may trigger spurts of violence. This column explores whether workfare programmes can help mitigate support for violent movements. It finds that MNREGA has had a ...

  • Articles

Open defecation in cities: A faltering India story

Despite significant public investment in urban sanitation, over 37 million people in Indian cities resort to open defecation. This column examines the existing information on open defecation in urban...

  • Articles

Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the most dynamic state of them all?

This column analyses the economic performance of 16 major Indian states over the last three decades. It finds that Bihar has improved the most during the 2000s, Kerala has always been a star performe...

  • Articles

Governance by ordinance

The UPA government recently explored taking the ordinance route to promulgate six anti-corruption bills. This article traces the shift from the post-Independence culture of healthy parliamentary deba...

  • Perspectives

Direct Benefits Transfer: An idea whose time has come

About a year ago, the Government of India launched a Direct Benefits Transfer programme that involves transferring government benefits and subsidies directly to residents through a biometric identifi...

  • Notes from the Field

Has community monitoring helped reduce corruption in public programme delivery?

MNREGA mandates social audits of public work projects undertaken under the Act in order to empower beneficiaries to scrutinise programme expenditures, and monitor programme delivery. Has community mo...

  • Articles

India's illiberal speech climate

India’s cultural watchdogs and hate speech laws are increasingly seeking to restrict free expression in the country. This article contends that the right to take offence is fundamentally incompatib...

  • Perspectives

Re-conceptualising crime and punishment

A Delhi court has awarded the death penalty to the convicts in the December 2012 gangrape incident. This article discusses the moral basis and dangers of relying on this form of punishment for deterr...

  • Perspectives

Does the quality of electricity matter?

India is home to almost a quarter of the world population that does not have access to electricity. This column estimates the impact of increased access to and improved quality of electricity on inco...

  • Articles

UID project: Does evidence matter?

The Indian government has been pushing to make UID compulsory, and is now moving towards charging for use of authentication services. This article asserts that the three key selling points of UID –...

  • Perspectives

Religion and relief in Muzzafarnagar

The communal riots that broke out in Muzzafarnagar in the state of Uttar Pradesh in September last year took several lives and left hundreds homeless. In this Note from the Field, Rohini Somanathan s...

  • Notes from the Field

Recent Contributors

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Upasak Das

University of Manchester

Karan

Karan Singhal

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

Ashwini

Ashwini Kulkarni

Pragati Abhiyan

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Mihir Shah

National Water Policy Committee

Ashish

Ashish Sedai

Colorado State University

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K. Srinivasa Rao

Institute of Insurance and Risk Management

Asad

Asad Islam

Monash University

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Liang Choon Wang

Monash University

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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, ...

  • Articles

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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