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What explains policy change? Understanding the historical political economy of India

Drawing on insights from his new book, ‘History of Economic Policy in India’, Rahul De frames policy change as precipitating through three circumstances: crisis, coalitions, and contingency. He us...

  • Perspectives

The costs of extreme competition for government jobs

Indian states have highly competitive examinations for public service recruitment, with many youth remaining unemployed for long periods to compete for these government vacancies. Kunal Mangal looks a...

  • Articles

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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Assessing the quality and usefulness of MNREGA assets in Maharashtra

Questions have been raised regarding the quality and usefulness of assets created under MNREGA. To examine the validity of the scepticism, this column reports results from a study of MNREGA assets in...

  • Articles

Building state capacity for better programme implementation: Lessons from the Andhra Pradesh Smartcard Programme

Biometric payment systems are posited to reduce leakages in public welfare programmes but there is limited evidence on their effectiveness. This column presents evidence on the impact of the Andhra P...

  • Articles

What's the plan for MNREGA?

The new government’s plans to scale back MNREGA have elicited a mixed response. In this article, Abhijit Banerjee contends that both supporters and critics, and indeed the entire nation, deserve to ...

  • Articles

Impact of Elite Capture on the Provision of Public Services

This project studies the effectiveness of major Government programmes in JEEViKA (Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project) villages versus others to see whether the presence of self-help groups leads to impro...

  • IGC Research on India

The Bihar story: Resurrection of the state

In the not so distant past, the Indian state of Bihar was a byword for corruption, lawlessness, poverty, and absence of governance. Over the last decade or so, the state has demonstrated a remarkable ...

  • Perspectives

Politics and MNREGA: A limited Link in Andhra Pradesh

The Ministry of Rural Development claims that MNREGA needs to be changed in order to reduce politics and corruption in the scheme. One of the studies cited by the Ministry is an analysis of the exten...

  • Articles

Slow and steady: Lessons from MNREGA

As the new government in India is considering changes to MNREGA, it is timely to reflect on its implementation trajectory so far. In this note, Adhikari and Sabhikhi discuss five aspects of programme...

  • Notes from the Field

A conversation on Bihar

I4I Guest Editor Karthik Muralidharan (Associate Professor of Economics, University of California, San Diego) speaks with Anjani Kumar Singh (Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar) during the IGC Grow...

  • Perspectives

Impact of direct benefit transfer on leakage in cooking fuel subsidy

In many developing countries, pervasive corruption and evasion often undermine the provision of public programmes. This project focusses on India where a large universal programme provides US$ 8 billi...

  • IGC Research on India

Connecting the Red Corridor: Infrastructure Provision in Conflict Zones

This project introduces a unique, integrated dataset on Maoist activity, three flagship programmes for rural infrastructure development (PMGSY, RGGVY, and USOF), and a dedicated programme targeted at ...

  • IGC Research on India

Saving people's livelihoods

The new government is seeking to alter the essence of MNREGA based on the premise that it is not useful in its current form. In this article, Sudha Narayanan criticises the move and argues that despi...

  • Perspectives

To decentralise or not to decentralise? The dilemma of MNREGA in Andhra Pradesh

Employment generated under MNREGA has been on the decline in recent years across India. This column analyses whether political dynamics influence the implementation of MNREGA by contrasting the imple...

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Recent Contributors

Avani

Avani Kapur

Centre for Policy Research

Sidharth

Sidharth Santhosh

Centre for Policy Research

Neeraj

Neeraj Hatekar

Independent Researcher

Puja

Puja Guha

Azim Premji University

Amalendu

Amalendu Jyotishi

Azim Premji University

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Ejaz Ghani

Pune International Center

Rahul

Rahul De

Azim Premji University

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Guilhem Cassan

University of Namur

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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

Why did the Indian economy stagnate under the colonial rule?

How did the Indian economy fare under the colonial rule? Is the average Indian significantly better off after Independence? This column examines trends in GDP per capita in order to determine the stan...

  • Articles