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Enhancing secondary school learning: Role of remedial camps and teacher flexibility

A key dilemma in Indian education is that while children are enrolled in school, they are not actually learning. Based on an experiment in Odisha, this article explores possible solutions to the learn...

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Second Ashok Kotwal Memorial Lecture: Inequality, Labour and Social Democracy

The Ashok Kotwal Memorial Lecture was instituted in 2022, in memory of our founding Editor-in-Chief, as an annual lecture on key issues of development. For its second edition, I4I hosted Professor Pra...

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Economic development, the nutrition trap, and metabolic disease

Two recently documented facts run counter to the conventional wisdom that economic development leads to better health: the absence of a clear link between income and nutritional status in developing c...

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Is open defecation still prevalent in rural north India?

In an attempt to understand open defecation in four focus states in the aftermath of the Swachh Bharat Mission, Vyas and Gupta evaluate the findings of the NFHS-5. They note that the NFHS is likely to...

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Phone-based assessment data: Triangulating schools’ learning outcomes

Recent research has shown that schools often report overestimated learning outcomes, as they fear adverse consequences if they report poor performance. In this post, Gupta et al. describe a pilot stud...

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Credit cooperatives: Promoting worker well-being during crises?

Research shows that access to alternative credit mechanisms during the pandemic enabled informal women workers to gain financial security, benefitting their mental well-being in the process. Based on ...

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India’s early years mathematics curriculum: Continuity, discontinuity and progression

Research has shown the importance of building strong foundations for learning, as the development of cognitive skills in preschool and early primary years is predictive of later mathematical achieveme...

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Challenges in access to secondary education in India

India’s latest National Education Policy has envisaged universal access to education by 2030. However, while enrolment is high in elementary schools, access to and uptake of secondary education has ...

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Tracking learning outcomes: ASER’s work through the pandemic

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns, schools quickly pivoted to online learning. However, there was limited information about whether children had access to learning m...

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Tracking learning outcomes: ASER’s work through the pandemic

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns, schools quickly pivoted to online learning. However, there was limited information about whether children had access to learning m...

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Insuring India: PM-JAY’s targeting problem

India’s largest health insurance programme is targetted at poor and vulnerable populations who would be least able to afford medical care. However, this article by Chhabra and Smith shows that a lar...

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The future of old times

India needs to plan for a radical expansion of public support for the elderly. In this piece, Drèze and Duflo argue that near-universal social security pensions would be a good start. Elderly persons...

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High scoring but poor: The misallocation of talent in higher education

As labour market returns to college education have increased, more young adults now receive some form of higher education than ever before. Yet, college attendance remains low for children from poor s...

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Illam Thedi Kalvi: A booster shot for post-Covid education

Amidst worries about learning loss caused by school closures during the Covid-19 pandemic, Tamil Nadu's Illam Thedi Kalvi (ITK) – a volunteer-based education programme – has played a vital role in...

  • Notes from the Field

Access to antenatal care and its influence on children’s cognitive development

Research has shown that maternal health affects later-life outcomes of children. Using data from the Young Lives survey in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, this article shows that antenatal care has an i...

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Recent Contributors


Rashmi Barua

Jawaharlal Nehru University

Prarthna Agarwal

Prarthna Agarwal Goel

Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University


Deboshmita Brahma

University of Calcutta


Jalnidh Kaur

Columbia University


Robin Burgess

London School of Economics


Imran Rasul

University College London


Oriana Bandiera

London School of Economics


Vittorio Bassi

University of Southern California

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Most Popular Human Development Posts

Hindu-Muslim fertility differentials in India: District-level estimates from Census 2011

The 2011 Indian Census data show a higher growth rate of Muslim population compared to the Hindu population. This article provides an in-depth picture of Hindu-Muslim fertility differentials at the di...

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Ten steps to transform the quality of education in India

In this article, Sridhar Rajagopalan, Managing Director of Educational Initiatives, suggests 10 initiatives that can help transform the quality of education in India.

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Understanding India’s mental health crisis

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, several reports have indicated a worsening of mental health issues among individuals across age groups. In this post, Michele Mary Bernadine examines the stat...

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