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Lockdown, life, and livelihood in the times of Corona

After around 36 hours of the lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in India, the Finance Minister announced a slew of welfare measures amounting to Rs. 1.7 trillion to support the vulnerable popu...

  • Perspectives

Balancing corruption and exclusion: Incorporating Aadhaar into PDS

How should recipients of publicly provided goods and services prove their identity in order to access these benefits? This article reports findings from a large-scale experiment across 15 million bene...

  • Articles

How has Covid-19 crisis affected urban poor? Findings from a phone survey - II

While several commentators have highlighted the plight of migrants due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, less is known about how low-income families living in urban shanty towns are faring. Afridi et al...

  • Notes from the Field
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Workfare as an effective way to fight poverty: The case of India's MNREGA

The fundamental appeal of a workfare programme, vis-à-vis a welfare programme, is that it helps in targeting the beneficiaries. This column assesses the welfare impact of MNREGA on poor rural househ...

  • Articles

MNREGA's swan song: Not everyone's idea of achche din

Over the last few months, the central government announced a set of measures to restrict MNREGA. The rationale essentially revolves around corruption in the scheme and lack of economic viability. In ...

  • Perspectives

(Mis)Leading attack on MNREGA

Bhagwati and Panagariya have argued for phasing out MNREGA in favour of cash transfers. In this article, Abreu et al. contend that the argument is based on inflating the costs of the programme and de...

  • Perspectives

Switching to sanitation in South Asia: A study of health technology adoption (a seed study)

Open defecation in rural India presents a puzzle: India has far higher open defecation rates than other developing regions where people are poorer, literacy rates are lower, and water is more scarce.

  • IGC Research on India

A critical assessment of the Rangarajan Panel Report on poverty measurement

An expert committee headed by C Rangarajan was appointed by the government to rethink poverty measurement in India. This column provides a critical assessment of the recently released report of the C...

  • Articles

Is the proposed restructuring of MNREGA desirable?

The rural development ministry plans to restrict MNREGA to the 200 most backward districts, and reduce the wage component of the total expenditure of the programme. In this article, Ashwini Kulkarni ...

  • Perspectives

The 'urban sprawl' and declining rural-urban inequality

India has experienced rapid urbanisation in the past three decades. Has urbanisation impacted the economic wellbeing of rural and urban workers? This column finds that the rural-urban wage gap has sh...

  • Articles

Please weight

The latest wealth index by New World Wealth that looks at multimillionaires has ranked India eighth in the global rich list. This article contends that looking at absolute numbers may be misleading. ...

  • Perspectives

Squaring the poverty circle

An expert group headed by C Rangarajan has recommended a poverty measurement methodology for India. In this article, Deaton and Drèze argue that the method proposed by the expert group to set povert...

  • Perspectives

MNREGA: Populist leaky bucket or successful anti-poverty programme?

MNREGA – the world’s largest workfare programme - formed the backbone of the UPA government’s anti-poverty programme, and may well represent its most important legacy in the long run. This colu...

  • Articles

The plight of 'complimentary' migrants: Children at brick kilns

Migration for work is meant to benefit families of migrant workers. But what if the families migrate along with the worker? Based on visits to brick kilns in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Prade...

  • Notes from the Field

Going beyond the Gujarat versus rest of India debate on growth rates

This column attempts to widen the ongoing growth rates-based debate on ‘Gujarat vs. rest of India’ by ranking Indian states on prices, cost of living, household expenditures and inequality, which...

  • Articles

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Most Popular Poverty & Inequality Posts

Covid-19: What can be done immediately to help vulnerable population

With over 80% of India’s workforce employed in the informal sector and one-third working as casual labour, Covid-19's spread and subsequent unplanned lockdowns, have created economic havoc in the li...

  • Perspectives

Lockdown, life, and livelihood in the times of Corona

After around 36 hours of the lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in India, the Finance Minister announced a slew of welfare measures amounting to Rs. 1.7 trillion to support the vulnerable popu...

  • Perspectives

EWS reservation in higher education: Affirmative action or vote bank politics?

The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019, provides for 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in higher educational institutions within the general category. In this post, Devi...

  • Perspectives