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Ashok Kotwal
Emerging challenges: Economic and social
Posted on: 06 Aug 2014
The recent parliamentary election may well turn out to be a significant event in Indi ... read on »
The challenge of fulfilling aspirations
Posted on: 15 Jul 2014
The recent parliamentary election may turn out to be a watershed moment in Indian his ... read on »
I4I turns 1!
Posted on: 06 Aug 2013
It has been a year since the voice of ‘Ideas for India’ was first heard. Our mission was t ... read on »

Latest

What impedes SMEs from joining Asian supply chains?
Ganeshan Wignaraja
Posted on: 01 Sep 2014
Topics:   Jobs , Trade

While Small and Medium Enterprises play a significant role in job creation at the country level in Asia, they are underrepresented in Asian supply chains. This column analyses data from 5,900 manufacturing enterprises from five Southeast Asian economies - Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam - to assess the extent of and constraints on SME participation in Asian supply chains.
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Can MNREGA buffer negative shocks in early childhood?
Aparajita Dasgupta
Posted on: 29 Aug 2014

Exposure to negative shocks such as drought during early childhood is known to have lasting, detrimental effects on human development outcomes. This column examines whether a household’s access to MNREGA, later in the life of the child, can offset the impact of early childhood shocks. It finds that programme access, although incapable of correcting for past deficiencies, does mitigate the impact of recent shocks.
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Is the rupee fairly valued?
Martin Kessler , Arvind Subramanian
Posted on: 27 Aug 2014

Is the rupee fairly valued, and should the RBI allow it to appreciate beyond its current rate? This column analyses new World Bank data and finds that the rupee is persistently undervalued by 30% or more. Given the undervaluation, it is puzzling to note that India runs large, structural current account deficits.
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Goods and Services Tax in India: Challenges and prospects
Govinda Rao
Posted on: 25 Aug 2014

The Finance Ministry recently announced that the Goods and Services Tax will soon be a reality. In this article, M. Govinda Rao – member of the 14th Finance Commission – discusses the challenges and prospects of transitioning to GST. He contends that given the multitude of stakeholders and contentious issues involved in the negotiations, finalising and operationalising the tax structure will take time, and that it is unrealistic to expect a “flawless” GST.
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The new plan body must have a certain oomph
Abhijit Banerjee
Posted on: 21 Aug 2014
Topics:   Political Economy

PM Modi has announced that his government plans to scrap the six-decade old Planning Commission and replace it with a more contemporary think tank. In this article, Abhijit Banerjee outlines the various functions that the Planning Commission has served over the years, and presents his view on the type of alternative that may be able to fit the role.
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Left, right, and toilets
Dean Spears
Posted on: 19 Aug 2014
Topics:   Health

Eliminating open defecation in India is a policy priority. This column contends that successful strategies for reducing open defecation may not fit policy stereotypes of the left or the right. While rural sanitation policy in states where this practice is most concentrated has been focused on latrine construction, promotion of latrine use is what will make a difference.
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What the Muslim mortality paradox reveals about importance of sanitation for all children in India
Michael Geruso
Posted on: 18 Aug 2014
Topics:   Health

It has long been noted that in India, Hindu children face substantially higher mortality rates than Muslim children, despite being relatively richer on average. This column shows that differences in latrine use by religion can fully explain this pattern. This phenomenon sheds new light on how the open defecation practices of a household can influence the health of its neighbours.
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Culture, religion and open defecation in rural north India
Diane Coffey
Posted on: 14 Aug 2014
Topics:   Health

Open defecation in rural India is a human development emergency that is causing infant deaths, child stunting, and widespread infectious diseases. This column presents surprising qualitative and quantitative research about why so many people in rural India defecate in the open, even when latrines are available.
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Do private tuitions improve learning outcomes?
Ambrish Dongre , Vibhu Tewary
Posted on: 13 Aug 2014
Topics:   Education
Tags:   schooling

About a fourth of the students enrolled in elementary schools in rural India attend private tuitions. This column analyses the impact of private tuition on learning outcomes, and finds that it has a large, positive effect on math and language test scores. The impact is greater for those who are more disadvantaged in terms of learning levels, household’s socio-economic status, and education of parents.
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Protectionism under the guise of food security
Ashok Kotwal , Milind Murugkar , Bharat Ramaswami
Posted on: 10 Aug 2014
Topics:   Trade , Agriculture

India has backed out of the commitment it made at the WTO negotiations in Bali in November 2013. The implicit explanation is that the government needs to accumulate food grain stocks to provide subsidised grain to the poor and ensure food security. In this article, Kotwal, Murugkar and Ramaswami critique this reasoning and India’s position on the issue.
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