Sudha Narayanan | Ideas for India

Sudha Narayanan

Sudha Narayanan is an Associate Professor at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Mumbai. She obtained a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2011, specialising in agricultural and development economics. She earlier obtained M.A. and M.Phil. degrees in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, India. Sudha's research interests straddle agriculture, food and nutrition policy, and human development in India. Her current research focuses on contract farming, technology adoption in agriculture, public policies for food security and employment guarantee and agriculture-nutrition linkages. Prior to studying for a doctoral degree, Sudha worked with the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, IFPRI, Washington D.C. and the Right to Food Campaign in India and Cornell University, among others. Her past works include a book co-authored with Ashok Gulati titled “The Subsidy Syndrome in Indian Agriculture” published by the Oxford University Press, New Delhi.

Articles By Sudha Narayanan
What did demonetisation do to domestic agricultural markets?
Posted On: 10 Nov 2017


When the note ban was announced a year ago, many feared that it would hit agriculture and informal sectors the hardest given the widespread use of cash for transacting in these sectors. Analysing data from 2,953 mandis across India for 35 major agricultural commodities for the period 2011-2017, this column finds that there are lingering impacts of demonetisation on farmers and adverse distributional consequences overall.
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Women empowerment in nutrition: Ideas of empowerment
Posted On: 13 Sep 2017

Topics:   Gender , Health

As part of the ‘Women’s Empowerment in Nutrition Index’ project, a group of researchers spoke with rural women and community workers from Araria in Bihar, and Ganjam, Rayagada, Kandhmal, and Nayagarh in Odisha, on a range of issues around women’s empowerment, agriculture, and nutrition. In this note, Sudha Narayanan discusses how women in resource-constrained rural settings perceive the idea of empowerment, and the gap between their perception and the wider conceptualisation of empowerment.

This is the first post of a five-part series.

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Unified agricultural markets: Where are the reforms lacking?
Posted On: 02 Jan 2017

Topics:   Agriculture
Tags:   Karnataka , IT

In April 2016, Modi government launched the e-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) platform – a pan-India electronic marketplace for trading of agricultural commodities. However, rather than ushering in a revolution, concerns have been raised regarding lack of traded volumes on the platform. To understand the reluctant progress of e-NAM, this column analyses the experience of the state of Karnataka that embarked on agricultural market reforms in 2007.
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Demonetisation and agricultural markets
Posted On: 30 Nov 2016

In this article, Aggarwal and Narayanan contend that demonetisation alone cannot turn agricultural markets cashless. Such a shift would require sustained and focussed effort to expand the reach of formal institutions, especially for credit and storage.
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MNREGA and its assets
Posted On: 15 Mar 2016

Critics of MNREGA believe that the programme is a dole to dig a hole and hence, a huge waste of resources and that it would be better to simply provide cash. In this article, Sudha Narayanan, Associate Professor at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, argues that evidence from various states on the quality of MNREGA assets suggests that this ‘dole-hole’ view of is largely unfounded.

Tweet using #MNREGA10yrs

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Assessing the quality and usefulness of MNREGA assets in Maharashtra
Posted On: 05 Dec 2014

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 Maharashtra. While the assets are largely found to be useful and durable, the study suggests that greater attention to design and maintenance, and local participation in the decision-making process can lead to further improvement.
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Politics and MNREGA: A limited Link in Andhra Pradesh
Posted On: 19 Nov 2014

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 extent of political manipulation of MNREGA funds in Andhra Pradesh. In this column, the authors of the study assert that while politics may influence programme expenditure in some places and to a small extent, this is not universally true and does not undermine the effective targeting and good work of the scheme at large.
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Saving people’s livelihoods
Posted On: 28 Oct 2014

Topics:   Jobs , Agriculture

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 despite its shortcomings, MNREGA is the best available institutional mechanism to preserve the resource base for food production and build resilience of Indian agriculture.
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