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Ashok Kotwal
GST Explainer: Introduction
Posted on: 16 Oct 2017
Seventeen years after its framework was formed, India’s biggest tax reform – the goods and ... read on »
Introducing a new feature: ‘Explainers’
Posted on: 16 Oct 2017
Our day-to-day lives are tossed around due to economic changes, resulting sometimes from g ... read on »
On demonetisation
Posted on: 23 Dec 2016
On the evening of 8 November, the Prime Minister announced on national television that Rs. ... read on »
Introduction to e-Symposium: The GDP conundrum
Posted on: 16 Nov 2016
Ever since India’s Central Statistical Organisation came out with the new GDP series with ... read on »

Tag: West Bengal

Rural development programmes: Implementation challenges and solutions
Pushkar Pahwa
Posted on: 17 Mar 2017
Topics:   Political Economy


With a majority of the population living in rural areas in India, rural development is key to the development of the country. Based on his experience of working closely with the district administration in Purulia district in West Bengal, Pushkar Pahwa discusses the issues in the implementation of rural development programmes on the ground, and makes suggestions to improve their effectiveness.
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Do Gram Panchayat leaders favour their own constituencies in MNREGA fund allocation?
Subhasish Dey , Kunal Sen
Posted on: 19 Dec 2016
Topics:   Political Economy


Political incentives are known to play a role in the allocation of public resources from upper- to lower-tier governments. This column seeks to examine whether ruling parties in local governments favour their own constituencies in allocating MNREGA funds, if they target their core supporters or swing voters, and if this has any electoral returns.
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Emergence of Bandhan as a bank: A new era in the Indian banking industry
Somdutta Basu , Souvik Dutta , Abhirup Sarkar
Posted on: 27 Aug 2015
Topics:   Finance


At a time when the Indian banking industry is experiencing a steep rise in bad loans, Bandhan – an MFI with a near 100% loan recovery rate – has converted into a bank. Based on a survey of 112 Bandhan clients in West Bengal, this column highlights the features of Bandhan’s lending model that have enabled it to keep its bad loans at negligible levels.
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Land acquisition, industrialisation, and displaced households
Saumik Paul , Vengadeshvaran J. Sarma
Posted on: 01 Jul 2015

Does industrialisation on acquired land benefit those displaced? Evaluating the long-term livelihood effects of the first Special Economic Zone in the state of West Bengal, this column finds that the impact on displaced households is mixed. While they are more likely to be employed in the industrial zone, their returns to education are lower than that of other households.
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Financial inclusion for agricultural growth: An alternative approach
Pushkar Maitra , Sandip Mitra , Dilip Mookherjee , Alberto Motta , Sujata Visaria
Posted on: 08 Dec 2014

Traditional, group-based microcredit has had limited success at enabling farmers to expand the cultivation of risky but profitable cash crops. Evidence suggests that this is mainly because of its mechanisms for borrower selection and enforcement of repayment. This column proposes a new approach that leverages local intermediaries and aligns their incentives with farmer profits, to generate better outcomes for agricultural production and incomes.
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Analysing efficiency of government hospitals in West Bengal
Satarupa Bandyopadhyay , Arijita Dutta , Arpita Ghose
Posted on: 24 Oct 2014
Topics:   Health


Given the insufficient public investment in the health sector in India, optimal utilisation of resources in the sector is crucial. This column analyses the efficiency of secondary government hospitals in West Bengal. It finds a huge slack in the use of resources such as doctors. With better monitoring, hospitals will be able to serve more patients with existing resources.
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Political clientelism in MNREGA: Evidence from West Bengal
Upasak Das
Posted on: 25 Jun 2014
Topics:   Gender


The problem of political clientelism becomes imminent in decentralised systems where certain individuals or groups associated with the political party locally in power, get preferential access to scarce public resources. This column investigates the link between political affiliation and/ or activity with the likelihood of receiving benefits under MNREGA, in the state of West Bengal.
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Religion, minority status and trust
Minhaj Mahmud , Pushkar Maitra , Ananta Neelim
Posted on: 14 May 2014
Topics:   Conflict


A key factor that drives segmentation in societies is group identities along various dimensions. This column seeks to understand the effects of identity on individual behaviour. Based on an artefactual field experiment on Hindus and Muslims in India and Bangladesh, it finds that it is minority/ majority status based on religion, rather than religion in itself, that dictates trust behaviour of individuals.
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Can MNREGA improve credit worthiness of participating households?
Subhasish Dey
Posted on: 11 Apr 2014

Based on household survey data from West Bengal, this column analyses the impact of MNREGA on economic outcomes of participating households. It finds that the ‘local’, ‘guaranteed’ and ‘government-related’ nature of MNREGA work helps improve credibility of workers with potential lenders such as grocery store owners, if they participate in the programme in a sustained manner. Access to informal credit helps improve consumption.
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Economic growth versus social development: The spatial dimension
Ranjan Ray
Posted on: 31 Jul 2013

In the context of the economic growth versus social development debate sparked off by Bhagwati and Sen, this column argues for a more nuanced approach to assessing progress. Combining nationally representative data on expenditure and social indicators for the different states in India, it explores the spatial dimension of the country’s economic development.
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Lost in transition
Arindam Banerjee
Posted on: 28 Jun 2013

As part of a special three part series, the Prime Minister’s rural development fellows bring us voices from the field about what development means to women in some of the most remote parts of the country. What is the impact of government programmes on the day to day lives of the people they are supposed to help? The first account in this series is of Kajalmani Soren in Lalgarh, West Bengal. Coming from a family of landless labourers, she talks about her experience with the National Rural Health Mission, the Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Public Distribution System.
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The Land Acquisition Bill
Participants: Pranab Bardhan , Shri Vallabh Goyal , Dilip Mookherjee , Abhirup Sarkar
Posted on: 26 Apr 2013
Topics:   Land


Will the new Land Acquisition Bill make protests like those in Singur and Bhatta-Parsaul a thing of the past? Will it make land acquisition so expensive and difficult that the pace of industrialisation will suffer? Will it achieve justice? Development? Neither? Experts from academia and industry examine a piece of legislation that is likely to have far reaching consequences for the future of the country.
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IAP improving lives in Maoist-affected areas
Animesh Ghosh
Posted on: 05 Apr 2013
Topics:   Conflict


In this Note from the Field, a PMRDF working in the Left Wing Extremism affected Purulia district in West Bengal, narrates how the Maoist movement disrupted livelihoods, revenue generation and public service delivery, and how the Integrated Action Plan has helped restore normalcy in the district.
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Developing a Land Acquisition Policy for India
Maitreesh Ghatak , Dilip Mookherjee
Posted on: 05 Sep 2012
Topics:   Land


The Land Acquisition Bill is a key piece of legislation under consideration in the Indian Parliament. This column argues that the current policy on compensating landowners, as proposed in the Bill, is misguided and could adversely affect the pace and character of future growth in India. It draws lessons from economic theory as well as the failed land acquisition experience in Singur to propose a workable model for determining appropriate compensation for land acquisition.
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