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What explains policy change? Understanding the historical political economy of India

Drawing on insights from his new book, ‘History of Economic Policy in India’, Rahul De frames policy change as precipitating through three circumstances: crisis, coalitions, and contingency. He us...

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The costs of extreme competition for government jobs

Indian states have highly competitive examinations for public service recruitment, with many youth remaining unemployed for long periods to compete for these government vacancies. Kunal Mangal looks a...

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Do ruling coalition-affiliated MLAs bring more development to their constituencies?

Despite the dismantling of the License Raj in the 1990s, interaction with government officials remains an important impediment to doing business in India. This column analyses the role of politics in...

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Improving admissions to technical colleges in India

Following their note on the issues that may arise from the ambiguity of EWS reservation policies, Aygün, Turhan, and Yenmez provide a critique of the multi-run deferred-acceptance algorithm currently...

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Challenges of executing EWS reservation efficiently

A recent Supreme Court judgement excluded members of reserved categories from the scope of EWS. Aygün, Turhan, and Yenmez look at the implications of this decision, including reserved category member...

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Introduction to e-Symposium: The architecture of affirmative action

The Supreme Court of India recently upheld an amendment that excluded Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backwards Classes from the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota, restricting it on...

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Design choices for implementing affirmative action

In this expository piece, Ashutosh Thakur explains the various ways in which affirmative action policies can be implemented, and discusses the underlying tradeoffs and issues at hand. He delineates th...

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Panchsutras for carrying out a successful Governance Transformation

Following his last piece, which put forth a Governance Matrix that could be used assess a government system’s readiness to drive outcomes, Gaurav Goel puts forth five principles, or panchsutras, whi...

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The panchayat asset register: An instrument to conserve India’s commons

With common lands making up nearly a quarter of Indian territory, the State has taken steps to protect them from encroachment. The Indian Constitution grants panchayats custodial rights to protect vil...

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The Governance Matrix: Understanding a system’s readiness for change

To explain the gap between the expectation of perfect outcomes and the reality of an imperfect system, Gaurav Goel puts forth The Governance Matrix, a tool which can be used to assess the readiness of...

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Time in office and gender gap in dishonesty: Evidence from local politics

Existing literature associates a higher share of women in politics with lower corruption; honesty is viewed as an inherent or static character trait. However, using information collected from 400 elec...

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Party preferences and strategic voting in India

In the absence of compelling information that would allow them to accurately predict election outcomes in their constituency, many voters believe that their preferred candidate will win. Looking at vo...

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Electricity Act amendment: The need for a cautious approach

The recently proposed amendment to the Electricity Act, 2003 comes after nearly two decades with few legislative changes. In this post, Dixit and Josey review electricity sector developments, especial...

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The WhatsApp effect: Evidence on political engagement, preferences and polarisation

In recent years, political parties in India have increasingly leveraged WhatsApp as a tool to reach voters, raising concerns about the influence of social media on the democratic process. This article...

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Demographic and development outcomes of administrative proliferation

This creation of new administrative districts by splitting existing districts is a frequent occurrence in India, where the number of districts has more than doubled in the last four decades. Looking a...

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Recent Contributors


Avani Kapur

Centre for Policy Research


Sidharth Santhosh

Centre for Policy Research


Neeraj Hatekar

Independent Researcher


Puja Guha

Azim Premji University


Amalendu Jyotishi

Azim Premji University


Ejaz Ghani

Pune International Center


Rahul De

Azim Premji University


Guilhem Cassan

University of Namur

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Most Popular Governance Posts

Unique Health Identification and Aadhaar: A case for mandatory linkage

As part of the Digital India initiative, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) issues a Unique Health Identification (UHID) number to each patient, which documents their entire journey in th...

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Caste dominance in rural India: Cause and effect

Rural India remains a caste-based society. This column explores why caste continues to play such an important role and what the effects are. It argues that trade and agricultural productivity suffer, ...

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Why did the Indian economy stagnate under the colonial rule?

How did the Indian economy fare under the colonial rule? Is the average Indian significantly better off after Independence? This column examines trends in GDP per capita in order to determine the stan...

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