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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...

  • Perspectives

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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Strengthen MNREGS to support the rural economy

India’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) has generated a lot of controversy about its effectiveness as a safety net designed to benefit landless rural households. M...

  • Perspectives

Rethinking cadre allocation procedures in civil services

The allocation procedure of All-India Services’ officers to states is an important aspect of personnel administration in the public sector. This article shows that a change in allocation policy in 2...

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(Un)ease of doing business: How congested courts hinder firm productivity

The strength of contract enforcement determines how firms source inputs and organise production, and hence influences productivity. Using microdata on Indian manufacturing, this article quantifies the...

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Out of power? Political capture of the Indian electricity sector

Although power generation has been growing exponentially in India, the quality of electricity supply remains poor. This article argues that political corruption is among the root causes behind unrelia...

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Need for a choice-based approach in PDS

A large share of public spending on the Public Distribution System (PDS), India’s flagship food security programme, does not reach intended beneficiaries. Thus, the idea of Direct Benefits Transfer ...

  • Perspectives

Evaluating Economic and Administrative Linkages in Determining Firm’s Location Choice in Hajipur (Bihar)

The purpose of this project is to understand the rationales of firms’ location choice in which complex decision making mechanisms are manifested by various factors. This project attempts to understa...

  • IGC Research on India

Like father, like son? The economic impacts of political dynasties in India

Political dynasties remain ubiquitous in democratic countries even though many societies democratised to end hereditary rule. This article studies how dynastic politics affects economic development in...

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Indian economy: High performer or Potemkin village?

The recent schizophrenic commentary on the health of the Indian economy raises questions on the true state: Is India doing really well or are we just seeing an impressive facade? In this post, Amartya...

  • Perspectives

Are independent candidates unimportant for political representation?

Independent candidates are often deemed ‘frivolous’ or ‘spoilers’ by mainstream political figures and authorities, although there is little to no evidence on their effect on elections. This ar...

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Bank and its critics

There has been a lot of commentary in recent weeks on the Reserve Bank of India, around its capital base, performance, and autonomy. In this post, Amartya Lahiri contends that RBI has a more coherent ...

  • Perspectives

Promoting women in grassroots governance: Strategies that work

There are more than a million women elected to the Panchayati Raj Institutions of local governance in India. Despite constitutional provisions, women face many barriers when they participate in local ...

  • Notes from the Field

Does choice of procurement contract matter for cost and quality of highways?

In the past, infrastructure projects in India have suffered from long delays, massive cost overruns, and poor quality of assets. A widely held belief is that public private partnerships (PPPs) can sol...

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Recent Contributors

Avani

Avani Kapur

Centre for Policy Research

Sidharth

Sidharth Santhosh

Centre for Policy Research

Neeraj

Neeraj Hatekar

Independent Researcher

Puja

Puja Guha

Azim Premji University

Amalendu

Amalendu Jyotishi

Azim Premji University

Ejaz

Ejaz Ghani

Pune International Center

Rahul

Rahul De

Azim Premji University

Guilhem

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...

  • Perspectives

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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