Why do sanitation campaigns continue to fail?

This is my latest livemint column, also cross-posted on the WB Public Sphere *** A recently published Lancet paper looks at the impact of the erstwhile Total Sanitation Campaign in the coastal Puri district in Odisha. The study finds that the government’s rural sanitation programme, implemented by NGOs and community-based organisations, was unable to reduce…

Only Kejriwal can destroy Kejriwal

In October 2012, this is what I had written about Arvind Kejriwal Arvind Kejriwal is the man of the moment. Its close to the end of the year and surely, in the annual lists that media houses love to publish, Kejriwal’s place at the very top is all but guaranteed. His recent foray into politics…

A fantastic Kaushik Basu interview you must catch today

Karthik Muralidharan interviews Kaushik Basu, touching on a range of topics around evidence, policy and implementation. On ‘ideas’ beyond interests: One of the things I became convinced of was what Keynes had talked about – vested interests are important but even more important are ideas that are ossified in the head. I do feel that if…

More announcements, evidence can wait?

This is my latest Livemint column Given Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public utterances accepting mythology as evidence of ancient India’s scientific achievements, it should not be surprising that for the current government, evaluations and learning don’t seem to play an important role in policymaking. Recently, speaking at a public event, Reserve Bank of India governor…

Why Kanji bhai trumps PK

PK is a timely movie – a message on the folly of organised religion that needs to be spread far and wide. Box office wise, it has the commercial might of Chopra – Hirani – Aamir (more later on how that may be their undoing). PK entertains, but how compelling is it in terms of…