PM Garib Kalyan Yojna — India’s Rs. 1.7 Lakh crore COVID-19 package — can it deliver the goods?

India brandished a Rs1.7 lakh crore financial stimulus package to battle the coronavirus pandemic spreading its tentacles across the country. The country, with its dense population and creaky healthcare system, has already reported over 650 cases and is now in the midst of a 21-day national lockdown aimed at avoiding a colossal disaster. The stimulus …

Gita Gopinath on managing the economic fallout from coronavirus

Quite clear now in countries with sensible/compassionate governments what the public health response needs to be. 'Flatten the curve' is now a simple and effective mitigation measure. The economic impacts are only beginning to show, as the coronavirus impacts global supply chains, the inevitable demand and supply-side shocks start to show. Governments have to adopt …

The Delhi pogrom revealed the rot amongst India’s Hindus

Amongst the many horrifying conclusions one can draw from last month’s horrific communal riots in Delhi that left 53 people dead, the starkest ones are those that have made it clear that India’s ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has now firmly hitched their wagon to a strategy of incessant Hindu radicalisation. A remorseless …

Reclaiming ‘citizenship’ in 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest strike (nothing surgical about it, by the way) against India is the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA). The government’s attempts to justify filtering ‘persecuted’ minorities based on religious identity need to be resisted as it signals a fundamental shift in the way we conceptualise citizenship in India. Union Home Minister, …

Caught between humanitarianism and geopolitics, both Rohingyas and Bangladesh are stranded

At a social gathering in Dhaka, I was at the receiving end of an impassioned argument about how the international community had done wrong by Bangladesh when it came to the Rohingya crisis. This was not an isolated instance. Since the heightened influx of the Rohingya people into Bangladesh started around August 2017, the refugee …

‘Rigorous evidence’​ has won the Nobel. How do we increase its role in policy?

The 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to Professors Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer for their work on experimental studies to evaluate social programmes. They are brilliant academics who developed and fine-tuned a research methodology — the Randomised Control Trial (RCT) — for application to social programmes. At its core, the RCT …