Is the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) too idealistic, too naive, and too rigid for the real world?

From Quora, and first written in 2010. Not at all. Here is why... While IRMA was established in 1979 to supply trained managers to rural cooperatives and (later) NGOs in India in the 1980s, its graduates now work for a diverse universe of organisations. When I joined IRMA, it was only with the expectation that …

“New India” is a poorer India.

The post-2014 India – New India – is, simply put, a poorer country. Poverty levels have increased on the backs of specific policy blunders as well as overall misgovernance of the economy and beyond. This is an undeniable reality that cannot be erased by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s entreaties that the opposition was stalling India’s …

We saw this coming

Post-demonetisation, the government was clueless. When the economy started tanking, the government had no response. On the other hand, every electoral setback was met with incessant efforts at destabilising opponents and grabbing power. What made anyone think that when a public health crisis rolled along, that this government's response would be any better, any more …

Understanding different aspects of ‘governance’

I have always struggled with definitions. Back in school, we had to learn them by-rote. That was easy. Later in life, it obviously became more important to actually understand concepts, and 'definitions' became very difficult. This was primarily because I could not believe in a single interpretation being the only valid one, and crowding a …

Regulators need to act quickly to curb predatory loan apps

NYT has a story on new-generation loan apps: "The authorities in India...believe a new breed of lender, its technique sharpened in China, has been preying on working-class and rural people who have been devastated by the impact of the coronavirus on the Indian economy. These lenders don’t require credit scores or visits to a bank. But they charge high costs …

What did the Union Budget 2021 have in store for the social sector?

The Union Budget for the fiscal year 2021-’22 was supposed to be 'historic'. The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman had said this Budget would be 'unprecedented', and while we know that such grandiose labels are used every year, the circumstances this year are different. Given the unprecedented global pandemic that has shot the wheels off the Indian economy, …

Narendra Modi has decided to bury India’s federalism

The ongoing farmers’ movement in and around the National Capital Region (NCR) has been the latest flashpoint involving a central government that is increasingly at odds with citizens of this country. This is yet another instance where the Centre has impinged on the constitutional rights of state governments. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s protestations that his …

India’s fight against corruption – making up for the lost decade

A slightly different version of this article first appeared here: https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/panorama/nda-government-s-anti-graft-agenda-disappears-from-public-domain-871550.html The last time India saw people filling the streets demanding action against corruption was during the Jan Lokpal protests of 2011-12. Nearly a decade has passed since. A two-term Prime Minister was voted out of power in 2014, his government was disgraced, and the …