Beyond rationalisation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes

In August this year, the Government of India approved the recommendations made by the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Rationalisation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS). The rationalisation plan would first prune the existing 66 CSSs to 28, and then further divide them into three categories – six ‘core of the core’ schemes, 20 core schemes, … Continue reading Beyond rationalisation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes

Judith Tendler, and learning from ‘good government’

On 24th July 2016, Judith Tendler, former Professor at the Department of Urban studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston, passed away. She was 77. A Ph.D from Columbia University, Judith Tendler spent several years at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), before a long career as a Professor … Continue reading Judith Tendler, and learning from ‘good government’

Cash as a response to humanitarian distress

In the context of the subsidies regime in India, there is an ongoing debate on the suitability of cash transfers. With the much talked about JAM trinity – the Jan Dhan zero-balance bank accounts, Aadhar and mobile phones, it certainly appears that the state-sponsored welfare system is set to see a significant shift. While this … Continue reading Cash as a response to humanitarian distress

The challenge of Doing Development Differently

I attended the first Doing Development Differently (DDD) workshop organised by the BSC gang at Harvard CID and ODI; read more about the workshop here. See Day 1 summary; and Day 2 summary. Some thoughts, over time: DDD is the big picture: DDD is about the details and and the beauty of innovation and creativity on the ground. But … Continue reading The challenge of Doing Development Differently

Why am I against Narendra Modi as Prime Minister?

Written originally eighteen months back, unsurprisingly, every word sounds true. Self-fulfilling prophecy? Fair enough I guess. *** The debate around Narendra Modi has been quite toxic and no one will concede that the other is unbiased. I think we also forget that it is ok for us not to agree on each other's political choices. … Continue reading Why am I against Narendra Modi as Prime Minister?

The federal roll-back

In my latest column for livemint, I highlight what I think was the most significant aspect of the 2014-15 union budget presented by Finance Minister, P Chidambaram. By announcing the intention to increase the plan assistance to states almost three-fold, the Government of India has made a major move towards empowering state governments and also … Continue reading The federal roll-back