In 2016, Narendra Modi expanded the remit of the coercive state

Towards the end of 2015, reflecting on what determines the size of the state, I came up with these three broad categories. At the end of 2016, with a hindsight view of ‘demonetisation gone wrong’, I revisit that concept. These three categories describe the nature of engagement the state seeks with particular areas of policy. … Continue reading In 2016, Narendra Modi expanded the remit of the coercive state

How is the government estimating India’s paper currency requirement?

As the government goes about printing new currency notes to replace the invalidated 500/1000 rupee notes, one wonders how this is being done. On one hand, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) claims that there is "enough" currency in the system. On the other hand, government spokespersons claim that not all currency notes would be … Continue reading How is the government estimating India’s paper currency requirement?

Germans rallied behind their cash; we must take note

Personally, I try to go cashless as far as possible. From paying for coffee using my card to net banking to recharge my prepaid phones, and using m-pesa as much as I can, I must be a model 'digital' citizen. It's a different matter that my data (digital footprint) is strewn all over the internet, … Continue reading Germans rallied behind their cash; we must take note

An important transfer of power in Ghana

Ghana has been different from many of its contemporary African nations especially in terms of its ability to see through peaceful transitions of power since 1992. Often, the credit for this is given to former President JJ Rawlings, who after being responsible for two military coups (1979, 1981), stood for democratic elections in 1992, and … Continue reading An important transfer of power in Ghana

The battle against corruption should not end here

Since the 8th of November when the government declared that 500 and 1000 rupee notes were no longer legal tender, there has been much talk about the need for ordinary citizens to join the battle against corruption. Rather dramatically, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too announced from the pulpit, his resolve to continue battling corruption even … Continue reading The battle against corruption should not end here

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

A big bang attack on corruption, or is it?

ON 8th November 2016, at 8 pm, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suddenly announced to the nation, that the government intended to eliminate the 500 rupee and 1000 rupee note – dramatically, in four hours’ time. These two denominations account for about 90% of the currency in circulation in India currently. Various details have emerged since, … Continue reading A big bang attack on corruption, or is it?