What the data tells us about 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'?
26 May, 2017, Anamitra Roychowdhury
Modi rose to power by promising development for all, but his policies have fallen short in meeting any of the related targets, especially with respect to employment and livelihoods. A minor increase in farm income was met by the lowest-yet wage increase under MGNREGA. Belying the promises of the Skill India programme, Quarterly Employment Surveys show even greater joblessness. Resource allocation to health and education has seen negligible growth in the past three years. And the government narrative has shifted from development to moral policing. Modi rose to power by promising development for all, but his policies have fallen short in meeting any of the related targets, especially with respect to employment and livelihoods. A minor increase in farm income was met by the lowest-yet wage increase under MGNREGA. Belying the promises of the Skill India programme, Quarterly Employment Surveys show even greater joblessness. Resource allocation to health and education has seen negligible growth in the past three years. And the government narrative has shifted from development to moral policing. * This article was originally published in the Wire on May 26, 2017.
A Simple Arithmetic
25 May, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The advance GDP estimates for 2016-17, however calculated,show a grim picture of the economy. The real per capita income of the agriculture-dependent population, which constitutes half the country's populace, has remained stagnant or even marginally declined during the three years of the Modi government. While the pursuit of neoliberal policies can be held responsible for this, treating the aggregate growth as a “great achievement” for political mileage is unwarranted.
Before UBI, We must First Get Social Spending Basics Right
13 February, 2017, Anjana Thampi & Ishan Anand
Providing a UBI in place of existing schemes will not change the fundamentally unequal income distribution in the country. The way to resolve the crisis is a redistribution from the rich to the poor.
A Universal Basic Income in India?
03 February, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The idea of basic income that is very much part of the idea of a universal social protection floor, cannot be seen as a substitute for public provision of basic goods and services; rather it must be an addition to it.
Spreading light: Are the Modi government’s electricity promises being fulfilled?
31 January, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
The government's claim that it has ensured electricity for all does not seem to be warranted by the evidence.
Neo-Liberal Capitalism and India's Nationhood'
30 January, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The era of neo-liberalism has seen a retrogression when it comes to the material pre-requisites for the nation-building project that had been launched with the anti-colonial struggle.
The Widening Gap between Rich and Poor
23 January, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Evidently the problem of inequality has intensified over the last decade or so, and this is largely because of worsening income and asset distribution in the era of globalisation.
Focus on Inequality
18 October, 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
While in its publication tracking progress towards poverty removal and curtailment of inequality, the World Bank expresses optimism over the fact that two-thirds of the countries it examined showed a positive shared prosperity premium, the author here explains why this optimism is misplaced.
India and Indians at Seventy Plus
08 September, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
For most of the Indian people aged 70 or more, their sheer survival may be the most positive aspect of their lives since the state instead of taking any measures of social protection puts the burden of their care on families without considering their own economic situation.
A Picture of Inequality
10 May, 2016, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
The government's decision to release income class-wise details on tax returns allows an assessment of the extent of inequality in the distribution of income among tax payers.
Exclusion from Public Service, Indian Style
30 March, 2016, Jayati Ghosh
Even with a limited focus on three essential public goods the India Exclusion Report 2015 brings out the comprehensive and overlapping character of exclusion in Indian society.
Budget 2016-17: Hype is all
15 March, 2016, Prabhat Patnaik
Behind all the hype about a pro-poor budget, the actual provisions of the government for the major social sectors are found to be too paltry to improve the lives of the poor.
The Battle to Defend the Employment Guarantee Scheme!
12 February, 2016, Smita Gupta
In the face of the strong opposition from various sections of the society, ensuring the proper implementation of MGNREGA is one struggle that has to be constantly fought.
The Slogan of "Make in India"
10 November, 2015, Prabhat Patnaik
Although apparently the "Make in India" campaign appears innocuous, it is actually a dangerous one since the potential thrust of the campaign is in the direction of constricting democracy and squeezing the working people.
Cutting off Aid to India is more about Selfishness than Sense
12 October, 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The cessation of foreign aid to India symbolises Britain’s lack of empathy for the less fortunate and the absence of any sense of accountability for its own past actions.
From "Development" to "Poverty Alleviation": What have we lost?
19 August, 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The perspective of development has shifted in the neoliberal marketist paradigm and the place of development economics has been replaced by a focus on poverty alleviation.
The Socio Economic and Caste Census
05 August, 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The Socio Economic and Caste Census provides more comprehensive household listings, but the method of determining the poor that has been adopted in the Census is deeply flawed.
The Search for India's Bulky Middle
22 July, 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The Pew study estimates suggest that in the most successful years of the neoliberal project, the expected expansion of the global middle class, which is required to sustain high growth has not been realised.
Pachhwara Coal Mines, Jharkhand: Privatisation of coal mining and rights of adivasis
21 July, 2015, Vikas Rawal & Prakash Viplav
Privatisation of coal mining in Amrapara has facilitated a loot of national resources and deprived the poor adivasi peasants of the benefits that rightfully belong to them.
One Year of Modi Government: Social sector
27 May, 2015, Jayati Ghosh
The Modi government’s vast and sweeping cuts in essential social spending will adversely impact the basic conditions of living and affect the prospects of the aspirational youth.
Statistical Jugglery, Reverse Redistribution and Corporate Absolutism
13 March, 2015, Amiya Kumar Bagchi
Statistical jugglery prasticed by the government in order to please big investors and the bid to privatise important public sector units need to be resisted at all costs.
Who's Really Paying for Oil
07 January, 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
As the central government raises excise duties on petroleum products yet again, it is the poor that end up paying the price.
Rural Diversity and Diversification
05 January, 2015, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The latest NSSO Survey reiterates that economic diversification in rural India is mostly distress driven as non agricultural activities act as the sink for the unemployed.
The Land of Exclusion
28 November, 2014, Jayati Ghosh
The findings of a recent report on inequalities in India provide a sobering reminder of how far we are from reaching even the most basic promises of our Constitution.
India: The global laggard in meeting the MDGs
11 September, 2014, Jayati Ghosh
Most of the eight Millennium Development Goals given by the UN will not be achieved due to lack of progress in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia, particularly in India.
The Real Story on Gujarat's Development
10 September, 2014, Jayati Ghosh
The book, "Growth or Development: Which way is Gujarat going?", provides a sober, balanced and solidly researched account of Gujarat's development over the past decade.
Why Asia is Probably Poorer than We Think
09 September, 2014, Jayati Ghosh
Asia's 'success' in reducing poverty uses a flawed system for measuring income on the basis of an average value based on Purchasing Power Parity and ignores food insecurity.
Social Spending under the Modi Government
25 July, 2014, Jayati Ghosh
A decline in real terms in the budget allocations to the crucial areas of public spending is a sign of the new government's lack of respect for the rights of their citizens.
The BRICS Bank: Part of a new financial architecture (1)
25 July, 2014, Oscar Ugarteche
The BRICS Bank would be less vulnerable if it used non dollar denominated bonds similar to those established by the World Bank in the 1980's.
The BRICS Bank: Part of a new financial architecture (2)
25 July, 2014, Oscar Ugarteche
Given that the BRICS countries all have first tier development banks implies that they also have development bankers who can bring their expertise to the New Development Bank.
The Post-Election Economy
05 May, 2014, Jayati Ghosh
Ideally India needs a new and different vision for the economy, but the parties that are being projected to do well in the elections do not exhibit that new vision at all.
Have Workers in Gujarat Benefited from "Development"
09 April, 2014, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
In the backdrop of a much talked about Gujarat model, the authors examine the state of casual workers in Gujarat only to find them to be among the worst of anywhere in India.
Once More, without Feeling: The Government of India's latest poverty estimates
08 August, 2013, Jayati Ghosh
The Government of India’s latest poverty lines are appallingly low and unrealistic, that make a cruel joke on the actual living standards of the bulk of the population.
The India behind the New Poverty Ratio
30 July, 2013, Rahul Goswami
Poverty in India is far more serious than that suggested by the Planning Commission’s latest claims, while the latter may crucially impact upon social welfare programmes.
India's Watered-down Food Bill Won't Really Benefit its Hungry Millions
25 June, 2013, Jayati Ghosh
India's ruling Congress party has failed to deliver on an election pledge to bring in a law that would help deliver food security.
The Changing Face of Urban Poverty
05 February, 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Urban poverty is both underestimated and inadequately addressed by public policy in India; but as evidence suggests, the nature and extent of this require urgent attention.
Is China Changing?
01 February, 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
As evidence suggests, the Chinese economy is experiencing a reversal of the trajectory of high growth driven by excess investment; there is a shift towards consumption now.
Of False Premises, Faulty Reportage and Declining Hunger: Unraveling the enigma
30 January, 2013, M Kumaran & Biraj Swain
The official assessment about India making progress in addressing hunger, nutrition and poverty over last two decades, do not match the ground realities.
The Cost of Food Security
22 January, 2013, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The argument of inadequate food supplies and burden on the government’s budget that is advanced against universal food security programme is shocking and without much basis.
From District to Town: The movement of food and food providers alike
08 January, 2013, Rahul Goswami
Policy obsession with urbanisation is changing the nature of crop production and food consumption in India as seen in the shifts in district rural-urban population balances.
Food World
17 October, 2012, Jayati Ghosh
The globalised fast-food culture encourages a wasteful and unhealthy pattern of food consumption that is detrimental to health of people in developing and developed countries.
FDI in Retail: Benefiting neoliberalism, harming people
26 September, 2012, Subhanil Chowdhury
The decision of the UPA government to open up the retail sector in the country to FDI is an example of the basic fallacy in the ‘growth fetishism’ of the votaries of neo-liberalism. While the government argues that this move will generate investor confidence in the Indian economy and lead the country to high growth, in reality the problems of the common people- deprivation, poverty and hunger- far from being ameliorated will actually be intensified.
Inequality in South Asia
25 July, 2012, Jayati Ghosh
The increase in income and consumption inequalities in the South Asian countries during their period of globalisation compared with other highly globally integrated countries such as those in Latin America suggest that South Asian governments have much to learn from the proactive policies for equity elsewhere in the world.
The Growth Model has Come Undone
12 July, 2012, Mritiunjoy Mohanty
The government’s argument that India’s economic slowdown is the result of the global situation and related uncertainty is only partly true. The deeper reason is the unravelling of the underlying growth model — partly due to the greatly increased import dependence of the manufacturing sector and partly because the investment subsidy that Indian companies enjoyed due to the under-pricing of assets is no longer feasible.
Consumption Inequality in India
26 June, 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
An analysis of the mean per capita monthly consumption expenditure data from the NSSO large surveys gives evidence of stagnation of consumption of the lower proportions of the population and significant increases in inequality across deciles, especially in the most recent period.
For a Universal Old-age Pension Scheme
10 May, 2012, Prabhat Patnaik
The basic argument behind the demand for a universal, non-means-related, non-contributory pension scheme is derivable from the rights-based approach and stands unimpaired. For raising the resources necessary for such a publicly-funded pension scheme, tax proposals similar to those in international discussions can be worked out for India as well.
Budget 2012: The price of reform
28 March, 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
By hiking indirect taxes that would be passed through to buyers, and slashing subsidies that would raise the prices of petroleum products and fertilisers, the Finance Minister has exposed a nation already reeling under the effects of a prolonged price rise to another bout of cost push inflation.
The Return to Orthodoxy
20 March, 2012, Prabhat Patnaik
The 2012-13 budget represents a return with a vengeance to neo-liberal orthodoxy and a snuffing out of the “Left-inspired” (UPA-I) and the “Keynesian” moments. India will have to bear the impact of the global crisis in an exacerbated manner because of its own “drive to austerity” that is being undertaken at the expense of the people.
Report on the State of Food Insecurity in Urban India
28 February, 2012,
This report is an update of Food Insecurity Atlas of Urban India that was developed by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) in October 2002 and a companion exercise to the Report on the State of Food Insecurity in Rural India of 2001. Reviewing the relative position of the major states with respect to food security, the Report reveals an alarming situation of a permanent food and nutrition emergency in urban India. Hence in order to promote food and nutrition security for all, the Report offers certain policy recommendations emphasizing that urban food security is impacted by the macroeconomic policies and therefore, economic reforms needs to be re-formed to provide inclusive urban development.
Chronic Famishment
21 February, 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The recently released report of the National Sample Survey Organisation on the average calorie intake per person in Indian households, points to a much higher incidence of poverty in the country than reflected in estimates of the proportion of the population below the official "poverty" line. The detailed evidence on nutritional trends suggests that the extent of malnutrition in India not only remains extremely high, but is also increasing over time.
Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati on the Gujarat Economy
06 February, 2012, Indira Hirway
This article refutes the argument made by Professor Bhagwati that the Gujarat economy is doing very well, not only in terms of economic growth but also in social sectors. The author contends that the growth model in the state seems to have discouraged inclusion of the excluded, both in the growth process as well as in the redistribution process.
Capitalism and Hunger
20 January, 2012, C.P. Chandrasekhar
After close to 65 years of independent national development, the level of child malnutrition in India remains unacceptably high. The capitalist growth of the worst variety fostered by neoliberalism and the consequent refusal of the government to directly address the problem explains the cause for this “national shame”.
Much More Needed to Help the Poor
19 October, 2011, Jayati Ghosh
The Planning Commission's Approach Paper to the Twelfth Plan is not only disappointing, but also disturbing in its attitude towards poverty reduction. Multidimensional approach to poverty, which any sensible government would adopt today, is ignored in the Approach paper and the policy interventions that have been proposed are pathetic.
Indian IT: Privileged, protected and pampered
31 August, 2010, C.P. Chandrasekhar
One possible reason for the Indian IT industry’s protest against the US move to increase visa costs for Indian companies could be that the industry has received privileged treatment at home for more than a decade. But given these special privileges one question that has constantly been posed is, are there adequate reasons to justify their provision?

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