- 2 February 2017 | Live Mint
2 February 2017 | The Deccan Herald
There were a lot of expectations from Budget 2017. The demonetisation on November 8, and the chapter on Universal Basic Income (UBI) in the Economic Survey had raised our hopes for a big bang announcement on the social sector. Partially, I admit, this expectation was premature. UBI is complicated at best, something recognised by the Economic Survey as well, and the ‘benefits’, if any, of demonetisation are yet to be realised. The net result is thus status quo for a majority of the schemes under the social sector.
2 February 2017 | Hindustan Times
There were no surprises—no helicopter drop of money into Jan-Dhan accounts, no move to dismantle ongoing welfare schemes in favour of a universal basic income (UBI). Far from being the populist, game-changing budget that many had expected, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley presented a sombre, status quo budget which, apart from some tinkering with allocations, offers no vision and agenda for social policy, especially when it comes to core sectors like health and education.
- 26 January 2017 | Live Mint
- 26 January 2017 | The Wire
- 26 January 2017 | Huffington Post India
25 January 2017 | Huffington Post India
On the 1st of February 2017, the Finance Minister will present his 4th budget to the nation. Like every year, the budget speech will be followed by a slugfest as political parties and commentators argue over stated priorities and budget allocations. The debate is particularly shrill when it comes to social sector schemes as politicians and commentators can never quite agree whether allocations in a given year are too high or too low. But for the average bureaucrat and the aam junta—the actual beneficiaries of these contentious social schemes—these debates over budget estimates are meaningless.
- 25 January 2017 | Live Mint
- 24 January 2017 | Live Mint
- 23 January 2017 | Live Mint
5 October 2016 | NDTV Opinion
October 2, 2016 marked the second anniversary of the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) - an event that most will remember for the photo-ops of the Prime Minister sweeping the streets of Lutyens Delhi. For those of us who have been following sanitation policy, this photo-op was, in fact, a watershed moment. It marked the first time that an Indian Prime Minister had chosen to stake his political capital on an issue as unglamorous and complex as sanitation. This political moment was an opportunity that most sanitation enthusiasts had been waiting for. So how well has the Prime Minister been able to convert this high-voltage sanitation campaign into sustained action on the ground? Read this article for more.
- 23 May 2016 | Live Mint
- 5 May 2016 | The Wire
- 13 April 2016 | Business Standard
2 March 2016 | Economic and Political Weekly
Elementary education administrators at the block level primarily perceive themselves, or report themselves to be, disempowered cogs in a hierarchical administrative culture that renders them powerless. They refer to their own roles and offices as "post offices," used simply for doing the bidding of higher authorities and ferrying messages between the top and bottom of the education chain. Using the case of education delivery, this paper attempts to probe an administrator's perspective in resolving the implementation problem at the last mile and is based on detailed primary fieldwork in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh along with some quantitative surveys conducted in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh. It endeavours to trace the "cognitive maps" of administrators by capturing how last mile public servants see themselves and their jobs, and how notions of job performance are internalised and interpreted within the administrative context of elementary education in India.
- 1 March 2016 | Live Mint
29 February 2016 | The Wire
Arun Jaitley’s Budget was high of rhetoric, but this doesn’t quite add up to a clear vision and narrative for social policy. Overall, social sector expenditure, excluding rural development, has indeed increased – by 6%. The increases are marginal, especially if we compare 2014-15 revised estimates (RE) with the current budgeted estimates (BE).
- 24 February 2016 | Live Mint
21 February 2016 | The Wire
A rethink of the role of the centre to go beyond current effort of tinkering with financing instruments and return to first principles can determine an optimal allocation of functions across all levels of government within a federal structure.
11 January 2016 | Ideas For India
This column analyses the current status of implementation of Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act, and suggests ways to overcome hindrances in effective implementation and make the education system more inclusive.
23 November 2015 | Ideas For India
n this article, Yamini Aiyar, Director of the Accountability Initiative at the Centre for Policy Research, proposes a novel approach to governing public financing of elementary education that would give more flexibility to states over planning and budgeting, and incentivise them to work towards learning goals.
- 12 November 2015 | Business Standard
20 October 2015 | International Growth Centre
The frontline administration in India is infamous for corruption and patronage, indifference towards citizens, low effort and high absenteeism. This blog reports findings from a year-long qualitative study on frontline education administrators in Bihar. Part 1 captured perspectives of frontline administrators on their role in the education hierarchy and how organisational design and culture shapes everyday behaviour. This part offers insights into how the frontline responds to reform efforts, and how this impacts institutionalisation and scaling up of reforms.
19 October 2015 | International Growth Centre
The frontline administration in India is infamous for corruption and patronage, indifference towards citizens, low effort and high absenteeism. This blog reports findings from a year-long qualitative study on frontline education administrators in Bihar. It captures perspectives of frontline administrators on their role in the education hierarchy and how organisational design and culture shape everyday behaviour.
16 October 2015 | Ideas For India
The frontline administration in India is infamous for corruption and patronage, indifference towards citizens, low effort and high absenteeism. This column reports findings from a year-long qualitative study on frontline education administrators in Bihar.
- 6 October 2015 | Business Standard
- 18 September 2015 | Business Standard
- 3 September 2015 | Business Standard
- 20 August 2015 | Business Standard
- 15 July 2015 | SocialCops
- 25 May 2015 | Livemint
6 April 2015 | The Pioneer
A transparent system of admission which doesn't allow schools to ‘cherry-pick' students, and gives parents the right to choose schools, and streamlining reimbursements, will go a long way in the implementation of Section 12(1)(C)
- 2 April 2015 | IndiaSpend
25 March 2015 | The Times of India
The implementation of the Right to Education Act's Section 12(1)(c), which requires private-unaided schools to reserve 25% seats for kids from economically weaker sections (EWS) and disadvantaged groups (DG), has been most successful in Delhi.
- 25 March 2015 | The Hindu
- 25 March 2015 | Livemint
- 24 March 2015 | Business Standard
- 21 March 2015 | Business Standard
- 13 March 2015 | The Pioneer
- 9 March 2015 | Down To Earth
1 March 2015 | The Caravan
As the example of education shows, India’s bureaucratic reforms are falling short of maximising governance - See more at: http://www.caravanmagazine.in/perspectives/post-office-state-education-bureaucratic#sthash.XamSwY5P.dpuf
23 February 2015 | Live Mint
In the run-up to every budget season, public debate on social sector schemes inevitably turns to the question of the paltry sums allocated. True to script, the question of allocations and potential budget cuts is already making headlines. What gets relatively less attention is the issue of how well the government spends even the limited sums of money that it does commit. In recent years, there has been some debate on the question of outcomes—especially in sectors like health and education. Indeed, this annual budget series is an effort to engage with precisely this question.
- 23 July 2013 | The Times of India
11 May 2013 | The Financial Express
There is no political will to hand over the powers and resources to local govts to respond to peoples needs. On April 24, 2013, India celebrated the 20th anniversary of the passage of the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments mandating the creation of a third tier of the elected governmentthe panchayati raj institutions (PRIs)in rural areas and municipal councils in urban India. hen passed, these amendments embodied the aspiration of transforming Indias top-down, district magistrate raj babu culture through greater decentralisation. However, 20 years on, there is little argument that this aspiration remains unfulfilled and efforts to decentralise government, despite the constitutional provisions, have been half-hearted at best.
1 June 2012 | The India Express
Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of reservation of 25 per cent of admissions at the entry-level in private unaided schools for disadvantaged sections, focus should shift to the implementation of this provision. The Right to Education Act stipulates that private unaided schools shall be reimbursed expenditure so incurred by it to the extent of per child expenditure incurred by the state, or the actual amount charged from the child, whichever is less. So if the state spends Rs 1,500 per child and a private unaided school charges Rs 2,000,the school would be reimbursed Rs 1,500 per child admitted under the reservation policy. However, to implement this clause effectively, we need to know precisely how much both state and private schools spend on a per child basis. Unsurprisingly,given the paucity of data,this information is difficult to find and hence has become a hotly contested issue.
21 August 2007 | The India Express
India has a strong, vibrant economy with a confident middle class, but governance — especially the capacity to deliver basic amenities such as education and health — is its greatest weakness. For India's burgeoning middle class, the solution seems to lie in the market, but what of the poor?