Has Rural India Seen a Turn-Around Lately?

Despite a continuing fall in the growth rate of India's GDP for the last several quarters there are indicators that point to a turn-around of the rural economy. Positive and long-term improvements can be seen in foodgrains production, in horticulture, dairy, poultry and fisheries, access to physical infrastructure such as electricity and roads, per-capita income of poorer states (which have a high percentage of rural population), wages of unskilled labour and growing employment in non-farm occupations due to programmes such as MUDRA. However challenges still remain in some vital sectors, such as water, marketing of fruits and vegetables, skill development, education and health.

28 July 2015
Socio-Economic Caste Census: Has it ignored too many poor households?

Whereas the number of poor can be fixed simply through a sample survey, identifying them would need visiting each and every household. While Planning Commission was the official agency to estimate the percentage of population below poverty line (BPL) once in five years based on the National Sample Survey on Consumption Expenditure, a Census to identify the BPL households has been conducted by the states through the Ministry of Rural Development of the Central Government three times (1992, 1997 and 2002) in the last 25 years.

Union Budget 2013-14: What does it mean for the Social Sector

Despite achievements on the growth front, India faces developmental challenges and needs to revamp its fiscal management to provide more funds for the social sector, better policies and sound delivery mechanisms...

Agriculture in India: Are Women Benefiting

Women's economic and social development will not be achieved if the problems confronted by women in agriculture are not addressed. Understanding existing gender roles and relations in land and livestock management is critical for informing gender equitable policies, maximising the productive potential of women and ensuring their economic empowerment...

Agriculture in Crisis: Some Policy Suggestions

Agriculture in India over the last two decades has three features that distinguish it from the earlier green revolution phase (1970 to 1990). First, stagnation. Crop production has had an annual growth rate of 1.4 per cent between 1996-97 and 2010-11

India's Floundering Social Sector

India's aspiration to become a middle-income country has to come to terms with its poor performance in the social sector. India is fairly slow in improving social indicators even when compared to other poor countries...

What Needs to Be Done for Marginalised and Disadvantaged People?

The strategy to bring the benefits of growth and prosperity to the most poor and vulnerable segments should go beyond conventional...


Over the last twenty years Government of India has launched a series of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) with a view to promote development, reduce poverty, and reach basic services in education and health, etc to the common people. While the individual programmes have been evaluated several times showing that in general these are better implemented in states with stronger political leadership and better capacity for delivery, no comparative study is available to my mind that will explain why in the same state some programmes are more successful than others in achieving their goals or why some schemes do not work well even in states associated with better governance.

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