Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Human Capital

NREGS: Revamp or R.I.P.?

Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay
Monday, December 29, 2014

Is NREGS suffering a mid life crisis or are we staring at its death? From a budget of INR 401 Billion in 2010-11, it has plummeted to INR 330 Billion in 2013-2014. Given the much higher wages currently offered to workers, it has taken a serious hit. The position taken by government officials (and many economists) is that there is a general lack of interest in NREGS. The rise in agricultural real wages over the period 2004-05 to 2011-12, coupled with a general dismay regarding quality of assets produced and evidence of corruption, has led to a call for a scaling down of NREGS.

Cash, Candidates, and Campaigns

Michael Collins
Monday, July 28, 2014

Two months ago, India conducted the largest democratic exercise in history. The 2014 General Election, enacted in nine phases over a five-week period, witnessed 553.8 million voters cast ballots to constitute the 16th Lok Sabha. The resurgence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) captured headlines and, in effect, diverted attention from a disconcerting growth in gross electoral spending. With an estimated $5 billion price tag, including a cost of nearly $600 million to the government exchequer, the recent election ranks among the costliest in the history of democracy.

India’s Copyright Reform and Incentive Structures

Ananth Padmanabhan
Monday, December 2, 2013

The incentive to create lies at the heart of the classic utilitarian justification for copyright protection. The broad structure – one of exclusive rights and monopolies with public interest exceptions – indicates the dominant, if not singular, role played by utilitarianism while formulating intellectual property law in India. Indeed, if copyright law were only meant to honor creators and respect their creativity, the State could confer prizes and awards on them. The State, desirous that they create more, provides for economic incentives.

Damming Politics: India, China, and a Trans-Border River

Rohan D’Souza
Monday, November 4, 2013

In recent years, whenever India and China have met at the highest level, the issue of water has been prominently put on the negotiating table. Much of the unease has been over a truculent temperamental trans-border river, the Yaluzangbu-Brahmaputra-Jamuna (YBJ) system, which exhausts its full watery course only after having traversed three sovereign nations: China, India, and Bangladesh.

India in the Global ICT Game

Andrew B. Kennedy
Monday, February 25, 2013

If globalization is a game, India would seem to be one of its winners. The past decade has seen India record impressive economic growth and move into fast-moving high tech sectors. Nowhere is this transition more apparent than in information and communication technology (ICT). While China has made a name for itself making ICT hardware, India is known for its prowess in software. Multinational corporations from Microsoft to Adobe have set up R&D centers in India, while home-grown firms like Infosys and Wipro have taken advantage of the outsourcing boom to become global players.

From Gaining to Giving Wealth: The Responsibility of India’s Wealthy

Emily Jansons
Monday, December 17, 2012

India, home to four percent of the world’s billionaires, and with approximately four hundred million people living below the poverty line, has both the need and the resources for private philanthropic actors to make a dramatic contribution to its socio-economic development. Two decades of economic liberalization, which has pulled the country into middle income status and opened the doors to growing domestic inequality, has resulted in more pressure on both national politics and domestic sources of redistribution.

Lawyers and Legal Education

Madhav Khosla
Monday, July 16, 2012

Not long ago, the Bar Council of India found itself amidst a controversy regarding the qualifications required to practice law. Despite resistance from law students, it introduced an examination that law graduates would have to take in order to enroll at the bar. The measure, notwithstanding its uncertain legality as per a strict reading of the Advocates Act 1961, was an ambitious one: law schools have, by and large, focused on regulating the input of students, thereby ensuring quality; this change aimed at scrutinizing the output as well.

What Determines MGNREGA Wages?: Some Evidence on Voice and Exit from Orissa

Sandip Sukhtankar
Monday, April 9, 2012

This year marks the six year anniversary of the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), India’s landmark right-to-work program. The act guarantees one hundred days of paid employment to every rural household in India (up to 850 million people), regardless of eligibility criteria, and establishes the government’s flagship welfare program with an allocated central government cost of 401 billion rupees (or $8.9 billion USD) in 2010-11, which accounts for 3.6 percent of government expenditures.

In the Name of the Farmer

Mekhala Krishnamurthy
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Primary wholesale markets, or mandis, are critical nodes in India’s agricultural marketing and distribution system. As such, they are key elements of contention in vital debates regarding the future of Indian agriculture, the challenges of ensuring food security and managing food inflation, and to growing questions about the character and control of the nation’s diversifying foodways.

A Critique of the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors in India, 2009

Ritajyoti Bandyopadhyay
Monday, September 26, 2011

Street vendors occupying public spaces such as pavements, parks, and thoroughfares, and thereby appearing to deny access to their “rightful” users has been, over the years, a highly contentious issue in major cities across the globe. Addressing the problem of “hawking” generally involves a range of complex and interlinked issues such as the informal economy, rural-urban linkages in commodity production and marketing, survival of the urban poor, urban renewal and middle-class politics, changing street cultures, shopping as well as selling behavior, and commodity circulations.