Document Library

Taking the PDS to the Poor: Directions for Further Reform

This paper examines the costs and benefits associated with the operation of the Public Distribution System (PDS) for foodgrains in India. Read more »

Can information and communications technology applications contribute to poverty reduction? Lessons from rural India

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) can reduce poverty by improving poor people’s access to education, health, government and financial services. ICT can also help small farmers and artisans by connecting them to markets. It is clear that in rural India -as well as in much of the developing world- realization of this potential is not guaranteed. Read more »

Good Governance and Employment Generation through NREGA: A case Study of Gram Panchayat in West Bengal

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), 2005 is landmark legislation in Indian history. Potential implementation of NREGA needs adequate capacitated implementing body. In west Bengal Gram Panchayat is the primary program implementing agency of NREGA. Read more »

NREGA Wage Payments: Can We Bank on the Banks?

This article looks at how the government of India has shifted from cash payment of wages under the renamed Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Scheme to settlement through bank accounts. This has been done in order to prevent defrauding of workers and to give them greater control over their wages. Has this been achieved after the switch? Read more »

For Good Measure; Devolving Accountability for Performance and Assessment to Local Areas

This report is a contribution to the debate around the future of local government performance and assessment. The author outlines the possibility of reducing the burden of inspection on councils, while simultaneously increasing local accountability and the level of sector-led assistance and support. Read more »

Employment Guarantee and Women's Empowerment in Rural India

The paper explains that there is much that the NREGA promises from the perspective of women’s empowerment. Most boldly, in a rural milieu marked by stark inequalities between men and women – in the opportunities for gainful employment afforded as well as wage rates – NREGA represents action on both these counts. Read more »

Implementation of Employment Guarantee: A Preliminary Appraisal

This paper looks at the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme which has so far posed no problem for the budget. Its allocation is only marginally higher than what was spent in the past by the government on various rural employment programmes. It is a demand-driven scheme and it has fallen far short of meeting demand in some states. Read more »

How is NREGA doing?

This article looks at factual data around the NREGA functioning. NREGA has been a subject of lively debate during the last two years or so.  Unfortunately, the factual basis of this debate has been, so far, rather thin.  Read more »

Transparency and accountability in employment programmes: the case of NREGA in Andhra Pradesh

This paper explores the possibility of a new paradigm for the relationship between state agencies and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). At one end of the spectrum is a model of conflict between CSOs and the state and, at the other end, is a model of cooperation where CSOs act closely in concert with agencies of the state. Read more »

Poverty and Inequality in India: A Re-Examination

This paper presents a new set of integrated poverty and inequality estimates for India and Indian states for 1987-88, 1993-94 and 1999-2000. The poverty estimates are broadly consistent with independent evidence on per capita expenditure, state domestic product and real agricultural wages. Read more »