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  • Author: Savita Shankar
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Despite being the focus of numerous policy initiatives, the credit gap of the MSME sector in India has been persistent. An investment in tapping the data being generated by lenders to build a database to inform future lending is likely to improve the quality of lending decisions over time. This, in turn, has the potential to further expand MSME loan access and reduce MSME borrowing costs. To realize this objective, a credit risk database (CRD) has been found to play a useful role in catalyzing collateral and guarantee free loans for SMEs in Japan. The availability of the OCEN network and the account aggregator framework offers an opportunity to create a CRD involving banks and NBFCs at relatively low incremental cost. The CRD’s role will be distinct from that of credit bureaus and rating agencies as it is based on financial and default data for the sector as a whole, rather than for individual entities. The main benefits of CRD include the development of credit scoring models based on nationwide data and the availability of benchmarks for different segments of the MSME sector. Additional benefits are that the credit scores from the models could be used to develop a more sophisticated pricing mechanism for guarantees and for potentially aiding MSME loan securitizations
  • Topic: Microcredit, Risk, Credit, Resource-Backed Loans
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Roshan Kishore
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: India’s economic pain due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be more painful because it has come on the back of a prolonged economic slowdown. The pre-COVID-19 slowdown is rooted in India’s inability to find a sustainable demand side stimulus in the post-2008 period. However, the current regime has failed to grasp this macroeconomic reality and pursued policies which have only made matters worse. Because the economic pain has not translated into political pain for the ruling party, intellectual criticism of its policies is increasingly losing its influence. Persisting with such policy and politics will significantly add to the already existing economic pain and worsen social fissures. Unless the opposition reinvents its politics, things will not change on the policy front
  • Topic: Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Economic Recovery
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Sumitra Badrinathan
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Misinformation makes democratic governance harder, especially in developing countries. Despite its real-world import, little is known about how to combat misinformation outside of the U.S., particularly in places with low education, accelerating Internet access, and encrypted information sharing. This study uses a field experiment in India to test the efficacy of a pedagogical intervention on respondents’ ability to identify misinformation during the 2019 elections (N=1224). Treated respondents received in-person media literacy training in which enumerators demonstrated tools and tips to identify misinformation in a coherent learning module. Receiving this hour-long media literacy intervention did not significantly increase respondents’ ability to identify misinformation on average. However, treated respondents who support the ruling party became significantly less able to identify pro- attitudinal stories. These findings point to the resilience of misinformation in India and the presence of motivated reasoning in a traditionally non-ideological party system
  • Topic: Governance, Elections, Social Media, Misinformation
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Ashok Gulati, Devesh Kapur, Marshall M. Bouton
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Following an overwhelming election victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new government has a golden opportunity to bring about historic reforms in the agricultural sector to improve farmer livelihoods and national food security. The sector affects the economic well-being of half the Indian population and the access to affordable and nutritious food for all Indians. Fundamental reforms can achieve sustainable and broadly distributed agricultural growth that will add to India’s GDP, increase export earnings, help conserve increasingly scarce resources of land and water, and enable the more orderly movement out of agriculture and into other productive sectors. Reforms in four areas should be the priority if Prime Minister Modi’s bold goal of doubling farmer incomes is to be accomplished in the coming years. First, the focus of agricultural policies must shift from production per se to farmers’ livelihoods. Second, policies to improve the allocation and efficiency of land and water are essential if the critical resources of water and land are to be conserved. Third, reforms are needed to help farmers cope with the growing risks of weather and price volatility. Fourth, agricultural markets must be opened to greater competition and provided with better infrastructure if farmers are to realize better returns for produce while ensuring nutritional security for low-income consumers. Agriculture is a state subject but where the Central government has had—and will continue to have—a large role. Reforms can only succeed if the Central and state governments work closely together in a spirit of “cooperative federalism.” Many of the important levers of change—water, power, irrigation, extension, agri-markets, etc.—are controlled by the states. Going forward, it would be helpful if the government created an Agri-Reforms Council on the lines of GST Council for a somewhat longer term than is currently done (for two months). The focus for the Government of India will need to be twofold: actions that it can unilaterally take to raise agricultural incomes; and second, actions to influence state government efforts to improve agriculture with its sustainability at the core. The steps listed should be thought of as a package, which will have an impact if most are implemented and not one or two in isolation.  Reduce cereal procurement and keep MSP price increases for rice and wheat below inflation, and not exceeding border prices, while encouraging the private sector to develop robust markets in less water intensive crops like pulses and oilseeds by removing controls on stocking, trading, exports, etc. This will also have a beneficial impact on depleting water tables in certain regions, notably in north-west and southern India.  Implement income transfers scheme for farmers in tandem with reductions in the subsidies for power, water, and fertilizer that distort incentives and hinder change. This will have large positive environmental effects and help toward better natural resource management. Keep the real prices of subsidized grains under the National Food Security Act, 2013 and link them to the MSP to incentivize the production and consumption of non-cereals.  Scrap the Essential Commodities Act and other laws designed fifty years ago for conditions of scarcity. Those conditions of scarcity have long since disappeared. India is trying to cope more with the problems of surfeit than scarcity.  Focus on income from livestock to help marginal farmers (<1 ha). Change laws and more importantly the political and social climate that have been so detrimental to the livestock sector lately.  Eliminate or reduce dramatically export restrictions and export taxes on agricultural products. Trade policies that have been arbitrarily and pro-cyclically imposed (increasing tariffs and import restrictions when world prices come down, and imposing export bans and taxes when domestic prices rise)—must become stable and predictable by setting “trigger levels” well in advance.  Accelerate the effort to create a single agricultural market by introducing assaying, grading, setting standards, bringing “Uber-type” logistical players on e-platforms to move goods from one region to another, and setting dispute settlement mechanisms so that farmers and farm organizations can transact with any buyer, anywhere in India, and at any time of their choosing.  Support the creation of public mandis as a viable alternative to private trade. Most importantly, across the board, increase marketing options available to farmers while subsidizing market infrastructure improvements.  End support for the rehabilitation of inefficient urea plants and create a plan for closing the most inefficient plants.  Incentivize the passing of state laws to allow easy leasing/renting of agricultural land and relax restrictions on conversion of agricultural land for other purposes. At present, these restrictions keep the value of agricultural land low and raise the barriers to exit from agriculture. Finally, even as these reforms are undertaken, it needs to be recognized that growth and employment opportunities outside agriculture are critical for long-term improvements in farmers’ incomes. Relentless population pressures have meant that most Indian farms are too small to provide viable incomes. The long-term future of Indian farmers fundamentally depends on getting many people out of farming. Ironically, that future will come about more reliably if policies to improve agricultural production and incomes are pursued today.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Reform, Elections, GDP
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: K.R. Meera
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: If one wants to understand gender changes in India over the past 25 years, the life narratives of the women of my generation would be the best examples. We have seen and experienced the paradox called India. We have contributed to its complexities, while empowering ourselves in the process. We have been struggling to evolve into more responsible citizens and complete human beings. I am an Indian citizen, a literate woman, a post-graduate, and an independent professional. Just like many other women in India, my life has undergone tremendous political, legal, and social changes over the past 25 years. These formative changes have not been linear; rather, they can be compared to the sides of a Rubik’s cube. Any change in one had repercussions on the others. When the Mandal Commission report granting 27 percent reservation to Other Backward Castes was accepted by the V. P. Singh government in 1991, the resulting alarm of reduced accessibility to government jobs was one of the factors that prompted me to accept at job at a Malayalam newspaper, my first job in media. Located in Kottayam, I was the first woman sub-editor to be appointed to the editorial of that newspaper in its 108 years of existence. CMS College, the very first college in Kottayam and the second oldest in the country, was established in 1815. Kottayam is hailed as the land of letters because it is also a leading publishing hub, home to the head offices of three newspapers, including the two oldest ones in Malayalam. One of the factors that made my appointment possible was the impact of economic liberalization that India initiated in early 1990s. Whether or not it was a coincidence, I received the appointment in July 1993, just after India ratified the constitution of the National Commission For Women and the Convention the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly. In 1993, I walked alone after dark, for the first time in my life and travelled in auto rickshaws all by myself even after six o’clock at night. Until then, going outside after six o’clock in the evening had been strictly discouraged all my life. I realized soon that no residential hostel for women in Kottayam would allow its guests to check in after seven o’clock in the evening. Likewise, it was next to impossible for a single young woman to rent out a house anywhere in Kottayam or easily check into a hotel. It took me yet another year to check into a hotel all by myself and that was possible only because I had the care of address of my newspaper. After my appointment, my newspaper recruited more women journalists; there were a few senior women at some of the other newspapers but they were largely unknown to the outside world. The only woman reporter we knew was Leela Menon, a correspondent for the English daily, The Indian Express. By 1994, after the launch of the first privately owned television channel that year—which was also the second in India—, the number of women journalists in the media steadily increased. In 1995, I flew for the first time to a USIS conference. Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve as a Justice in the U.S. Supreme Court, was the chief guest. I stayed in a five star hotel and attended a formal dinner—all first time experiences. The same year, I purchased my first two wheeler, a scooter, with a vehicle loan from my office, and inadvertently became the first woman in Kottayam to ride a scooter in the wee hours of the day! The purpose of this rather detailed elucidation is not to claim I represent all the women of India. No single woman can represent all the women of India. One can safely surmise that the changes in my life would be representative of a large cross section of women in the vast and rigid “middle class” of Kerala who hold the unique distinction of being modern and traditional at the same time. These women were born and brought up in a state hailed as the model state of India with the lowest infant mortality rate, lowest population growth, highest literacy, and highest life expectancy. To be sure, there are hundreds more liberated women in many parts of India who overcame the barriers of gender and were liberated in every sense of the term. Sadly, millions of women are yet to travel alone, participate in a strike, or even attend a school. Many of these women are condemned to give birth every single year in the hope of a male child. And even today, millions of women throughout India, have to wait until after dark to answer the call of nature. Many have no concept of safe sanitation or, even worse, have to sleep on the pavement with a stick next to them to drive away the stray dogs as well as potential rapists. The uniqueness of India shines forth in its complexities and contradictions. The past twenty five years have been bustling with changes. These initial political and legal sparks of change eventually roared into flames over the past five years and have played a critical role in changing the gender parity in India.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Social Movement, Feminism
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Sutanuka Roy, Prakarsh Singh
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Using a large-scale novel panel dataset (2005–14) on schools from the Indian state of Assam, we test for the impact of violent conflict on female students’ enrollment rates. We find that a doubling of average killings in a district-year leads to a 13 per cent drop in girls’ enrollment rate with school fixed effects. Additionally, results remain similar when using an alternative definition of conflict from a different dataset. Gender differential responses are more negative for lower grades, rural schools, poorer districts, and for schools run by local and private unaided bodies.
  • Topic: Education, Gender Issues, Gender Based Violence
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Mark Schneider, Neelanjan Sircar
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: The literature on decentralized public programs suggests that errors in the targeting of anti-poverty programs are rooted in the capture of these programs by local elites or local politicians. Consistent with the literature on moral economy in political science and experimental economics, we argue that voters in contexts of rural poverty prefer local leaders who target subsistence benefits to the poor. In a high- information village context, where voters and leaders know each other, we argue that local elections lead to the selection of local leaders with pro-poor preferences over the distribution of these benefits. We show this with a novel theory of local politicians’ social preferences. We test our theory with unique data from a behavioral measure, conducted in the context of a lottery with a modest cash prize in rural India, that captures a scenario in which local leaders have full discretion and anonymity over allocation among members of their rural communities. We analyze our data using a novel estimation strategy that takes the characteristics of the pool of potential beneficiaries into account in decisions over allocation under a budget constraint. We find that local leaders have strong preferences for targeting the poor, and particularly those they believe supported them politically in the past. This article suggests that free and fair elections at the local level can powerfully encourage pro-poor targeting even in contexts of weak institutions and pervasive poverty. It also makes a fundamental contribution to research on distributive politics by challenging research in this area to demonstrate the effect of electoral strategies and other distortions on allocation relative to local leaders’ baseline distributive preferences.
  • Topic: Elections, Domestic politics, Rural, Local, Decentralization
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Neelanjan Sircar
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: This paper develops a theory on how voters form and change political preferences in democratic de- veloping world contexts. In the developing world, where state institutions are often weak, voters tend to be more focused on the competence and capacity of parties and candidates to deliver benefits. Such information may be difficult to ascertain, so voters must glean information from how candidates con- duct themselves during the electoral campaign. Voters use kinship networks to develop more accurate preferences by collectively reasoning through newly available information on candidates. In order to demonstrate these claims, this study analyzes data collected on political preferences and kinship net- works in two villages just before and after the campaign period during the 2011 Assembly election in the Indian state of West Bengal. The paper finds very strong kinship network effects on changes in issue preferences and vote choice over the course of the campaign and explains the results through qualitative work and a series of network autoregressive statistical models. In sum, this paper demonstrates how vot- ers develop independent preferences and implement political change, even in low information contexts with weak human capital.
  • Topic: Elections, Democracy, Networks
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia, West Bengal
  • Author: Ghazala Shahabuddin
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: The role of scientists in influencing the aims and priorities of biological conservation in developing countries has been a topic of debate and needs elucidation. The Asiatic cheetah reintroduction plan in India sparked much discussion on the pros and cons of attempting to revive the population of a large carnivore that had been missing from the landscape for over half a century. This paper traces the history of cheetah reintroduction with the aim of exploring the relationships amongst the constituencies of scientists, politicians, local communities and the bureaucracy. This paper suggests that the decision to reintroduce the Asiatic cheetah in India was motivated by political symbolism and had little grounding in scientific rigour. Science was used as a legitimizing tool for a politically influenced conservation goal which had little space for socio-economic constraints or academic rigour. While there are many strands of wildlife conservation emerging in India, the dominant paradigm upheld by biologists continues to be negligent of both scientific and social concerns.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Science and Technology, Conservation, Nature
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Mark Schneider
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Local brokers are thought to possess fine-grained information on voters' political preferences, material needs, and even social preferences. Research on clientelism assumes that brokers meet the most basic informational requirement of knowing voters' partisan preferences, if not their votes. This assumption drives theoretical predictions on the types of voters politicians should target with selective benefits, and whether or not a quid pro quo exchange of benefits-for-votes is an efficient electoral strategy relative to programmatic distribution. Nonetheless, existing scholarship does not test this assumption and analysis of variation in brokers' ability to identify voters' partisan preferences has not been conducted. To test this assumption, this paper develops a behavioral measure – guessability – based on whether or not village council presidents in Rajasthan, India correctly guess the partisan preferences of voters sampled from their local areas. I find guessability to be lower than existing theory and low-information benchmarks expect. Local leaders can identify the partisan preferences of voters who are most guessable either because they belong to core partisan ethnic groups or because they are integrated into their local co-partisan networks. However, they perform poorly at identifying those whose partisan preferences are uncertain and require monitoring to reveal. This has consequences for the targeting strategies parties and politicians pursue.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Politics, Political Theory, Sociology
  • Political Geography: India, Rajasthan
  • Author: Devesh Kapur, Mekhala Krishnamurthy
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Mandis or physical, primary agricultural markets are old and ubiquitous institutions of economic life in many parts of India. Wherever they form, they are usually dense sites of economic, social and political activity, connecting and shaping the relations between town and countryside, and between local markets for commodities and larger, national and global circuits of capital and commerce. According to available estimates, there are over 7500 regulated agricultural markets in India today, operating under different state level acts covering a huge variety of notified agricultural produce.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Emerging Markets, Food
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Shivaji Mukherjee
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: In this dissertation I try to answer the puzzle of why the Maoist insurgency in India, which is considered to be the most important internal security threat to the world's largest democracy, occurs in certain districts in India and not others. To restate the puzzle described in the Introduction Chapter, why did the insurgency emerge and consolidate along certain districts in the central-eastern part of India and not in other areas? Why are certain districts affected by the insurgency and not others? Is it as Fearon and Laitin (2003) would argue, purely because of opportunities for rebellion being present in some areas of India in the form of forest cover or mountainous terrain? Is it because of the fact of rebellious tribes or oppressed lower castes facing horizontal inequalities living there as theorized by Murshed and Gates (2005)? Is it as Gurr (1970) would argue because these areas are poorer or with higher levels of economic inequality than others? Yet there are other areas of the country which have similarly high forest cover, poverty, and socio-economically deprived ethnic groups like dalits (lower castes) and adivasis (tribal people), and yet have no Maoist insurgency. Is it as Teitelbaum and Verghese (2011) have recently argued because of colonial direct rule setting up the caste structures and poor quality civil services leading to Maoist insurgency in India? But the Maoist insurgency occurs in certain districts of states like Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa where there was indirect rule through native princes, rather than direct rule. None of these existing theories can fully explain the spatial variation in Maoist insurgency in India. There must be some other omitted variable which explains the full extent of this unusual spatial variation.
  • Topic: Security, Communism, Post Colonialism, Armed Struggle, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Devesh Kapur, Megha Aggarwal, Namrata Tognatta
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: This report investigates student awareness, interests and aspirations around general and vocational education. Using a survey administered to class 12 students in one district each in Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, and Karnataka, we attempt to gain a better understanding of student aspirations, awareness levels, sources of information, key stakeholders and factors that influence their education and career choices. We then map student interests against sectors that are slated to experience the highest growth in terms of job creation. Our results indicate aspirations of students are largely misaligned with the needs of the Indian economy. It is important to create opportunities, generate awareness about various career options and the respective pathways available to realise career goals. Our findings have implications for policies aiming to improve participation in vocational education and training.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Vasanthi Srinivasan
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Besides canonical texts such as Bhagavad Gita and Dharmasutras, reflections upon dharma's complexity and dilemmas abound in popular narratives such as Pancatantra, Hitopadesa and Vikram and Vetaal stories. Popularised by Amar Chitra Katha and Chanda Mama as Vikram and Vetaal, this classic is second only to Pancatantra and has been part of the narrative repertoire of many Indians. It is about the encounters between King Vikramaditya and a superhuman daemon, Vetala dwelling in a corpse. In several stories, King Vikramaditya is presented with two or more instances of noble or generous or virtuous actions and asked to judge which is greater. This essay examines ethical reasoning and judgment as they are presented in five stories about superlative nobility, magnanimity and virtue. Focusing on Vikramaditya's verdicts, I argue that judging extraordinary nobility or generosity or virtue involves going beyond dharma whether we take it as customary duty (based on caste and class, stage of life or family usage) or even occupational duty (svadharma). It appears that ethical greatness is all about sovereign gestures through which one responds to the challenges posed by the sacrifices of others.
  • Topic: Religion, Culture
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Narendra Jadhav
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Well, ladies and gentlemen, I feel greatly honored to have been invited to deliver this inaugural keynote lecture in the Nand Jeet Khemka Distinguished Lecture series for this international conference on India's Dalits. I am indeed grateful to my friend Professor Devesh Kapur, Director of CASI, and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania for providing me this opportunity to participate in this conference on a theme that has been very close to my heart. I understand that the Nand Jeet Khemka Distinguished Lecture series comprises public lectures on contemporary India that will stimulate a dialogue on campus. Given this focus of the distinguished lecture series and the fact that this also happens to be the inaugural keynote lecture for this International Conference on India's Dalits, I have chosen to share some thoughts with you this evening on the theme of “Empowerment of Dalits and Adivasis: Role of Education in the Emerging Indian Economy.”
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Sunil Khilnani
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: The idea of democracy, brought into being on an Athenian hillside some 2,500 years ago, has travelled far, and today attaches itself to a growing number of political projects. In everyday political talk, as well as in the specialised fields of the political and social sciences, terms like “spreading democracy,” “promoting democracy,” and, of course – “imposing democracy” – have become ubiquitous. Underlying such talk is a belief in democratic universalism; the idea that, as Larry Diamond, erstwhile advisor to Paul Bremer in Iraq, has put it: “Every country in the world can be democratic.” Yet, even as the ambition is asserted to spread democracy across the globe, our conceptions of what democracy is have narrowed: to a “checklist” model, a prescriptive blueprint, based almost entirely on Western experience.
  • Topic: Democratization, Governance
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Gopal Guru
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: The above title, I claim, represents multiple meanings that are attached to Food as substance and the Jaika or “taste” as an idea emanating from the substance. Hence, it is necessary to lay bare different possible meanings that are associated with food. These meanings are both contiguous to and separate from each other. Let us see how they assimilate and dissociate from each other. Food and cooked food are different from each other in a major way. Food has a universal value to the extent that it, as a substance, becomes an essential need for the very survival of all the organic bodies: plants, animals and human beings. Thus, food, at one level, suggests an ontological equality cutting across several organic bodies. Of course, food acquires a specific importance when looked from the point of view of human beings. Unlike plants, human beings require a particular kind of food for their very survival. They require, in most cases, food grains as a primary condition. Thus the denial of food would jeopardize the very survival of human beings. Hence, food falls into the realm of human rights. Furthermore, the denial of food constitutes a violation of human rights. Some of the laudable efforts led by Jean Dreze – who with the help of some NGOs has prepared the bill concerning the right to food – are directed towards making the right to food a safety network against the violation of human rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Culture
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Chandra Bhan Prasad
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: In this paper, I study the impact of economic reforms in India, and its impact on the centuries-old caste order. Specifically, I argue that capitalism, like caste, is a social order and therefore uniquely qualified to subvert and destroy the caste system from the inside, as opposed to the State, which is a political order and intervenes in the caste society from the outside. The fourfold caste system in India, as preached by Manu and practised for millennia thereafter, is based on the twin principles of blood purity and occupational purity, whereas Dalits, or the untouchables, are left outside of the caste system. We surveyed the backgrounds of the employees of multinational fast-food outlet in a large mall in eastern Delhi, the capital of India, the housekeeping staff and a few street food joints just outside of the mall. We find that the new capitalist economy, with an emphasis on wealth creation, is disrupting the caste system wherein a large number of the workers at the fast food outlet are upper castes, as in the housekeeping department, effectively destroying occupational purity.
  • Topic: Reform
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Andrea Goldstein
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: The Tata Group plays a central role in the Indian economy and is currently at the fore in the internationalization of Indian companies. Tata has some specific features, including the role played by Tata Sons and Tata Industries in coordinating financial and managerial activities and managing the Tata brand, as well as the strong emphasis on corporate social responsibility, mainly though not exclusively through the Tata trusts. This paper first assembles available evidence on the internationalization of Tata firms through both mergers and acquisitions and green field investments and considers the relative importance of underlying factors driving the process: market access for exports and delivery of services, sources of raw materials, and horizontal or vertical integration. It then analyzes how internationalization is changing the nature and corporate culture of Tata, before discussing the post-merger integration of Tetley into Tata Tea, seven years after this acquisition-then the largest-ever by an Indian company in a foreign country-was finalized. In the conclusions, the paper explores the implications of the Tata experience for the internationalization of large firms from India and other emerging economies.
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Megan Crowley, Devesh Kapur
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes a relatively neglected facet of the complex debate regarding human capital–higher (or tertiary) education. It addresses five broad questions examining higher education in developing countries. One, are the economic effects of higher education on developing countries different from those in industrialized countries, with its links with labor markets of lesser importance than its impact on institutional development? Two, how does the impact of higher education depend on the type of education and its beneficiaries? Three, with the state unable to meet growing demand pressures, what should be the proper role of the state to ensure not just quality but also equity and access? Four, how should countries rethink the provision of higher education in an "open economy" from seeking education abroad or encouraging foreign providers into the country or simply linking domestic institutions with foreign quality assurance mechanisms? And five, do new technologies offer developing countries a new paradigm to expand the provision of high quality but low cost higher education? The aim is not to provide categorical answers to these complex questions, but rather highlight the analytical and empirical lacuna with regard to each of these questions.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Kishore Mahbubani
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Founded in 1992, the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania is the only research institution in the United States dedicated to the study of contemporary India. A national resource, it fills an urgent need for objective knowledge of India's rapidly changing society, politics and economy, and the processes of transformation underway in an ancient civilization emerging as a major power.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, India, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Joydeep Mukherji
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Recent optimism about India is based on the view that the country may finally be on a higher growth trajectory after more than a decade of halting economic reform. Spurred by a balance of payments crisis a decade ago that pushed the government of India to nearly defaulting on its foreign debt, a series of coalition governments have slowly deregulated the once most-regulated economy outside the communist world. Over the years, the government has enlarged the role of market forces, given more freedom to the private sector, and cut barriers to domestic and foreign competition. At the same time, India's state governments have gained considerable autonomy from the central government, making India into the federal state envisaged in its constitution.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: India, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Sunil Bharti Mittal
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: I am Francine Frankel, director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India, and it is my great pleasure this evening to introduce our speaker for CASI's Annual Lecture, Sunil Bharti Mittal, the founder, chairman, and group managing director, Bharti Enterprises. I hardly need tell this audience that Bharti Tele-Ventures is India's leading telecom conglomerate and its largest mobile service operator.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: India, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Ronen Sen
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: I am Francine Frankel, director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India. It is a very special pleasure to extend a warm welcome to all of you for this special occasion. We are honored to welcome Ambassador of India Ronen Sen for a very unusual event. This is the opportunity to participate in a dialogue with India's most distinguished diplomat and active participant in ongoing discussions of the potential for changing the direction of India-US relations and potentially the future great power balance in Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, India, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Strobe Talbott
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you very, very much for coming. My name is Peter Geithner. I have the privilege of welcoming you this afternoon, but I have to confess that I'm standing in for the Chairman of the International Advisory Board of CASI, Marshall Bouton. To his great regret, Marshall has had to lead a delegation from the city of Chicago, chaired by the mayor, on an overseas trip that he simply could not change in order to be here, but he sends his warmest regards and again expresses his great regrets at not being able to be part of this event this afternoon.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, South Asia, India, Chicago
  • Author: Rajrishi Singhal
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: The Planning Commission of India, in its Approach Paper for the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2002- 07), set its sights on two lofty targets: doubling per capita income over the next 10 years—compared to similar goals over 20 years as was previously the norm—and reducing the incidence of poverty by five percentage points.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Shashi Tharoor
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Good afternoon and welcome. I hasten to reassure that I am not Francine Frankel; my name is Peter Geithner, I am a member of the International Advisory Board of CASI. Because Francine is in India as we speak, I have the privilege of introducing our speaker this afternoon. As those of you who have had a chance to read the announcement will, I am sure, agree, to have this afternoon Dr. Shashi Tharoor. He is a most unusual fellow, I think we can all agree. Unusual in the sense that he has managed to pursue not only one, but two careers, and to do so with extraordinary success. As an international civil servant, and now, Undersecretary General of the United Nations for Communications and Public Information, and as one of India's most respected authors. An award‐winning author, I might add, for both his fiction and his non‐fiction writing. On the fiftieth anniversary of India's independence, Dr. Tharoor wrote of India's—and I quote—“extraordinary mixture of ethnic groups, profusion of incomprehensible languages, variations of topography and climate, diversity of religions and cultural practices, and range and levels of economic development.” He also went on to remind us that India's pluralism—and again I quote—“emerges from its geography, is reflected in its history, and is confirmed by its ethnography.” I suspect we will hear more along these lines this afternoon, as Dr. Tharoor speaks to us about, “From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond: Democracy and Identity in Today's India.” Shashi—Dr. Tharoor.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Nationalism, United Nations
  • Political Geography: India, Southeast Asia
  • Author: V.P. Maki
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Welcome everyone to this special lecture. It is for me a particular pleasure, as Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India, to introduce our distinguished speaker this afternoon: General Ved Malik. It is difficult to introduce General Malik because his achievements are so many-and they all speak for themselves - so please forgive me if I go over material that you already know. One cannot but help mention that he has served as India's Chief of Army Staff during 1997 to 2000 and as Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee of the Indian Armed Forces during 1999-2000—and that he has received India's highest national award for distinguished military service.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, National Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: India, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Kandula Subramaniam
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: In 1991, before the New Power Policy was announced opening the Indian power supply industry to private investment, the country was experiencing power shortages. Sanghvi (1991) estimated that in countries like India, electricity shortages led to a loss of 1.5 to 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Ten years later, India still experiences shortages of power in the form of load-shedding. Even grid breakdowns have become a regular feature. In 2001 alone, there were two major grid collapses, bringing several Indian states to a grinding halt for more than one day.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Joydeep Mukherji
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: I join you tonight to consider India on the scales of greatness. In other words, to ask: by what standards do people regard a state as great? And how does India conform to those standards? I must say at the outset, that these are not questions on which I personally would fixate. Greatness in terms of power is not a standard that moves me as a human being. My impulse when looking at countries is to say, “what's so great about being great?” I think a country's taxi drivers tell us more about it than the number of nuclear bombs it might possess. The number of Ph.D. holders, engineers, and writers driving taxicabs in a country, and where they came from, tells me a lot about the country we're in and the country from whence they came. The taxi driver in Iran who complains bitterly about the ayatollahs and wants to talk about pop music and freedom, tells me something about Iran. The engineer who fled Nigeria for the opportunity possible in America, even if it's driving a cab, tells me something about Nigeria and the U.S. Great power has little to do with it.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, South Asia, India, Nigeria
  • Author: Joydeep Mukherji
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: According to the Bible, Saul of Tarsus converted almost instantly to Christianity on the road to Damascus. Subsequently, he neither ate nor drank for three days. The conversion of the world's second largest country, India, to a new way of life based on free markets and private enterprise will not be so rapid or disruptive. Nevertheless, India's conversion to market economics will, like Saul's, be thorough and deep. It will increasingly affect all of us in the global village, in which Indians constitute 17% of the inhabitants.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Bruce Riedel
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: July 4th, 1999 was probably the most unusual July 4th in American diplomatic history, certainly among the most eventful. President Clinton engaged in one of the most sensitive diplomatic high wire acts of any administration, successfully persuading Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to pull back Pakistani backed fighters from a confrontation with India that could threaten to escalate into a nuclear war between the world's two newest nuclear powers. The events of that 4th accelerated the road to a fundamental reconciliation between the world's two largest democracies, India and the United States, but also set the scene for another in the series of military coups that have marred Pakistani democracy. As the President's Special Assistant for Near Eastern and South Asia Affairs at the National Security Council I had the honor of a unique seat at the table and the privilege of being a key adviser for the day's events.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, America, South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Montek Singh Ahluwalia
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: It is both a privilege and a pleasure for me to deliver this year's Annual Fellows Lecture at the Center for Advanced Study of India. For many years in India, I used to receive an annual update on the activities of the Center when Dr. Francine Frankel visited Delhi and it is therefore particularly pleasant to visit the Center in person.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, New Delhi
  • Author: Vijay L. Kelkar
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: During the 1990s, India has been among the fastest growing economies of the world. This year would be the third consecutive year when the real GDP growth is six percent or higher. This has been accompanied by exchange rate stability and a low inflation rate. For instance, currently, the underlying core inflation rate remains only three percent per annum. Are these trends of growth acceleration sustainable to meet India's two strategic objectives, which are eradication of poverty, and playing our rightful role in the world by becoming a source of growth and stability for the global economy? To analyze this, it is necessary to look at the Indian economy in a somewhat longer and global perspective. This is essential to identify the necessary policy reforms which are the topic of my lecture today, namely, India's Reform Agenda: Micro, Meso and Macro Economic Reforms.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Pradeep Raje
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: A decade into financial sector liberalization, there has been little concerted effort at restructuring the Indian public sector banks (PSBs). Though there has been significant progress in banking regulatory reform in the decade, the lack of restructuring has slowed down the assimilation of the incentive structures inherent in the new regulations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Debt, Economics
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Ashley Tellis, Michael Nacht, Rakesh Sood, Frank N. von Hippel, Morton H. Halperin, Victoria L. Farmer, Robert Joseph, Jaswant Singh, K.K. Nayyar, C. Raja Mohan, P.K. Iyengar, Ronald F. II Lehman, V.S. Arunachalam, Mark T. Fitzpatrick
  • Publication Date: 05-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Realization of the long term objective of achieving 'nuclear zero,' with India and the United States working towards this shared goal, is the main thrust of the paper. It examines the approaches taken by the two countries working together in achieving 'nuclear zero' in the post-Cold War world.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Cold War, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, South Asia, India, Asia