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Issue July 2020 - Articles

Reflections on some developments in Higher Education in India
– Kaushik Basu

Abstract:

A structure of social norms, the right kinds of laws, and the right kinds of governance structures are more crucial in economic development of a country than getting economic policies right. Cultural norms are not hard-wired, as many would like to believe. They change, along with changing incentives and changing atmospheres. Contrary to the understanding that persuasion of self-interest in best for the society and economy, trust plays a key role in societal development. Societies which can trust one another can cut many more deals, transactions, businesses because you can rely on the other side, and those societies begin to flourish. At the same time good laws play key role in fostering economic development. The relationship between abolition of child labour and increasing adult wages illustrates the point.Read Full Paper

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India’s Macro Fiscal Bind: Is Co-operative Federalism a Solution? – Rathin Roy

Abstract:

This piece discusses the contours of ‘cooperative federalism’ and its implications on national and state governments. Since the middle of the last decade the Union Government is the main source of fiscal deficit, while states have done reasonably well to contain their finances. Since the mid-1980s, states have received relatively lesser share of total revenue, while centre has not taken adequate responsibility in terms of investments on developmental priorities like education and health even though key centrally sponsored schemes like Sarvya Siksha Abhiyan (SAA) and National Health Mission (NHM) have been introduced. Given that our domestic saving rates are not very high, combined fiscal deficit is high and GDP is growing only moderately, prospects of revenue growth is bleak. We would need to spend the resources better. It would be fiscally prudent to provide greater fiscal power to states so that education and health receive greater investment.Read Full Paper

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Engagement of the private sector in the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana: Examining the promise of a watershed moment for Universal Health Coverage – Susrita Neogi

Abstract:

The aim of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) has been reiterated in multiple Indian policy documents in the past. Many states as well as central governments have also espoused this goal through government-funded health insurance schemes. The recently launched Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) is yet another insurance scheme of the federal government to provide secondary and tertiary care services to poor and vulnerable sections to achieve UHC. By design, the insurance model of financing health care opens a window to engage with private healthcare providers. However, as past experiences suggest, engaging the private sector in pursuit of public health goals has not been an optimally effective strategy, either in India or globally. This can be explained ideologically through critiques of strategic purchasing as well as pragmatically through the gaps in the implementation of the previous schemes due to the weak stewardship role of the government. This paper compares the design of PMJAY with earlier public insurance schemes and suggests the scope for improvement in the new scheme to successfully achieve the goal of UHC.Read Full Paper

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A Critical Evaluation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana
– Ajay Gautam

Abstract:

In light of the poor health of carrying mothers in India , there is a great need for focus on pre- and pos- natal care in the country. In 2018, India still records to suffer from huge maternity rate across the world with a share of around 17%. Healthcare is not only the basic right of people but better health of the inhabitants of a nation contributes towards its economic development. In this context, the present study attempts to discuss the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana which was launched on January 1, 2017 in India by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. This scheme facilitates assistance to pregnant women and lactating mothers with a cash incentive for their pre and postnatal care. This study critically evaluates the ground reality of the scheme- from its implementation to its execution thereby highlighting the challenges being faced both by the authorities and the beneficiaries. The study attempts to highlight the success of this scheme across the nation using a review-based methodology. The study found that the improvement in maternal, reproductive and child health is not only crucial in securing better healthcare and also help in reducing poverty thereby broadly stimulating growth of the nation.Read Full Paper

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Ambient air pollution: overview of evidence for integrated local and global action – Rupsha Mitra and Vivek U. Padvetnaya

Abstract:

Air pollution has emerged as a serious health emergency both locally and globally. The same air pollutants that cause illnesses and premature deaths also trap heat and cause global warming, interfere with rainfall and accelerate icecap and glacier melting, affect vegetation and ecosystems, and also have trans-boundary effects. This complex set of effects poses a serious challenge for public policy. While policy action itself has to gather momentum to meet the clean air targets across cities and regions to protect public health, policy action will also have to respond more holistically to a range of scientific evidence that has now established more a complex link between air pollution and several other environmental and climate impacts. But this is also an opportunity to adopt policy indicators that can be mainstreamed across sectors to align a full range of interventions for effective mitigation and achieve multiple co-benefits related to health and climate security and sustainable development goals. Keywords: Government, intervention, challenges, nutrition, maternal, mortality, resources.Read Full Paper

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Prime Minister Mudra Yojana and Economic Development of India – Ajay Gautam

Abstract:

A large part of the Indian population lives in the rural areas of the nation and is excluded from the financial services available in the urban areas. Many people in India do not have access to farmland despite India being an agriculture-dominant country. Owing to limited job opportunities, most of the people are left to their own devices to earn a livelihood. Moreover, many such people belong to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes, who lack proper education, training and financial support. They initiate a micro enterprise or any retail trading activity, which has the potential to expand and grow. If this potential could be harnessed with some guidance, financial support, and training, it could be a huge milestone in the economic growth of the country.

The Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi recognized the potential of the under-privileged section of the society and launched this Mudra scheme. This scheme has the potential to be a game changer; it can boost a whole new generation of entrepreneurs who can succeed. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana or Prime Minister Mudra scheme aims to provide financial support to micro/small entrepreneurs by meeting their credit aspirations and by offering an opportunity to grow and expand business. In the Union Budget of 2015-16, the Mudra scheme was proposed by the Finance Minister of India. The primary goal is to “fund the unfunded”, banks are required to provide hassle-free loans under this scheme as per the requirements of the borrower. The end users of this scheme are entrepreneurs in rural hinterlands, women entrepreneurs, micro manufacturers, artisans, small-scale businessmen and tradesmen. This study is primarily focused on analyzing the pros and cons of this scheme in order to analyze its impact on the economic development of the country. The methodology of the study will be based on empirical reviews that are based on the available literature related to the Prime Minister Mudra Scheme. It will focus on understanding the usefulness of the scheme to the citizens.Read Full Paper

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