Publications

Analysis: An Account of Unaccounted Money

By Anupam Manur and Manasa Venkataraman Download the discussion document in PDF An Account of Unaccounted Income is a discussion document that takes an in-depth look at India’s unaccounted economy....

Blue Paper: The Role of Airpower in India’s National Security

Download the Blue Paper in PDF[526kB] This Blue Paper on the contemporary role of airpower was prepared as a result of discussions with AVM Arjun Subramaniam. The discussions were held...

China warns Singapore

As Singapore confronts difficult choices, it must sound out New Delhi. It is an open secret that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) train in the Republic of China in Taiwan,...

Hindu, Hindoo, Gentoo and Indian

What came first and what was more popular While researching the origins of liberalism for another project, I came across an interesting analysis by Daniel B. Klein in the Atlantic...

Why PM Modi should push economic liberalisation now

The best use of his store of political capital is to undertake big ticket economic reforms. When a small Takshashila team walked around Bangalore’s wholesale markets, Dobbspet town and a...

Discussion Document – Defamation Reforms: Going Beyond Decriminalisation

By Madhav Chandavarkar and Manasa Venkataraman Download the Discussion Document in PDF (248 KB) Executive Summary The law for defamation in India impedes free speech more than it protects reputations....

Discussion Document — India’s Currency Reform 2016

By Nitin Pai and Anupam Manur Download India’s Currency Reform 2016 in PD (455 KB) The recent withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination notes as legal tender has...

On OBOR’s commercially suspect projects

Win-win, for China. Analysts have observed that many projects that China is financing and building under Xi Jinping’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative are commercially dubious. People whose job...

What did the currency reform intend to do?

Countering terrorism, counterfeit currency, unaccounted wealth, unaccounted income…? Anupam Manur and I have a brief analysis of what the currency reform (popularly, and inaccurately, known as demonetisation) might have been...

From ex gratia to insurance

Insurance payouts maintain human dignity and create incentives for safety The derailment of Indore-Patna Express, near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, is the first major accident after the introduction of an...

(Re)stating the case

Do the recent splits, particularly the Telangana one, suggest the need for a wider and deeper look at another reorganization of states?

Changing alignments in East Asia

by Pranay Kotasthane (@pranaykotas) Early indications about a Trump Presidency’s impact on partnerships in East Asia Since Woodrow Wilson, the goal of American foreign policy has been to prevent regional...

Cash crisis, reform and pain

Structural reform does not have to be painful. It is clear by now that the Modi government’s currency reform, involving replacement of old high-denomination notes with new ones, is inconveniencing...

Chinese inroads

The new silk road is being built faster than the world’s ability to grasp its consequences. China has worked out a railway route to Afghanistan and, from August this year,...

Why PayTM is winning the payments “battle” in India

For the last one year or so, ever since I started using IMPS at scale, and read up the UPI protocol, I’ve been bullish about Indian banks winning the so-called...

The big deal in Tokyo

After concluding the nuclear deal with Japan, the Modi government must review India’s atrocious nuclear liability regime. It is a big deal. Owing to the controversy over the replacement of...

Access to banking services an overestimate?

Until the 2021 census, it is unlikely we’ll find out the proportion of households with access to banking services

Consumers are increasingly choosing cards over cash for Diwali shopping

Barring 2013, the usage of debit and credit cards at points of sale relative to ATMs was higher during the Diwali month than in any other time of the year

Moving towards a cashless economy

In any transaction, the process of payment is a pain. It is a necessary step, of course, in that payment is what completes the transaction, but the process of payment is...

Dealing with loss of cash

Ever since Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes ceased to be legal tender on Tuesday night, the internet has been full of “human stories” of people for whom tragedy has...

Reasons for voting

A vote is fundamentally a blunt instrument. Each voter has exactly one vote, and this one vote needs to express the voter’s opinion on a large range of issues. Since...

President Trump. What now for India?

Play the ball as it comes to the bat Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who backed Donald Trump’s candidacy, perhaps best explained the latter’s political appeal. Journalists and analysts,...

New currency notes for old

A one-off reduction of unaccounted money must be followed by long-pending structural economic reforms. Some of the most insightful arguments on the demonetising of high-value currency notes have come from...

Financial Inclusion

Matt Levine had a superb newsletter recently on whether asset managers and pension funds who push customers towards buying high-cost retirement savings plans are doing a good thing or a...

A New Institutional Mechanism for Fiscal Management in India

By Dr. M Govinda Rao Download the essay in PDF [442 KB] Given the political inclination to indulge in fiscal profligacy, it is important to ensure calibration of rule based...

Does raising rates really help in fighting inflation?

Given the unclear relationship between interest rates and price changes in vegetables and housing, it is not clear if RBI will be too effective in using monetary policy to curb...

Was the spectrum auction a success or a failure?

Given Reliance Jio’s battles with incumbents, it was unlikely telcos would collude to keep prices low, and so it is surprising that the government went with high reserve prices

What lies to the right of centre in India?

The cohabitation of traditionalists and market liberals Ever since India’s 2009 general election, it has become fashionable for many politically-minded people in the country to style themselves as being “right...

Taking stock of India’s reforms

The Modi government has done a good job of implementing many ideas already in the system. Now it has to come up with some new ones and step up the...

On public consultations and online polls

Why democratic governments must consult, but must neither be obliged to nor bound by the results Aparajita Ray, Senior Correspondent (Urban Infrastructure) of Times of India asked me to comment...
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