BLOG POSTS

    Following the announcement a new micro finance initiative by Ratan Tata, Nandan Nilekani and Vijay Kelkar, this Economic Times Editorial, " Why small banking makes big sense", maintains that despite the failures in the Micro-finance space in recent years, the idea still hold promise in reaching out to the unbanked populations. Short ...

    30 August 2016

    Coraggio, governor Patel!

    In this Livemint article, Vivek Dehejia, Senior Resident Fellow, IDFC Institute welcomes the appointment of Urjit Patel as the governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He writes that "Patel is as serious and credible a central banker as they come, with seriously impressive academic credentials" Dehejia writes, "......Fears were expressed in some quarte...
    Vivek Dehejia, Resident Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute speaks to the Open Magazine , on the appointment of Dr. Urjit Patel as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the challenges that lie ahead for him. Dehejia commends the departure from traditional ad-hoc appointments of the Governer of RBI and welcomes the fact that a due proc...
    In this article in The Globe and Mail, James Dean and Vivek Dehejia  trace the historic trajectory of Globalisation and discuss how we have arrived at the current juncture in history where are significant backlashes on free movement of people and on free trade exemplified by the popularity of Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the vote for Br...
    In this New Indian Express article, Shankkar Aiyer  speaks about the underperformace of the county's education system. Shankkar mentions that India's poor educational outcomes, despite significant public spending make it necessary for the new government to emply a different approach. The governmet should focus on fixing the "divorce of accountability an...
    In this ET Interview, Rajiv Lall, MD & CEO of IDFC Bank, speaks on the private sector lender's expectation to grow its retail book aggresively and gain over Rs 13,000 crore in CASA deposits over the next five years: "It will still be 5-7 years before we can say we have CASA that is 2520%, but on an 80,000-crore balance sheet, you can't have a 40% CASA (cur...
    Vivek Dehejia, Resident Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute is quoted in a BBC News article by Leisha Chi on the promotion of Deputy Governor Urjit Patel to Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).  Chi uses the word 'continuity' to describe Mr Patel's appointment as "he is expected to maintain much of the policy status quo but with less rocking...
    Vivek Dehejia, Resident Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute speaks to Radio Canada International on the state of India-Canada bilateral relations. Dehejia discusses the common ground that the countries share and highlights the irritants that can be addressed to improve the increasing warm relations between India and Canada. Excerpts below: "There have been irritan...
    In this blogpost, Renuka Sane, Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute writes with Monika Halan on five ways in which financial regulators can combat the mis-selling of financial products in India. This post follows Sane and Halan's article on how banks are unfair in their role as financial advisors/distributors (which can be found here). Using the resul...
    Vivek Dehejia, Resident Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute is quoted in Amy Kazmin and David Keohane's Financial Times article on the appointment of Deputy Governor, Urjit Patel as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), who will succeed Governor Raghuram Rajan when he departs in September. Kazmin and Keohane are of the view that "the appointment of Mr Patel,...
    In this blogpost, Renuka Sane, Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute, along with Monika Halan writes on the mis-selling of financial products by banks, emphasising the lack of consumer protection in financial regulation in India. To understand the situation better, Sane and Halan conducted an audit study on the sale of financial products accross 400 ba...
      In this BloombergQuint article, Praveen Chakravarty, Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute writes on the role of public and private sector bank lending in relation to India's bad loan crisis. Chakravarty attempts to infuse a data backed context to the narratives around India's bad loans crisis. He uses data from six public and seven private ...
    In this joint Hindustan Times and Dawn feature, maps show the incredible growth of Delhi in the decade after Partition as half a million refugees poured into the city, and hundreds of thousands fled across the border.  ...
    Zia Mody's "10 Judgements that Changed India", is a compendium of Supreme Court cases that were critical in transforming the Indian democracy and the lives of citizens in India. Mody’s book is aimed at readers with very little or no legal background. She presents insights into the working of the Indian legal system and the complex processes through which laws are made...

    15 August 2016

    The Currency Question

    In this article in Mint, Vivek Dehejia, Resident Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute asks whether in the current global non-system, inflation targeting is the best choice for India. "The narrower question for India, which obviously is not in a position to shape the global monetary order to its will, would be whether, in the current global non-system, inf...
    This post in Livemint, argues that the challenges posed by urban sprawl can be better addressed by an institutional framework that establishes multi-scale governance and a policy approach that prioritizes the provision of urban amenities in peri-urban areas. Excerpt below "...As Indian cities grow outwards, we need a policy response that goes beyond callous ne...
    In this interview for The Quint, Sanjeev Sanyal, Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute speaks about his new book and the Indian Economy. Speaking about his new book "The Ocean of Churn", Sanyal talks how human history has played along the rim of the Indian Ocean. He speaks about his narrative of the forgotten history of the maritime trading n...
    In this The New Indian Express Article, Shankkar Aiyar, Visting Fellow at IDFC Institute argues that "the government could make history if it gets the configuration of the GST. As of now, the priority is inverted—much of the discourse is about losses to government and business. The first principle must be to ensure that the benefits of reform reach the consumer...
      Vivek Dehejia, Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute speaks on the rise of anti-globalisation at the recently concluded India Economic Seminar 2016. Dehejia argues that Trade Economists have done a poor job in explaining the case for free trade. Dehejia remarks that India shouldn’t be bothered by the proliferation of anti-trade sentiments and must not ...
    In this column in Mint, Vivek Dehejia, Senior Resident Fellow at IDFC Institute drills deep into the de-industrialisation debate and discusses thesis proposed by economists such as Tyler Cowen, Dani Rodrik, Arvind Subramaniam among others. Talking about the changing nature of the structure of production, Dehejia writes, "structure of production, in both advanced and emergi...
    Rajiv Lall, MD & CEO of IDFC Bank, in this ET Now interview, comments on the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill, welcoming the flexibility left with the GST Council; “this is a milestone in the development and evolution of the Indian Federation. This is the first time that through consensus building that we would have built a nation-wide feder...
    Vivek Dehejia, Resident Senior Fellow, IDFC Institute is qouted in Soutik Biswas's BBC News article on the complex nature of India's new Goods and Services Tax (GST) reform. Biswas proposes that this is "the most significant tax reform since independence for what is now Asia's third largest economy. The GST subsumes India's messy plethora of indirect...
    Rajiv Lall, Founder MD & CEO of IDFC Bank, along with A K Purwar and Nirmal Jain, spoke about the evolving banking system based on the Reserve Bank of India's recent developments, in their CNBC-TV18 interview, in this Moneycontrol article.  "This is a welcome development from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It ...
    This post in Livemint, while lauding Gurgaon for achiving "economist Edward Glaeser’s contention that cities are the ideal form of modern civilization", laments "the chaos created last week by the monsoon ... [as] a warning of what happens when the state abandons its role of shaping and enabling that growth." Excerpts below: " ... Two decades after its creat...
    Shankkar Aiyar, Visiting Fellow at IDFC Insitute, says that it's high time we take urban governance seriously and empower local bodies in this The New Indian Express article. "...Governance is marred by the riveting, wait-for-the-eleventh-hour approach. Take the case of Latur and the drinking water crisis. The failure of monsoon was not unknown...Yet the water trai...

    1 August 2016

    Is Globalism Dead?

    In his recent Mint column, Vivek Dehejia reflects on the intellectual roots of why globalization is in retreat in this era of Trump, Sanders, Brexit, and the rest. " Is globalism dead, buried at the hands of a resurgent provincialism, parochialism, and even xenophobia in some of the major advanced economies? The rise of Trump and former Democratic presidential...
    The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy weighs in on the expanding footprint of sprawling cities. This analysis was part of a preview of the revised and expanded Atlas of Urban Expansion, a partnership of UN-Habitat, the New York University Urban Expansion Program, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. "In a presentation titled “The Case for Planning...
    In this ET blog post, Praveen Chakravarty, Visiting Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute, and Ajit Ranade articulate the great Indian tax paradox: very few pay taxes but also everyone, rich or poor, pays high taxes. This, they posit, "is because of India’s lopsided direct tax (income and wealth) versus indirect tax (goods and services) structure, where only a small minority p...
    Shankkar Aiyar outlines why it is critical to get rid of 'permission raj' -wherein you need anywhere from 90 to 140 permissions for new projects- now, 25 years since the 1991 liberalisation reforms which ended the license reforms. The narrative of the post-1991 era is a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly. The good news is there has been no reversal. The bad ne...
    Shankkar Aiyar believes that on the occasion of the 25 anniversary of the 1991 reforms a misleading narrative is developing about how and why reforms were ushered. He sets the record straight in this piece. "On July 24, Manmohan Singh, then Finance Minister, commended the budget with the evocative line “No power on earth can stop an idea whose time ha...
    Sanjeev Sanyal, Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute, writes about the historic significance of 1991 as a turning point for India in this Economic Times article. Sanyal describes how the socialist, Nehruvian regime benefitted only a small group of elites. "..a tiny group of planners led by PC Mahalanobis could decide how to allocate all economic resources. A handful of bus...
    Sanjeev Sanyal, Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute, writes about the need for liberalising the way in which Indian cities are planned in this Mint article. Articulating about the impact of ideology on how cities develop he writes, "The fact is that every city is a living embodiment of some philosophy. What is now called Old Delhi, for instance, was a reflection of the hi...
    Shankkar Aiyar, Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute, analyses the reasons behind the rising discontent across developed and developing countries in this article. According to him, "The discourse about the many isms—Islamism, socialism, communism, capitalism, feudalism and racism—is focused on pixels of a larger canvas that is unfolding. For sure each ism has contributed ...
    In this Mint article, Vivek Dehejia, Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute writes about the qualities and predictions of Robert Mundell that make him one of the most important macroeconomists in the 20th century. Focusing on the recently concluded Santa Colomba Conference, which Mundell convenes and chairs, Dehejia writes that, "Some of the liveliest discussion was aro...
      Praveen Chakravarty, Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute, and Ajit Ranade make a case for imposing a cap on the proposed Goods and Service Tax in this Scroll.in article. "The proposed Goods and Services Tax is an indirect tax that will subsume all other indirect taxes. Since, indirect taxes are the same for every citizen, they are considered regressive...
    Dr. Rajiv Lall, MD and CEO of IDFC Bank, talks to The Hindu after the bank's recent acquisition of Gramin Vidiyal. Excerpts from the interview: "Why did you acquire Grama Vidiyal? As a new bank, our ambition is to become a mass retail bank in five years. Our foremost challenge is customer acquisition. We want to acquire customers at the least possible cost. S...
    Praveen Chakravarty recently spoke at the TEDxMDAE event in Mumbai where he busted some common myths about voting patterns in India. Youtube video of his talk below! ...
    In this article, Shankkar Aiyar, Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute, questions if the 1991 crisis impacted the manner in which India manages its economy. "The popular thesis about India’s reforms is that there has been no reversal of any reforms. True. But it is also a fact that almost every major reform has taken a decade or more for fruition....
    Praveen Chakravarty, Visiting Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute, recently made a presentation on Infrastructure Financing to policymakers in Delhi. You can click on the below link to download the presentation.  
    The latest IMF World Economic Outlook notes that the convergence between emerging and advanced economies in terms of GDP per capita has slowed. Vivek Dehejia, Senior Resident Fellow at IDFC Institute, analyzes the reasons why in this Mint article. "Have emerging economies stopped catching up with advanced economies, measured in terms of gross domestic pro...
    Rihtika Kumar and Swapnil Bhandari of IDFC Institute, in this Firstpost article, demystify the reasons for DMK's loss in the Tamil Nadu assembly elections. Contrary to what is claimed by M. Karunanidhi, the election loss can be attributed to an alliance math that went wrong. Kumar and Bhandari write: "To put things in perspective, this electi...
    Praveen Chakravarty, Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute writes in this Bloombergquint article regarding the role Credit Rating agencies have played in India's bad loan crisis. Chakravarty uses results from a detailed data analysis project that objectively analysised if bad loans to the defaulting corporate groups were solely a function of crony len...
    On the eve on the the 25th anniversary of the 1991 devaluation of the rupee and the subsequent libralisation of Indian Economy, Reuben Abraham and Vivek Dehejia, CEO and Senior Resident Fellow at IDFC Institute argue for a strong but limited state in this article for the Hindustan Times. Abraham and Dehejia say that unli...
    In this Livemint Article, Vaidehi Tandel and Komal Hiranandani, Senior Associates at IDFC Institute welcome the govenments decision to recognise census towns as statutory towns. They present their detailed analysis which speaks for identifying India as an incresingly urbanising country. Read key excerpts below: "Using the census definition, India is ...
    In this Livemint article, Vivek Dehejia, Resident Senior Fellow, IDFC Institute observes that the Indian economic reforms have been gradual and have attempted to carry with them as much of the populace as they possibly can. Dehejia argues that because major reforms in India were instituted in response to crisis and were not particularly dri...
    Watch 5,700 Years of the Rise and Fall of Cities in this Metrocosm Animation in Guardian Cities "The Sumerian city of Eridu marks the dawn of urbanisation in 3700BC, which trickles around Mesopotamia, Iran, India and China before eventually coming west to the Mediterranean. Mapping the data makes certain trends and patterns quite clear. For instance, it’s notable that...
    Last week, IDFC Institute Resident Senior Fellow Vivek Dehejia spoke to the Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka on the NITI Aayog/IDFC Institute enterprise survey that seeks to assess the regulatory environment for manufaturing enterprises in individual Indian states. He spoke to the importance of the survey in driving state-level reform to improve the ea...
    In this article for the New Indian Express, IDFC Institute Visiting Fellow Shankkar Aiyar writes on Brexit and why all bets are off on globalisation. Excerpts below: "In 1992, Bill Clinton famously said “It is the economy, stupid.” The clever coinage of James Carville came to stay as one of politics’ much-abused aphorisms. On Friday, British voters signalled ...
    In this Times of India article, Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, Government of India, argues that India needs to provide good systems for its cities in order for them to deliver growth and jobs. Excerpts below: "Over the next three decades, India needs to sustain a high growth trajectory of over 7% GDP growth accompanied by massive job creation to deliver good quality o...
    IDFC Institute's Resident Senior Fellow Vivek Dehejia recently spoke in Sri Lanka at the Institute of Policy Studies about improving Ease of Doing Business. As this Daily FT article, titled "Good economic policy is good politics: Top Indian economist", explained:  "A top Indian economist last week emphasised that good economic policy is good politics and urged...
    Tathagata Satpathy, Lok Sabha Member, joined us at the sidelines of the IDFC Institute Dialogues on Political Economy to discuss the importance of the role of the Rajya Sabha in India's democracy, bottom-up electoral reforms, and the suitability of India's First Part the Post voting system. ...
    IDFC Institute Visiting Fellow Shankkar Aiyar  writes in The New Indian Express about the impacts of former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao. Excerpts below: "... Contemporary discourse about reforms is dense with alibis about the difficulty in implementing reforms. It is true that the 1991 reforms were compelled by an unprecedented crisis. What is e...
    IDFC Institute Visiting Fellow Shankkar Aiyar  writes in First Post that the impact of the exit of Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan has been exaggerated. Excerpts below: "Someday someone somewhere in or out of government will put together a manual on “How Not to Do Things”.  And R3XIT, the exit of Raghuram Rajan from RBI, will find a...
    IDFC Institute Resident Senior Fellow Vivek Dehejia  writes in Mint on the exit of Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan. Excerpts below. "... The hyperbole unleashed since the Saturday announcement that he’s not seeking a renewal to his term as Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor has bordered on lunacy... Now, in the aftermath, we’re bein...
    Ruchir Sharma, Head of Emerging Markets at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, writes in The Times of India that the manner in which India's small cities are growing is causing problems for development. Excerpts below. "India... has a severe problem developing second-tier cities, which reflects some of the nation’s basic flaws, including a state that meddl...
    Ravi Venkatesan, Founder and Chairman of Social Venture Partners India and Chairman of Bank of Baroda, joined us at the sidelines of the IDFC Institute Political Economy Dialogues to discuss the rule of law, spurring reform in the legal system, banking, and the role of government and citizens in development. ...
    This Economist article explains why "'universal basic income', an unconditional government payment given to all citizens, as a supplement to or replacement for wages" is basically flawed. "Since 2000 economic growth across the rich world has failed to generate decent pay increases for most workers. Now there is growing fear of a more fundamental threat to the world...
    Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman of Niti Ayog, Government of India, joined us on June 13, 2016, for an IDFC Institute Conversation. Watch his video interview with IDFC Institute's Dr. Vivek Dehejia below:   Arvind Panagariya is Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, Government of India, with the rank of Cabinet Minister. He is also Professor of Eco...
    Yoginder K. Alagh, in this Indian Express article, argues that "recognition [by] senior policymakers in the government that many so-called large villages are really urban areas but are not classified as towns on account of various reasons is a step in the right direction. Demographers from the 1990s onwards have questioned the definition of rural and urban a...
    Sohini Chatterjee builds a case for Evidence-based Policymaking in India, in this The Wire article, for the preservation of a distinction between the powers of the organs of the state.  She argues that, "the degree of permissible substantive intervention by the courts in issues of policy and resource allocation is a subject of debate. In the judicial review of admi...



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