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Digital divide in India

Rajesh Shukla and Megha Shree | The Financial Express | June 07, 2017
A world without the internet is no longer imaginable. It is no surprise then that the government of India is on a mission to turn the country digital to propel the next phase of growth. There are several challenges in connecting remote areas/villages via high-speed internet and these need to be explored to figure out a way forward...
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Despite economic progress, gender divide in India’s labour force remains stark

Tadit Kundu | The Mint | May 10, 2017
Five years after India’s official statistics recorded a sharp decline in the share of women in India’s labour force, a new large-scale survey conducted in 2016 shows that the proportion of working women in the country has barely improved...
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Why the gold monetisation initiative is failing to enthuse Indians

Tadit Kundu | The Mint | May 01, 2017
Nearly 18 months after it was first launched, the Narendra Modi-led government’s gold monetization scheme is yet to find many takers. In response to a Lok Sabha question, the government revealed that till mid-February this year, the scheme has led to deposits worth only 6,410 kg of gold since it was launched, less than 2% of the annual imports of the yellow metal in 2016...
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Narendra Modi govt’s intent to curb black money laudable, but demonetisation has hit RBI image

Rajesh Shukla, Adite Banerjie and Megha Shree | The Financial Express | December 31, 2016
On November 8, Indian consumers were hit by a financial tsunami of sorts in the garb of demonetisation. The notable objective to clamp down on unaccounted cash, however, has given a liquidity jolt and initiated a massive currency crunch. Historically, demonetisation has been used only in extreme circumstances to control income, consumption and circulation of currency.
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How India lives, thinks, earns and spends

Pramit Bhattacharya | Mint | December 24, 2016
How much do India’s richest earn and what do they spend their money on? Does a college education impact earnings significantly? How are Indians living in metros different from those living in other parts of the country?
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What Indians think of cash transfers, PDS and Narendra Modi

Pramit Bhattacharya | Mint | December 23, 2016
The poor use India’s massive public distribution system (PDS) for foodgrains much more than the rich, and rate the quality of grains more favourably than richer income classes, a large-scale nationally representative survey conducted this year shows. The ‘Household Survey on India’s Citizen Environment & Consumer Economy’ (ICE 360° survey 2016) shows that 73% of households belonging to the bottom quintile avail grains from the PDS. The proportion of households belonging to the top percentile that avails PDS grains is less than half that figure at 35%.
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Middle India is still some way off from being middle class

Pramit Bhattacharya | Mint | December 22, 2016
If you think you are middle class, or belong to the middle of India’s income distribution, you are most likely to be wrong. But you are not alone. An overwhelming majority of the richest Indians consider themselves to be middle class and at least a third of those actually in the middle of India’s income distribution pyramid consider themselves to be poor.
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Are single-earner families different from others?

Pramit Bhattacharya | Mint | December 21, 2016
Four out of 10 households in India have more than one earning member, according to fresh data from a large-scale nationally representative survey conducted this year. The ‘Household Survey on India’s Citizen Environment & Consumer Economy’ (ICE 360° survey) conducted this year shows that 40% households in India have multiple earners while 60% have only one earning member.
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Indian households’ healthcare woes

Pramit Bhattacharya | Mint | December 20, 2016
The low penetration of health insurance and high health costs expose Indian households, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid, to severe financial shocks, according to fresh data from a large-scale nationally representative survey. The ‘Household Survey on India’s Citizen Environment & Consumer Economy’ (ICE 360° survey) conducted this year shows that 3% of households in the top quintile (richest 20%) faced a health shock that wiped out more than a fifth of their annual income. The comparative figure for the bottom quintile (poorest 20%) was more than double at 6.8%.
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India and its burden of social obligations

Pramit Bhattacharya | Mint | December 19, 2016
More than a quarter of Indian households are indebted, and a majority of them borrow from informal sources rather than banks or financial institutions, according to fresh data from a large-scale nationally representative survey. The ‘Household Survey on India’s Citizen Environment & Consumer Economy’ (ICE 360° survey) conducted this year shows that 27% Indian households have at least one outstanding loan. Fourteen percent households have informal loans, 12% have formal loans, and 2% have both formal and informal loans.
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