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India’s richest 20% account for 45% of income

Pramit Bhattacharya | Mint | December 01, 2016
India’s richest quintile accounts for 45% of aggregate household disposable income while the poorest quintile earns barely 7% of the aggregate income pie, according to the latest data from a nationally representative survey conducted this year.
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7th Pay Commission report: Who will be the loser?

Rajesh Shukla and Adite Banerjie |The Financial Express | July 08, 2016
The decision of the government to implement the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission and announce a hike of 23.5% in salaries and pensions of government employees has brought much cheer. The reactions have been swift, with the Sensex gaining 475 points and industry welcoming the move.
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Here’s what stops agriculture sector from being revived

Rajesh Shukla | The Financial Express | June 24, 2016
Sustainable farming is farming “as if people matter.” Existing agricultural systems reflect the traditional economic mentality that the only way to benefit people as consumers is to give them “more inexpensive stuff,” and the only way to benefit people as workers is to give them an opportunity to earn more money. The traditional economic thinking treats people as if they were consuming and producing machines, not living beings with hearts and souls.
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Looking at both sides of coin

Rajesh Shukla and Megha Shree | The Financial Express | June 10, 2016
The bottom of the pyramid (the poor) are indeed the leading focus of concern for affirmative action. The prime agenda is formulation of their sustained well-being. There are different ways to look at it, but there has always been a debate as to which one is better to analyse the inequality for measuring the monetary aspect of well-being.
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Bridging the connectivity gap

Rajesh Shukla and Adite Banerjie | The Financial Express | May 27, 2016
The UN, in its 2015 report on India’s performance on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), has pointed out, “much of the achievement of the MDGs has depended upon availability of infrastructure support; as without roads and public transport children cannot go to school and expecting mothers cannot reach health centres; and learning at home and in school, health services at health centres are all hampered without electricity.
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The wheels of household well-being

Rajesh Shukla | The Financial Express | May 13, 2016
Material well-being is often an important signifier of a person’s or a family unit’s financial status. From a research point of view, however, collecting reliable income data is a challenge. To mitigate the difficulties in accessing income related household information, researchers are increasingly relying on asset ownership data to understand facets of household well-being, income inequality and poverty.
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Measuring household well-being

Rajesh Shukla and Megha Shree | The Financial Express | April 29, 2016
The most important monetary measures of well-being, among others, are household income, expenditure and saving. Yet we have very little reliable data on such indicators. In view of this, ICE 360° surveys have been instrumental in building and disseminating high-quality, interconnected, reliable and up-to-date data to capture the ground realities of households, on how the country earns, spends, saves, lives, thinks, accesses public goods, and on inclusion, employment and infrastructure.
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North India’s potential stymied by laggard states

Rajesh Shukla and Adite Banerjie | The Financial Express | April 15, 2016
There has been a subtle shift in the manner in which state governments have been conducting their business. Apart from Centre-driven reforms, states have adopted a competitive approach in a bid to attract capital, labour and technology, and thereby improve not just their development rankings, but also their electoral prospects. The focus on improving infrastructure has led to a positive impact on industrialisation and services sector for many states, and some like Bihar and Madhya Pradesh have made huge strides in terms of bettering their ranking across several development indicators.
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Financial inclusion eludes female-headed households

Rajesh Shukla and Megha Shree | The Financial Express | April 1, 2016
Inclusive growth has become quite the buzzword among political and economic thought leaders. With good reason too. Financial inclusion of women is considered to be an integral part of a nation’s overall economic growth agenda. There is no denying the fact that gender equality can go a long way in the rapid socio-economic development of societies. Studies have shown that education of women makes a significant impact on family size, their own health and that of their children.
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Riding up the growth path

Rajesh Shukla and Adite Banerjie | The Financial Express | March 18, 2016
Poverty alleviation policies have undergone much iterations in post-Independence India. In the past 10 years, MGNREGA has been the primary focus of successive governments, with huge allocations in a bid to provide 100 days of guaranteed employment to the poorest rural households in the country. The jury is still out on the success of the programme—its critics believe that it is a massive waste of national resources and is nothing but a dole for digging holes while its supporters cite that a record 18.2 million works have been completed and a wide variety of rural assets are being created across several states in the country.
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