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Putting rural economy back on track

Rajesh Shukla and Adite Banerjie | The Financial Express | March 04, 2016
Rural India has been gifted a big bonanza in the Budget. With the spotlight on rural infrastructure and the distressed agriculture sector, the announcements have gladdened the hearts of economists cutting across political affiliations. Schemes for crop insurance and irrigation as well as allocations to boost organic farming and pulses production are welcome.
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Towards more equitable economic growth of districts

Adite Banerjie and Rajesh Shukla | The Financial Express | February 19, 2016
As economic growth has cut a slow but steady swathe across India, the impact has been felt all over. What has been heartening is the rise of the so-called laggard—or BIMAROU—states and their contribution to the growth story. The GSDP contribution of BIMAROU states to incremental GDP is expected to increase to 27% during 2011-20, as against 19% during the previous decade (2001-10). States such as Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Bihar are today among the fastest growing. The reasons for the changing status of these states, which have traditionally ranked at the bottom across all indicators of human and economic development, are not hard to find.
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Impact of GDP growth on income inequality

Rajesh Shukla | The Financial Express | February 05, 2016 09:42 am
The continued slowdown in the Indian economy has caused much concern among a broad swathe of players, including economists, policy-makers, the corporate sector and consumers. This has led many to question if it is even possible to accomplish the 8% GDP growth that is widely quoted. While the government has indeed initiated reforms across multiple sectors and has aggressively increased public spending on infrastructure in order to kick-start the sluggish economy, the impact of these measures will be felt only in the long term.
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The long journey towards inclusive growth

Rajesh Shukla and Sandeep Ghosh | The Financial Express | January 22, 2016
The Indian economy has come a long way, with the country’s GDP crossing the $2 trillion mark in 2014. While it took us 60 years to hit the $1 trillion figure, we added the next trillion in just seven years. According to IMF’s predictions, we are all set to cross the milestone of $3 trillion by 2019. In income terms, even though the bulk of this growth has been driven by the rich households (top 20%), the bottom 40% has also enjoyed an 8%-plus CAGR between 2004-05 and 2013-14...
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Strengthen household saving data for effective policy-making

Rajesh Shukla & Asha Sharma | The Financial Express | January 08, 2016
In recent times, there has been an increase in public expenditure, with an eye on driving jobs, employment and overall economic growth. From that perspective alone, a consistently high rate of household savings not only enables a country to fund creation of public assets, but also facilitates overall debt financing. An effective strategy would aim at not only optimising savings, but also at channelising available savings into productive and socially-desirable investments...
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Unleashing our growth potential

Rajesh Shukla | The Financial Express | January 01, 2016
From a social scientist’s point of view, understanding the body politic of Indian populace and the roots of societal and economic changes could be extremely interesting and analytically rewarding. From a policy-maker’s perspective, the actionable research output could help develop targeted policies to unleash the growth potential. Banks and financial institutions need to know and evaluate need-based credit-worthiness of diverse consumer segments and how best they can harness their finances...
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Growth in household spending fuels education market

Rajesh Shukla & Mridusmita Bordoloi | The Financial Express | December 25, 2015
Over the last two decades, policy-makers have put a lot of emphasis on growing literacy levels and promoting primary education through schemes such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. This has had a huge impact on household spending on education, which has increased significantly. India’s education market is estimated to be R1,71,078 crore (at current prices) and education is one area that has witnessed one of the fastest growth rates among different expenditure heads of Indian households...
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Tackling the demographic challenge

Rajesh Shukla | The Financial Express | December 18, 2015
In the not too distant past, India’s large population was considered to be a huge barrier to prosperity and progress. Those were the days when economists predicted that India was a “population bomb” waiting to explode. In the post-liberalisation era, with China showing the way and proving that a massive population can be harnessed for societal and economic progress, a new mantra is being chanted—demographic dividend. ..
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Tracking income growth of Indian households

Rajesh Shukla and Adite Banerjie | The Financial Express | December 11, 2015
Two and a half decades ago, India’s policy makers embarked on a journey that would lead the country towards economic liberalisation and development in the belief that it would offer better opportunities for every family to grow its income and lead more prosperous and fulfilled lives. While the outcomes of that decision have been measured by economists in terms of GDP growth, there have been few efforts to look at the impact on Indian households in terms of well-being...
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Declining per capita protein intake spells trouble

Rajesh Shukla and Mridusmita Bordoloi | New Delhi | December 04, 2015
The United Nations has declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYOP) in a bid to increase public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses. The effort is to encourage connections throughout the food chain, better utilise pulses-based proteins, give a boost to production of pulses and crop rotation and address challenges in the pulses trade...
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