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From the Centres and Institutes

Meaning of ‘Performance’ in Government Performance Management

While government performance management is in vogue, there seems to be no consensus on the meaning of the term ‘performance.’ In the name of measuring ‘performance’ of a government agency, there has been a proliferation of approaches, methods and methodologies. However, no one measurement approach is per se better than others. The right question to ask is whether the measurement …

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Pep Up Entrepreneurs

Economic liberalisation in 1991 triggered a spurt of entrepreneurial activities in the country, once it was freed from the shackles of the licence-quota raj. It became easier to raise capital through the stock­markets and there was an influx of investment from venture capitalists. The rise of the services sector and the internet meant that people could start businesses with lower …

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More Data Needed to Evaluate Demonetisation

The publication of Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) annual report has rekindled the debate on the costs and benefits of demonetisation. The fact that more than 98% of the invalidated high value notes came back to the banking system is widely used as evidence supporting the view that demonetisation has failed to curb the black money menace. Supporters of demonetisation …

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Are Jan Dhan Bank Accounts Actively Used?

Many analysts attribute the recent electoral success of the Bharatiya Janata Party to the effective implementation of social sector schemes launched by the government of India. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is one such scheme, extremely ambitious in scope. It gave every person in India a bank account, including hundreds of millions of poor, financially excluded individuals. Are …

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The Tyranny of a Level Playing Field

The path to hell is paved with good intentions. Chances are transport regulators in Karnataka have never read the aforementioned quote. And if they have, it appears they have not internalized its teachings in their day job. Little else explains their recent proposal to prescribe both a floor and a cap for cab aggregators operating in the state. Not to be …

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Sovereign Digicoin: A Road Map for RBI

In July 2016, an editorial in this newspaper had queried, “Should RBI issue a new digital Bharatcoin?” and ended on a futuristic note encouraging policymakers and regulators to have a “discussion on Bharatcoin”. It is a testimony to the prescience of this newspaper that its early exhortation to explore the issue of Bharatcoin has found an echo in the report …

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Why Debt Waivers are Likely to Hurt Indian Farmers in the Long Run

Almost all political parties contesting ongoing UP assembly elections have promised a debt waiver for small farmers. A wide range of statistics from farmer suicides allegedly caused by indebtedness to low productivity of Indian agriculture are cited as compelling reasons that warrant a political intervention in agricultural debt contracts.Unfortunately , very few people are asking the question: Why did the …

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SMEs: Don’t Push Succession Under the Carpet

Ninety percent of the businesses in India are family owned. About 30% of the family businesses listed on the Indian bourses got listed post liberalization in 1991. The first generation founder would still be actively involved in most of these companies considering the average age at which entrepreneurs start a firm to be 40 and the average retirement age for …

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Entrepreneurs: Beware of the Marginal Thinking Trap

The notion is simple: an entrepreneur’s primary focus should be solving customer problems, rather than making products. The product is simply a means to an end.  Products will come and go, but customer needs will persist, and the benefits sought by customers will expand and grow. As such, making new and improved versions of the existing product is not what matters, but …

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