Topic: Public policy

“Create Templates, Not Blueprints”: How to Do Policy with Impact

Why policy blueprints are a bad idea for a country like India and how to increase grassroots involvement in governance: Professor Ashwini Chhatre, Academic Director of the Bharti Institute of Public Policy, explains. ISBInsight: How do you see digital technology playing out at the policy level in your work at the Bharti Institute of Public Policy? Ashwini Chhatre: Digital technology has made …

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Transforming Data for Policy Impact

Avik Sarkar in conversation with Bhimasankaram Pochiraju Avik Sarkar, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) at NITI Aayog, and in-charge of the NITI Aayog Data Analytics Cell visited the Applied Statistics and Computing Lab at ISB in March 2018. Below are excerpts of his conversation with the Late Professor Bhimasankaram Pochiraju, Clinical Professor and Executive Director of the ASCL. Data is critical for the …

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The Lesser Evil? Evaluating E-cigarettes Consumption

By  Vithala R. Rao and Jialie Chen, with Ashima Sood While cigarette smoking is on the wane, 'vaping' is on the rise worldwide. Do e-cigarettes really help smokers kick the nicotine habit? And what may be the best public policy options for regulating their use? Research by Professor Vithala R. Rao and Dr Jialie Chen offers some answers. Are e-cigarettes really the …

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Rx ICT: Digitally Disrupting Healthcare

By Sarang Deo and Hanu Tyagi Technology can be a game-changer in addressing the endemic problems that affect the Indian healthcare ecosystem, say Professor Sarang Deo and Hanu Tyagi. However, digital disruption needs careful identification of the right problems to solve.   "Lycra bike shorts that take our pulse, count our steps and read our moods are pretty nifty, but they aren’t …

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Do Electronic Voting Machines Work for Indian Voters?

Professor Sisir Debnath and co-authors find that electronic voting machines protect democracies from electoral fraud. An unexpected benefit is that the provision of a key public good, electricity, improves measurably. The integrity of electronic voting machines (EVMs) is a controversial topic. News reports continue to debate the relative costs and benefits of EVMs and paper ballots. According to a 2017 Economic …

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Word of Mouth Matters for Healthcare

What drives uptake of tertiary healthcare services? Word of mouth effects may have an important role to play, say Professor Chirantan Chatterjee and his co-authors. Hospitals across India set up many free health check-ups every year. Health activists often run campaigns on ways to screen diseases such as breast cancer and cervical cancer. Despite such efforts, awareness about many diseases remains …

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The Pros and Cons of Privatising Gulf Healthcare

Private sector healthcare provision is increasingly prevalent in the GCC, easing the cost burden on the state. But governments cannot rely on private companies to provide for all their healthcare needs. From the 1,171-bed Al-Jahra Hospital, which is close to completion in Kuwait City, to the planned 700-bed New Sultan Qaboos Hospital in Salalah, Oman at the opposite end of the …

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How Language Of Instruction Influences Education Outcomes

In a multi-lingual country with large deficits in education, how does the language of instruction influence learning? Drawing on lessons from the British era, Professor Tarun Jain finds that the language-based reorganization of states helped improved literacy outcomes. In recent decades, mother tongue instruction boosted literacy rates by as much as 18%. Tarun Jain is Assistant Professor in the Economics and …

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