Vol. 2 No. 2(Mar-Apr) (2021): Indian Public Policy Review

					View Vol. 2 No. 2(Mar-Apr) (2021): Indian Public Policy Review

IPPR is a peer-reviewed, bi-monthly, online and an open-access journal, which will carry original, analytical, policy relevant papers, book reviews, and commentaries, inter alia, Economics, Political Science, International Relations and Security, Political and Defence Strategy, and Science and Technology Policy.

In this issue, Pravin Krishna reviews India’s experience with Free Trade Agreements over the last two decades. Arvind Panagariya and Vishal More show that poverty reduction in India is not merely an artifact of a low poverty line. Liu, Sanyal and Singh analyse economic policy failures and its adverse impact on the environmental quality in Punjab. Deepika Kinhal and Apoorva explore the concept of mandatory mediation as a solution for reducing pendency in the traditional court system. Finally, Narayan Ramachandran reviews “Backstage: The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years” by Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Published: 2021-03-05

Full Issue

  • India’s Free Trade Agreements

    Pravin Krishna

    Issue: Mar-Apr 2021

    This paper reviews India’s experience with the free trade agreements (FTAs) that it signed over the last two decades. The trade outcomes under the agreements are found to be quite modest: The trade shares of India’s FTA partners stayed nearly constant over the past decade, and trade deficits with FTA partners, as a share of the overall deficit,  did not increase over time. These findings challenge the assertion that India’s trade agreements have led to a widening of trade deficits and that they were responsible for the stagnation of the Indian manufacturing sector.


  • Decline in Poverty in India: Real or an Artifact of a Low Poverty Line?

    Arvind Panagariya, Vishal More

    Issue: Mar-Apr 2021

    After the erstwhile Planning Commission released the poverty estimates for India for the year 2011-12 in July 2013, a debate ensued on whether the impressive poverty reduction was not due to an excessively low poverty line set by the commission. Utilizing unit-level data from NSS consumer expenditure surveys of years 1993-94, 2004-05 and 2011-12, this research presents empirical evidence that puts to rest any doubts that India’s poverty reduction is an artifact of a low poverty line. We show that even when the poverty line is set at expenditure levels higher than the Tendulkar poverty line by 25, 50, 75 and 100 percent, the broad trends in poverty reduction captured by the Tendulkar poverty line continue to be valid. Our estimates also show that the absolute number of individuals lifted out of poverty between 1993-94 and 2011-12 was in fact slightly larger when the poverty line is 25 percent above the Tendulkar line. Even though it is difficult to match this remarkable decline at progressively higher poverty lines, we show that the gains remain large even as we push the poverty line to a level twice the Tendulkar line and is reflective of a very broad-based growth during this period.

  • Environmental Issues, Economic Policies and Agricultural Development The Case of Punjab, India

    Rongchen Liu, Anirban Sanyal, Nirivkar Singh

    Issue: Mar-Apr 2021

    This paper discusses economic policies that have supported a particular kind of agricultural development in Punjab, as well as environment-specific policies, that have sought to deal with various environmental problems arising from that pattern of development. In doing so, we highlight some major environmental issues associated with economic policies in the state, including with respect to water, air, soil and climate change. We analyse why and how economic policy failures, including at the national level, adversely affect environmental quality in Punjab. The aim of this paper is to highlight these issues, as a first step towards identifying policies that may do a better job of protecting the environment.

  • A Gentle Book by a Gentleman Book Review of Backstage: The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years by Montek Singh Ahluwalia

    Narayan Ramachandran

    Issue: Mar-Apr 2021

    This book is a useful read, despite its moderation, because, so few books have been written about India’s contemporary political economy. Montek’s book Backstage offers a clearer picture of an important time and fills in the gaps on some of the characters involved. Montek’s penchant for comprehensive rather than piece-meal reform is a good takeaway for a younger generation of economic policy makers.

  • Mandatory Mediation in India - Resolving to Resolve

    Deepika Kinhal, Apoorva _

    Issue: Mar-Apr 2021

    This paper explores the concept of mandatory mediation as a solution for reducing pendency in the traditional court system. After discussing the concept of mediation and the existing regulatory framework governing it in India, this paper identifies the problems afflicting mediation in India. It proceeds to examine how many of these problems can be overcome by making mediation mandatory. It discusses the benefits of mandatory mediation and attempts to address some concerns surrounding it. To zero-in on the most appropriate model for introducing mandatory mediation India, this paper looks at how mandatory mediation has fared in other jurisdictions like the European Union, Australia, the United States and Italy. This paper finally recommends that India should introduce a modified version of the Italian opt-out model of mandatory mediation in the country in a phased manner.