The Fragmented Social Protection System in India: Five Key Rights but
two missing. by Santosh Mehrotra, Neha Kumra and Ankita Gandhi, 2014.
Abstract: In India, 22% of the population lives below the poverty line and 93% of
the population is employed informally. India's welfare system, in this context,
has increasingly moved towards a rights-based approach, as opposed to treating India's
citizens as mere beneficiaries of state provided welfare. This paper discusses the
key role of civil society mobilization and political support that led to the implementation
of the Right to Work (albeit in rural areas), the Right to Education and the Right
to Food in India. However, it argues that both social insurance system and the public
health system remain limited in coverage and fragmented in character. This paper
argues for universal health coverage in India and suggests areas for immediate policy
intervention in the health sector.
Why a Jobs Turnaround Despite Slowing Growth? by Santosh Mehrotra, Sharmistha
Sinha, Jajati K. Parida and Ankita Gandhi, 2014.
Abstract: Employment in India increased by 14 million during the two year period
2010-2012, aftermath a period of joblessness. Structural change in employment in
the economy has gathered momentum since 2004-05 – a shift away from agriculture
to non-agricultural employment, which is growing fast. The paper examines the reasons
behind the trends focusing on the demographic dividend, tracking the manufacturing
sector and other macro-economic factors. The paper observes that with increasing
education, fall in child labour, mechanization in agriculture, increase in household
income, women withdrew from the labour force which is a major contributor to employment
trends. Huge increase in employment in the construction sector acted as a pull factor
absorbing labour from the agriculture sector. In the manufacturing sector, with
falling demand for manufacturing exports, rising import-intensity of manufacturing
output and rising wages, there had been a rise in capital intensity. The paper also
highlights the inbuilt disincentive system facing the micro and small enterprises
to invest in capital and expand – which is entrenching the missing middle between
micro and large firms. In its policy prescriptions, the paper highlights the need
to improve employability of the potential labour force, improving competitiveness
of the manufacturing sector, minimizing the disincentives for growth of firms –
thus addressing the missing middle, easing the labour laws that hinders the growth
of firms and thus support transition of smaller enterprises to medium ones with
government support or tax incentives.
Addressing the world's worst sanitation problem: a programme re-design
to use not just build toilets by Santosh Mehrotra and Deboshree Ghosh, 2013
Abstract: Sixty per cent of the world's populations that defecates in the open is
in India. Despite decades of government programmes Census 2011 found that
only 31% of all Indian households have access to a toilet, and the situation
is much worse in rural areas. Government programmes are focused on subsidising the
building of toilets, but research shows that the toilets are not used. Without a
mind-set change and the concomitant behaviour change, a focus on providing household
subsidies to build toilets has been far from successful in ensuring behaviour change.
This paper addresses all these issues and offers a way forward for the 12th Plan
strategy, based on the revised guidelines for the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan.
Estimating the Skill Gap on a Realistic Basic for 2022, by Santosh Mehrotra,
Ankita Gandhi, Bimal K Sahoo, 2013.
Abstract: The window of opportunity called the Demographic Dividend is available
to India only till 2040. Realizing the demographic dividend brings to the fore the
very serious challenge of skilling our labour force. But before devising the skill
development strategy for these coming years, a task of greater importance is to
estimate the magnitude of the challenge and to assess the skill gap. The paper tries
to estimate the skilling requirements, sector-wise, in different scenarios to arrive
at a realistic and desirable target. No matter which scenario one ends up realizing,
the challenge of skill development –both in quantitative and qualitative terms –is
enormous and requires a careful policy stance.
Management Information Systems (MIS) of Indian Government’s Flagship
Programmes: Are they an adequate monitoring tool?, by Santosh Mehrotra, D. Indrakumar
and Vijay K. Saxena, 2012.
Abstract: MIS is a means to monitor progress and assess and revise targets, i.e.,
a tool for evidence-based programme management. The present paper examines the MIS
in thirteen flagship programmes of the Central Government involving significant
public expenditure using Plan funds. Despite the fact that some of these schemes
and programmes have been in operation for over decades, their MIS are not yet at
par with the needs of effective monitoring. This paper evaluates the MIS (and any
other mechanism thereof for programme management) of the 13 flagship schemes on
the basis of the basic principles required for an efficient MIS. The
paper begins by outlining of criteria for assessing an MIS. It then goes on to each
of the 13 programmes against those criteria. The analysis in this paper is based
on investigation of the official websites of each flagship programme coupled with
discussions with government officials as well as professionals responsible for managing
the MIS. Based on our assessment of these flagship programmes, we conclude that
there is a long way to go for the Central Government schemes to be effectively monitored
using their MIS.
Organised and Unorganised Employment in the Non-Agricultural Sectors
in the 2000s, by Santosh Mehrotra, Ankita Gandhi, Bimal Kishore Sahoo, 2012
Abstract: Conventional growth theory suggests a simple positive relationship
between output and employment growth. However, an empirical analysis of the last
decade suggests that employment growth may or may not be accompanied by output growth,
depending upon the growth in productivity. Accordingly, this paper classifies the
organised and unorganised non-agricultural sectors and identifies the sub-sectors
that have been employment-generating (both productive as well as productivity declining),
jobless and job-losing, depending upon their rates of growth of employment and gross
value added. The use of varying definitions of organised and unorganised sectors,
especially in the case of the services sector, by different data sources is a serious
issue that plagues such kind of analysis. This paper highlights all these issues
along with the jobless growth phenomenon experienced during the past decade in order
to assess their policy implications.
Joblessness & Informalization: Challenges to Inclusive Growth in
India, by Santosh Mehrotra, Ankita Gandhi, Partha Saha, Bimal Kishore Sahoo, 2012.
Abstract: Creation of decent jobs outside of agriculture is one of the biggest
challenges that confront the policymakers trying to achieve ‘faster, sustainable
and more inclusive growth’. The Indian economy has been growing at unprecedented
rates but it has been characterized by jobless growth and informalization of job
opportunities in the organized sector. The paper tries to assess the employment
intensity of output growth through an examination of employment elasticity, and
potential for employment generation and decent work during the 12th Five Year Plan
Creating Employment in the 12th Five Year Plan, by Santosh Mehrotra,
Ankita Gandhi, Bimal Kishore Sahoo, Partha Saha, 2012.
Abstract: This paper analyses employment trends and addresses the problem of
creating decent and productive employment in the non-agricultural sector during
the first decade of the new millennium. Its primary interest is to examine the transition
in employment from informal employment in unorganized sector towards formal employment
in non-agricultural organized sector. There has been a slight structural shift in
employment away from agriculture towards non-manufacturing sector. An interesting
dimension about this transformation is the rising employment in enterprises employing
20 or more workers and a decline in employment in enterprises employing less than
6 workers. The second half of the decade (characterised by high growth rate) witnessed
a decline in employment in the manufacturing sector, despite the economy achieving
an unprecedently high growth rate, while there was stagnation in service sector
employment. With the rise in participation in education (in particular female education),
it is most likely that larger number of educated youth, especially women, will be
joining the labour force in future years, and given the fact that the highest open
unemployment rate is among educated youth, this calls for more pro-active policies
(going beyond “National Manufacturing Policy”) towards employment creation in organized
manufacturing and service sectors.
A Proposed National Qualifications Framework for Vocational Education
for India, by Santosh Mehrotra, Basab Banerji, Vinay Mehrotra, 2012.
Abstract: International experience on NVEQF is very recent. Until 2004 almost
no country in the world had an NVEQF. Even now just a dozen countries have an NVEQF,
although more than 100 countries have initiated the process. This paper presents
arguments for why we need an NVEQF and what are the problems that (a) the employers;
and (b) the potential employees (i.e. students) are facing – which the NVEQF will
supposedly address. It also presents its design and identifies the key actors. Further,
it examines issues of how to recognize informally acquired prior learning and the
development of competency based curriculum.
India's Human Development in the 2000s: Towards Social Inclusion, by Santosh
Mehrotra, Ankita Gandhi, 2012.
Abstract: The India Human Development Report 2011 undertakes a disaggregated
analysis of a large set of indicators and is unhesitating in its criticism of our
failures in human development outcomes even while recognizing that there is empirical
evidence of achievement in many dimensions. The main findings of the report point
out that the states are converging on important indicators of human functioning
and that the indicators among the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and Muslims
are converging with the national average. But low absolute values of various social
indicators among these groups continue and the pace of convergence can improve only
if these low levels are addressed.
Understanding Inflation and Controlling It, Kaushik Basu, 2011.
Abstract: Inflation management is one of the hardest tasks an economic policymaker
has to undertake. It appears, at first sight, that one can rely entirely on commonsense
to carry out this task. But that will be a cardinal mistake. While inflation policy
does require judgment and intuition, it is essential that these be backed up with
statistical information and an understanding of economic theory. This paper tries
to bring together the formal analytics that underlie inflation policy. It surveys
some of the standard ideas and also questions some of these and, in the process,
tries to push further outwards the frontiers of our understanding.
Introducing Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) In India: A Proposal For
Five CCTs, by Santosh Mehrotra, 2011.
Abstract:This paper makes the case for converting some of the massive subsidies
and significant expenditures on directly targeted poverty reduction programmes into
conditional cash transfers (CCTs). All the five CCTs it proposes would be primarily
targeted at the below poverty line (BPL) population. It also addresses the minimum
requirements to ensure that CCTs succeed, and actually reach the poor instead of
meeting the fate of usualdirectly targeted poverty reduction programmes. It also
notes the fact that while the identification of the poor has so far proved beset
with errors of exclusion and inclusion , those can be mostly resolved through a
revised methodology that has already been finalized, and being implemented in 2012.
Challenges facing Skill Development in India: An Issue Paper, Authors: M.R.
Prasad, Mridula Sharma, Rashmi Agrawal, Shachi Joshi, S.K. Saha and Ankita Gandhi, 2010.
Abstract: India has among the lowest proportion of trained youth in the world.
The quantitative dimension of India's skill development challenge is that 80 percent
of new entrants to the workforce have no opportunity for skill training. The paper
focuses on four theme areas of skill development in India, i.e.(1) Vocational Education,
(2) Vocational Training in the Unorganized Sector,(3) Vocational Training in the
Organized Sector, and (4) Financing of Vocational Training.
Learning from Contrast: Social Protection in Asia and Latin America in Time of Economic
Crisis, Santosh Mehrotra, Year of Publishing, 2010
Abstract: Social Protection (SP) systems are highly conditioned by the macro-economic
and macro-social environment in which they evolve. In this short paper, we attempt
to learn some lessons relevant to policy-makers by contrasting the way in which
SP systems have evolved in Asia and Latin America. The paper spells out briefly
the features of SP systems as they stand currently in Latin America and examines
the differences in the macro-economic and macro-social context for Asia and Latin
America, and suggest how that has impacted the current state of the SP regime in
The International Market for Public Policies on Skill Development: The Special
Case of India, by Santosh Mehrotra, 2010
Abstract: The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2003) focused the attention
of both developing and developed countries on the need to ensure coherence between
international partners in regard to policies in general. The implication of coherence
in the area of skill development is that developing countries must first develop
their own strategies and policy in this area, which would drive the agenda of the
donor community. This would, to some extent, mitigate the adverse effects of an
unequal partnership in the contemporary world. Historically, when learning across
borders would take place, it was mostly between countries in Europe that were at
relatively similar levels of development; this is not any longer happening in the
case of developed and developing countries. This paper takes into account this difficulty
in the contemporary partnership, and addresses the case of India, which is a large
developing economy, but rapidly growing and is also seen as an emerging market economy.
India and the Global Economic Crisis, by Santosh Mehrotra, 2010
Abstract: The global economic crisis hit the Indian economy at a time when
it was riding a wave of unprecedentedly high growth. This paper argues that while
the global crisis has particularly impacted exports, and hence growth, and worsened
the fiscal balance, India is already returning to a 8 per cent p.a. growth. This
limited impact, the paper argues, has been driven by the fact that both savings
and investments have risen sharply in the first decade of the millennium, and are
likely to remain high. It is domestic savings/investment as well as domestic markets
that are driving the growth. However, the paper also highlights a series of long-term
challenges that policy-makers must address if rapid growth is to be sustained, and
poverty to be reduced sharply.
The Cost and Financing of the Right to Education in India: Can we fill the financing
gap?, Santosh Mehrotra, 2010
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Abstract: India’s Parliament passed the Right to Education Act in 2009, which
entitles all children 6-14 years old to at least eight years of schooling. This
paper examines the cost of achieving this report to education, and asks whether
India can fill the financing gap that must be filled if the right is to be realized.
The paper notes the very considerable increase in central and state government allocation
implied by the Act, and finds that there will be difficulties in finding the resources,
given the large fiscal deficit occasioned by the global economic crisis. However,
the paper goes on to suggest a series of measures that can be taken so that the
right to schooling is no more denied or delayed