A second white revolution in India: it’s not what you think!

[Editor’s Note: A decade ago, if a soothsayer had predicted that I’d someday write about female sanitary napkins, I might have reacted violently. But this story is much more than that – it’s a story of job creation, of women’s empowerment, of a problem solver with the dogged stubbornness of an inventor. It’s the story …

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An agricultural extension innovation going viral: Digital Green

[Editor’s Note: Early this week, I had an engrossing phone conversation with Rikin Gandhi (CEO of agricultural extension pioneer Digital Green). Born and raised in the U.S. and educated at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT, Gandhi “reverse-migrated” to India in 2006 to help start a biodiesel venture in the wastelands of Maharashtra. The venture didn’t …

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CSR Ratings of the largest 500 Indian companies

After writing the post on ITC e-Choupal, I’ve been looking for the complete list of Indian public companies that do triple bottom line reporting. I still haven’t found it but came across an interesting CSR (Corporate Social Responsibilities) ratings list for the Top 500 public Indian companies from Karmayog. Furthermore, they’ve been publishing this for …

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The curious history of conditional cash transfers

[Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of six excerpts from chapter 4 (education policy) of Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo’s Poor Economics. According to World Bank, more than 30 countries have some form of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs.] In a recent interview, Harish Hande (Founder of SELCO) and 2011 Magsaysay Award …

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The Invisible City Makers in Bangalore

[Editor’s Note: When I was researching for this post on CSTEP, I came across an exhaustive 98-page report (authored in 2010) on the homeless in Bangalore. The research was done in collaboration with 29 Bangalore-based NGOs (including CSTEP). There are numerous insights and many heart-breaking stories of homelessness in the study. I’ve stayed away completely …

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Attracting diaspora to address India’s higher education faculty gap

[Editor’s Note: Earlier this year, academic collaborators from Rutgers University, Penn State University and Tata Institute of Social Sciences published an insightful study that quantified the severe gap in higher education faculty in India and, after surveying nearly 1,000 Indians who are either pursuing or have completed graduate study in the U.S, came up with …

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