Tuesday, December 29, 2015

4-5 January 2016: International Conference on the Sociology of Elites in Contemporary India

Organised by:
Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities (CSH), New Delhi
Sociology Department, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and
Institut Fran├žais in India (IFI), New Delhi

Conference Program

Date: January 4-5, 2016

Venue:
JNU Convention Centre,
Jawaharlal Nehru University,
New Delhi-110067 (India)

Location:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

17 December 2015: Monitoring Systems in Education A Study of 5 States in India

Kiran Bhatty, Priyanka Varma and Radhika Saraf
Centre for Policy Research

Abstract:
The study is an attempt to examine the government's system of monitoring schools. Monitoring forms one of the mechanisms by which performance of the education system is tracked, shortfalls identified and changes initiated in a timely fashion to ensure the core objectives of education. If, as is the case, quality is persistently declining, one of the questions that arise is: Are schools being monitored effectively? If they are, are they having the desired impact? If not, where do the shortfalls lie? Unfortunately, even as the criticality of monitoring for efficient service delivery is being widely acknowledged, there is very little information on how the system works, whether it feeds back into the planning and policy loop, and what are its constraints.

Placing the findings within a framework of institutional analysis, the study highlights incoherence in the bureaucratic structures of monitoring, lack of ownership of roles assigned to the monitors, and lack of community embeddedness at lower levels of the bureaucracy as factors contributing to ineffectual monitoring. 

Date: December 17, 2015
Time: 11:00 A.M.

Venue:
Conference Hall
Centre for Policy Research,
Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri,
New Delhi–110021(INDIA)

Location:

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Monday, December 14, 2015

15 December 2015: Challenges of health policy and key recommendations in the Indian context

Peter Berman
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and
Jeffrey S. Hammer
Princeton University

Date: December 15, 2015
Time: 04:30 P.M.

Venue:
Ground Floor Conference Hall
R&T Building
National Institute of Public Finance and Policy,
18/2 Satsang Vihar Marg, Special Institutional Area,
New Delhi-110067(INDIA)

Location:

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Note:
Please confirm your participation at bins.sebastian@nipfp.org.in

Saturday, December 5, 2015

8 December 2015: Free Market Solutions to Climate Policy and other Environmental Challenges

Julian Morris
Reason Foundation

Date: December 8, 2015
Time: 04:00 P.M.

Venue:
Conference Room, Ground Floor
Centre for Civil Society,
A-69 Hauz Khas,
New Delhi-110016(INDIA)

Location:

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

21 November 2015: SNU-IIC Lecture Series 2015 - Opportunities and Challenges for India's Financial Diplomacy

Rathin Roy
Director, NIPFP and Member, Seventh Pay Commission

Date: November 21, 2015
Time: 06:30 P.M.

Venue:
Conference Room 1
Indian International Centre
40, Max Mueller Marg,
New Delhi-110003(INDIA)

Location:

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

19 November 2015: Tilting at Titling: Will We Ever Get it Right?

Deepak Sanan
Government of Himachal Pradesh

Abstract:
Incomplete and inconclusive land titling in India pose serious challenges to the conduct of business and often create situations of injustice by facilitating dispossession and displacement. Disputed ownership is commonplace, with many cases under litigation for decades. Mr. Sanan will review the reasons for such infirmities in land titles in India,  explain how the government typically deals with such infirmities, and demonstrate why the government's approach is insufficient to deal with the issue of land titling systematically.

Date: November 19, 2015
Time: 12:30 P.M.

Venue:
Conference Hall
Centre for Policy Research,
Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri,
New Delhi–110021(INDIA)

Location:

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Monday, August 17, 2015

21st August 2015: The natural resource curse revisited: theory and evidence from India

Amrita Dhillon
Kings College London

Abstract:
In this paper, we examine the relationship between natural resource rents and governance. We take advantage of a particular political and administrative re-structuring of state government in India. In 2000, three of the largest and poorest states in India (Madhya Pradesh (M.P.), Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) and Bihar) were each divided into two: the boundaries of the new states happened to coincide with the geographical boundaries of the natural resources (mines in the case of M.P and Bihar, forests in the case of U.P.). We investigate whether the break-up of states, which left rump states without access to natural resources, affected governance, incomes and inequality, with a combination of theory and empirical analysis, using extant survey data from India and data on luminosity, a useful proxy for incomes and activity across villages and districts in India.

Date: August 21, 2014
Time: 11:30 A.M.

Venue:
Seminar Room 2
Indian Statistical Institute Delhi Centre,
7, S. J. S. Sansanwal Marg,
New Delhi-110016 (INDIA)

Location:

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

19 August 2015: Why Economists Need to Take an Interest in Patent Policy

Hazel Moir
Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University

Abstract:
Where large lumpy investments are combined with a relatively fast ability to imitate an invention, the market for invention may fail and useful new inventions will not attract the requisite investment. This perspective on the rationale for patents particularly characterises the pharmaceutical industry.

Efficient and effective patent policy is that which most closely approximates two conditions:

(i) patents are granted only for inventions which would not otherwise occur; and
(ii) patents are granted only where the social benefits (private plus spillover benefits) exceed the social cost of the monopoly grant.

Most economists pay little attention to the patent system, and when they do they often repeat the mantra that “patents are essential to induce innovation”.

This mantra is based on two critical assumptions – that copying knowledge developed by someone else is costless, and that copying is so fast that there is no natural first mover monopoly period. Substantial evidence exists to indicate that both presumptions are false.

A further assumption that economists tend to make about patent systems is that one cannot get a patent unless there is some inventiveness. Again the evidence demonstrates that this assumption is false. Decades of legal doctrine have changed the criteria for patent grant, such that now only a scintilla of inventiveness is required. Such a low requirement means that the second condition for efficient patent policy is breached. Most granted patents incorporate little if any new knowledge and so provide no spillover benefits. 

Date: August 19, 2015
Time: 03:00 P.M.

Venue:
Seminar Room (First Floor)
Department of Economics,
Delhi School of Economics,
New Delhi-110007(INDIA)

Location:

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

23 July 2015: Violence in Pakistan and Who Supports It: Rebutting Conventional Wisdom

C Christine Fair
Georgetown University

Abstract:
Dr Fair will present a fascinating statistical analysis of the different kinds of violence within Pakistan - frequently all clubbed under the title of "terrorism" - and break it down to its constituent elements and supporting factors. 

Date: July 23, 2015
Time: 03:00 P.M.

Venue:
ORF Conference Room
Observer Research Foundation
20 Rouse Avenue
New Delhi-110002(INDIA)

Location:


Note:
Please confirm your participation at nishaverma@orfonline.org

Friday, July 17, 2015

5 August 2015: The Nature of the Market for Corporate Control in India

Umakanth Varottil
National University of Singapore

Abstract:
Given its deep and liquid stock markets, India presents a favourable environment for public takeovers. In order to develop and regulate takeover activity, India’s securities regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has enacted specific regulations. While at a broad level these regulations appear to attribute their origins to the UK and other countries that have adopted the UK model or its variants, I argue in this paper that takeover regulation in India bears fundamental differences and unique characteristics that have necessitated special treatment.

Due to the prevalence of concentrated shareholdings in Indian companies, the incidence of hostile takeovers has been negligible. While SEBI’s takeover regulations do not confer much power to the target’s board to set up takeover defences, the nature of concentration of shareholdings and other factors offer sufficient protection to incumbent shareholders and managements against corporate raiders. Hence, substantial attention in India is focused on the mandatory bid rule (MBR), which operates to grant equality of treatment to minority shareholders by conferring them an exit option in case of a change in control. India’s takeover regulations are arguably stringent in implementing the MBR. This impedes valueenhancing takeovers unless they are effected with the concurrence of the controlling shareholders, who could potentially block them.

Added to this, India’s takeover regulations confer benefits on incumbents that would impede a market for corporate control in the conventional sense. For example, promoters can take advantage of creeping acquisition limits, and also certain exemptions from the MBR when they enhance their positions in the company. Hence, while the takeover regulation overtly appears designed to engender a market for corporate control, its operation coupled with the corporate structure and culture in India attenuate the possibility of takeovers.

Relying upon the political economy of takeover regulation, and more specifically the interest group theory, my goal in this paper is to demonstrate the influence of promoters in shaping India’s takeover regulation. I seek to do so both analytically and empirically. While the Indian markets have witnessed a constant stream of takeovers, they are almost entirely organized changes of control in a friendly manner that triggers the MBR. Voluntary, unsolicited offers that are common in the more developed markets are miniscule in number in India.

Date: August 5, 2015
Time: 03:00 P.M.

Venue:
Conference Hall, Ground Floor, R&T Building
National Institute of Public Finance and Policy,
18/2 Satsang Vihar Marg, Special Institutional Area,
New Delhi-110067(INDIA)

Location:

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Note:
Those who are interested may please confirm your participation to Mr. Bins Sebastian at bins.sebastian@nipfp.org.in latest by Tuesday, 4th August 2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

22 June 2015: Law without the State

David Friedman
Economist and Legal Scholar

Date: June 22, 2015
Time: 05:00 P.M.

Venue:
UChicago Center,
DLF Capitol Point,
Baba Kharak Singh Marg,
Connaught Place,
New Delhi- 110 001(INDIA)

Location:


Note:
Please register for the talk latest by 15 June 2015. For more information or clarifications, please contact Sadaf Hussain (sadaf@ccs.in |+91 99531 33868)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

2 March 2015: New Issues at the Interface of Competition (Antitrust) Policy and Intellectual Property: The Internet, Patents, and On-line Sales

D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida, Levin College of Law

Date: March 2, 2015
Time: 03:00 P.M.

Venue:
AMEX Room (Second Floor)
Department of Economics,
Delhi School of Economics,
New Delhi-110007(INDIA)

Location:

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

29 January 2015: The Effect of Privatization on Economic Performance in Transitional Economies

S. Numura
Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University

Abstract:
Many eastern European countries have reformed their economic systems from a planned economy to a market economy and some of them succeed, and the others fail. It seems that there are two ways to secure the transition. The one is to execute large-scale privatization as quickly as possible. The other is to advance privatization gradually. The gradualists emphasize the importance of institutions such as legal system and financial infrastructure, and they would think that without the institutional infrastructure, privatization might lead to asset stripping rather than wealth creation.
 
How privatization could affect economic growth depends not only on its scale as well as speed, but also on economic policy adopted by countries and how much a given political regime has a wide range of options. Countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics don’t have much a viable option, judging from recorded inflation levels and output losses. Given a severe breakdown in the central planning apparatus, they might not able to afford to postpone adjustment. In this case, it seems that rapid reform would be preferable to slow reform.
 
In our paper, we consider which approaches are best to secure the transition. We examine all the factors such as economic policies, initial conditions and quality of governance in our estimation. We believe our paper has made some advances over earlier literature untangling the various factors affecting success in transition.

Date: January 29, 2015
Time: 04:00 P.M.

Venue:
NIPFP Auditorium, Ground Floor, Old Building
National Institute of Public Finance and Policy,
18/2 Satsang Vihar Marg, Special Institutional Area,
New Delhi-110067(INDIA)

Location:

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29 January 2015: India as a creditor: sterling balances, 1940-1956

Marcelo Abreu
Catholic Pontifical University of Rio de Janeiro

Abstract:
The British war effort during World War II depended on Lend Lease provided by the United States and the accumulation of sterling balances by neutrals and the Empire. Of the total sterling balances of £3,355 million outstanding in mid-1945 about 40% had been accumulated by India.

The paper seeks to evaluate comprehensively the costs incurred by India in the process of reducing the balances from independence until 1953 when releases of remaining balances were agreed within the scope of the Colombo Plan. The sources of accumulation of balances between 1939 and 1946 are examined. The use of the balances to repatriate Indian sterling debt until 1943 is described. The issue of a possible British “counterclaim” entailing a partial cancellation of Indian balances is analyzed. The complex Anglo-Indian sterling balance negotiations, which dragged between 1947 and 1953, are considered, including the disposal of balances through releases, transfer of assets to Pakistan resulting from the partition, settlement of pensions, purchase of military stores and British gold sales. The possible contribution of British divestment to reduce outstanding Indian sterling balances is assessed. The link between sterling balances accumulation and war time inflation in India, especially in 1942-43, and the claims of British “repudiationists” on the rise of prices affecting British military procurement in Indian are considered. The core of the paper centers on the evaluation of costs involved in the adoption of the measures agreed on the remuneration and disposal of Indian sterling balances. This will include comparisons with the cases of other sterling balance holders such as Portugal, Brazil and Argentina.

Date: January 29, 2015
Time: 03:00 P.M.

Venue:
Seminar Room (First Floor)
Department of Economics,
Delhi School of Economics,
New Delhi-110007(INDIA)

Location:

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Friday, January 16, 2015

16 January 2015: Taxes: Price of Civilisation or Payment to Leviathan?

Lant Pritchett
Harvard Kennedy School and Centre for Global Development and
Yamini Aiyar
Accountability Initiative and CPR

Abstract:
There are two dominant narratives about taxation.  One view is taxes are the “price we pay for a civilised society” (Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.).  In this view taxes are not a necessary evil (as in the pairing of “death and taxes”) but a positive good as more taxes buys more “civilisation.” The other view is that taxes are tribute to Leviathan—a pure involuntary extraction from those engaged in economic production to those who control power producing no reciprocal benefit.  In this view taxes are a bane of the civilised.   We consider the question of taxes as price versus tribute for contemporary India and we make three points.  First, most discussions of government budgets focus on allocations across sectors and activities and discuss the accounting cost of services provided.  But if the accounting cost exceeds the economic cost (the minimum at which the good or service could have been provided) then the difference can be considered “tribute.”  Second, the extent to which government engages in activities which would not have otherwise been carried out at all but which citizens value then the “price of civilisation” is maximised but when government budgets produced goods valued at zero (at whatever cost) then most taxpayers consider this tribute.  Third, the structure of social spending between “insurance” like programs which benefit all individuals at various states or stages of life and sharply targeted transfer programs determines whether most taxpayers consider taxes to fund these expenditures a price or tribute.  The notion of a “compulsory purchase” versus “tax” helps elucidate this difference and sharp targeting is seen as raising the price to any given individual of a given degree of individual benefit.  Taken together we argue India needs more taxes as price of civilisation but less taxes as tribute, which currently dominate.  There is a currently a sharp contradiction between the needs for greater revenue mobilisation for India to continue its progress and provide the increasingly sophisticated “civilisation” that is demanded with higher productivity and incomes and the perception of the “middle class” that most taxes are tribute.  This contradiction is created by a costly and yet ineffective state the solution to which cannot be a weaker state but a better state.

Date: January 16, 2015
Time: 12:45 P.M.

Venue:
Conference Hall II
Centre for Policy Research,
Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri,
New Delhi–110021(INDIA)

Location:

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