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Showing posts from May, 2014

Is Financial Literacy Worth it?

What is the Best Metric for Measuring India's Progress?

What metric best measures a nation’s progress? A composite metric that is a combination of different factors is not as sound as it may seem at first sight because of the subjective bias involved in the weights allotted to individual factors. A more fundamental approach I believe, is to think through what is most critical for a particular nation at a particular point in time and then define a metric based on this single, most crucial factor that would contribute most to a nation’s progress. This is the approach followed in this article.
I would also draw a distinction between what may be termed ‘Outcome metrics’ such as GDP, Yearly Growth Rates, Rate of Capital Formation and Inflow of Foreign Direct Investment, for example, and what I would term ‘Causative metrics’ which are critical drivers of progress.
Which causative factors would one consider in the case of India? The key drivers for development and progress in India would include Infrastructure, Healthcare, Financial Inclusion and E…

Gender Differences in Health Outcomes

According to the World Health Organization, the distinct roles and responsibilities of men and women in a given society, dictated by culture’s gender norms and values, give rise to gender differences and inequality- that is, differences between men and women which systematically empower one group to the detriment of the other[1].
While there are many channels[2] that foster gender differentials, inequalities between men and women in health status and access to health care is one of the most significant pathways that have a detrimental effect on the health outcomes of women. The most striking example would be the excess female mortality in countries like India and China. As per Census 2011 figures, the total female sex ratio in India is 940 per 1000 males and the female child sex ratio is 944 per 1000 boy children[3]. This implies that the excess female mortality is not just confined to newborns and infants but is also prevalent at older ages. There are numerous pathways through which t…

The Important Role of Digital Payments in Reaching India’s Financial Inclusion Objectives

We feature a small write-up by financial services expert, Nachiket Mor on digital payments in India. 

The financial inclusion and efficiency gains associated with ubiquitous access to digital payments systems are very high. Digital payments can reduce transaction costs by up to 90 percent[1], save the Government more than Rs. 1 lakh crore[2], and provide accessible financial services to all residents while also lowering costs for financial providers. This is especially salient in India where its sheer size and wide-spread absolute poverty does not allow for many to absorb the costs associated with the management of physical currency notes and traditional branches. 
The RBI Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services (CCFS) thereby envisions a much greater proliferation of digital payment points, especially in rural areas, such that every resident in India would be within a fifteen minute walking distance. The Committee thus recommends the evolution of Pre-Paid Instrument Issuers (PPIs…