Tuesday, May 24, 2016

27 May 2016: Dissenting Diagnosis

Dr. Arun Gadre and Dr. Abhay Shukla

Abstract:
Complaints about the state of medical care are increasing in today's India; whether it is unnecessary investigations, botched operations or expensive, sometimes even harmful, medication. But while the unease is widespread, few outside the profession understand the extent to which the medical system is being distorted. Dr. Arun Gadre and Dr. Abhay Shukla have gathered evidence from seventy eight practicing doctors, in both the private and public medical sectors across six states and across 23 fields of medicine (including traditional), to expose the ways in which vulnerable patients are exploited by a system that promotes unscrupulous medical practices. Drawing on the frank and courageous statements of these seventy-eight doctors dismayed at the state of their profession, Dissenting Diagnosis lays bare the corruption afflicting the medical sector in India and sets out solutions for a healthier future.The duo will be talking on how Medical malpractice has pushed India to face poverty, how regulatory insufficiency has pushed medical personnel to promote "Hospital Mall" culture in medical practice.

Date: May 27, 2016
Time: 04:30 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 at bins.sebastian@nipfp.org.in

30 May 2016: Understanding Land Acquisition Disputes in India

Namita Wahi
Pallav Shukla and
Ankit Bhatia
Centre for Policy Research(CPR)

Abstract:
The law and practice of land acquisition has historically been a hugely contentious issue in India. The British colonial state enacted a number of laws, the most important of which was the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, to facilitate the state's takeover of land pursuant to its power of eminent domain. This law was in force for a 119 years, until its repeal and replacement by the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (the “LARR Act, 2013”). On 31 December, 2014, the Union government notified the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement(Amendment) Ordinance, 2014 (the “LARR Ordinance, 2014”), which substantially amended the provisions of the LARR Act, 2013. The LARR Ordinance, 2014 was re-promulgated twice but a bill to replace the Ordinance, ("the LARR Amendment Bill, 2015") was not passed into law. The government's inability to garner parliamentary support to pass the LARR Amendment Bill, 2015, into a country wide law, testifies to the intense and continued political contestation regarding this subject. 

Despite its persistent and polarising nature, the debate on land acquisition has been marked by a lack of systematic and comprehensive data in support of particular positions. Existing studies on land acquisition have tended to focus on particular issues, like compensation, or on particular conflicts, or have been otherwise limited in terms of geography and time.  In this study, the Land Rights Initiative team will present findings from a systematic study of all cases on land acquisition decided by the Supreme Court of India from 1950 to 2015. The LRI team analysed these cases along various metrics, such as public purpose, procedure, compensation, invocation of the urgency clause, pendency of claims, and tracked trends with respect to distribution of conflicts across geography and time, and central and state laws. This is the first comprehensive country wide study of land acquisition disputes since India's independence. In this seminar, the LRI team will present our findings from this study and describe questions for future research. 

Date: May 30, 2016
Time: 09:00 A.M.

Venue:
Conference Room 2
India International Centre,
Max Mueller Marg,
New Delhi - 110003(INDIA)

Location:

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Note:
Registration is mandatory. To register, please click here

Thursday, May 12, 2016

14 May 2016: Bankruptcy Laws & Cross-Border Insolvency in India - The Way Ahead

Organised by:
Centre for Transnational Commercial Law,
National Law University, Delhi

Programme Schedule

Date: May 14, 2016
Time: 10:00 A.M.-4:00 P.M.

Venue:
National Law University
Sector 14, Dwarka,
New Delhi – 110078

Location:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

13 May 2016: Financial Regulations for Improving Financial Inclusion

Liliana Rojas-Suarez
Center for Global Development

Abstract:
The rise of digital technology has nurtured a growing industry around the world in financial services that benefit the poor, from mobile payments and money transfers to micro-savings and mobile-based crop insurance. But as the financial landscape evolves to include these disruptive innovations, new players and new business models could bring fresh risks to individual users and to financial systems. So how should policymakers respond?

A new, major report from the Center for Global Development, Financial Regulations for Improving Financial Inclusion sets out how regulators can make the goal of financial inclusion compatible with the traditional mandates of financial regulation: safeguarding the integrity and stability of the financial system, while also protecting consumers from fraud. The Report advances specific recommendations on three key three key regulatory issues: What should a pro-inclusive competition policy be? How can regulations support leveling the playing field between providers? And how should know-your-customer rules be designed? Examples from a number of developing countries, including India support the Report’s recommendations.

Date: May 13, 2016
Time: 04:30 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 at bins.sebastian@nipfp.org.in

3 May 2016: Enabling a national market in agriculture: Components of a national market and related legal issues

Devesh Roy
International Food Policy Research Institute

Abstract:
The proposed National Agricultural Market (NAM) in India is conceived as a nationwide electronic trading portal that would create a network of wholesale markets (mandis) and market yards. Structured as a virtual market place, to a large extent like existing models of ecommerce, identically it requires the back end support that takes the form of both infrastructure (for example warehousing, grading, packaging and standards) as well as institutions (formal changes in laws and its implementation protocols). NAM as a virtual marketplace will allow a farmer with subscription to portal to sell his produce to the destination with the best price (net of the marketing costs). Any buyer, for example a food processor, can benefit from not having to be physically present or having to depend on traders in the relevant Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) area. Since taxes and charges will still apply, in essence it is a common market not a single market.

NAM envisions one license for the entire state and a single point levy. Further, it envisages electronic auctions for price discovery. With these provisions, it is expected that seamless transfer of agriculture commodities within the state and beyond can take place thereby expanding the market for farmers and traders. By virtue of being a common national market, in some respects at least the NAM would have to supersede the structure of the existing APMC. Under the current system of APMC that are under the respective jurisdiction of the state governments, different licenses are needed to trade in each market. Similarly, there are market specific fees that need to be incurred.

With this background this paper addresses the following research questions with regard to NAM. How far do indicators suggest a basis for NAM? Does the current state of market exhibit lack of effective integration and in which commodities? What are the elements of the NAM on the backend? To what extent are the attributes of the existing marketing infrastructure such as backend support suited for the NAM? What changes in the backend (infrastructure and institutions) would be needed to make NAM effective?

We argue that with buyers and sellers anonymous and not proximate, NAM will need commensurate development at the backend (infrastructure and institutions) for the actual transaction to take place in a reasonably frictionless way. Based on a simple analysis of the marketing infrastructure and institutions, we believe that a lot needs to be done in order to make an arrangement like NAM work.

Institutionally also NAM would require several changes. Agriculture is a state subject and APMC act covers a wide array of commodities including cereals, oilseeds and high value items such as fruits and vegetables and meat products. In that sense, commodities that have diverse marketing requirements are more or less treated in the same manner. Even with market liberalization, allowing private trade and removing marketing parastatals are necessary but not sufficient for efficient markets to evolve. In the absence of proper infrastructure and institutions, spatially dispersed markets may continue to lack integration.

We first look at the extent of integration across markets by taking a core periphery approach where the principal market is defined based on comparatively high market arrivals. Towards this, we use prices data from the wholesale markets at high frequency and use time series techniques to assess spatial integration. We find that there are several commodities that are characterized by a lack of spatial integration. The lack of integration implies that there are frictions in markets. NAM is expected to bring down the level of frictions that would lead to spatial integration. With spatial integration, prices will tend to equalize and there will be a co-movement of prices across markets.

Minimizing friction in transactions characterized by disaffiliate buyers and sellers would require changes that go beyond merely creating the online platform. To analyze this issue, we employ a sparsely available data to map out the state of the wholesale markets that exist in the country and try to assess their readiness for NAM. In the context of food products, several physical and institutional infrastructure are necessitated by design. Example of these requirements include weighing, grading and transport infrastructure, food safety certification systems, cold storage, quality standards among others. Mapping out the wholesale markets we find that markets are severely lacking in terms of their credentials to support an initiative like NAM. In terms of the organizational structure, NAM envisions about conforming to the regulations of the each state’s Mandi act. Moreover, all transactions that actually take place would be considered a throughput of the local mandi which would continue to earn the transaction fee (SFAC 2015). Hence, the transformation of the system could be revenue neutral for the states and may even be revenue expanding depending on the elasticity of the transactions with respect to the base expansion that would likely follow from NAM.

Apart from a one single license for trading in each state and a single point levy of transaction fee, apart from the revenue implications, political economy would also play a critical role in the adoption of NAM by state governments. Note the important backend support embedded in the functioning of the common market platform in Karnataka. First, there is a single licensing system. Rashtriya e-market Services Limited (ReMS), offers automated auction and post auction facilities (weighting, invoicing, market fee collection, accounting), assaying facilities in the markets, facilitate warehouse-based sale of produce, facilitate commodity funding, price dissemination by leveraging technology. Under NAM, these amenities are going to be needed on a scale that would be many times larger.
 
Date: May 3, 2016
Time: 04:30 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 at bins.sebastian@nipfp.org.in

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

28 April 2016: Why is India global No.1 in anaemia prevalence? How can we change it?

K Kalaivani
Nutrition Foundation of India

Abstract:
India is among countries with the highest prevalence of anaemia, and as a population billionaire, accounts for the largest number of anaemic persons in the world.

Indians have been in the forefront of research on anaemia and have helped in evolving guidelines for its prevention, detection and management. India was the first developing country to initiate a national programme for prevention and control of anemia in 1973, which has been successfuly adopted by several other developing countries as well.

While there has been reduction in the severity of anaemia in India over the last six decades, there has been no reduction in its overall prevalence. Despite detection, prevention and treatment protocols being in place, India continues to hold the global no. 1 position in prevalence of anaemia. At the seminar Dr. Kalaivani examines this paradox and explores how the iron plus initiative could be a game changeer.

Date: April 28, 2016
Time: 04:00 P.M.

Venue:
Maple Hall
India Habitat Centre
Lodi Road,
New Delhi – 110 003(INDIA)

Location:

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Note:
To register, please call +91-11-49495353, Extn. 1209 or mail nidhi.ralhan@giz.de

Friday, April 22, 2016

29 April 2016: Aadhaar by Numbers

Sunil Abraham
Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), Bangalore

Abstract:
This talk will reflect on several aspects of the Aadhaar project from a technical perspective. First, there will be a reflection on biometrics as a unique, identification and authentication technology. Second, there will be a critique of open washing by the UIDAI through their adoption of free software and open standards and finally there will be an analysis of alternative technical solutions and architecture which will allow India to harvest the benefits of identity management without the harms and risks of centralized biometrics.
 
Date: April 29, 2016
Time: 04:30 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 at bins.sebastian@nipfp.org.in