Publications

First Krishna Raj Memorial Lecture on Contemporary Issues in Health and Social Sciences

Published Year: 2006

At Mumbai, December 8, 2006. The First Lecture of the Krishna Raj Memorial was on Making and Un-making Poverty: Social science, Social Programmes, and Poverty Reduction in India and Elsewhere.

At Mumbai, December 8, 2006.

The First Lecture of the Krishna Raj Memorial was on Making and Un-making Poverty: Social science, Social Programmes, and Poverty Reduction in India and Elsewhere.

Speaker: Anirudh Krishna (Public Policy and Political Science Faculty, Duke University, USA).

Hosted by: CEHAT with eSocialSciences, SNDT University, Department of Economics, Mumbai University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Krishna, Anirudh. (2008). Making and Un-making Poverty: Social science, Social Programmes, and Poverty Reduction in India and Elsewhere. Mumbai: CEHAT.

Fully one-third of all poor people in villages studied in Rajasthan were not born poor – they have acquired poverty within their lifetimes. Ill health and high healthcare costs are the principal reasons, here as elsewhere, for a persistently high rate of descent into poverty. Too many people in our country are living one illness away from poverty. The flow into poverty must be controlled. Providing better healthcare is critically important. Merely nudging someone above the poverty line – by subsidizing the purchase of a cow or goat or sewing machine – is an insufficient and misdirected goal. A very large proportion of the talent pool in this country remains untapped, without access to real opportunities for upward economic mobility. Tapping this large and previously ignored pool of talent in the countryside will bear enormous dividends. What will it take to improve health and education? What institutions need to be built up and which ones taken down for improving healthcare? What other institutions are needed to support upward mobility? More than any huge influx of new resources, institutional change will be critical for these tasks. More pressingly, there is an urgent need for public debate on institutional change. What kinds of institutions will help in different contexts to achieve the objectives outlined above? What will underwrite effectiveness and ensure responsiveness in healthcare, education and information provision needs to be discussed and resolved openly. There are no ideological points to be won; only demonstrations of what works in particular contexts need be entertained. 

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