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Submitted by Nachiket Mor on
Dear Kalpana, This is a very insightful set of blog posts. My limited understanding of policy making and its implementation in India is that very little happens quickly and most efforts take an enormous amount of time. My own interest therefore has been to look ahead and only explore ideas that have a longer term impact. I wonder if you have a list of broader ideas around which gradually domestic consensus can be built. Some such ideas that occur to me include: 1. Universal essential healthcare with a strong emphasis on broad-based formal primary care. Move away from the exclusive focus on reproductive and child health and the model of informal community health-workers essentially performing a referral function to one in which broad-based formal care is made available deep within the community. Explore multiple ideas in this regard including public-private-partnerships, managed care, and new ways to improve public sector performance. 2. Universal elementary education with independent standardised testing of children on a regular basis using modern tests such as ASSET so that teacher performance can be tracked and made visible. 3. Universal access to finance (multiple products, wealth management, SME & local infrastructure finance, local availability). Even here there is a need to explore many more ideas and partnerships and not make cooperatives and public sector banks, the only instruments. 4. Move towards unconditional and perhaps even universal automatic cash transfers and away from myriad schemes such as mid-day meals, public distribution systems, fertilizer subsidies, priority sector banking subsidies, minimum support price, and fuel subsidies. 5. Significantly improve urban and rural tax levying and collection capability (and willingness) of local bodies. 6. Move away from a focus on owned urban housing for low-income households to rental housing and ensure that the enabling regulations on issues such as repossession, rent control, and REITs are in place. I am not a development expert and would eager to hear from you and other experts on what they think of these ideas as well as read about other ideas that they think are more or equally important. Sincerely, Nachiket Mor