Rank exaggeration

A look at India's rapid rise in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index, first published as an oped in the Hindustan Times: It’s clear that the Modi government can’t get enough of comparative rankings and indicators. And this is understandable: despite a solid reform push and favourable (if controversial) official statistics, many feel that …

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The Lion’s Meow: a closer look at Make in India

The logic behind the government’s Make in India initiative is clear. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated in his speech at the launch of “Make in India Week” in Mumbai on 13 Feb 2016: We launched the Make in India campaign to create employment and self-employment opportunities for our youth. We are working aggressively towards making India …

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Fact checking Modi’s WSJ interview

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a wide-ranging interview to the Wall Street Journal to mark the second anniversary of his government. Modi argued that he had restored confidence to India and put an end to the "sense of policy paralysis, bad economic conditions and corruption" of 2012 and 2013. As usual, there was a grain of truth, and also the exaggeration …

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Arvind Panagariya spins an infrastructure tale

There's something about serving in the Modi government that converts seemingly sensible people into inept spinmeisters. Consider the respected Columbia University economist and NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya. In an 8 May 2016 Business Standard op-ed titled The turnaround in infrastructure, he reeled off the Modi government's many accomplishments in this arena. Following which he warned …

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Nitin Gadkari’s highway jumla

Roads and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari likes to present himself as the singlehanded builder of Indian highways. He has repeatedly claimed -- most recently at the 2016 India Today Conclave -- that the pace of highway construction has increased by close to ten times under his watch: https://twitter.com/SandeepUnnithan/status/710360486462644224 This would be brag-worthy if it were true, …

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Modi’s autopilot achievements

In a 13 Feb 2016 speech at the recent Make in India jamboree in Mumbai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took credit for many economic achievements. These included India's climb in various World Bank and UN indices, and all-time records in coal and vehicle production, software exports and cargo handling by ports. The claims were taken from the BJP's …

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Ab ki baar, cut-and-paste sarkar: the case of Make in India

In his 25 Sep 2014 speech at the launch of Make in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the initiative as a "lion’s step" towards promoting Indian manufacturing and generating millions of jobs. Amitabh Kant, who oversees the programme, stated in a subsequent interview that "Make in India is like a movement reflecting a new mindset of growth in …

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