Abhijit Banerjee (for Info only, not official)

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Abhijit Banerjee

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    ...J-PAL is now a network of researchers around the world (160 and counting) united by the mission to improve the quality of the policies that affect poor people worldwide by ensuring that policy decisions are based on scientific evidence. Our tool of choice is the randomized controlled trial (RCT), borrowed from medical science: each candidate’s intervention is first tried out in a treatment group randomly chosen from a larger population. In this way, any difference between the treatment group and the comparison group can be confidently attributed to the treatment. So for example, to study the effect of a new teaching tool, 100 schools chosen by lots from 200 will get the tool, while the rest will continue to use the status quo methods to see whether the new pedagogy makes any difference. ...

    Live Mint on Oct. 16, 2017, 11:22 p.m.

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    ...Man holding a bottle of liquor while driving. Representational Image. In April, a young model, Sonika Chauhan, died in an accident in Kolkata. A prominent film actor has been charged with culpable homicide in the case. This tragedy bought us a few days of attention to the murderous mess that our roads have become. The attention did not last. Yet, in 2015, nearly 1.5 lakh people died in traffic accidents in India. And a lot of that was a result of reckless driving. Motorcyclists, and especially pillion riders, drive quite casually without helmets in most of the country. Driving in one’s lane and signalling before one turns is at best optional, and in all likelihood, an admission that the driver is a sissy. And there is the menace of drunk driving — often invisible until the accident has occurred and the driver or passengers are dead. Sobriety checks on strategic locations by the police is not enough to control drunk driving. Rather, the police need three things: Laws, tools, and the right strategy. The good news is that the police are finally getting the laws and the tools they need. ...

    Indian Express on July 6, 2017, 12:38 a.m.

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    ...Digital learning is here. The number of online courses are exploding. Many of the most famous scholars across fields are being lured by the promise of being able to reach a global audience to record Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs. In 2015, there were 35 million learners taking online classes from 570 universities. And we in India should be very grateful that it is happening. We talk a lot about the demographic dividend we are about to get, but less about how to convert all that talent into the skills that we need. In particular, our entire system of higher education is desperately short of teachers; most new business schools and engineering schools survive on part-time professors who travel from institution to institution, delivering bread and butter courses. Even the best colleges, universities and institutes have large numbers of jobs at the professorial level that have been unfilled for years. ...

    Indian Express on Feb. 16, 2017, 12:31 a.m.

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    ...Forever. Till he is old enough to buy his own. Till then he can have your old Nokia. The question is always whether, when it comes to it, you will feel up to carrying out the threat — knowing what his friends will say, realising how delighted the neighbourhood bully will be to get such an opportunity to get to him, worrying about all the other bad things he could get up to. The rational economist in me says why would he, knowing the consequences, ever get to the point where you have to act, but then a rational economist is not a 15-year-old with a fragile sense of himself and a strong desire to be proved that he is a man. ...

    hindustantimes on Oct. 12, 2016, 10:42 a.m.

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    ...Forever. Till he is old enough to buy his own. Till then he can have your old Nokia. The question is always whether, when it comes to it, you will feel up to carrying out the threat — knowing what his friends will say, realising how delighted the neighbourhood bully will be to get such an opportunity to get to him, worrying about all the other bad things he could get up to. The rational economist in me says why would he, knowing the consequences, ever get to the point where you have to act, but then a rational economist is not a 15-year-old with a fragile sense of himself and a strong desire to be proved that he is a man. ...

    hindustantimes on Oct. 11, 2016, 7:57 p.m.

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    ...How dare she complain? Could she run a 100 metres? Doesn’t she know that it is not about winning? Exactly. Except that we don’t actually see photos of our (many) losers on the front page of newspapers. It’s the remarkable PV Sindhu, Dipa Karmakar and Sakshi Malik who show up, because we actually do care about winning. To the point where our journalists troll through the lists of football teams in Europe to identify Indian names, so that we can lay a claim on some (however distant) glory, given that our national teams ranks 158th in the world. The problem is that there is very little that we can take pride in, as far as sports are concerned. Setting cricket aside for a minute, take our most successful moment in Olympic history — the 2012 games in London. We won six medals, which is about one for every 20 crore people. In the recently concluded games it was one for more than 60 crore. ...

    hindustantimes on Sept. 1, 2016, 11 a.m.

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    ...How dare she complain? Could she run a 100 metres? Doesn’t she know that it is not about winning? Exactly. Except that we don’t actually see photos of our (many) losers on the front page of newspapers. It’s the remarkable PV Sindhu, Dipa Karmakar and Sakshi Malik who show up, because we actually do care about winning. To the point where our journalists troll through the lists of football teams in Europe to identify Indian names, so that we can lay a claim on some (however distant) glory, given that our national teams ranks 158th in the world. Read | From shooters to wrestlers: Report card of Indian athletes at Rio Olympics The problem is that there is very little that we can take pride in, as far as sports are concerned. Setting cricket aside for a minute, take our most successful moment in Olympic history — the 2012 games in London. We won six medals, which is about one for every 20 crore people. ...

    hindustantimes on Aug. 31, 2016, 9:22 p.m.

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    ...The rise of the rabid Right everywhere, from Ukip in Britain to Marine Le Pen in France and Norbert Hofer and the Freedom Party in Austria to Donald Trump in the US, has many of us holding of our breaths about what will come next. Unlike in the 1920s there is nothing undemocratic about what has happened so far: The standard-bearers of the extreme Right have progressed by getting people to vote for them, in elections that were fair and square, if not actually loaded against them — Trump had a substantial part of the Republican Party leadership conspiring to stop him. Read | Life without Britain: European Union will struggle to survive Read | After Brexit, CM Kejriwal calls for referendum on Delhi statehood Which brings us to the basic conundrum of democracy: What if the electoral process leads to outcomes that undermine core democratic values? Democracy aspires to be more than the rule of the mob that gets the most votes. ...

    hindustantimes on June 24, 2016, 10:15 p.m.