Despite India’s impressive economic growth rates in the mid-2000s, the long-term magnitude and sustainability of this progress remains uncertain.
In sectors such as mobility, health care, energy, and agriculture, disruptive solutions are important, but even more important is the consumer need for multiple solutions and fair competition, and respect for privacy and security concerns.
In India, distrust of government and social cleavages encourage voters to support those who bend the rules to defend their communities. Similar conditions in the United States contributed to Trump’s election.
Modi’s push towards demonetization shows that corruption remains a large problem in India. This challenge necessitates the creation of an anti-corruption authority and protection for whistleblowers.
Modi’s technology-based solution in going after “black money” has a long historical precedent. Only through strong public-private partnerships in cities like Bengaluru will he succeed.
Regulation and innovation need to be in sync if India is to take advantage of the digital revolution, and policy research is a critical input towards harmonizing the two.
Class, not caste, may gradually become the dominant repertoire of competition between parties in Gujarat and elsewhere in India.
Demonetization alone is not enough to end dirty money in Indian politics. Modi must also close legal loopholes, tie tax breaks to political parties with transparency, and directly attack the underlying drivers of the black economy.
The reason that some governments respond more tolerantly than others to anti-corruption agitation boils down to contested definitions of words like corruption.
Some 75 percent of the money going to political parties is from undocumented sources. Modi’s crackdown on black money will therefore be hugely disruptive for the upcoming elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.