SCID’s India Program serves as Stanford’s focal point for development policy work and economic research on one of the world’s most important emerging economies. The program draws leading economists and other scholars from across the Stanford community to work on important Indian economic development questions. From its inception, the India Program has built collaborative relationships with some of India's top academic institutions and scholars, and forged strong ties with Indian policymakers. Program conferences at Stanford and in India attract researchers, high-level policymakers, and business and community leaders to examine India's economic and development policies. In addition, support for Stanford student research through internships and fieldwork opportunities in India is a key part of the program’s mission.
India Program researchers explore some of the most critical economic and development issues India faces as it continues its rapid advance and consolidates its role as a global leader in trade, services, and technology. Scholars affiliated with the program have studied such questions as business management practices in India and factors determining productivity at the company level. They have focused on such policy issues as telecommunications reform, infrastructure development, fiscal decentralization, trade and industrial policies, education, and microfinance. In the health sector, program researchers have investigated the effects of performance pay. In finance, SCID scholars have focused on how social networks affect savings behavior.
The India Program is actively involved in several of SCID’s high-priority research initiatives. For example, program research on businesses in India, which has looked at whether differences in management practices can explain company profitability, exemplifies the work SCID is doing through its Global Productivity Initiative. And, as part of SCID’s Financial Inclusion in India Initiative, India Program scholars are carrying out an in-depth study of one of the country’s most important microfinance projects. The findings could help Indian policymakers better understand successful approaches to microfinance and make their programs more effective.
Program research is disseminated widely through scholarly and popular publications, and an active conference schedule. SCID’s annual India Conference brings Indian policymakers, business leaders, and scholars to the Stanford campus for lively discussions about economic and policy issues facing India. The India Program recently branched out by jointly sponsoring its major conference with other Stanford institutions, including the Schools of Engineering and Medicine, and the Graduate School of Business.
The India Program is committed to building enduring relationships with government and private research institutions in India, and to making meaningful contributions to policy debates. SCID’s research programs have been developed in collaboration with several of India’s leading research institutes, including the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR). SCID has also jointly sponsored conferences and events in India with several state governments, with leading groups such as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and with the Ministry of Human Resource Development. SCID also sponsors short-term and long-term visits by senior Indian scholars and policymakers to Stanford, which strengthen the ties between the University and Indian leaders.
Support for graduate and undergraduate research is central to the India Program, which works actively to encourage Stanford students to consider India as a focus of study. The program’s student internship program, organized in conjunction with India’s Institute for Financial Management and Research, gives students opportunities for summer field work in Indian rural areas. Stanford graduate students take active parts in program research and get access to data they can use for dissertation projects.