You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

New Slang: Indian Government Launches a Wiki for Economic Jargon

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 31 2011

Photo: Trilok Rangan / Flickr

On the occasion of the Indian Economic Service's 50th anniversary, the government agency has launched Arthapedia, a wiki to define obscure economic terms.

Launched yesterday, Arthapedia is maintained by officers of the IES and covers terms like "skewflation" ("in which there is a price rise of one or a small group of commodities over a sustained period of time"), "abuse of dominance" ("an anticompetitive business practice in which a dominant firm may engage in order to maintain or strengthen its position in the market") and AYUSH ("AYUSH includes Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy"). There are plans to open up access to edit the site over time.

"The objective of this portal is to increase transparency in government by simplifying indigenous concepts or by introducing domestic institutions to support the professional development of public policy economists," a message on the wiki's website reads. "It is meant to enrich and enhance citizen friendly policy formulation through dialogue and collaborative action."

The release comes at an opportune time: On Monday, the day before the launch, India's central bank released proposals that would allow more private banks, the first opportunity for new banking licenses in nearly a decade, according to an Agence France-Presse report.

Update: And, of course, this isn't the biggest news coming out of India lately. Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare, a 73-year-old man who found supporters online and off, recently won his crusade to move Parliament to endorse the creation of a wide-ranging anti-corruption agency. He fasted for nearly two weeks until Parliament gave in, in an account passed along by my friend and colleague Sam Rubenfeld on the Wall Street Journal's Corruption Currents blog.