Varun serves as the chief data scientist at a research team led by Dr. Ashwini Chhatre, serves as the Research Node of the Revitalizing Rainfed Agricultural Network – an India wide network of NGOs, civil society organizations, researchers, policy makers and think-tanks that aim to reconfigure the nature, amount and delivery of public investments for productive and resilient rainfed agriculture.
The Combined Finance and Revenue Accounts (CFRA) report is an annual report prepared by the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India to provides comprehensive Union and State government data on audited receipts, revenue expenditures and capital outlay for different major, minor and sub-minor heads.
Since the figures for actual expenditures on different heads may differ from actual budget allocation by as much 15 to 20 percent, and that each state might have different procedures of auditing, the CFRA data provides reliable and fairly disaggregated figures of public expenditure, audited by a central authority.
The research team at the Revitalizing Rainfed Agricultural Network (RRAN) has scraped and processed the CFRA data from 2005-06 to 2010-11 for all general and economic services to understand statewide public investments in agriculture and allied activities, and highlight the mismatch in investment and needs on the ground.
The processed data, along with detailed information for each head can be forked here.
Although the data is only available at the state level, it can provide valuable insight on not just public expenditure in other domains such as urban development, health, central and state sponsored schemes, but also highlight the differences in budget allocation and actual spending of various government heads.
Revitalizing Rainfed Agricultural Network (RRAN) has practice and policy node that generates ground based evidence and block, district and state level for policy engagement, the research node’s objective is to generate evidence for testing key hypotheses to enable an articulation of the nature and magnitude of public support needed to fuel growth of India’s rainfed agriculture. To facilitate this, a Data Center has been set up with the aim of acquiring, reconciling, processing, visualizing and disseminating pan India datasets to assist in exploratory analysis and develop research hypothesis, backing up policy advocacy through scientifically rigorous data analysis, and implementing data-driven decision-making tools for program implementation by grass-roots level organizations.