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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: March 2012

Chapter Four - A Bittersweet “Graduation” from Aid: Can IDA Hold on to India, and Will India Let It?


A country with many poor but not a poor country.

His Excellency Mr. M. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India (This quotation opens the World Bank's Country Strategy for India, 2009–12)

Nothing will happen to India if the Bank were to disappear.

Rachid Benmessaoud, Operations Advisor, World Bank, New Delhi (2008)

We are not dependent on the Bank. If it is available, we'll take it. But, it is a very small amount of money.

M. Naga Raju, Director, Fund-Bank Division, Ministry of Finance, Government of India (2008)

She (we gave her most of our lives)

is leaving (sacrificed most of our lives)

home (we gave her everything money could buy)

She's leaving home

After living alone for so many years (bye-bye)

John Lennon & Paul McCartney, “She's Leaving Home” (1967)

Graduation. Procession. Pomp and Circumstance. Credit hard-won achievement and recognize the devotion of time and resources by others that made it all possible. The graduate might face an uncertain future. But let that wait – first celebrate the milestone.

“Graduation” is the World Bank Group's jargon for its process of ushering a borrower out of eligibility for aid from the Bank's special soft-loan facility, the International Development Association (IDA), and into a new status as a “middle-income borrower” of only the Bank's standard loans, through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The end of aid – of access to IDA “credits” – is the essence of this graduation.