Today’s announcement that the UK is to end financial aid to India by 2015 will re-ignite the debate about aid to middle income developing countries.
It's a difficult one.
Is India rich? No--its GDP/capita is a third of China's and a sixth of Brazil. India is still a very poor country. You won't see it so much if you go to Delhi or Mumbai but go one hour out of town and you will be shocked.
Is India using its domestic resources as well as it can for poverty reduction? No, but it is trying to get it right--hence the debate over the massive National Food Security Bill.
Why should a country with a space programme get aid? As I have said before the space programme is as much about weather and land quality mapping as about anything else.
Is UK aid "peanuts" for India as a Indian Minister said in February? In absolute terms, yes. But it is an invaluable source of experimentation, piloting, access to knowledge, and risk taking.
What if the Indian government does not want aid? Well, obviously it could easily say "no thanks".
For every poor country, not just India, the future is in domestic resource mobilisation, not aid.
Just try telling that to the millions of Indian mothers trying to keep their babies alive.
Maybe it's not so difficult.