June 2 event with Vijay Joshi

On Friday, June 2, we are hosting Oxford University economist Vijay Joshi at Carnegie. Vijay will be talking about his recent book, India’s Long Road: The Search for Prosperity. I am nearly done with the book and it is an excellent analysis of what ails India’s economy and the fixes that should be applied. Martin Wolf of the FT is also a big fan. In a recent review, he writes:

While the focus of India’s Long Road is on the economy, its analysis is appropriately comprehensive. It considers the post-independence growth record, the failure to create remunerative employment, the excessive role of publicly owned enterprises, the poor quality of Indian infrastructure and the inadequacy of environmental regulation. The book also analyses the successes and failures of macroeconomic management, the appalling quality of government-provided education and healthcare, the need for a better safety net for the poor, the long-term decay of the state, the prevalence of corruption and the role of India in the world economy. In covering all these issues, Joshi combines enthusiastic engagement with the detachment of a scholar who has passed much of his life abroad. No better guide to India’s contemporary economy exists.

You can register for Friday’s event here. Subir Gokarn, India’s executive director to the IMF, will also be on hand to discuss the book.


“Public Institutions” excerpt in Mint

Today’s edition of Mint features a brief excerpt from the introductory chapter to our new volume, Rethinking Public Institutions in India. The chapter, co-authored by Devesh Kapur, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, and myself, outlines the nature (and immense importance) of the state capacity challenge India faces.

Here’s a taste:

Unfortunately, all this makes it painfully evident that India is struggling to perform even the most basic functions of a sovereign state. While much of the attention on the manifold shortcomings of the Indian state has focused on high levels of corruption and venality in public life, an equally compelling limitation is the lack of competence, both at the policy design and formulation level, and the even larger challenge in effectively implementing these policies.

You can read the full piece here.

“Rethinking Public Institutions in India” out now


Our new edited volume on the Indian state is now available for purchase. Our hope is that it will be a “one-stop shop” for those looking to understanding the state of governance in India.

The book builds on the essential 2005 volume on the same theme edited by Devesh Kapur and Pratap Bhanu Mehta. We thought, after ten years, it was worth taking stock once more not to mention studying institutions that did not figure in the earlier book (such as the Election Commission of India)

You can find out more about the book here (including links to our introductory chapter + my co-authored chapter — with E. Sridharan — on the Election Commission).