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Author: Bimal Jalan
ISBN/UPC (if available): 067005822X
As recently as a decade ago, the prospect of India becoming a developed country any time soon seemed a distant possibility. Since then, however, there has been a sea change in our own and the world’s perception about our future. What explains this rising tide of optimism? And how far is it justified?
In The Future of India: Politics, Economics and Governance, Bimal Jalan, former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, takes up the formidable challenge of examining the nuts and bolts of this proposition. In his thought-provoking, clear-sighted analysis, he argues that the key factors to success are three: politics, economics and governance. It is the interface between these, and their combined effect on the functioning of our democracy, which will largely determine India’s future. An understanding of this interface will help explain the swings in India’s political and economic fortunes over the past decades, and why the promise has been belied.
In the light of experience, argues Jalan, there is no certainty that the present euphoria will last unless there is the political will to seize the new opportunities that are available. He proceeds to suggest steps that can be taken to smoothen our path to progress: ways to strengthen Parliament and the judiciary; a series of political reforms that would, among other things, see greater accountability among ministers; and effective ways to curb corruption and enhance fiscal viability. In all these there is an emphasis on the pragmatic, born of Jalan’s experience as an administrator, economist and member of Parliament.
Contemporary and topical, The Future of India, perhaps more than any other book on the subject, shows just how a future close enough to be seen need not forever remain elusive to the grasp.
THE TRIUMPH AND TRAVAILS OF DEMOCRACY
The Rewards of Freedom
The Functioning of India’s Democracy
The Shrinking Role of Parliament
The Politicization of the Bureaucracy
An Overburdened Judiciary
THE ECONOMICS OF NON-PERFORMANCE
The Deadweight of the Past
The Power of Distributional Coalitions
The Disjuncture between Economics and Politics
The Crisis of Governance
The Poor in Shining India
The Myth of Collective responsibility
The Failure of Administration
THE SUPPLY AND DEMAND OF CORRUPTION
The Economic Effects of Corruption
The Need for Institutional Reform
THE REFORM OF POLITICS
The Economic Role of the State
The Role of Small Parties
Elections to the Council of States
The Reform of Parliamentary Procedure
EPILOGUE: A RESURGENT INDIA