#062 - India: Public Policy Failures and Solutions | Shankkar Aiyar
BharatvaartaNovember 09, 2020x
00:51:1346.96 MB

#062 - India: Public Policy Failures and Solutions | Shankkar Aiyar

Shankkar Aiyar is a veteran journalist and author. In a career spanning over three and half decades, Shankkar has worked for leading publications like the Indian Express and India Today. His 1991 story on Indian government pledging the gold reserve highlighted the severe balance of payment crisis faced by India then and shot him to national limelight.   

His most recent book - The Gated Republic: India's Public Policy Failures and Private Solutions - talks about areas like healthcare, education, security, power and water. These are basic utilities the provision of which over the years has lagged the demand, despite their essential nature. Due to the failures of government and administrative machinery, private players have intervened to fill gaps, often hurting the marginal sections of the society on pricing.   

Shankkar talks about his view on how effective public – private partnerships could have evolved in these areas with government oversight but haven’t. He also describes the meticulous research he has put in to write the book in a few months.  

Before The Gated Republic, he wrote Aadhaar: A Biometric History of India's 12-Digit Revolution. Shankkar talks about how this book was received personally by Late President Shri Pranab Mukherjee, ex-Prime Minister Shri Manmohan Singh and the incumbent Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.   

We also cover the content of his very first book Accidental India, where he wrote about governments using moments of crisis for fundamental reforms long before the concept was widely talked about in Delhi. He makes a few suggestions for the government to reimagine governance using technology coming out of the current pandemic.  

This discussion is conducted by Aashish Chandorkar, who is a public policy analyst and author based in Pune. Aashish has known Shankkar for about a decade now and Shankkar had bounced some ideas related to The Gated Republic with Aashish while he was writing the book.