En Route to Development

A Critical Decade: Policies for India's Development edited by Rajeev Malhotra (New Delhi: OUP), 2012; pp 454, Rs 695.

A distinctive feature of A Critical Decade: Policies for India’s Development, which covers a broad economic policy spectrum in India through independent essays on varied subjects ranging from macroeconomic issues and market reforms to infrastructure and institutions, is that the chapters have been written by officers of the Indian Economic Service on the occasion of the golden jubilee of its inception. As brought out by Kaushik Basu, the then chief economic adviser in the Ministry of Finance, in his foreword, the volume caters to two tasks: that of informing the politician-cum-decision-maker of the latest ideas concerning more effective policymaking, and disseminating to the larger reading public the achievements, failures, prospects and problems that confront India during this critical phase. A reader is likely to approach the book with anticipation of a peek into the possible future, expecting more a forward than a backward looking approach. The expectations are not belied, though, perhaps, since all policy needs to be grounded in past experience, there is substantial analysis of the ex post kind, the proverbial post-mortems of the academic variety. Yet, the publication is distinct from other recent edited publications on the Indian economy from this publishing house (Basu 2011 and Ghate 2012).

The problem with reviewing these kinds of collections of related yet diverse essays is that, given the constraints of space, the reviewer has to make an explicit choice between taking cognisance of all the essays individually and painting broad brush strokes around the major themes considered. It is difficult to strike a golden mean, and either way, the reviewer is likely to err. This review makes the conscious choice of discussing some of the individual papers in each of the three groups into which the essays are classified, though, inevitably, not all essays can be considered in equal detail.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Adivasis and the State: Subalternity and Citizenship in India’s Bhil Heartland by Alf Gunvald Nielsen, Cambridge, UK:...

The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India by Ajantha Subramanian, Cambridge, Massachusetts London, England: Harvard...

The Age of Fragmentation: A History of Contemporary Economic Thought by Alessandro Roncaglia, Cambridge: Cambridge University...

Land Dispossession and Everyday Politics in Rural Eastern India by Kenneth Bo Nielsen, London and New York: Anthem Press,...

Biotechnology for a Second Green Revolution in India: Socioeconomic, Political, and Public Policy Issues edited by N...

Stepping into the Elite: Trajectories of Social Achievement in India, France, and the United States by Jules Naudet (Translated...

Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History by Richard J Evans, London: Little Brown, 2019; pp xiii + 785, 954 (hardcover)....

Pluralistic Economics and Its History edited by Ajit Sinha and Alex M Thomas, Routledge, India, 2019; pp xi + 310, ...

Mapping Power: The Political Economy of Electricity in India’s States edited by Navroz K Dubash, Sunila S Kale and Ranjit...

A Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of V K Krishna Menon by Jairam Ramesh, New Delhi: Penguin/Viking, 2019; pp 744, ...

Back to Top