Book review: Himanshu Roy & Mahendra Prasad Singh (Eds.), Indian Political System

Date01 September 2020
Published date01 September 2020
Subject MatterBook Reviews
426 Book Reviews
countries, namely public sector reforms in public administration, his three major
conclusions merit serious consideration. First, public sector administrative reforms
should carefully examine the context and try to learn lessons from the various
approaches. Second, public sector reforms should be rooted in the interest of the
citizens. The technocratic impetus of the public officials or the self-interested
imperatives of the elected officials of the government should not be driving forces.
Third, there is a need for following a heterodox approach rather than the approach
for reforms, which owe their origin to the developed industrialised countries.
In the category of articles on Karnataka, S.V. Ranganath suggests short-term
steps to improve governance in the state. His suggestions include inter alia ration-
alisation of the processes and procedures relating to the Sakala Act and introduc-
tion of better and more comprehensive evaluation methods. The article by Bipul
Bhattacharya presents highlights of development administration in Karnataka
during the fifty years after the Integration. Despite Karnataka’s remarkable record
in the fields of economic growth and Human Development Index, the author does
not find much reason to be complacent, as problems like rural–urban gap in pros-
perity continue to be a matter of concern.
This is an excellent publication where an attempt has been made to put together
the perceptions and perspectives of scholars and the long experience of those
who have dealt with practical issues of public administration in government. The
senior administrators have been able to enrich our store of knowledge by giving
inputs which are based on their day-to-day experiences. The book provides useful
and rewarding reading not only for the members of the academic community but
also for the practitioners and general citizens. A fairly long introduction is one
of the most important features of the book. It would have been better, however,
if this publication had contained at least one article on the evolving trends of
Indian administration since Independence, with special reference to emerging
challenges, following the paradigmatic policy shift in the 1990s. The lucid style
of writing of all the authors makes reading an enjoyable exercise.
Prabhat Kumar Datta
Honorary Professor at the Institute of Development Studies, Kolkata
Former Centenary Chair of Public Administration,
Department of Political Science, University of Calcutta
Himanshu Roy & Mahendra Prasad Singh (Eds.), Indian Political System.
Delhi: Pearson, 2018, 752 pp., `480.
DOI: 10.1177/0019556120946000
In the political atlas of the post-colonial world, India stands out as a unique case of
success in terms of state and nation-building. The relative stability of democratic
institutions and electoral processes through periodic and fair elections and the effec-
tiveness of the judicial institutions and processes as a check on the working of the
political system ensure a sense of balance in democratic governance. This points to

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