Book review: M. Ramachandran, Bringing Governments and People Closer: A Development Practitioner’s Prescriptions

Published date01 June 2022
Date01 June 2022
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Book Reviews
M. Ramachandran, Bringing Governments and People Closer: A
Development Practitioner’s Prescriptions. Ghaziabad: Copal Publishing,
2021, 126 pp. ISBN: 978-9383419975.
Dr M. Ramachandran, a distinguished civil servant, former Union Secretary and
former Chief Secretary, Uttarakhand, an innovator and institution builder, has
analysed the critical policy issues in ensuring hassle-free governance and service
delivery at the ground level. The book focuses on key areas such as ‘What do
People Expect’, ‘Procedures and Red Tapism’, ‘Urban Complexities and Citizens’
Woes’, ‘How Messy it is in Rural Areas’, ‘The Much-Needed Governance
Changes’ and ‘Towards Becoming a Global Model’. The author discusses the
challenges to be overcome to make governance transparent and accountable.
Ramachandran is eminently qualied for undertaking this policy analysis
having served 38 years in the IAS and 10 years of active post-retirement life. He
has remained concerned about governance delivery at the ground level. His enthu-
siasm for simplifying a citizen’s journey through labyrinthine governance process
stands out. Further, issues—like empathy, ethics and morality—which are foun-
dational and non-negotiable qualities of governments have been discussed. The
emphasis is on scaling up state capacity, digital inclusiveness and process
The Vice President of India in his Foreword says that the author has drawn
from his long and rich experience to outline the possible directions in the quest for
good governance aimed at ease of living for citizens in tune with their 21st century
aspirations. In his Foreword, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, says
that in India’s 75th year of Independence, it is incumbent on us to redouble our
efforts to ensure that life becomes easier for those who are deprived and disadvan-
taged, to ensure that every citizen gets in a smooth and hassle-free manner what-
ever he is entitled to.
The Chapter, ‘Life After Retirement—Living with Dignity and Being of
Service to the People’ says that if you have been a pro-active ofcer and taken the
pains to understand the various intricacies of the job, that is bound to generate
interest in a cross-section of people associated with the sector. Ramachandran’s
tremendous interest and value addition to good governance is evident in his post-
retirement years also—he chaired the Indian Heritage Cities Network Foundation,
delivered talks and published articles, wrote books and attended book discus-
sions— each of these activities requires tremendous commitment and discipline.
Indian Journal of Public
68(2) 304–319, 2022
© 2022 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/00195561221091425

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT