Book Review: Radhakrishan Sapru, Public Policy: A Contemporary Perspective

Published date01 August 2017
Date01 August 2017
AuthorPardeep Sahni
Subject MatterBook Reviews
502 Book Reviews
as a lady collector, but at last accepted the special courtesies that are normally
extended to a lady officer. In her household also, her relatives belonging to
IAS club tried to ‘advice’, to quote Mrs Meenakshi, ‘a more sophisticated way
of saying “criticize”’ her on every aspect of her office life. But her mother-in-law
came to her support and ordained that ‘I should be left free to run my district the
way I wanted’. Mrs Meenakshi hosted Mrs Indira Gandhi and Mr Rajiv Gandhi,
the then PM to her district. She was awarded a merit certificate for the revenue
work in the district on Independence Day.
To sum up, the book in question sheds light on multifarious aspects of
administration, challenges of development, and day-to-day management of rural,
urban, tribal, hilly areas of India and also anecdotes related to PMs beginning
from Pandit Nehru, to Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and P.V. Narasimha Rao. The
two very able editors—Professor Ramesh K. Arora and Professor C.K. Sardana
have done a stupendous job in reaching out to senior IAS (retd.) officers and obtain-
ing exclusive articles from them.
The book will serve as a primary source material for research on
issues/subjects related to Public Administration. It will also be a great help as
a reference book on the history of development of district administration. The
contents of the book, on the one hand, serve as a travelogue, yet, they also give
a vibrant feel of the times we have lived before and that also unfolding on the
canvas of the future, on the other.
Gyan Vardhan Pathak
Former Professor, Political Science and Public Administration
Institute for Excellence in Higher Education, Bhopal, MP
Former Professor, HUDCO Chair and Visiting Faculty, R.C.V.P. Noronha
Academy of Administration and Management Bhopal, MP
Radhakrishan Sapru, Public Policy: A Contemporary Perspective.
New Delhi: SAGE Publications India, 2017, 384 pp., `395. ISBN:
978-93-860-6217-8 (Paper Back).
Public Policy as a discipline has a short history. Although its intellectual seeds
were sown in the year 1951, it has achieved stupendous success in changing
the landscape of academic and government organisations. Distinctively, public
policies can be traced back to the beginnings of civilisation itself, but the contem-
porary perspectives have a post-World War II flavour.
Ever since the formation of governments in the civilised nations, public
policies have been recognised as instruments of governance. They play a meaning-
ful role in moving the social system from the past to the future. They help to shape
the future. As goals, public policies are made in the present, based on the past
events with the object of improving the society’s future. The purpose of studying
public policy is to understand the problems of the people and to provide insights

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