My second book is out

Pleased to announce the online publication and launch of my second book by Carnegie India.

Carnegie India is the India arm of the global think-tank, ‘Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’. It opened early this year in India. It is headed by Raja Mohan, noted Security and Foreign Relations Analyst.

My co-author is Gulzar Natarajan. Much of the valuable insights in the report are his. He is a member of the Indian Administrative Service. He was in the PMO for a year and a half up to September this year. Now, he is in  a social enterprise venture fund, Global Innovation Fund, in London. He is on leave from the IAS.

He had summarised the book beautifully in a message to a common friend:

The short story is that India faces acute capital deficiencies on multiple fronts as well as much under-appreciated adverse global structural headwinds which pose serious constraints to the achievement of sustainable high growth rates. High growth can be achieved only as episodes of over-heating followed by years of pain and lower growth from cleaning up the excesses. In the circumstances, the most prudent strategy may be to target a long period of moderate growth by focusing on steady economy-wide physical, human, and institutional capital accumulation and opportunistically riding on emergent global tailwinds.

I would go even further and say that the purpose of the book is to argue that it is both wrong and futile to look for an answer to the question of whether India could grow. It is up to all of us – government, industry and households – to do the right things and keep plugging away at them. Growth will take care of itself. It is a residual. That is not being philosophical.
This book does not take political sides. Nor does it take the side of any economic ideology. ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ are labels that end up defining us rather than describing us.

Nowadays, things that we do not understand are called, ‘Complex Adaptive Systems’. We have not used that label on India. But, clearly, it would qualify to be labelled as such. Therefore, our recommendations are not magic wands. All the big headline type of reforms have been already identified. We have focused on the nuts and bolts in some areas.

The sections on State capability and the role of MoF in approving government projects and expenditure, etc., should be particularly interesting.

You can download the book/report, ‘Can India grow’ here:

Pl. do share your comments and thoughts. Would greatly welcome it.

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