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In 70 Policies that Shaped India: 1947 to 2017, Independence to $2.5 Trillion, Gautam Chikermane explores the changing landscape of India’s policymaking by tracking the creation and evolution of individual policies. As a journalist, Chikermane has been engaging with the policymaking process since 1991. Now, as Vice President at Observer Research Foundation, he brings to this book his experiences as a thought leader, an analyst and a scholar. This book is a short but rigorous analysis of the 70 policies that have brought India towards becoming the world’s fifth largest economy. It is equally a tribute to, and criticism of, how these policies shaped the economic landscape, the tug-of-wars between various interest groups, and above all, its impact on people.
This book has been written using 10 primary source documents. First, the Constitution of India that set the tone and tenor for policy formation. Second, the economic laws enacted by Parliament. Third, the 12 Five Year Plans drafted by the Planning Commission. Fourth, the 86 Union Budgets (these include 15 Interim Budgets and one white paper). Fifth, reports of various Law Commissions. Sixth, reports of various Standing Committees of Parliament. Seventh, sector-specific government committees created for specific policy interventions. Eighth, government resolutions on various issues and institutions. Ninth, Supreme Court and high court judgements that have questioned, interpreted and overseen the evolution of laws and policies. And tenth, papers in peer-reviewed journals.
Although it is focused on economic policy, the book goes beyond and explores the impact of external influences, including legal, political and administrative, on policies. From factories to finance, land acquisition to taxes, institutes of technology to insolvencies, these 70 policies have defined India’s economic journey over the past seven decades. Through the study of these policies, and the related tributaries of knowledge encapsulated in the Endnotes, this book gives a context, an anchoring, a foundation upon which to view, analyse and build the future policies of India. Learnings from these 70 policies will provide windows of knowledge that can reshape India’s destiny as it heads towards becoming a $10 trillion global economic powerhouse.
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