For five years (2009-14) Arun Maira sat in India’s cockpit, as member of India’s national Planning Commission. These were years of great changes in the country, ending with the crash of the grand old Congress party in the national elections and the emergence of a new political configuration in government. With an insider’s view An Upstart in Government analyses the root causes of the myriad bottlenecks in implementation of policies and projects in those years that brought down the growth of the economy. Maira explains that good governance of diverse and democratic India has to be built on strong systems of cooperation rather than hierarchical institutions. He uses his experience as a hands-on leader of organizations and a management consultant to explain how these systems must be developed. Maira’s clear and candid thinking led to the winding down of the Planning Commission and its replacement by the National Institution for Transformation of India (NITI Aayog).
Thought-provoking and incisive, An Upstart in Government shows how India can develop processes to convert contention into collaboration and confusion into coordination, in order to avoid past mistakes and move towards a brighter future with faster, more inclusive, and sustainable growth.