Thursday, June 8, 2023
Support Our Journalism
HomeSoftCoverNew book aims to make public policy 'interesting', equips readers with tools...

New book aims to make public policy ‘interesting’, equips readers with tools to ask questions

Published by Pengiun India, Pranay Kotasthane and Raghu S. Jaitley's 'Missing in Action' will be released on ThePrint's Softcover on 23 January.

Text Size:

New Delhi: Pranay Kotasthane and Raghu S. Jaitley’s new book ‘Missing in Action’ has a singular aim — to make public policy interesting again.

The book will be released on ThePrint’s Softcover, an online platform for publishing non-fiction books, on 23 January.

Through the book, the authors intend on educating citizens, handing them the tools needed to question the government, to critically reflect on policies and equip them with the skills needed to ask the right queries.

Outlining the importance of public policy awareness, the book says “better public policy understanding will raise the level of public discourse. Much of our current public discourse is a partisan sniping contest. Policy is judged not by its consequences, sometimes not even by the intentions behind it, but by the party—and sometimes just one person—that backs it. When this happens, policy discussions are bound to descend into identarian one-upmanship contests”.

The book also devotes space to debunking myths regarding policy and politics, as well as explaining how the two are woven together. Beliefs such as policy is ineffective, or that the two are disparate entities, are disproven.

Kotasthane and Jaitley describe their new release as a “pop public policy book” that lets “stories of Indian experiences take center stage”. Typically, books about policy would use examples and refer to events outside the country, situations that stem from different socio-political contexts.

‘Each story offers a public policy concept’

The book is divided into three sections. The first section delves into key features of the Indian state and focuses on its failures, the second gives an account of the country’s economy and how it interacts with markets and businesses, while the third section “maps the relationship between the Indian state and society”. The chapters can be read in any order, depending on what piques a reader’s interest.

What sets ‘Missing in Action’ apart is the sheer accessibility and ease with which it is written. Ideas are not hidden behind jargons, the message is simple and articulated lucidly.

“There are no formal interviews or ground-zero reports. What you will find instead is a collection of stories, some attempts at humour, and many counterintuitive ideas. Each story will offer a public policy concept, idea, or framework as the key takeaway. These ideas, we believe, are the building blocks for understanding Indian public policy issues,” write Kotasthane and Jaitley.

Missing in Action is a thoroughly engaging, entertaining, and educational book. The book helps readers understand why the Indian state is the way it is — powerful yet ineffective, well-intentioned yet weak, and ambitious yet underperforming. A must-read for everyone,” said philanthropist Rohini Nilekani, author of Samaaj Sarkaar Bazaar: a citizen-first approach.

Also read: New memoir traces life of former union cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar in UPA govt


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular