Challenges of Governance traces the long and remarkable journey of B.K. Chaturvedi, from the hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh where he grew up, to the heady days when he became Cabinet Secretary and, thereafter, Member of the erstwhile Planning Commission.
This memoir gives a ringside view of the political situation of the times—the contentious issues, watershed moments, inside stories—along with his own experiences and honest confessions. Itanalyses the challenges of the decision-making process in a coalition government, the pulls and pressures faced by the civil service and how complex issues were finally resolved.
Chaturvedi’s close relationship with former prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, brings out interesting and new facets of the functioning of the Cabinet and the Group of Ministers—a ‘Super Cabinet’. Significant events like the 2004 Tsunami and the critical role of allies in the Indo-US nuclear deal are perfectly balanced with an in-depth understanding of the manner in which the perception of corruption in the government was fuelled by the CAG report on the 2G Spectrum scam.
A mixture of personal reflection and political history, this book draws heavily on Chaturvedi’s extensive experience and painstaking data collection, and sets forth his ideas on improving public administration in India.