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Latest on CASI publications

Defying the Odds book coverToday FT‘s Amy Kazmin reviewed CASI’s latest publication Defying the Odds: The Rise of Dalit Entrepreneurs. She writes:

“the book offers fascinating, bottom-up insights into the gritty workings of India’s economy, and its twisting, bumpy roads to potential upward mobility.”

Read the full review here.

The Kindle edition of Defying the Odds is now available in the US on Be sure to get your copy! You can read more about the book on our website.

Also, don’t miss CASI Director Devesh Kapur’s latest op-eds. In an article for Business Standard, he discusses the trade-off between competence and loyalty in government bureaucracy and argues that the Modi government should take a risk by bringing in new talent. Read the story here.

Kapur also writes about the need to build stronger state institutions which are better at promoting public good in an article for The Economic Times published today. Read the story here.


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Finding better leaders

Read CASI Director, Devesh Kapur‘s recent Business Standard article with Ananth PadmDeveshanabhan on the talent deficit for public institutions in India.

“India’s public institutions face major challenges in recruiting, motivating and retaining talent. The problem has been manifest in the core government bureaucracy for years. In 2012, the total authorised strength of the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service was 10,884, of which more than three thousand were vacant – 28 per cent of the total. In 2011, of the 100,000-odd Group A sanctioned posts of the central government, 15 per cent were vacant. In 2013, the army’s officer vacancies were nearly 10,000, while its annual recruitment was about a fifth of that (in 2012). In end-2012, against the sanctioned strength of 924 in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, 528 posts were vacant – unsurprisingly, India’s air safety was downgraded to category II by the United States Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year.

While the problems are significant at the entry level, they are manifestly more acute at the senior level. The absence of lateral entry at senior levels of the bureaucracy and the judiciary, the straitjacket posed by the seniority criterion and, of course, the “malleability” criterion imposed by the bureaucracy’s political masters have extracted a heavy price. As domain knowledge in a host of tasks becomes more specialised, the stranglehold of the generalist becomes increasingly self-limiting.”

Continue reading…