It is extraordinary that, after more than two decades of reform, how little effort has gone into addressing India's Achilles heel: the quality of its government structures. Consider the looming challenges and their scale. India's democratic success and the demographic bulge mean that tens of millions of young people will be joining India's workforce with aspirations that their parents couldn't even dream about. In addition, rapid economic growth is imposing severe resource constraints, be it land, energy or water - constraints that will bite even more if the pessimistic predictions of the effects of climate change on India come to pass. With social authority structures - whether family or religion - weakening, the need for parallel authority structures based on legitimacy and trust in state organs will only be greater.
September 09, 2013