Book Review: ‘Missing in Action’ by Pranay Kotasthane & Raghu S Jaitley

Educative book on policies.

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Missing in Action by Pranay Kotasthane & Raghu S Jaitley Book Cover
Missing in Action by Pranay Kotasthane & Raghu S Jaitley Book Cover

Book Title: Missing in Action
Author: Pranay Kotasthane & Raghu S Jaitley
Publisher: Penguin India
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 978-0143459378
Date Published: Jan. 23, 2023
Price: INR 274

Book Review

Public policy in India refers to the collection of guidelines, laws, regulations, and actions that the government takes to address different social, economic, and political problems in the nation. These policies are intended to support citizens’ well-being, guarantee social justice, and foster an atmosphere conducive to economic progress and development.

Over the years, the Indian government has implemented several policies to handle problems such as poverty, education, health, agriculture, infrastructure, and the environment. Some important Indian public initiatives include National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), National Health Policy, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India, Make in India, National Education Policy, Ayushman Bharat Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. All these are directed to achieve social and economic development, improve citizens’ quality of life, and promote inclusive growth.

Authors Pranay Kotasthane and Raghu S Jaitley use simple frameworks to understand why and how India – its government, society, and history – enables its citizens across the spectrum: from a layperson with no prior background in the subject to professionals who make a living from policy design and implementation. This book includes historical, sociology, economics, and political science examples.

Furthermore, it offers a good starting point for academics interested in conducting a practical study on regulatory administration. It provides federal agency leaders with a systematic strategy for planning regulatory administration systems.

The book has clear and lucid writing for the ordinary public to understand the policies, policymakers, and their ideas. The authors mainly used contemporary examples with film references, making the chapters more interesting. The book is divided into three sections: Sarkaar (State), Bazaar (Market), and Samaaj (Society), and it uses instances from history, sociology, economics, and political science to give a theory of why the Indian State is the way it is and does what it does. The reader is informed about its historical origins and “precocious” character due to democratization preceding the establishment of a vital state.

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“Missing in Action” also doesn’t shy away from analyzing current plans and policies. The writers express their doubts about the much-touted performance-based incentives. The book provides the readers with basic but effective frameworks for assessing any strategy. The book’s language and font are comfortable and enable the readers to understand the book further and more clearly. Finally, the book aims to protect Indian citizens from political lies and promote intelligent public discourse.

The Review was first published in Storizen Magazine March 2023 issue.