Thank you for the double gift on Republic Day of the report of the President’s speech and Sankaran Krishna's article “The great number fetish.” Read together, they present a very perceptive analysis of why GDP growth alone is not reverberating in the minds of most of our people. However, neither has mentioned an obvious solution: scientific and structured devolution of functions, finances and functionaries in the social sectors and anti-poverty programmes to secure the effective empowerment of our PRIs. This alone will change the highly inefficient and deeply corrupt system of bureaucratic delivery of public goods and services to self-delivery through grassroots democratic institutions of inclusive governance.

Mani Shankar Aiyar,

New Delhi

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