CPR Dialogues 2020- What Would it Take to Build a 21st-century State for India? Launch of CPR’s State Capacity Initiative

11 March 2020

Watch the full video (above) of the panel discussion on ‘What Would it Take to Build a 21st-century State for India?’ to mark the launch of CPR’s new State Capacity Initiative featuring Sanjay Mitra (Former Chief Secretary, West Bengal); T V Somanathan (Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Government of India); Junaid Ahmad, Country Director (World Bank in India) with a presentation by Mekhala Krishnamurthy (Senior Fellow, CPR) and moderated by Yamini Aiyar (President & Chief Executive, CPR).

To mark the launch of CPR’s new State Capacity Initiative, we asked, what will it take for India to build a state that can credibly address the complex, competing and multi-generational challenges that we face in the 21st-century? In particular, we explored the changing roles of the Indian state and how we might balance some of the critical tensions of administrative reform and institutional change. This includes the tension between generalists vs. specialists and the question of knowledge and skills; the tensions between discretion, administrative flexibility, and public accountability; the evolving nature of citizen-state relations, and the tensions and dynamics between the Centre and States in shaping state capacity in democratic and federal India.

At a time of widespread disenchantment with the state, this panel was an effort to collectively re-imagine and re-invest in the possibility of building a genuinely capable, responsive, and accountable Indian state.

More information about the State Capacity Initiative can be found here.

The panel was organised as part of the second edition of CPR Dialogues, held on 2nd and 3rd March 2020 at the India Habitat Centre. Addressing the theme of Policy Perspectives for 21st-century India, CPR Dialogues 2020 provided a window to the India of the future. Experts from around the country and the world engaged with and debated these very significant development and policy challenges that India faces in the coming decade.

ThePrint India was the digital partner for the event.

An article on Indian state capacity, written by Yamini Aiyar and Mekhala Krishnamurthy in ThePrint can be read here.

Media coverage of the panel discussion can be found below:

Videos of other panel discussions organised as part of CPR Dialogues 2020 can be found below:

The views shared belong to individual faculty and researchers and do not represent an institutional stance on the issue.