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Co-author, Missing in Action
Author, India’s Blind Spot

Date & Time

Wednesday Wed, 4 Oct 2023


Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

A gift of Indian classical music, Jugalbandi, is an improvisation duet between two artists. It has a long legacy of bringing together two artists as they build over each other’s leads and work. But how do you bring policy ‘artists’ for a jugalbandi? You get them together in a format that builds over their experience and knowledge.  You get them when there is no pressure of ideology and institutional affiliations. You bring them together as they derive from their long body of credible work to have this policy duet.

Just like the traditional jugaldbandi allows artists to use their instruments of choice, the Policy Jugalbandi will use Pranay’s work with Takshashila Institution and Devashish’s work with NITI Aayog to hold this duet. It is notable that they have both spent some time at the Takshashila Institution Gharana to be trained in the world of policy. As they build on each other’s work, the policy jugaldbandi will also unpack the world of policy for the audience!

Participant 1: Pranay Kotasthane, Co-author, Missing in Action
Participant 2: Devashish Dhar, Author, India’s Blind Spot

About Missing in Action: Questions are rarely asked of the Indian State-the institution that makes rules, bends them and punishes others for breaking the laws it creates. The privileged can afford not to think about the State because we have given up on it. The not-so-privileged have resigned themselves to a State that provides short-term benefits. Either way, we seldom pause to reflect on why the Indian State works the way it does. Missing in Action aims to change such perceptions through sketches from everyday experiences to illustrate India’s tryst with public policymaking. It acquaints the reader with some fundamental concepts of the public policy discipline.

About India’s Blind Spot: The book establishes that cities are humankind’s longest-running experiment and India’s experiment with it is marred with its own challenges and opportunities. It also shows how Indian policy has been characterized by a denial of urbanization. Consequently, cities have truly become India’s blind spot. And blind spots can be fatal. This book gives fresh insight into how we have reached this point of exasperation, and provides policy solutions and innovations to tackle the complex issues that plague our urban spaces.


Pranay Kotasthane

Co-author, Missing in Action

Pranay Kotasthane is deputy director at the Takshashila Institution, where he teaches public policy, geopolitics, and public finance. His current area of research is semiconductor geopolitics. Pranay co-hosts Puliyabaazi, a popular Hindi podcast on public policy and politics.

Devashish Dhar

Author, India’s Blind Spot

Devashish is a former Public Policy Specialist at NITI Aayog. He is a Mason Fellow from the Harvard Kennedy School and Li Ka Shing Scholar from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore. He is also a Raisina Fellow, an IVLP Fellow, and has authored several articles for national publications.