Citizens' handbook, a policy guide for improving governance in Delhi launched

Meri News | 18 August 2016

India's leading think tank, Centre for Civil Society, released the 4th edition of its Delhi Citizens' handbook, in partnership with the Fredrich Naumann Stiftung.

The handbook was launched by Mr Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi at India International Centre (Annexe). Mr Manish Sisodia appreciated the findings of the handbook, and stressed for the need of a collaborative effort on part of research organizations and the government, to work in "sync" and enable productive application of recommendations.

The book is a product of rigor and perseverance of 24 college students who participated in the 16th year of researching reality internship, which is an annual six-week internship program where interns from varied academic background, be it, economics, history, commerce, political science, journalism or engineering engage in research on public policy issues.

The launch was preceded by a panel discussion on the theme "Jann ki Baat: A Citizen's Perspective". The panelists included eminent academicians and key state representatives such as economist Geeta Gauri, Supreme Court counsel Vikramjit Banerjee, National treasurer and spokesperson for Aam Aadmi Party Raghav Chadha, and Advisor to the State Minister for Health Dr. Nimmi Rastogi.

The discussion was moderated by Premila Nazareth, who is a policy expert on foreign direct investment, as well an independent columnist. The discussion brought forth some pertinent issues facing the national capital of India that need urgent attention of the government such as migration, pollution, poor education facilities and recent policy innovations such as Mohalla Clinics.

The panel discussed the striking lack of public utilities faced by citizens of Delhi, and how meaningful policy interventions may circumvent these. As the panel highlighted, the need to take the recommendations forward meaningfully is of utmost importance.

The launch follows the 70th Independence Day and advocates freedom from constraints produced by policy shortcomings. Aiming to provide the citizens of Delhi with a comprehensive survey of policies, institutions and their operation, the handbook is intended as a public resource for an informed debate and dialogue on challenges plaguing the city.

The handbook features research papers assessing the impact and relevance of policies that shape the lives of ordinary citizens in the national capital on eight core areas of urban governance: trade & commerce, education, health, water, urbanisation, power, governance and environment, and examines the feasibility and potentiality of recent policy initiatives such as the Delhi Solar Energy Policy, 2016, the Model Shops and Establishment Act, the State of Delhi Bill, 2016, etc.

The handbook is now available for free on the Centre for Civil Society website, with the aim to encourage discussions on the most crippling issues of urban governance. The effort of twenty four graduate students from across the country, the book truly is a collaborative effort in resolving challenges to urban living.

Read the news on Meri News website.