Rupa to Publish CHALLENGES OF GOVERNANCE: An Insider’s View by B.K. Chaturvedi

(INR 595, 232pp)


Challenges of Governance traces the long and remarkable journey of B.K. Chaturvedi, from the hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh where he grew up, to the heady days when he became Cabinet Secretary and, thereafter, Member of the erstwhile Planning Commission. This memoir gives a ringside view of the political situation of the times—the contentious issues, watershed moments, inside stories—along with his own experiences and honest confessions. It analyses the challenges of the decision-making process in a coalition government, the pulls and pressures faced by the civil service and how complex issues were finally resolved.

Picture Credit: Rupa
Picture Credit: Rupa

Chaturvedi’s close relationship with former prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, brings out interesting and new facets of the functioning of the Cabinet and the Group of Ministers—a ‘Super Cabinet’. Significant events like the 2004 Tsunami and the critical role of allies in the Indo-US nuclear deal are perfectly balanced with an in-depth understanding of the manner in which the perception of corruption in the government was fuelled by the CAG report on the 2G Spectrum scam.

A mixture of personal reflection and political history, this book draws heavily on Chaturvedi’s extensive experience and painstaking data collection, and sets forth his ideas on improving public administration in India.


Starting his career in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1966, B.K. CHATURVEDI rose to the highest position in the civil service when he was appointed Cabinet Secretary in June 2004. He continued in that capacity for three years, during which period he advised the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on all major assignments in the Central Government, worked as Secretary to the Union Cabinet, advised the prime minister on major policy issues and was Headof the National Crisis Management Committee.

Chaturvedi was appointed as Member, Planning Commission in June 2007 and, in addition to it, as Member, Thirteenth Finance Commission, in November 2007. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India in 2010 for his contribution in the civil service.

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