Ep 34: Capturing Institutional Change- Guftagu with Dr Himanshu Jha


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In this episode of Guftagu, we've with us Dr Himanshu Jha, author of the book, "Capturing Institutional Change: the Case of the Right to Information Act in India".

Dr Himanshu Jha is a faculty in the Department of Political Science at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany. His major interests could be located in the areas of politics, policy and history and thus his empirical findings and theoretical underpinnings can be located at the intersection of all three.

In his new book, Himanshu Jha narrates the story of the events and decisions that led the government to change the norms of secrecy to transparency that is, the book examines the case of the Right to Information Act 2005 as a transformation in the information regime. Based on the historical- archival material, internal government documents and interviews the book argues that the RTIA was a result of an incremental, slow-moving process of ‘ideas’ emerging endogenously from within the state right since independence. By bringing in new evidence that was ignored in the mainstream literature this book problematizes the dominant (and somewhat settled) narratives, unpacks and explains the politics of institutional change and attempts to set history straight.

This interview explores and examines the provided stances in the book along with other broader perspectives of when and how does policy change happens in Indian governments and other intricacies that lead up to major transformations within institutions.

There is a series of such amazingly curated interactions with authors and scholars on the history of the subcontinent. Check out our website www.indiacolonised.com for more blogs and podcasts exploring the tales of India's contemporary history. Do follow us on our social media sites for more exciting updates.

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