- Hardcover: 340 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books India; Latest edition (2 November 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0670087890
- ISBN-13: 978-0670087891
- Package Dimensions: 24.4 x 16.3 x 3.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 54 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations Hardcover – 4 Nov 2015
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About the Author
Nandan Nilekani, co-founder and former CEO of Infosys Technologies, was founding chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (Aadhaar). Author of the book Imagining India, he was twice listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME. In 2014, he was awarded The Economist’s Innovation Award in the category Economic and Social Innovation. He is chairman of EkStep, a non-profit literacy and numeracy platform.
Viral Shah worked at the intersection of policy and technology at the Unique Identification Authority of India, where he led the design of the government's payments and subsidy platforms using Aadhaar. He is a co-inventor of the Julia programming language, and co-founder of FourthLion Technologies. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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Top customer reviews
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Written in 2015, totally relevant in today's context.
Would love a follow up in around 2019....as to where we are w.r.t. the aspirations expressed.
This is a very interesting book and notwithstanding some very minor flaws is a must read for anyone interested in India's future and hopeful ascent to a global power in the 21st century.
The book is essentially a compendium of ideas of how technology can change the ground reality of India's inefficient and ineffective governance. Unlike most such books, the authors have actually worked on some of these transformative ideas, most noticeably Aadhaar and so have credibility vs armchair intellectuals of dubious provenance.. With a judicious mix of illustrative examples and interesting graphics, it lays out some transformative ideas, which if implemented earnestly, could change India's future.
The only parts of the book that grate a bit are the constant paeans of praise to Nandan Nilekani's omniscient wisdom. "Nandan said 10 years ago ..." blah blah After the first couple of times ,you begin to roll your eyes at these bits. The authors writing such encomiums to themselves while speaking of themselves in the third person sounds very weird. The book also ignores the controversies around Aadhar and treat it as an unalloyed good.
That said, these are minor nitpicks in an otherwise decent book. Read it. Even if you don't agree with every idea in the book, it will challenge some of your preconceptions and make you think.
The initial pages in the book give us a background of the AADHAAR project and some behind the scenes narrative which is indeed exciting to read. The book discusses exciting ideas for reforms in different development sectors. They have touched upon social security, education, health, GST, power and energy, justice delivery, our road network and more. I see this as something which is simple to read and understand. Indeed the authors should be lauded for explaining so varied areas in simple language. I wish our school textbooks on ‘civic studies’ were this simple.
Other important thing that I liked about the book is it is not a mere wishful thinking on India’s future as happens with many other authors. Here the author has walked the talk at least for two of the ideas in the book. For many other areas also the authors have argued that AADHAAR could act as a platform for reform.
The length of coverage of the issues is so perfectly balanced that neither it is too shallow to make it superficial nor is it too detailed which only a professional can understand. It also helped me make a holistic understanding of the sector. For example all the talks about the goods and services tax in mainstream media went over the head for me. It was this and the earlier (Imagining India) that gave me a holistic understanding of the tax structure associated with GST. That makes it a promising read. I would give it a 5/5 stars.
Nandan has given a holistic picture of his stint as UIDAI chief including the challenges a technocrat faces in delivering inside the system. Practical solutions to which foundations have been laid constitute the book. The book makes the reader realize that the potential of Adhaar is extremely H-U-G-E.
The book is written in a simple way with infographics and mind maps which keeps the reader engrossed throughout.
Anyone interested in Public Policy space ought to read this book.
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