In his career as a civil servant, N.K. Singh held several key positions in the ministry of commerce and industry of his home cadre and the finance ministry at the centre. As additional secretary (economic affairs), expenditure secretary, revenue secretary, secretary to the prime minister and later as member, Planning Commission, N.K. Singh navigated the system to help steer India's economic liberalization from 1991 to 2004. In his weekly column 'From the Ringside' written for the Indian Express, Singh dissects, explicates and critiques the infrastructure, centre-state relations, the opening up of the insurance sector, petroleum prices and their deregulation and changing global perspectives on India, among other topics.
The Politics of Change draws on N.K. Singh's experience to give the reader a window into India's politics and economy, providing incisive insights into the realities of coalition politics and international fault lines. The analyses help understand why some initiatives have succeeded in transforming the economic landscape while other bills, schemes and initiatives which were launched with good intentions have either foundered because of the party in opposition or eventually emerged with scars after years of tussle. The book also highlights the challenges that India must face as its institutions evolve to keep pace with the task of governing and supporting the rapidly changing economic and social landscape.
In many ways, The Politics of Change demystifies the riddles of India's economic development prospects and highlights the elephant's efforts to alter its gait.