The growing tribe of think tanks in India
The quality of output and influence in policymaking have been disappointing
In order to give a flavour of how important think tanks in Washington DC have been to the policymakers, Peter W. Singer, an American political scientist, once wrote: “...when President Reagan took office in 1981, he quickly gave every member of his cabinet an 1,100-page book from the Heritage Foundation, Mandate for Leadership, that provided an outline for conservative principles he wished to enact. Of its 2,000 recommendations, roughly 60% came to fruition— ‘which is why Mr. Reagan’s tenure was 60 percent successful,’ leading conservative William F. Buckley Jr. later quipped." The think tanks in India are nowhere near that influential. But their numbers are growing. Last week, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) opened its sixth international centre in New Delhi.