Diana Jue-Rajasingh

On the Bangalore Development Authority and Conducting Research in Public Administration

Posted in Fulbright, India, Traveling by Diana on August 15, 2012

My Fulbright proposal was about public administration in Bangalore’s land development, and the primary public organization that I am interested in is the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). The Times of India published an article about two weeks ago about the “defunct” and “headless” BDA.

If you read the article, you probably can’t identify the places or acronyms referenced in it. However, you can pick up on general sentiments toward the BDA, which I’m not sure are necessarily fair (many articles I’ve come across in Indian newspapers are on the sensational side). The quotations about being “defunct” were made by a Karnataka high court judge in July. The “headless” part refers to changes that have been happening all summer. The BDA Commissioner whom I had met last summer was one of the 35 IAS officers who were reshuffled into new posts in June. He had been in that post for about two years, and he is now the Principal Secretary of the Agriculture Department. A new BDA Commissioner was appointed, but he was shortly moved to become the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister. Now, the BDA lacks an active Commissioner, who is the head honcho for the organization.

Land development is a messy political process that shines the spotlight on issues like the “common good,” “private vs. public” land, eminent domain, and socioeconomic disparities. The administrative changes within public agencies that control land development add another problematic layer of confusion. Doing research will be difficult, since I’d banked on studying public administration through personal connections within public agencies. We’ll see what will happen now.

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