Yamini Aiyar is the president and chief executive of the Centre for Policy Research, where, in 2008, she founded the Accountability Initiative to look at transparent and responsive governance. Aiyar’s research has focused on how to deepen accountability within government, which has in recent years driven her to examine Indian federalism.

Scroll.in spoke to Aiyar about two recent papers she co-wrote, focusing on the impact Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2019 victory has had on politics as well as governance, with federalism as a key lens, and also about the challenges and opportunities that come with doing policy research in this complicated time.

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Could you give us a little bit of background on how you came to head CPR, and what you have focused on in your research?
My professional interests were to begin with quite far away from the world of policy research, per se. I wanted to be an active practitioner and operational hand in the process of development and governance. I spent some time in my early career at the Ford Foundation, which at the time had programmes for...

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