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This important and closely argued book contends that research is a unique ‘third eye of governance’—it brings otherwise invisible facts and ground realities to light, thus enabling effective and humane public policies. However, there has been a steady decline in social research with the rise of populism in Indian politics, and disregard for transparency and accountability. The author shows how data, statistics, analysis and research have become politically sensitive and contentious. He argues that if the impressive recent mantras about development and progress are also backed by applied social research, India can reach new heights in democracy, development and governance.