In the final episode of the four-part special podcast series, Yamini Aiyar, president and chief executive of the Centre for Policy Research, takes up a discussion of democracy and the relationship with the Indian Civil Services.

Aiyar, in a conversation with KP Krishnan, an honorary research professor at the Centre for Policy Research and former civil servant, talk about the relationship between the government and civil servants, and the friction between states and the Centre.

Krishnan draws from a range of vibrant personal experiences and anecdotes to nuance the common understanding of the relationship between the civil servant and politicians, which is often seen as “interference”.

In this episode, Krishnan and Aiyar discuss the way forward for possible reforms of the civil services, and the deepening of Indian democracy amid shifts in the social and political culture.

Follow the work of the Centre for Policy Research on Twitter or visit You can listen to all the episodes of CPR’s India Speak podcasts here.