Democracy lies at the heart of Indian nationhood and the media is considered to be its integral part. In this light, the present book discusses and provides valuable insight into a very complex and key issue- that of the handling of polls- related surveys, and thereby, polls themselves. by the media in India. Naturally, how the poll – surveys are conducted as such, who conducts them at what behest, are they scientific enough, can they be the sole criteria for making poll- related predictions and analysis and how media should approach them, are some of the major areas taken up for discussion here. Pitching for transparency in conducting and in the use of poll surveys, the book presents an insider’s view and an outsider’s concern but with a critical perspective. It is likely to be of immense value to the researchers, survey agencies, media professionals, the political class as such, students and teachers of political science and to all concerned citizens interested in this crucial aspect that the transitional times bring up before the Indian democracy.
Dr. N Bhaskara Rao has a distinguished and pioneering background of scaling up sample surveys in India since early 1970s. Starting as an activist in electoral politics, he studied at two Indian and two USA universities. With continued grassroots presence and as an applied social researcher with several Path – breaking evaluation studies to his credit, Dr. Rao’s 1967 book on politics of leadership is considered to be a seminal contribution on the subject by an Indian. Founder of more than half a dozen premier research and academic institutions in India, he pioneered ‘Social Audit’ of public services in India (1991-97) with Studies on Futures being one of his forte (‘India 2010’ in 1987). Actively involved in the national movement for right to information and electoral and judiciary reforms, hi s annual studies on corruption are major primary source since 2000. Dr. Rao also edits Transparency Review, a journal devoted to transparency, RTI, corruption, good governance and ICT.