ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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COVID-19 and Supreme Court Contractual Disputes in India

The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a catena of contractual disputes. The paper synthesises the Indian Contract Act and relevant case laws to present a legal position on force majeure , frustration of contract and contractual gaps, in the context of COVID-19. Using the economic analysis of law, it examines contractual disputes from various sectors, including power, construction and real estate, rental, event management and hospitality, and analyses these disputes from legal- and economic-efficiency points of view. Where contracts are not a good instrument for achieving equitable distribution of economic gains and losses, public policy is better suited to address equity and other related issues arising from long-term contracts.

Of Vaccine Shortages and Transparency

The government’s narrative on vaccination should reflect sincerity, truth and transparency.

Television’s New Lease of Life amidst COVID-19

The nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic has given way to an unprecedented situation that every single individual is grappling with. In such uncertain times, television’s role has become significant in keeping the population indoors. This article examines how the re-broadcast of several old television programmes from the 1980s and 1990s has given a second life to the otherwise redundant television set. This article explores the significance of the re-telecast of TV programmes like Ramayan, Mahabharata and others, beyond the political lens and demonstrates how they have challenged digital entertainment and brought back the traditional TV viewing habits. The article also goes on to suggest the way forward for both the public broadcaster Doordarshan and private broadcasters post the current crisis.

Caste and COVID-19

The article looks at on-ground shifts in patterns of how the state and general public are treating sanitation workers, during the CoVID-19 pandemic. Based on interviews with sanitation workers in Hyderabad and Lucknow, three trajectories are identified in municipal and societal reactions to COVID-19. A variability is seen in how state and society respond in the face of renewed caste-based stigma underscored by inaction on the part of the state to concretely recognise sanitation workers’ rights.

Pandemic as Population Check?

As India undergoes massive societal transformations due to the pandemic, a potential dangerous by-product could be a worrying consensus on the need for population control. Dressed as a positive population check to “cure” poverty, such a turn in policy can enable rushed and knee-jerk public opinion that proves fatal for historically persecuted populations. The dangers of support for coercive population control policies in the garb of economic recovery are examined.

Union Budget 2021–22: Is Capital Expenditure Enough for an Economic Recovery?

The Union Budget 2021–22 seems to be relying on capital investment-led growth for an economic recovery. But such an approach neglects those sections of the public that were the worst-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crisis and the Goddess Cult

Invoking the goddess in times of disease and health crises, as with “Corona Devi” in the COVID-19 pandemic, is rooted in the mingling of Brahminical and tribal cultures.

​Reflections on Science and the Human Endeavour

The advancements (and destruction) we create by engaging in scientific research are as much a reflection of human nature as they are of the character of science.

Pendency during the Pandemic

Twelve months after measures to fight COVID-19 forced courts in India to suspend in-person hearings and move online, the Supreme Court finds itself facing increased pendency and demands to restart in-person hearings. Apart from the increased backlog, the Court also finds itself with fewer judges and no immediate nominations in the pipeline to fill the gaps. The incoming Chief Justice of India will therefore have to address a range of issues that fundamentally affect the Court’s basic functioning.

Livelihood Vulnerabilities of Tribals during COVID-19

The imposition of lockdown and COVID-19 has disturbed the life of tribals and forest dwellers by destroying their livelihood and health. The article argues that there is an urgent need to focus on food security and strong social protection mechanisms to help tribal communities to minimise the impact of the pandemic on their social and economic life.

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