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​Soumitra Chatterjee (1935–2020)

A tribute to actor Soumitra Chatterjee who died of COVID-19 complications.

Will COVID-19 Change the Landscape of Financing Innovation in India?

The COVID-19 pandemic may affect the financing opportunities for innovation. The revenue loss induced by the pandemic is likely to divert the existing resources in aiding firm survival and economic recovery, with financing innovation taking the back seat. Highlighting the current state of innovation in the country, the rise of the country in its innovation ranking and its existing sources of funding is brought to the forefront. Various avenues presently exist for this purpose and more outlets could be explored to boost the funds for innovative efforts. Experience and policies of other emerging economies can help devise suitable measures that could further enhance India’s trajectory up the innovation ranking.

The COVID-19 Crisis

India’s public health system has struggled to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. Even before the pandemic, India’s public health infrastructure was inadequate with only 0.55 beds per 1,000 population, while out-of-pocket expenditure was pushing almost 63 million people back into poverty, as a large number of healthcare positions lie vacant across the country. Faced with a growing disease burden, India’s public health system is in dire need of investment and the COVID-19 crisis is the perfect opportunity to back this policy decision with political will.

Negotiating Livelihood during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown led to the closure of all markets in Manipur, including the Tribal Market Complex in Imphal East. This article focuses on how the women vendors negotiated their livelihood during the lockdown and analyses its impact. It looks at their ability to cope amidst vulnerability and marginalisation against the backdrop of the ongoing economic turmoil and potentially the disease itself, highlighting their plight and resilience. */

The Pandemic and Economic Fallout in South Asia

Coherent national strategies, backed by regional cooperation efforts, offer a way forward for economic recovery in South Asia, which is rapidly becoming the next COVID-19 global hotspot. Challenges and policies relating to macroeconomics, health, economic sectors, stimulus measures, and reforms, which are all crucial for the region’s recovery are discussed. */

Viral Nostalgia and the Case of the Coronavirus Pandemic

In the last few months, the digital community has effectively responded to the overwhelming changes brought forth by the global calamity with definitive expressions of nostalgia, among other things. The multifarious digital platforms have gone viral with old images, posts, and memories of intimacy and sociality, expressing a yearning for the pre-pandemic times and the restoration of “normalcy.” This article seeks to locate the close connection between illness and nostalgia by tracing its evolution through the fraught medical history of “homesickness” and its “nosological mutation” under the sway of industrial modernity. Finally, the article seeks to understand the current onrush of nostalgia and its significance as the affective aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis engulfing the world.

Gig Work and Platforms during the COVID-19 Pandemic in India

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted workers globally. This article attempts to highlight the impact that the pandemic-lockdown and its subsequent cautious relaxation in India had on geographically tethered on-demand gig workers.

The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 Needs An Urgent Overhaul

The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 is a colonial era legislation that is still used as the primary law to control a mass epidemic. The act, most recently, has been invoked by a number of Indian states to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This article aims to understand the existing scheme under the act, its limitations, judicial scrutiny and the need for a new holistic law from a public health perspective.

COVID-19 in the Indian Context and the Quest for Alternative Paradigms

The COVID-19 pandemic has provocatively challenged the extant paradigm of development whose theoretical underpinning is derived from the neoclassical ideology of market-mediated growth. The Indian context of the pandemic is examined, and a reimagining of the development path for a more rational and egalitarian democracy is argued for. Some of the postulates of Thomas Piketty outlined in his Capital and Ideology are brought home as a pointer to stimulate thinking by all, especially the social scientists.

Fifteenth Finance Commission Award for 2020–21

The first report of the Fifteenth Finance Commission has allayed many fears that arose after the notification of the terms of reference of the commission. The main report for the period 2021–22 to 2025–26 will have to factor in the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the economy and provide adequate fiscal space to the states for socio-economic response and recovery.

An Inconsequential Stimulus

The fiscal stimulus is too little to have any major impact on the economy.

Beyond Biomedical and Statistical Approaches in COVID-19

The evolving COVID-19 pandemic requires that data and operational responses be examined from a public health perspective. While there exist deep contestations about the epidemic control strategies to be adopted, past experience seems to be corroborated in the present epidemic that a contextually rooted “shoe-leather public health” approach provides the most effective interventions and operational strategies, more so in a society as diverse as ours. Drawing from this, an analysis of the COVID-19 situation in India is put forth, and debates on mitigation strategies, optimisation of testing, and the essential steps for a comprehensive set of interventions in order to minimise human suffering are addressed.

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