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

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The Great Indian Kitchen

The Great Indian Kitchen makes a subtle but important connection between housework, domestic violence, and the denial of women’s autonomy.

NEP 2020 and the Language-in-Education Policy in India

The National Education Policy of India 2020 is a significant policy document laying the national-level strategy for the new millennium. It is ambitious and claims universal access to quality education as its key aim, keeping with the Sustainable Development Goal 4 of the United Nations Agenda 2030. One of the highlights of the NEP is its emphasis on mother tongue education at the primary levels in both state- and privately owned schools. The present paper critically assesses the NEP 2020, primarily in relation to the language-in-education policy. The paper argues that it presents a “contradiction of intentions,” aspiring towards inclusion of the historically disadvantaged and marginalised groups on the one hand, while practising a policy of aggressive privatisation and disinvestment in public education on the other.

COVID-19 Economic Stimulus and State-level Performance of Power Distribution Companies

As part of the COVID-19 economic stimulus package, the Government of India increased the borrowing limit of the states from 3% to 5% of the gross state domestic product. The power sector reform at the state level is one of the criteria to avail this extra borrowing. The efficiency parameters of the power sector are analysed here, and it is observed that there are statewise differentials in the financial and operational parameters. The average aggregate technical and commercial losses that should have been 15% by 2018–19, presently, on average, stand at 26.15%. The average cost of supply–average revenue realised has also widened. The operational parameters indicate widening inefficiencies across states in the power infrastructure.

Coal Woes: Are They Touch and Go?

To combat the coal shortage and prevent its recurrence, meticulous and efficient planning holds the key.

Changes in Planning Methodology

The trends in the utilisation of plan funds by the local self-government institutions in Kerala from 2012–13 to 2020–21 are analysed. Changes in the participatory planning methodology in 2016 have resulted in better utilisation of the funds after 2017–18.

RBI’s Efforts towards ‘Pandexit’ Go beyond Policy Measures

In a proactive move, the Reserve Bank of India rescued the economy with its innovative—blended conventional and unconventional—monetary policy measures. Low-interest rates, aligning targeted liquidity, and granting moratorium coupled with forbearance to enable banks to restructure loans, mandated the Kamath panel to work out modalities to restructure corporate sector loans. After affirming stability and orderliness of the financial sector throughout the crisis period, it rightly signalled descent towards normalisation paving for pandexit manoeuvring the tool of variable reverse repo rate.

Export-induced Loss in Employment and Earnings during the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented exogenous shock in the world economy unlike the global financial crisis in 2008, which was endogenously determined in the structure of capitalist financial market. Given the fact that Indian export sector significantly contributes to the Indian economy in general and employment in particular, it is worth examining how the Indian gross domestic product and exports changed in comparison with the world GDP and world exports respectively, in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020–21 vis-à-vis the GFC in 2008. Which industries are affected the most, in terms of export loss, during this COVID-19 crisis? What have been the consequences of these falling export on employment and earnings in the Indian export sector? This study estimates that in the COVID-19 year 2020–21, Indian exports have fallen by `3.74 lakh crore, with a plausible loss of direct employment by 5.06 lakh and an estimated loss of earnings around `12.4 thousand crore across 85 commodities.

The Pandemic and Its Discontents in India

India and the Pandemic: The First Year, Essays from The India Forum by The India Forum, 2021; Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan; pp xvii + 335, ` 695.

Wholesale and Retail Food Prices in Maharashtra during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The analysis builds on the extant literature in three ways: it covers the longest period of the lockdown; offers robust comparisons of means and variances of food commodities’ prices and the price wedge between them in different cities/market centres in Maharashtra during the lockdown relative to the pre-pandemic period; and finally gives a distillation of time-series analysis of co-movements of wholesale and retail prices between pairs of centre/wholesale and retail prices, mutual dependence of wholesale and retail prices, taking their lags into account, and their time-varying volatility.

Ways to Tackle Hunger during COVID-19

COVID-19 has not only caused deaths but has also exacerbated hunger and starvation due to nationwide lockdowns in the country that have led to a massive breakdown in the supply chain networks. These tough times are no less than a “wake-up call” for India to devise a permanent supply chain solution that ensures an uninterrupted supply of food and nutrition as well as timely healthcare and employment for its population.

Serving Quarantine

(After Serving Time by Charles Simic)

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