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

COVID-19Subscribe to COVID-19

Impact of COVID-19 on the Indian Banking Sector

This article investigates the impact of COVID-19 on the banking sector through the trend analysis of return on assets and return on equity of the scheduled commercial banks. It covers both the pre- and post-lockdown periods. The results suggest that the governmental measures are helping ameliorate situations of bad quality loans and will improve future prospects of the banking industry.

Decoding the Three Pandemic Budgets

Despite substantial socio-economic disparities in health, education, and nutrition outcomes, the government is pitching human development expenditure against capital expenditure. In a welfare state, social sector should be the centre of policy prescriptions. Instead of an imperfect assumption of trickle-down, the the government needs to realise that growth and development must go hand in hand.

Trade Measures Enacted by Countries Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article tries to analyse the non-tariff measures enacted by countries during the COVID-19 pandemic from the lens of trade protectionism. It further suggests ways for reforming the World Trade Organization rules and highlights the importance of eliminating trade barriers for effectively combating the pandemic.

COVID-19 and India’s Ongoing Migration Fiasco

Drawing on empirical research with migrant populations, this article identifies four interlinked issues critical to understanding and addressing the contemporary migrant crisis that unfolded in India in the wake of COVID-19. These are (i) labour market segmentation by class, caste, and gender; (ii) inaccessibility of urban housing and services that challenge urban survival; (iii) differential access to documentation, which shapes the hierarchies of citizenship; and (iv) ineffective data that lets migrants slip through the gaps of welfare provision.

COVID-19 to Lockdown (Mis)-management

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned out to be the biggest humanitarian disaster of the century. This crisis has been effectuated due to the authoritativeness of the state that has used its powers under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the hitherto Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 without paying heed to the decentralisation of powers, devolution of duties, and building community resilience.

Regional Lockdown Policies and COVID-19 Transmission in India

Do lockdowns and mobility restrictions contain the spread of COVID-19? Data was collected on district-level non-pharmaceutical interventions, using government notifications and news reports, in six major Indian states to assess the impact of NPIs on COVID-19 transmission and fatality in 2020. Findings suggest that NPIs slowed COVID-19 death rates in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Interventions that were most associated with slowing fatalities were temple closures, retail closures, and curfews. Even with incomplete compliance, limiting mass gatherings in face of incipient viral waves may save lives.

Private Profits, Technology Denial and Global Vaccine Inequity

By prioritising profits, the vaccine policies of developed countries seriously hinder vaccinations in developing countries.

A Shot in the Arm

Does a mandatory vaccination policy, as a social welfare measure, impinge on personal liberty?

Inflation, Debt Sustainability, and Government Borrowing in the Time of the Pandemic

Public borrowing is essential to garner resources to combat the current pandemic. The ability to do so and adhere to the standard norms of debt sustainability will be harder for developing economies as compared to the developed, due to constraints, both structural and policy-induced. High food infl ation and the adoption of infl ation targeting will impose severe constraints on the ability to expand borrowing and maintain low levels of debt-to-GDP. In such a situation, governments must either rethink monetary policy and/or allow for debt ratios to rise.

Resource Constraints in Implementing the NEP 2020

The fiscal year 2020-21 was unprecedented for the education sector in India. First, a new National Education Policy with an ambitious rollout timeline was announced. Second, it witnessed a near lockdown of all educational activity because of the pandemic. This has led to significant learning loss, particularly of foundational literacy and numeracy that will have to be recovered in the coming years. Both of these call for a significant investment of resources in the education sector. An analysis of central and Karnataka (as a representative state) education budgets for FY 2021-22 reveals that there is minimal funding to address either of these in the current fiscal year.

Discourses around Stigma and Denial in the COVID-19 Pandemic

A widespread but underexplored aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic in India has been the prevalence of stigma and denial at different levels in the community mediated by state policy and actions. Based on a field study in three districts of Tamil Nadu between the two waves of the pandemic, this article explores the nature of stigma and denial and their consequence for health-seeking behaviour and access to healthcare. This is important not just to prevent further suffering of the affected people but also for formulation of more effective and equitable public health interventions in management of the pandemic.

COVID-19 and Fiscal–Monetary Policy Coordination

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic stimulus packages announced by the national government are analysed and an attempt is made to identify the plausible fiscal and monetary policy coordination. When credit-linked economic stimulus packages are partial in its impact on growth recovery, an accommodative fiscal policy stance in the forthcoming Union Budget 2022–23 is crucial for the economy.

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