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

COVID-19Subscribe to COVID-19

Our Domestic Chores

Poorly paid and with no employment benefits, female domestic workers are becoming the sole breadwinners of their families.

Impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs

Micro, small, and medium enterprises contribute a third of India’s gross domestic product and provide employment to over 110 million workers. Using a mixed methods design to ascertain the level of sectoral distress at the peak of the nationwide lockdown in May 2020, we found production falling from an average of 75% of capacity to just 13%. On an average, firms retained only 44% of their workforce, and 69% of firms reported inability to survive longer than three months. Distress measures were more severe for smaller firms by employment size.

Assam Elections 2021

Hyper-populism riding on welfare schemes along with a polarised campaign on religious lines paved the way for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance’s return to power in Assam. As the new government resumes office, it remains to be seen if it will continue its emphasis on polarising issues such as reverification of National Register of Citizens and ban or focus on larger issues like the Covid-19 pandemic, flood and erosion that continue to hamper the state’s development.

Tamil Nadu Economy

Tamil Nadu is a state that has ensured a simultaneous improvement in growth and human development. Innovative welfare interventions combined with economic dynamism have been a key feature of the state’s development. In the context of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam coming to power on the back of a slew of promises on welfare and development, and the ongoing pandemic, the trajectory of growth and resource mobilisation efforts by the state is examined. The analysis points to an emerging disjuncture between growth and tax efforts of the state as well as a decline in central transfers.

Of Denial and Data

A national lockdown was announced on 23 March 2020. This saw a humanitarian crisis unfold, that included deaths directly caused by the lockdown. The Indian government has been in denial about these deaths. In this article, we attempt to gather data on the human costs of the lockdown. Using media reports, we collected data on these deaths that highlights the devasting consequences of a harsh and sudden lockdown on the vulnerable sections, and underscores the need for strong social security efforts.

Rizwan Qaiser (1960–2021)

Rizwan Qaiser, professor of history at Jamia Millia Islamia, succumbed to COVID-19 on 1 May. His scholarship on Maulana Azad filled a lacuna in Indian historiography. His work and public life was marked by an unflinching commitment to secularism. Icannot still believe that I am writing an obituary...

Slow Vaccination Rate: A Sword of Damocles over the Economy

Recurring waves of the pandemic are the biggest threat to the recovery of economic growth.

Crisis behind Closed Doors

The impact of the national lockdown due to COVID-19 on domestic workers in New Delhi and Gurugram is examined. Through extensive surveys with members of three labour unions, it was found that not only were domestic workers able to find less work, but were also paid lower wages, while unable to access government schemes or financial or in-kind support from their employers. This points to a dire need for policies that protect domestic workers’ interests.

Why India’s Vaccine Companies Are Profiteering in the Pandemic

The crisis of COVID-19 vaccines in India is a consequence of government policies dating back decades. Private foundations led by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have engineered a shift in research and manufacture of essential technologies such as vaccines to private biotech labs and factories. Companies such as the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech can dictate terms and prices of vaccines developed with public support because the closure of public vaccine manufacturing units over a decade ago has left the government at the mercy of the private sector.

Fiscal Compression, Jeopardised Recovery, the Humanitarian Crisis and Reforms

This paper assesses the impact of the budget on the economic recovery, debt dynamics and fiscal–monetary policy interaction. It also looks at how the budget has addressed issues of lives and livelihoods. It concludes by noting that the fiscal stance of compression in the 2021–22 budget has jeopardised an already faltering economic recovery that is now jeopardised by the second wave of the pandemic.

Influenza Pandemic of 1918

As India battles hard to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, it is important to look back and examine how a major pandemic that occured nearly 100 years ago—the influenza pandemic of 1918 or “Spanish flu”—was tackled by the then colonial administration. The challenges encountered are examined, drawing specifically from the experiences of the state of Mysore, considered as one of the well-administered, “progressive” princely states in British India.

Pages

Back to Top