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

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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.

Interpreting Kerala’s COVID-19 Numbers

Through a series of data visualisations, the authors attempt to describe Kerala's COVID-19 trajectory, the state’s policy response and how to assess its pandemic performance. Using demographic, economic, social (particularly public health) data, the authors provide context on the vulnerability of the state to outbreaks, show how to use comparative indicators, and account for district-level variation and reporting errors. Finally, the authors examine what has changed in the consequent waves of the pandemic and discuss the enduring strengths of the “Kerala model.”

COVID-19 Pandemic and Tribal Women in Nanded District of Maharashtra

This article is an attempt to critically analyse the impact of COVID-19 on tribal women. Tribal women already experience poor access to basic needs such as healthcare, safe and pure water, sanitation, education, etc. Now they are facing difficulties in obtaining immediate support from the government for healthcare facilities and emergency services for livelihood and survival. This pandemic has created food insecurity and these people have lost their homes and means of livelihood. Hence, this article highlights the consequences of COVID-19 and the struggle of tribal women in this difficult situation.

Subordinate and Marginalised Masculinities and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The abjection, stigma, and precarious existence of transmen, and gender-nonconforming and sexually marginalised men, reveal specific risk and powerlessness, especially in this pandemic, calling for timely intervention from the state and civil society. There is also evidence that during the pandemic, Dalit, Muslim, working-class and Adivasi identities would create specific vulnerabilities under certain circumstances. This article attempts to delineate the experiences of subordinate and marginalised men during the pandemic and lockdown based on interviews and media reports.

Research Radio Ep 18: What Prevents Indian Public Hospitals from Being Hygienic?

In this episode, we speak to Payal Hathi and Nikhil Srivastav about how infection control and caste-based discrimination are closely connected.

Labour, Livelihoods, and Employment in the 2021–22 Union Budget

Coming in the midst of the immense damage inflicted on the Indian economy by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021–22 Union Budget needed to perform the unenviable task of compensating households for massive livelihood losses as well as stimulating economic growth while maintaining some fiscal discipline. As it turned out, the government chose to focus on the second and third goals and largely ignored the first.

Budget 2021–22 on Health

The budget speech on 1 February 2021 announced an allocation of over `2.2 lakh crore to health and well-being, at 137% higher compared to BE 2020–21. The Fifteenth Finance Commission emphasised the need for strengthening the COVID-19-ravaged health sector by recommending sector-specific grants. The government did not accept the recommendation and, if we discount the health component in the local government grants, the budget allocation for the sector has increased by hardly 10% compared to the 2019–20 actuals.

Budget 2021–22 and the Manufacturing Sector

The growth rate of manufacturing value added has been declining continuously since 2016–17 and it had become negative in 2019–20, even before the intensification of the Covid-19 crisis, suggesting that the budget needs to address the structural weaknesses of the economy. The 2021–22 budget has largely adopted the supply side corrective measures in the form of increased capital expenditure on infrastructure. The potential of infrastructure investment in reviving the sector and the implications of the proposed resource mobilisation for financing the increased capital expenditure are discussed. In the context of increased global fragmentation of production, the feasibility of promoting domestic production through tariff protection is also discussed.

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