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

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Literacy and Response to COVID-19

Demand for vaccination, as well as access to it, is uneven and sluggish across various parts of India. This article delves into the explanations for this variation from a demand perspective. We find a positive correlation between literacy and the first dose of vaccination. A similar trend is discernible for the demand for vaccines. Also, we find that higher literacy is associated with greater vaccine coverage among women. This nexus between literacy and health preparedness is further substantiated by our findings at the micro-level from an adult literacy evaluation study conducted in early 2021. About 80% of the literate women we surveyed were aware of the COVID-19 symptoms, compared to only 19% surveyed illiterate women. We found that literate women are more likely to wear masks properly and follow COVID-19 protocols and keep abreast with the news and information about COVID-19.

Kerala's Decentralisation

This paper attempts to comprehend and analyse the successes and shortcomings of the People's Campaign in Kerala. Although Keralaâ??s socio-economic context and political culture have placed it in a unique position to realise the goal of democratic decentralisation, and the campaign itself is a remarkable example of the state's capacity for intelligent public mobilisation, it was found that the plan implementation faced some major hurdles. On the basis of a case study conducted in Palakkad district, the author also looks at the actual follow-up events and the impact of political affiliations, staffing issues, and lack of technical expertise on the course of project implementation. The paper argues that the discourse on decentralisation in Kerala also has relevance for the whole country, as the People's Campaign has offered a new paradigm for participatory planning. The issues it has thrown up can help to focus attention on what needs to be done to make decentralisation a meaningful exercise in other states.

Behind the Population Numbers

This last decade India has seen the sharpest decline in the population growth rate since independence. Although in absolute numbers, we have added 181 million people, the decline in growth rate is heartening. It is tempting to view the products of the mammoth Census 2001 exercise as the key to the numbers game. While numbers are certainly important, the Census figures, even these preliminary data, should be read as a comprehensive comment on decadal socioeconomic development.

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