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

LockdownSubscribe to Lockdown

India and the RCEP

COVID-19 has widely affected global supply and value chains, and specific sectors around the world. In this scenario, the options for India to optimise its regional and global value chain linkages with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership are examined, which in turn could aid in its post-pandemic recovery.

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.

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.

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.

The Unresolved Issues in Controlling Covid-19

Vaccinating the entire population of the country against COVID-19 is a hard feat to achieve given the weak health infrastructure of the country and various other factors like confusion and vaccine hesitancy. A strict lockdown and safety measures are the only way to deal with the second wave of the deadly disease.

​A Pandemic Parable

Returning Migrant Workers and the Sound of Empty Vessels A satirical take on a couple watching, from the wings, as migrant workers walked thousands of kilometres back to their villages one year ago.

COVID-19 and Contractual Disputes in India

The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a catena of contractual disputes. The paper synthesises the Indian Contract Act and relevant case laws to present a legal position on force majeure , frustration of contract and contractual gaps, in the context of COVID-19. Using the economic analysis of law, it examines contractual disputes from various sectors, including power, construction and real estate, rental, event management and hospitality, and analyses these disputes from legal- and economic-efficiency points of view. Where contracts are not a good instrument for achieving equitable distribution of economic gains and losses, public policy is better suited to address equity and other related issues arising from long-term contracts.

COVID-19: Examining the Impact of Lockdown in India after One Year

One year after its announcement in March 2020, the consequences of India’s strict COVID-19 lockdown measures and ineffective policy responses continue to be felt, be it in terms of livelihood loss and economic downturn or increased marginalisation of vulnerable sections of society.

Lockdown Humour and Domestic Work: Perpetuating Gender Roles

The lockdown during COVID-19 resulted in the overburdening of work for Indian women. Memes were circulated on this and the unenthusiastic participation of men. By analysing humour, the article asserts that the memes reinforce the gendered divisions of domestic labour and the hierarchy within the family.

Precarious Transitions: Mobility and Citizenship in a Rising Power

Over the summer of 2020, millions of migrants streamed out of Indian cities in the wake of the ill-planned lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 March 2020. The most conservative estimates suggest 30 million internal migrants in India (Ministry of Finance, Government of India 2018: 267). More realistic estimates peg the numbers at 140 million (Rajan et al 2020). If even half the most conservative figures are trekking back home, we are likely to be witness to the forced migration of at least 15 million people criss-crossing the country to get back to their homes. These numbers most likely dwarf the migrations wrought by the partition, estimated between 10 and 12 million people. At a time, millions have been cut adrift by the Indian state, we need to urgently reflect on what it means to be a citizen.

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