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

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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.

Emerging Pattern and Trend of Migration in Megacities

Rural-to-urban migration, particularly between states, towards megacities continues to contribute to their overall growth, although the trajectory of migration is shifting towards smaller cities. Based on analysing the census figures from 2001 to 2011 and the National Sample Survey Office data,...

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.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Formal Sector Crisis in IT and ITeS

The information technology and information technology-enabled services sector in India have largely been opaque, with little known about its social profile, work conditions, and office culture. The sector hides its everyday workings behind massive revenue figures and the number of jobs in the organised sector it has created. What slips through the cracks is the precarious nature of these permanent jobs and the shocking ineffectiveness of employee protections. These vulnerabilities, built into the employment and work culture of the sector, acquired a nightmarish quality during the COVID-19 pandemic. With most IT companies being forced to shift their employees to work-from-home formats, it is crucial to study how these vulnerabilities have affected the latter. This paper draws upon media reports, a short online survey, and telephonic interviews to highlight the working conditions in the IT and ITeS sector, the experience of working from home, and the overall state of its permanent employment.

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?

Determinants and Dynamics of Food Insecurity during COVID-19 in Rural Eastern India

Using comprehensive telephone survey data from 2,599 households, the paper estimates the status of food insecurity using the food insecurity experience scale in rural households in eastern India. The results indicate that households belonging to lower social strata with less land and fewer years of education are more likely to suffer from food insecurity.

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.

Income Distribution and Aggregate Demand in the Indian Economy

Does there exist a trade-off between labour income share and output growth rate? Or does a reduction in the wage share reduces the output growth rate? These questions remain central for analysing the impact of change in income distribution on the output growth rate. Since the dilution and suspension of labour laws involve exogenous changes in income distribution, the impact of such policies would depend on the relationship between income distribution and aggregate demand. This paper attempts to lay bare this relationship for the Indian economy through an empirical analysis of India’s macro data and a theoretical model based on the regression results.

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