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

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COVID-19 and Infectious Misinformation

In these times of pandemic, we are witnessing the continued dissemination of pseudoscientifi c misinformation about the disease as well as dubious claims of alternative cure. In some instances, such claims appear to be getting offi cial endorsements. Enabling people to identify unscientifi c claims and hoaxes, is the way forward to build rational immunity to halt the infectious spread of misinformation.

Parliaments in the Time of the Pandemic

Democratic accountability demands that the executive decisions and actions during the pandemic need to be subjected to legislative scrutiny. However, this process is absent as the Parliament is adjourned and even the parliamentary committees are not functioning. Taking a cue from the parliaments worldwide that are functional during the pandemic, modalities to ensure the functioning of parliamentary institutions need to be devised.

Encroachments on the Waterbodies in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has many legal provisions to protect its waterbodies. However, encroachment on waterbodies is rampant and many encroachers are resorting to violence to silence those who oppose them. Recurrent droughts in the state necessitate that these waterbodies be restored and protected, and encroachments are removed.

Economic Implication of a Novel Disease Outbreak

Novel disease outbreaks have a history of ravaging the regional economies. The world economy has taken a massive hit due to COVID-19 and is expected to go into a recession by the next quarter. As such, it has become highly imperative to invest in total epidemic preparedness involving health and non-health interventions, research and development as well as capacity building at all levels.

Marginalised Migrants and Bihar as an Area of Origin

Outmigration from Bihar in search of livelihood has been normalised over several decades, with Bihar being one of the topmost states of origin for the migrants. Unemployment rate in Bihar remains higher than the country average. Agriculture has become unviable over the years due to low yields, increasing landlessness and lack of financial support by the state. The return migration to the state in the wake of COVID-19 necessitates that the state generate farm and non-farm employment to address the crisis situation.

Challenges in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a rethinking of the contours of state intervention, especially in social sectors like health. The argument for rolling back the state has become questionable even among mainstream commentators. Kerala’s experience shows how public investment in healthcare and a participatory mode of governance with empowered local governments can help in pandemic mitigation. A truly federal set-up with shared responsibilities between the centre and states is better suited to deal with situations like the present one rather than a centralised system.

COVID-19 Pandemic and Racism in the United States and India

The novel coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in many ways. Among the several implications for humanity, is the lesser talked-about issue of racism that has inherent psychological impacts. This article examines the rise of racial discrimination in the two largest democracies of the world—the United States and India. It argues that the stigmatisation of a certain race triggers racial division and hinders the collective fight against the pandemic, and can be as deadly and dangerous to humanity as the virus itself.

What Is So Wrong with Online Teaching?

A university teacher assesses what is wrong in visualising the online space as a place for regular education. In the context of the pandemic, the situation is even worse, not better, for the suitability of online teaching as a surrogate. It also has a particularly heinous effect for women, both female students and female family members. Given the grossly unequal burden of domestic work that women share at home, often the female students would have to take up additional domestic responsibilities during lockdown. In a different situation, enforced carving out of silence and privacy in the cramped domestic space may imply that the mother adjusts her own work-time and domestic schedule silently.

Locked in a Crisis

​This article is based on the documentation of the issues faced by women farmers across 14 districts of the Vidarbha and Marathwada regions of Maharashtra. More than ever, the present pandemic has exposed the critical weakness of public systems, since consistent expenditure cuts in the social sector have led to poor infrastructure in public health, the public distribution system, water and sanitation, and shelter homes for violence survivors, among various other facilities. This, along with the depletion of scarce natural resources, has added to the burden of women’s unpaid work.

Digital Global Warming

Throughout history, creation and consumption of goods have resulted in the problem of waste. Today, our most valued goods are digital, and we are producing an enormous amount of “invisible” digital waste.

Paradox of a Supply Constrained Keynesian Equilibrium

The Indian economy, which was facing demand defi ciency and slowdown prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, plunged further with the lockdown. The present exercise represents the current problem as a typical demand constrained Keynesian equilibrium, affl icted further by demand and supply failures generated by transaction costs. The resulting scenario resembles a “supply constrained” Keynesian equilibrium. The article looks at the possible impact on prices and discusses the implications of select policy interventions for such an economy.

Examining the Covid-19 Relief Package for MSMEs

The Covid-19 relief package for micro, small and medium enterprises and the changes to the defining criteria for MSMEs are examined. While the changes in the MSME definition open the sector to larger enterprises, the composite criteria introduce fresh ambiguities to the defining of MSMEs. Liquidity infusion measures at this juncture without adequate measures to revive demand will not help MSMEs tide over the Covid-19 lockdown-induced crisis.

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