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

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COVID-19 and the Public Health System in Bihar

Bihar’s public healthcare system is not equipped to deal with the challenge of COVID-19. The density of testing centres is the worst for Bihar in the country, with one testing centre for a population of 110 million. Besides, it lacks in both infrastructure and human resources in the health arena and, thus, is unprepared to deal with and properly respond to the health crisis.

Debt, Wealth and Climate

Based on the German Currency Reform of 1948 and the “Modern Debt Jubilee” of Steve Keen, a globally coordinated orderly debt deleveraging mechanism is proposed to address the global debt overhang problem is proposed. Since the global debt overhang and lack of sufficient climate finance flows are interconnected, Climate Authorities are added to the mechanism to discuss how this may help to improve the situation is discussed.

Deepening Divides

Changes in the incidence of vegetarianism across time are sought to be analysed by identifying the specific trends at the level of region,caste and class. Divergence in the attitude towards vegetarianism across these axes points towards deepening divides linked to socioeconomic status and cultural-political power inequalities.

Ideologies and Their Impact on Higher Education

As universities across the country face tumultuous times, it is pertinent to take note of a new rhetoric around these driven by ideology. Public universities of a good standing and long history are increasingly being targeted as spaces harbouring “seditious activities.” Privatisation in higher education is making new inroads, and exacerbating coercive inequality among the youth of the country. It is to be examined if this is a manifestation of the dominant right-wing ideology.

Covid-19 and Macroeconomic Uncertainty

The macroeconomic uncertainty created by COVID-19 is hard to measure. The situation demands simultaneous policy intervention in terms of public health infrastructure and livelihood. Along with the global community, India too has announced its initial dose of fiscal and monetary policy responses. However, more fiscal–monetary policy coordination is required to scale up the policy response to the emerging crisis. Innovative sources of financing the deficit, including money financing of fiscal programmes, a variant of “helicopter money,” need to be explored.

India’s Food System in the Time of COVID-19

India’s complete lockdown has caused unnecessary disruptions in the food supply chain, with the scarcity of labour making it even worse. A sharp decline in demand is imminent with the financial sector being in a freeze and incomes having shrunk for everyone, except for the small salaried class. Consumer sentiment and business outlook on recovery are bleak. While ensuring the free movement of essential goods and availability and safety of labour can mitigate the immediate disruptions in the supply chain, unclogging the financial sector and restoring optimism in the market will take time and heroic efforts from the government.

The Idea of a University in India

In colonial times, universities were established in India to produce graduates who would serve the interests of a colonial ruling elite. Fast-forwarding to the present times, India is witnessing a massification of higher education, with the establishment of more universities and an increase in enrolment. Under such circumstances, what merits examination is whether universities are producing knowledge for knowledge’s sake, or training individuals to fall in line with a neo-liberal nationalist agenda of economic development.

Politics of Scheduled Tribe Status in Assam

The trajectory of six communities of Assam in demanding a Scheduled Tribe status is traced. The history of these tribes is elaborated upon and the struggles they have faced in claiming the ST status are adescribed along with detailing the operations of the various government committees that were formed to look into the matter.

Reducing the Spread of COVID-19

The unprecedented crisis emerging due to the spread of COVID-19 demands immediate as well as long-term measures. To address this crisis, the government should promote social solidarity and unity as well as citizens’ networks working for the vulnerable. However, long-term measures are needed to reduce the possibility of the disastrous spread of more such diseases and to enhance the ability of communities to deal with such eventualities.

Fighting Fires: Migrant Workers in Mumbai

Migrant workers in one of Mumbai’s most industrially dense areas with 3,500 small manufacturing and recycling units face a number of hazards, with fires being among the common ones. This article looks closely at the causes and aftermaths of these fires and notes how the workers cope with them even as their skills and knowledge prevent even bigger accidents.

Impact of Covid-19 and What Needs to Be Done

Tackling the Covid-19 outbreak will require political will and decisive actions from the government in terms of ramping up the healthcare infrastructure, ensuring public distribution of essentials to fulfil basic needs, and income transfers to the poor, among others. The government should not constrain such expenditures in view of maintaining the permissible limit of fiscal deficit. A higher fiscal deficit may not be inflationary now, since demand is drastically down.

Waiting for Citizenship

Social groups that are forced to live in precarious and vulnerable conditions are effectively reduced to being non-citizens, despite being recognised as formal citizens. Th promise of the idea of citizenship as a social ideal cannot be realised as long as that this disjunct is not addressed.

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