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

COVID-19Subscribe to COVID-19

COVID-19 Lockdown and Human Development

Maharashtra has emerged as the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the trade-off between lockdowns to flatten the infection curve and saving an already slow economy, there is a significant human cost, thus exposing and deepening the existing structural inequalities. The article maps and analyses the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown based on the three dimensions of human development—health and nutrition, education, and livelihood. Given the acute shortage of food supplies for certain groups during the period, the article examines the government response by analysing the implementation of food programmes.

District-level Estimates of Unemployment Rates in Odisha

This article describes the possibilities of using an alternative method, such as small area estimation, for generating district-level unemployment estimates with higher precision. The SAE method is applied to generate the unemployment rate of different districts of Odisha combining the Periodic Labour Force Survey 2018–19 data of the National Sample Survey Office and the auxiliary variables from other secondary data sources.

Using Public Procurement Strategically

The article examines policy decisions and practices in public procurement in India during the pandemic, and finds that bureaucracy could not use public procurement strategically and relied upon archaic and centralised management of procurement to (mis)handle the pandemic. The article also offers some lessons from China’s procurement designs and calls for a major reform in this sector in India.

Engineering Flexibility without Accountability

Changing chief ministers reflects a deep damage to substantive accountability in a democracy.

Cybersecurity Regulatory Landscape in India: Digitisation on the Hook?

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the fore digital technology that not only facilitated a swift response but also greased the wheels of the economy by enabling work from home and online business, among others. However, digitisation has accelerated the need for cybersecurity and its regulation. The article critically examines the technical meaning and legal definition of “cybersecurity.” The Information Technology Act of 2000 and rules made therein have, in an incremental manner, build the legal edifice for cybersecurity. Nevertheless, the rapid advancement in technology (IoT, AI, Cloud, 5G) and its diffusion has made the protection of “critical information infrastructure” vulnerable. There is a need to identify the “critical sectors”—health, space, election and assess the obligation on the private sector to share threat information and cyber incident demands recalibrating the current cybersecurity governance in India.

Lessons from Sri Lanka

Ethnocracy and concentration of power can derail even an affluent nation.

Not ‘Sailing in the Same Boat’: Why the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Been Worse for LGBTQI+ Persons in India

While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives across the world, there can be no argument that the worst-affected are individuals and communities that were already vulnerable before the pandemic. The pandemic has exacerbated and made visible existing structural inequities. Like other crises, the pandemic is not neutral to gender, caste, ethnicity, class, sexuality or any other determinant of one’s social location. It is more than clear now that people already marginalised and stigmatised, are the worst hit by the pandemic lockdowns. The hit is marked on several axes —psychological, economic...

Covid-19 Pandemic: Shortages, Hesitancy and Pricing Plague India’s Covid-19 Vaccination Programme

India’s COVID-19 vaccination roll-out has been marred by challenges of shortages and hesitancy. With the new open market policy of vaccine procurement and possible entry of foreign-made vaccines, government responsibility and transparency are the need of the hour.

Who Does a Cyclone Actually Affect? Analysing the Impacts of Major Cyclones in India

While “natural disasters” such as cyclones cause widespread and indiscriminate devastation, their impact is much worse for vulnerable communities. Such groups face the brunt of not only the cyclone but also of inefficient government planning, caste discrimination, health problems and apathy.

COVID-19 and Tribal Communities: How State Neglect Increased Marginalisation during the Pandemic

In the absence of state support and social security, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns created short- and long-term hardships for already marginalised tribal communities in India.

Making Digital Financial Inclusion a Reality

Technology has had a disruptive effect on the delivery of fi nancial services, and adoption of digital solutions could help accelerate fi nancial inclusion. This article creates a road map for digital fi nancial inclusion in India using the framework based on the eight high-level principles of G-20 nations. While evaluating the progress under each one of these principles, the article concludes with policy recommendations both on supply and demand sides to achieve the coveted digital fi nancial inclusion.

Unveiling the World of the Nomadic Tribes and Denotified Tribes: An Introduction

31 August 2021 marks the 69th year of the repeal of the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871. This act was the most draconian law passed by the British colonial state, under which millions of nomadic and semi-nomadic communities were declared criminals and put under continuous surveillance, making their lives impossible. 31 August is celebrated as Vimukta Jatis day in India by the de-notified tribal communities. After denotification in 1952, about 200 communities were included in Scheduled Tribe (ST), Scheduled Caste (SC) and Other Backward Caste lists because they come from diverse social backgrounds. While they mainly come from nomadic communities, these communities are not homogeneous. All nomadic tribes (NTs) are not de-notified tribes (DNTs), but all DNTs are NTs. Given the historically embedded diversities between the NTs and DNTs, it is difficult to treat them as a homogeneous social group or an analytical category (Renke 2008: 8–20). They are fluid categories which often cross boundaries from one social group to another.

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