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

COVID-19Subscribe to COVID-19

State and Health Markets in the Time of Pandemic

This paper attempts to explain three broad trends that underpinned the relationship between the state, market, and healthcare: first, the state is moving away from its health provider role to a regulator role, which involves shifting the resources, authority, and responsibility to diverse public and private actors. Second, in the name of the pandemic, the state has opened up fresh frontiers of privatisation and corporatisation of healthcare, extending to non-metropolitan cities and small towns. Third, the above two processes would lead to further exclusion of lower castes, classes, and genders from access to healthcare, spiralling health inequalities.

Impact of Public Debt on the Economic Growth of Subnational Economies in India

This study examines both the short- and long-run impact of public debt on the economic growth of Uttar Pradesh during the post-reform period of 30 years by employing the vector error correction model. The empirical analysis revealed that the increase in public debt-to-gross state domestic product ratio and interest payments burden would have an adverse impact on the long-run economic growth of UP, while having no significant impact on the short-run growth. It is also notable that the effective interest rate has negatively correlated with the gross capital formation in UP, and the latter has shown significant positive long-run association with the economic growth. In order to attract investments and economic growth, the state Government of UP should continue a countercyclical fiscal stance that would help in adhering to fiscal sustainability rules by smoothing out the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Impact of COVID-19 on the Indian Banking Sector

This article investigates the impact of COVID-19 on the banking sector through the trend analysis of return on assets and return on equity of the scheduled commercial banks. It covers both the pre- and post-lockdown periods. The results suggest that the governmental measures are helping ameliorate situations of bad quality loans and will improve future prospects of the banking industry.

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.

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.

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?

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.

Resource Constraints in Implementing the NEP 2020

The fiscal year 2020-21 was unprecedented for the education sector in India. First, a new National Education Policy with an ambitious rollout timeline was announced. Second, it witnessed a near lockdown of all educational activity because of the pandemic. This has led to significant learning loss, particularly of foundational literacy and numeracy that will have to be recovered in the coming years. Both of these call for a significant investment of resources in the education sector. An analysis of central and Karnataka (as a representative state) education budgets for FY 2021-22 reveals that there is minimal funding to address either of these in the current fiscal year.

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