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

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Classical Music and the Pandemic

As the concert stage is left empty, what can music and musicians do differently for the art form?

Agricultural Market Operations across the Lockdown in J&K

By providing empirical evidence, the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the agricultural market operations of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is analysed. Mandi operations in terms of market arrivals have been found to be higher during the lockdown phases, and the market operations seem to have moved towards normal from Phase 1 to Phase 4 of the lockdown. The administration of Jammu and Kashmir showed a rapid response in the revival of mandi operations for the benefit of the farming communities as well as the consumers.

Post-COVID-19 Challenges in the Indian IT Industry

The information technology industry has been the hallmark of the Indian growth story since the 1980s. The Indian IT sector has relied heavily on non-home markets for demand and resources and built deep global ties using co-location with clients, enabled by international travel and temporary on-site migration, acting as a key mechanism in developing “cognitive proximity.” However, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to make international travel and migration more restrictive and costlier, maybe for a long time. The paradigm shift creates significant barriers for IT firms to be able to maintain cognitive proximity with its clients and could adversely impact their global competitiveness.

Handloom Weavers and Lockdown in Sualkuchi Cluster of Assam

After demonetisation in 2016, followed by imposition of the goods and services tax in the subsequent year, the COVID-19 lockdown has turned out to be a final nail in the coffin for the handloom sector in Assam. It has special importance in the informal economy of Assam since it is next to agriculture in creating employment opportunities. An examination of the Sualkuchi weaving cluster in Assam shows the many challenges the weavers, most of them women, face.

Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and Agriculture

In this short note, we critically examine two proposals specific to agriculture announced as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and the subsequent ordinances. We argue that while the investment in infrastructure is a welcome step, market reforms proposed are inadequate to improve the prospects of smallholder farmers. An enabling ecosystem that enhances the market power of farmers must be created for smallholders to take advantage of the reform measures.

COVID-19 and Women Informal Sector Workers in India

The precarious nature of employment of women informal workers is examined using data from the Periodic Labour Force Survey (2018–19). To capture the gendered experiences of informal workers during the lockdown period, data from a series of rapid assessment studies is used. It was found that the unequal gendered division of domestic chores existed even before the onset of the pandemic, but the COVID-19- induced lockdowns have further worsened the situation. In terms of paid employment, women tend to work in risky, hazardous and stigmatised jobs as front-line health workers, waste-pickers, domestic workers, but do not receive the minimum wages as specified by the government.

Reverse Migration of Labourers amidst COVID-19

Migrant workers returning to native places in COVID-19 times were the host for urban to rural transmission of cases as the migrant-receiving states witnessed over five times increase in the number of districts having a more significant concentration of COVID-19 cases from 1 May to 31 May 2020. There is an urgent need for the skill mapping of the migrant workforce and creating social security schemes to protect them under any socio-economic or health emergency.

Migration Governance in a Pandemic: What Can We Learn from India’s Treatment of Migrants in the Gulf?

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the loss of livelihood for many Indian migrants working abroad. In light of this, an inclusive migration governance framework is the need of the hour to provide Indian workers with a social safety net during crises.

Social Distancing and Sex Workers in India

The deplorable condition of sex workers in India amidst the COVID-19 lockdown is discussed. Prostitution, now called sex work, has been a historical reality with cultural connotations. However, a significant amount of shame and stigma is attached to the profession wherein it is not even seen as work. Social distancing and the lockdown have left sex workers across the country in poverty and hunger. There is a need to address the issues of this section of the society from a human rights’ perspective.

Locked Out at the Margins

The pandemic and lockdown have been particularly hard on those at society’s margins.

Impacts of COVID-19 on Labour

The costs of the pandemic disproportionately fall on labour.

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