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

Articles By Pandemic

Tackling the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Public Action in Kerala’s Exemplarity

Kerala’s fight against the coronavirus disease 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic turned out to be a public action making it an exemplar to not only the rest of the states in India but also the world as a whole. Its public action-oriented containment of the pandemic has been the outcome of multiple factors specific to the state. Despite the grave challenges confronted by the state, its experience offers new opportunities for setting a new public culture. However, the emerging opportunities and their realisation in the post-COVID-19 phase depend on an effective and visionary leadership that can translate them for the potential development of the state.

Assessing the Financial Health of the Indian Corporate Sector

The long-term trend in the financial soundness of the Indian corporate sector is examined using balance sheet information and the most stressed sectors are identified. A corporate vulnerability index is constructed using financial indicators which captures various dimensions of stress in the Indian corporate sector. The study reveals that corporate debt vulnerabilities increased in the aftermath of the global financial crisis with a notable reversal after 2016. The sectoral analysis identified that there has been a significant improvement in debt-to-GDP ratio and debt at risk, notably after 2016, even as sectoral idiosyncrasies remain. While the earlier impact of COVID-19 was reckoned to be severe, the corporate sector showed an impressive rebound, albeit uneven.

Beyond Remorse to Reflection: Curating a Strategy for Research and Response for Adolescents in India post COVID-19

Global data on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents show that >150 million children and adolescents in 165 countries have been affected by the pandemic-induced closures (Xiang et al 2020). This article presents experiences and conversations around the pandemic’s effect on the adolescent population and the need for spotlighting and vulnerabilities of adolescent girls, specifically, in India. The article tries to establish the need for deeper introspection on “successes and learnings” of responses across development programmes designed to address the impact of the pandemic with this population group of Koppal district, Karnataka. 

Gendered Impact on Unemployment: A Case Study of India during the COVID-19 Pandemic

India witnessed one of the worst coronavirus crises in the world. The pandemic induced sharp contraction in economic activity that caused unemployment to rise, upheaving the existing gender divides in the country. Using monthly data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy on subnational economies of India from January 2019 to May 2021, we find that a) unemployment gender gap narrowed during the COVID-19 pandemic in comparison to the pre-pandemic era, largely driven by male unemployment dynamics, b) the recovery in the post-lockdown periods had spillover effects on the unemployment gender gap in rural regions, and c) the unemployment gender gap during the national lockdown period was narrower than the second wave.

Green Finance: Perspectives in Sustainable Finance Instruments

Green bonds are financial instruments that deliver both returns and environmentally positive outcomes. They can be a key part of strategies to incorporate climate action into financial decision-making and help developing countries meet their Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goal obligations. While their total volume increased, their effectiveness in promoting sustainability—especially in post-pandemic recovery—looks questionable.

Covid Nationalism and Its Discontents in China

Between 2020 and 2022, China imposed a rigorous zero-Covid policy to control its spread and keep the infections and fatalities at or near zero. Stringent lockdowns, frequent PCR tests, and strict restrictions on entry into China were important features of this policy. Although extremely successful during the first two years of the pandemic in preventing the spread of deadly COVID-19 variants such as the Delta, the policy proved ineffective against the Omicron variant. This article examines China’s response to the spread of COVID-19, the framing of this response through nationalist narratives, and the eventual chaotic pivot from zero-Covid policy.

COVID-19 Forecasting and Investigating the Impact of the Lockdown in India

The paper attempts to forecast the growth pattern of the COVID-19 spread in India and examines the impact of the lockdown on its spread and deaths. Comparing different models for short-term forecasts—hybrid autoregressive integrated moving average with errorremodelling using fast Fourier transform—has been found to have better accuracy. It is observed that the data set starting from the first phase of the lockdown generates more accurate estimates. The impact analysis shows a clear trend break on 3 March for confirmed cases and 11 March for the deaths.

Drug Price Control in India

Price control of life-saving essential medicines is the need of the hour, but the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has allowed a hike of 10% in nearly 800 drugs and devices listed under the National List of Essential Medicines from 1 April 2022 because of the rising input costs. Prices of scheduled drugs are allowed an increase each year acc­ording to the wholesale price index. Input costs are rising primarily because India is heavily dependent on China for drug imports.