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

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An Apostle of Sociological Theory

A student and fellow sociologist reminisces about Yogendra Singh, a distinguished scholar and theorist, and a founding member of sociology centres at the University of Rajasthan and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Taxation in the Times of Covid-19

The pandemic spreading across the world has resulted in a rising demand for immediate tax relief measures worldwide. The taxpayers in India too expected that some concessions would be granted to them while paying taxes. While analysing the measures to provide tax relief by the Government of India, it may be helpful to view them in juxtaposition with the steps taken by other countries. There are some issues that are peculiar to India, and this calls for the need to adopt a holistic approach and devise a strategic plan in respect of direct tax laws.

Coerced Movements and the Unravelling of a ‘People’

There is an increasing acknowledgement of the intertwining nature of voluntary and forced migration. Also, there is an increase in xenophobic and ethnic tensions accompanied by the rise of populist politics, as migrants get labelled as others and outsiders. There is a need to take cognisance of the...

Health and Nutrition of India’s Labour Force and COVID-19 Challenges

Can the “post-COVID-19 normal” emerge better for India’s food supply and demand management, with a clear goal of zero hunger? Presently contributing one-third of the global undernutrition burden, a daunting challenge that the country must overcome now is of resuming broader based economic growth with a healthy labour force. Given this, India needs a data-driven exit and post-exit strategy from the COVID-19 lockdown that will not only mitigate the immediate food crisis faced by millions of poor households, but also reduce the long-term structural bottlenecks that limit poor households’ access to food.

Mumbai’s Struggles with Public Health Crises

The economic catastrophe precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the response of the dismal public health system has actually led to the heightening of the public health crisis. If the migration of workers from cities is not stopped through appropriate economic support measures, the public health crises will worsen because most migrants are returning to states that have very poor healthcare systems with limited capacities to deal with such crises. This pandemic also offers a political opportunity for governments to focus on strengthening the primary healthcare and public health systems through bold experimentation and strategies.

Significance of Testing for Identification of COVID-19

The official and media discourse in India often focuses on the cumulative or daily detection of infected cases irrespective of the number of people tested and thus confuses the issue of disease progression. Based on the analysis of the number of infected cases identified and the number of people tested in eight states in India, it is emphasised that identification and quarantine of those who are infected slows down the spread of the disease. Mobilising resources towards the primary healthcare system for expanding contact tracing and investing in additional facilities to quarantine and treat infected patients is suggested.

Density, Distancing, Informal Settlements and the Pandemic

Demographic density, particularly in the low-income settlements in urban India, is posing some unprecedented challenges to governance for containing the COVID-19 contagion. Through a case-based discussion of density, it is argued that the idea of containment through distancing is rather paradoxical. On the one hand it pushes for more proximation or clustering of the poor in congested urban spaces, while on the other it deepens a sense of estrangement in an already fragmented social milieu.

Remaking the Indian Military for Women

The judgment in the Babita Puniya case illustrates the gender stereotypes, inequality and discrimination deeply embedded in the Indian military. Even when the “women’s question” has been raised with respect to the army, it has been from the typical “male” standpoint.

Walls That Speak

In a time when online education is becoming prevalent, an aspect of it that needs to be discussed is that of social disparities and embarrassments made visible by video conferencing. Visual backgrounds in these conferences can be looked at as a concrete entry point into how the system displaces a large section of students from access to and equity in education.

Migration and Reverse Migration in the Age of COVID-19

The notion of the “migrant” in the current capitalist times and the world of migrants in it are explored. The source to destination streams of migrant labour is outlined, and it is then argued that reverse migration will perhaps usher in the greatest crisis in the rural landscape of India, for which we are not yet prepared.

Saving Jobs and Averting Lay-offs amidst COVID-19 Lockdown

Despite unleashing a slew of relief measures, the state is grappling to ensure that employers abstain from imposing lay-offs, pay cuts or unpaid leave during the lockdown. Even if the state mandates employers to pay wages without any lay-offs, then, in this context, there is a need to advocate for wider coverage of labour legislation in India. In the short run, fixing accountability on employers for wages and jobs will provide an interim relief, but, in the long run, we need to take financial viability into consideration and provide stimulus wage subsidy.

The Mathadi Model and Its Relevance for Empowering Unprotected Workers

The idea of providing comprehensive social security benefits to unprotected workers has still remained an unsolved task for the government due to a number of reasons, from administrative and financial limitations, and scattered and biased nature of social security legislations in the country, to inadequate information available on the unorganised sector and lack of data. The relevance of the mathadi model of social security to casual and other workers in the present context is highlighted and inputs on adopting its good practices in the proposed code on social security are provided.

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