Covid-19

Covid-19

Issue Articles

The Political Economy of Covid-19 Vaccines

Vaccine grabs, the refusal to relax patents to enable mass production, and the use of vaccines for diplomacy run the risk that poorer nations may not be protected against Covid-19 quickly enough. This will prolong the pandemic, even for the richer nations.

Pandemics: The Perils of Agribusiness Profits

The multiple pandemics of the past decades can be linked to the expansion of agribusinesses into the global South. The consequent deforestation and unregulated industrial farming of animals have produced hotspots for pathogens to cross into humans.

Vaccine Platforms Old and New for SARS-CoV2

Ten years of work have been compressed into 10 months to yield the 10 vaccines now in use in the world. But trust has to be built among people by sharing accurate information, and a vaccine is also only one tool for dealing with this Coronavirus.

India and the Pandemic

The First Year
A collection of 24 essays on how India dealt with Covid-19 in 2020, published by Orient BlackSwan. The essays, with a detailed Introduction, cover the history of pandemics, the early stages, the lockdown, the law, impact on economy & society, and the future.

India 2020

A collection
A curated set of 35+ articles published in ‘The India Forum’ during a year which began with the demonstrations against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, ended with the farmer protests against the new farm laws, but was the year of Covid-19.

Exodus Constitutionalism

Mass Migration in Covid Lockdown Times
Multiple disasters and mass catastrophes have been on display in the migrant crises following the Covid-19 lockdown. In its light, India’s constitutionalism might be called ‘Exodus Constitutionalism’, a development that threatens to devalue citizenship.

Four Future Scenarios, or, What’s Different about the Covid-19 crisis?

What should we expect, post the coronavirus pandemic? Four scenarios contain four very different futures. A better world is only possible if social actors seize this opportunity to overcome the inequalities this crisis has laid bare.

Bearing Witness to the Covid-19 Lockdown

Migrant Workers in Proof Regimes
During the lockdown, migrant workers have produced ‘proofs’ to lay claim to promised aid, display grief and gratitude, and to archive violence they faced. These fragments from the worker-as-witness throw up critical questions on practices of welfare and aid.

A Moment for Civilizational Introspection

The devastating effects of the pandemic upon the working poor should be a recognition of the collapse of our moral centre as a nation and as a people. The elite have exiled the poor from their conscience and consciousness.

Can Conventional Metrics of Employment be Accurate During a Lockdown?

Labour force surveys that yield estimates on job numbers are designed to capture work inputs in 'normal' situations. The concepts and methodology used can lead to errors in estimates during a lockdown when production has been completely or partially halted.

The Blind Spots of Public Health

The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates that the discipline of public health needs to be open towards a plurality of ideas and paradigms. Else it could end up being reductionist and suited to authoritarian governance and commercial interests.

Making Medicines for Pandemics

Can Bangladesh do for Covid-19 what India did for HIV/AIDS?
Bangladesh could do for Covid-19 and other diseases what India did for HIV/AIDS: provide expensive therapeutic drugs globally at low prices. But its potential is constrained by a lack of indigenous capacity to produce the basic ingredients for these drugs.

The Unequal Effects of the Covid-19 Crisis on the Labour Market

The unequal labour market in India would have seen a widening of disparities after Covid-19 struck. Those at the bottom, with few skills, limited education & without security, would have been affected the most; they are the ones in immediate need of support.

Covid-19 and the Spectres of Colonialism

India’s lockdowns and questionable experimentation with vaccines and drugs to fight Covid-19 eerily mimic its colonial past.

Gendering the Pandemic in the Prison

'For women, prisons are built with stones of "patriarchal" law. It is time to campaign against incarcerated pregnancies and custodial childbirths as making for cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of women.'

A Novel Virus, A New Racial Slur

In the wake of Covid-19, racial discrimination towards people from the North East has acquired a new edge. The lack of cultural understanding in mainland Indian communities has always manifested itself in slurs and attacks that have increased and not reduced.

Towards Universal Health Coverage?

Taking stock of two decades of health reforms in India
A survey of reforms in health policies in India over the past two decades – actually a string of privatisation policies – indicates that we have moved away from and not towards Universal Health Coverage. What then needs to be done?

Situating the Biology of Covid-19

A Conversation on Disease and Democracy
‘Struggles for a more just, fair, inclusive, or caring politics in the time of Covid-19, need to be grounded in the everyday work of building institutions, supporting the vulnerable amongst us, and cultivating a deeper ethic of mutuality.’

The Gig Economy in the Pandemic

Outsourcing Risk, Privatising Gain?
Several firms in the gig economy have expanded operations during the Covid-19 pandemic. This has been made possible by the ready availability of an at-risk labour force. Fashioned as ‘aggregators’, gig platforms shirk responsibility for worker safety & welfare

Hunger Grows as India’s Lockdown Kills Jobs

Results of a Survey from 12 States
The lockdown has devastated livelihoods at unprecedented levels, causing widespread job losses and hunger. The measures so far will not solve the crisis. India should universalise the PDS, expand cash transfers, and create a national job guarantee scheme.

How many casual workers in the cities have sought to go home?

There has been no count of the number of workers returning to their home states. An analysis of NSS data tells us that the first wave of returnees is likely to be mainly urban casual workers who lost their livelihoods and lived in insecure accommodation.

Psychosocial Challenges In the Midst of the Coronavirus

While trying to maintain our psychological equilibrium during a pandemic, we may well do so in a manner that facilitates the emergence of authoritarianism. But there can be hope too if we allow ourselves to be touched by an awareness of our vulnerabilities.

Beyond the Pandemic

Strategies for Reforming Governance
‘We need to address the basic structural issues of governance design if we are to be better prepared for future complex challenges. This is particularly necessary in managing disasters, but the broader process of policymaking too needs reform.’

Seven Lessons for the Future

For the World After Covid-19
The pandemic has already taught us that for a better world we cannot have the market as the backbone of the economy; we need a more inclusive politics; decentralised governance is essential; and we obviously need a more harmonious relationship with nature.
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