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The Covid-19 crisis and food security

India’s national lockdown in 2020, imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19, threw millions of people out of work and sharply reduced earnings for those who remained employed. Based on data from mu...

  • Perspectives

Covid-19: Impact on income inequality in India

Even as global inequality was falling, income inequality in India increased during 1990-2019. With the occurrence of Covid-19, the trend of increasing income inequality in the country is expected to n...

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PDS, National Food Security Act, and Covid-19

Introduced in 2013, the National Food Security Act (NFSA) brought about fundamental reforms in the public distribution system (PDS) and most importantly, declared a legal ‘right to food’. Based on...

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DUET: Learning from the experiences of other countries

Commenting on Drèze’s DUET proposal, Martin Ravallion suggests that three steps are needed: learning from other countries’ experiences with similar policies, conducting trials in various contexts...

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DUET: Addressing ‘why’ before ‘how’

Commenting on Drèze's DUET proposal and related views, Ashok Kotwal argues that we need to consider the rationale for such an urban work programme, before diving into the design details.

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DUET: Employment programme in public works in small towns

Given the severe problems of unemployment and under-employment in urban India, particularly among the country’s burgeoning youth population, Pranab Bardhan emphasises the need for an employment prog...

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DUET: Towards employment as a universal right

Debraj Ray contends that we should push forward with the agenda of employment as a universal right, and DUET would move that needle. He discusses two aspects of the proposal – keeping track of worke...

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DUET: A proposal for an urban work programme

Jean Drèze presents a proposal for a simple scheme of subsidised public employment in urban areas, generated by multiple public institutions on their own initiative.

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A review of the coverage of PDS

The coverage of the Public Distribution System (PDS) has been of wide interest due to the pandemic and lockdown. Based on government data sources, Khera and Somanchi estimate the state-wise coverage o...

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Covid-19: Willingness to vaccinate among slum-dwellers

Vaccination is among the success stories in modern-day medicine, and is seen by the WHO as a key element of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In this note, Augsburg et al. discuss findings from a...

  • Notes from the Field

Covid-19: How long can consumption be sustained in lockdown?

In May 2020, the Finance Minister announced an economic relief package totaling Rs. 20 trillion, in response to the Covid-19 crisis. However, the actual stimulus is estimated to be only 1.3% of GDP. I...

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Pandemic as a lens: Identifying and addressing livelihood vulnerabilities

Based on the findings from a phone survey of around 5,000 Indian workers, the authors explore the impact of the Covid-19 economic lockdown on two forms of livelihood vulnerabilities: employment insecu...

  • Notes from the Field

Hunger and precarity: The state of nomadic fortune-tellers of Odisha

In this note, Abinash Dash Choudhury, who works as part of a network of researchers to present fortnightly data on the humanitarian crisis associated with Covid-19 in India, writes about the current s...

  • Notes from the Field

Covid-19 relief: Are women Jan Dhan accounts the right choice for cash transfers?

While the relief package announced by the Government of India for Covid-19 rightly complements food rations with cash transfers, the case for using the list of women Jan Dhan bank accounts for the lat...

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Covid-19: A tailor’s tale

This note presents a narrative that is based on an interview conducted on 15 April with a tailor who walked most of the way from Jaipur to his home in Farrukhabad district in Uttar Pradesh, after the ...

  • Notes from the Field

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Covid-19: What can be done immediately to help vulnerable population

With over 80% of India’s workforce employed in the informal sector and one-third working as casual labour, Covid-19's spread and subsequent unplanned lockdowns, have created economic havoc in the li...

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Lockdown, life, and livelihood in the times of Corona

After around 36 hours of the lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in India, the Finance Minister announced a slew of welfare measures amounting to Rs. 1.7 trillion to support the vulnerable popu...

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EWS reservation in higher education: Affirmative action or vote bank politics?

The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019, provides for 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in higher educational institutions within the general category. In this post, Devi...

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