Strategic, political bankruptcy to deal with COVID-19 playing havoc in India

Monitoring Desk: Administrative, strategic, and political bankruptcy to deal with COVID-19 is causing havoc with 1.5 billion people of India which is one of the most populous countries of the world.

Nearly 84% of Indian households are seeing decreases in income since the lockdown began

The power of tactical decision-making and governance processes in India has been challenged by social scientists for its strategy to deal with COVID-19 since India announced an unplanned and abrupt Lockdown on March 22, leaving over 4 million daily wage workers to die while reaching their native towns by foot.

According to a recent study by experts, nearly 84% of Indian households are seeing decreases in income since the lockdown began.

Strategic, political bankruptcy to deal with COVID-19 playing havoc in India, indicates International Report
Strategic, political bankruptcy to deal with COVID-19 playing havoc in India, indicates International Report

According to Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago and the Mumbai-based Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE) is titled “How Are Indian Households Coping Under the Covid-19 Lockdown?”.

The constant onslaught of Covid-19 has exposed conspicuous deficits in India’s strategic thought, tactical decision-making and governance processes.

The study found a “sharp and broad negative impact on household income” as the pandemic diminished staying capacity of people

Study indicates that the wisdom of even a phased reopening in select sectors such as malls, restaurants and markets selling non-essential goods and domestic train and air travel is being questioned as the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to climb.

The study found a “sharp and broad negative impact on household income” as the pandemic diminished their staying capacity. Nearly a third of all households will not be able to survive beyond a week without additional assistance, it stated. That harsh statistic finds corroboration in the unemployment rate, which had crossed 27% in early May, up nearly four-fold from levels in January-February, according to CMIE data. The jobless rate has since dropped to less than 24%.

The study’s researchers built upon a CMIE survey of households by layering other data including those on per-capita household income, and classifying them by state and urban/rural status. CMIE had surveyed nearly 5,800 households across 27 Indian states in the last two weeks of April, asking them if the lockdown caused a fall in their income, and for how long they could cope without borrowing or getting any help in cash or kind.

The study’s authors are Marianne Bertrand, professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and faculty director of its Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation and UChicago’s Poverty Lab; Kaushik Krishnan, chief economist at the CMIE; and Heather Schofield, assistant professor of medical ethics and health policy at the Perelman School of Medicine and a Wharton professor of business economics and public policy.

It is pertinent to mention that Johns Hopkins University’s dashboard on June 8 that India was seventh on the list of countries with the most infections with 258,090 positive cases and 7,263 deaths.

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Meanwhile, former Union Minister of Information and social scientist Manish Tewari in an article published in Asian Age on June 10, 2020, says that millions of migrant workers just poured out of megapolises and cities triggering an exodus — a manmade catastrophe reminiscent of the Partition of India in 1947.

“Once the lockdown had started haemorrhaging without any possibility of cauterization, the sensible course of action would have been to transport the migrants home rather than subjecting them to unspeakable horrors. It does not require rocket science to figure this out,” Tiwari wrote.