Articles by: B Sivaraman

Pandemic Impact on Food Prices— Part Two

Pandemic Impact on Food Prices— Part Two

Agriculture is the only sector of the Indian economy that posted a positive growth of 3.4% in the pandemic year of 2020–21. But this stability in production did not reflect in agricultural prices, especially food prices. The pandemic brought about unprecedented volatility in food prices in both 2020–21 and 2021–22. Besides supply disruptions caused by the lockdowns, some other factors[Read More…]

by 03/04/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Impact of the Covid Pandemic on Food Prices in India- Part One

Impact of the Covid Pandemic on Food Prices in India- Part One

In the 3–4 months before the Covid pandemic set in early 2020,  potato prices were ruling high at around Rs.30–35 per kg in the retail markets. India’s potato farmers who had raised their rabi crop in November 2019 had high hopes of making a good income. But the unexpected lockdown declared on 24 March 2020 resulted  in a very sharp[Read More…]

by 31/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid-19 and Health Insurance in India – Part Two

Covid-19 and Health Insurance in India – Part Two

The Covid-19 pandemic spurred a rush in the Indian middle class to get health insurance policies. The Indian government too came up with some new health insurance instruments exclusively to address Covid care—but they remained tokenistic in nature and were nowhere near the scale of response required to tackle the health care challenges posed by the pandemic.  Health insurance in[Read More…]

by 21/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid-19 and Health Insurance in India- Part One

Covid-19 and Health Insurance in India- Part One

The Covid-19 pandemic spurred a rush in the Indian middle class to get health insurance policies. The Indian government too came up with some new health insurance instruments exclusively to address Covid care—but they remained tokenistic in nature and were nowhere near the scale of response required to tackle the health care challenges posed by the pandemic.  Health insurance in[Read More…]

by 20/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The Indian Railways and Covid – Part II

The Indian Railways and Covid – Part II

  It is the largest employer in India and eighth largest in the world. It is also the fourth longest railway network in the world sprawling out to a total length of 70,000 kms. It runs 21,000 trains and carries 23 million passengers and 3 million tonnes of freight per day. What was the multi-faceted impact of the Covid pandemic[Read More…]

by 12/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The Indian Railways and Covid – Part I

The Indian Railways and Covid – Part I

It is the largest employer in India and eighth largest in the world. It is also the fourth longest railway network in the world sprawling out to a total length of 70,000 kms. It runs 21,000 trains and carries 23 million passengers and 3 million tonnes of freight per day. What was the multi-faceted impact of the Covid pandemic on[Read More…]

by 06/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Gig workers get a raw deal in pandemic period

Gig workers get a raw deal in pandemic period

They are workers but without any formal “employment”. They do work but have no jobs. They might sport Zomato or Swiggy t-shirts and caps. But they are not their workers. Nor are these firms their employers. Some might own their cabs but pay a hefty commission to taxi aggregators like Ola and Uber solely because passengers hire them through these[Read More…]

by 03/02/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Coimbatore auto drivers challenge Ola, Uber in midst of Covid pandemic

Coimbatore auto drivers challenge Ola, Uber in midst of Covid pandemic

In the midst of the stressful Covid pandemic autorickshaw workers in Coimbatore have come up with an innovative model for improving incomes of gig workers by forming their own cooperative. They have developed their own app and are executing gig work on their own without having to pay any commission to any corporate-backed, third-party coordinating platform. The Federation of Indian[Read More…]

by 30/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid rocks India’s federal structure, amidst calls for reform

Covid rocks India’s federal structure, amidst calls for reform

On 2 June 2021, Odisha Chief Minister Navin Patnaik wrote a letter to all chief ministers urging them to “unite and form a consensus that the Centre should procure Covid vaccines and distribute them free to the States.” With this rallying call, Navin Patnaik, waded into the controversy between the central and state governments over who should foot the bill[Read More…]

by 26/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid-induced online education hurts poor families

Covid-induced online education hurts poor families

Written by B.Sivaraman & Kumudini Pati Online classes have become the main mode of learning for millions of school students across India due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with its repeated lockdowns and social distancing measures. The shift however is proving to be extremely painful for families in small towns and rural areas for many reasons, especially high costs of purchasing[Read More…]

by 11/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Dead teachers don’t count in UP

Dead teachers don’t count in UP

When the New York Times recently claimed that the official Covid-19 figures in India grossly understate the true scale of the pandemic in the country the Indian government went ballistic. Based on an analysis, in consultation with over a dozen experts, the NYT put the death toll due to Covid-19 in India at over 5 times the official numbers – making it[Read More…]

by 28/05/2021 1 comment COVID Response Watch
Four tales of life and death in Covid times

Four tales of life and death in Covid times

Allahabad: “Theek hai yaar. Koi baat nahin![i] Don’t worry. I will make some alternative arrangement”. Nihal Mishra was putting on a brave, courteous face while getting blunt refusals from three of his friends in Delhi, whom he had requested for a place to stay. He was going to Delhi to get his wife admitted at the All India Institute of[Read More…]

by 23/05/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
When death floats down the Ganga

When death floats down the Ganga

Allahabad: The recent images of bloating human bodies floating on the Ganga, with crows and dogs picking on the carcasses have shocked the nation and made headlines around the world. Reports of burial of hundreds of dead bodies in riverside sand outside towns in Uttar Pradesh like Unnao and Kanpur have also surfaced. It is clear that most of these[Read More…]

by 17/05/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch, Editor's Picks