How Markets are Leading the fight against Covid-19
As India enters the 20th day of the nationwide lockdown and the number of COVID-19 cases rises to a whopping 5000+, people are increasingly looking to the government to take measures to curb the pandemic. However, it has also been the markets who have led the fight against COVID-19.
Swati Singh, Associate-Communications, CCS, in an article titled ‘How Markets are Leading the Fight Against COVID-19’ highlights the role of the markets in keeping up essential supplies, medical equipment, and protective gear to help the nation combat the pandemic.
As the markets work to curb this crisis and meet consumer needs, we continue to witness increasing government interference in the form of anti-price-gouging laws, bans on exports etc. For example, hand sanitisers and face-masks have now been declared to be ‘essential commodities’ and their prices fixed. Our recent video highlights the role of market prices in pandemics, discussing how controlled prices often do more harm to consumers than their intended good.
Let People Choose What They Eat: Direct Cash Transfers during COVID-19
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the government has allowed states to take Public Distribution System food grains for three months on credit. While the current Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) extends to nearly two-thirds of India’s population, its well-documented inefficiencies leave much to be desired, writes Tarini Sudhakar, Associate-Research, CCS, in her article titled ‘Let People Choose What They Eat’. One significant element that is absent in the present TPDS design, is choice. Beneficiaries should have the option to decide whether they want to receive their entitlement in cash or in-kind under TPDS. Currently, beneficiaries can only opt-in for the latter. That means they can only receive the grains which the government decides to provide – rice and wheat in most cases. Direct Benefits Transfers (DBTs), while enabling access to foodgrains and essential food supplies, would allow its beneficiaries to buy the food grains of their choice - letting them choose what they eat.
From Our Research Desk: Rethinking the K-12 Assessment Framework
The Draft National Education Policy (NEP) released in 2019 proposes significant reforms in the existing assessment framework, including new ways to employ assessments in K-12 education. However, several of its recommendations remain open to interpretation, and there is little clarity on the problem each of the recommended test solves, the information gap they address, and their use.
Furthering our recommendations for reforms in, and the effective implementation of the NEP 2019, our research paper on ‘Rethinking K-12 Assessment Framework’ looks at three uses of information: school information to parents, school regulation, and system health, and explores the role of assessments in each.
India’s Job Crisis: Causes and Solutions
According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), India’s unemployment rate has risen to a troubling 7.78% as of February 2020. In the 8th edition of our Spontaneous Dialogue, Yazad Jal, Director-Academy, CCS, discusses India's jobs crisis with Anupam Manur, Assistant Professor, Takshashila Institution. About 10 to 12 million young Indians enter the job market annually, with grim prospects of finding a job. Talking about female labour force participation and easing land acquisition and labour laws, Anupam Manur highlights the causes and possible solutions for India’s job crisis.