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University Online Classes during COVID-19 -- Exclusionary and Insufficient -Santosh Verma and Tripti Kumari The spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns in India since the last week of March 2020 have put not just people’s health concerns at the forefront, but most of the economic and social sector activities are at halt. Amidst the virus spread and subsequent lockdowns, schools, colleges, universities (educational institutions) are closed without completing the academic calendar year. To deliberate on teaching and learning processes and research activities in...

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In Amartya Sen vs Jagdish Bhagwati debate, was Sen right after all? -Manas Chakravarty The COVID-19 pandemic brings a new perspective to the Sen vs Bhagwati 2014 debate. Just before the general elections in 2014, a rather unlikely fight erupted in the pink papers. In the Left corner, wearing what some people said were bright red shorts, was Nobel Laureate and economist Amartya Sen. In the Right corner, wearing true blue shorts, was eminent trade economist Jagdish Bhagwati. The dispute was whether social welfare and health...

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Online education must supplement, not replace, physical sites of learning -Satish Deshpande

-The Indian Express We have long ignored the vital role public educational institutions play as exemplary sites of social inclusion and relative equality. In Indian conditions, this role is arguably even more important than the scholastic role. The current craze for online education (OE) reminds me of the wall graffiti advertising sex clinics that are visible across urban north India. These ads promise guaranteed cures — shartiya ilaj — for all kinds...

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Barring a few, most states and UTs ignored the guidelines to help persons with disabilities during the lockdown

A recent survey conducted by National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) -- a Delhi-based non-profit organisation -- shows how persons with disabilities in the country were disproportionately affected by the COVID–19 crisis. The report by NCPEDP has observed that persons with disabilities, particularly those from economically deprived sections, went through severe hardship during the lockdown. Without sufficient access to food or money, many of them faced hunger...

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How public health boosts an economy -K Srinath Reddy

-The Hindu A stronger health system in a country can lead to better outcomes on the economic growth front When public health sneezes, the economy catches cold. Dire predictions for the post-COVID-19 global economy have come from the International Monetary Fund, which called the present crisis the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Grim forebodings for the Indian economy have been sounded by many distinguished economists and the Governor of the Reserve...

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