The sudden return of quantity planning in the wake of COVID-19

Context One of the defining features of a war economy is that economic thinking is focused on quantities rather than prices. Much of the ongoing global response to the covid-19 pandemic is still in crisis-Keynesian mode. The nation-state has become the income supporter, financier and consumer of last resort. However, Read More …

A pandemic in an unequal India

Context The official strategies to deal with the virus place the responsibility on citizens, a majority without privilege, to fight the virus. COVID-19 pandemic lashes India with severity: If the COVID-19 pandemic lashes India with severity, it will not be just the middle class who will be affected. India’s impoverished millions are Read More …

Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020 extended for one year

Context The Union Commerce and Industry Ministry has announced changes in India’s Foreign Trade Policy (FTP). The Govt. has decided to continue relief under various export promotion schemes by granting an extension of the existing Policy. Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 It provided a framework for increasing exports of goods and Read More …

Employees’ Pension Scheme (Amendment) Scheme, 2020

Context The Union Ministry of Labour & Employment has informed about the total enrollments under EPS. About Employees Pension Scheme (EPS) EPS is a social security scheme that was launched in 1995 and is facilitated by EPFO. The scheme makes provisions for pensions for the employees in the organized sector Read More …

Essential Commodities Act

Context The Price Monitoring Division (PMD) in the Department of Consumer Affairs is monitoring the retail and wholesale prices of 22 essential food commodities due to increased panic buying by customers. Essential Commodities Act The ECA is an act which was established to ensure the delivery of certain commodities or Read More …

Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ)

Context The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Hyderabad has reported that Oceansat Satellite data from Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) are used to prepare the Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) advisories on the potential rich fishing areas and provide to the sea faring Read More …

Virtual Summit of G20 Leaders

Context An Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit was convened on 26 March 2020 to discuss the challenges posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and to forge a global coordinated response. Earlier, PM had a telephonic conversation with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia on this subject. The extraordinary Read More …

Germany’s Kurzarbeit scheme

Context Amid the all-round disruption caused to the economy by the novel coronavirus outbreak, a concern across the world is the possibility of loss of jobs. Various governments have unveiled various measures to address such concerns, and one of the most talked about is Kurzarbeit, Germany’s existing scheme that provides for partial Read More …

Why follow social distancing?

Context Over the last two days, a number of states in India have enforced measures aimed at reducing public gatherings. This is called “social distancing”. With 100,000 reported cases of COVID-19 in 100 countries, starting with the outbreak in Wuhan in China 10 weeks ago, researchers have analysed trends in the spread Read More …

What is an ‘essential commodity’?

Context Following reports of shortage and irrational pricing of hand sanitisers and masks, the central government on Friday (March 13) declared these items “essential commodities” until the end of June. In a statement, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said: “In view the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Read More …