ILO published a report on Working Time and Work-Life Balance Around the World. The chart on average hours of work per week across various geographic regions has been widely circulated in the Indian media. South Asians work the most hours per week with a total of 51.5 hours. East Asians follow closely with 49.4 hours … Continue reading Working Time and Work-Life Balance – Insights for policy?
ChatGPT will disrupt verbose, dull and formulaic disciplines like public policy. Professions and academic disciplines that thrive on producing text-heavy reports that sound vaguely analytical and insightful might find their work getting easier with ChatGPT. The chatbot, described as a large language model in its current form is ready to take over lower end of … Continue reading ChatGPT and Public Policy
Down the road from our farm, a couple of farms were bought, the land use category was changed and there’s a ‘water theme park’ under construction. This small 5-6 KM long valley flanked by low rise hills has a reservoir occupying the lower trough. It was constructed as a minor irrigation project for the region’s … Continue reading Values: A policy problem
A few weeks back, Mohan Mani and I wrote in The Hindu about a few aspects of work in the gig economy from our research at the Centre for Labour Studies. The article is here . Our study estimated that the net earnings for the worker was only around 40% of the total gross earnings … Continue reading Race to the bottom for gig workers
01/06/2021 Day 442 Second Wave - Observations from a small town Here are a few observations on healthcare services from a district town as the second wave of Covid-19 burnt through the country. In over two months of this public health and epidemic response struggle, a few things are apparent. India’s elected leaders, bureaucrats and … Continue reading Day 442: Second Wave – Observations from a small town
08/05/2021 Day 420 Looking back at the Containment Plan Looking back at India’s Containment Plan of the Government of India in April 2021 it is striking that it did not build for scenarios as the current second wave. The keywords in the plan are policy decisions and technical inputs. In retrospect, that plan looks woefully … Continue reading Day 420: Looking back at India’s Containment Plan
In thinking about healthcare systems - capability and capacity, a broad consensus in India is that the Indian state has failed in providing it. This diagnosis is broadly accepted. However, in thinking about responses to address the problems, it might be useful to not be completely led by experiences in the private sector - there … Continue reading ‘Let me go build a free hospital’: Indian Healthcare and CMC Vellore’s history
Taking the cess route to raise more revenues by the states and central governments was expected. As the pandemic hit a year's mark in March, 2021 it was clear that the people will be paying for the pandemic for years to come and in a variety of ways. Uttar Pradesh government is levying a covid … Continue reading Covid Cess: We will be paying for the pandemic for years
03/05/2021 Day 415: What's going wrong? More of watching the pandemic unfolding and governments’ response today. The trend maintains itself - as a state climbs up the chart of number of infections and deaths there begins a rapid regulatory failure of its key agencies. Drug regulator failed long back when the run on remdesivir began. … Continue reading Day 415: What’s wrong?
May Day of 2021 is unique in its context at least for Indian workers, if not for those around the world. Never in the history of independent India have we had such a large scale pauperisation, destruction of livelihoods and repeated displacement under distress. This was triggered by the two waves of Covid-19 pandemic. But … Continue reading May Day, 2021: The long road home