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The pandemic has shown how dysfunctional our world order is

What is the best way to fight a pandemic in an era of intense globalization? The answer, clearly, is for humanity to throw its combined resources against its common adversary. Since no one is safe until everyone is safe, the longer it takes for the world’s population to acquire immunity...

Blending Borders: Issue #1

 This Newsletter explores ongoing issues and perspectives from India’s neighbourhood countries, including – Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan.  Vaccination updates, Bangladesh leads GDP growth, The Colombo Port City project, Security dilemma in Myanmar, Peace for Afghanistan?   The Raging Pandemic  Has India turned its back on its...

Takshashila Policy Advisory — Managed Reopening After Lockdown: Recommendations for State Governments

Download the Policy Advisory Executive Summary To prudently resume social and economic activity in accordance with outbreak risks, healthcare capacity, and vaccination progress, we recommend that State governments: Designate Gram Panchayats/Wards or groups of Gram Panchayats/Wards as Public Health Management Units (PHMUs) and apply restrictions at this level. Follow an...

What the COVID-19 second wave tells us about Twitter

The Covid-19 pandemic has given us several painful images in the last two years. During the first wave, the image that stayed with us was of migrant workers walking inhuman distances in the wake of an arbitrary national lockdown. During the second wave, the enduring image has been that of...

The banal geopolitical fallout of the laboratory leak hypothesis

On 11 September 2001, the US suffered four coordinated terrorist attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives, injured over 25,000 people and caused at least $10 billion in property damage. Within hours, the US National Security Agency had intercepted phone calls that led them to suspect Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda of...

Preparing for the waves

Just over a hundred years ago, the Spanish Flu pandemic devastated many parts of the world. An estimated 100 million people died; India accounted for 15-18 million of them. It was the second wave that was deadly. So far, the official death toll in India due to Covid-19 is over...

Don’t ignore our young healthcare workers

Medical interns and postgraduates have traditionally occupied the lowest rungs in the hierarchy of training. From an academic standpoint, this seems fair and in congruence with any professional training pathway. Unfortunately, decades of exploitation of this structure have resulted in a system that is indifferent at best and malignant at...

Focus on getting on most of India vaccinated as quickly as possible

Let’s say a Mr Melon Rusk, one of the world’s richest billionaires, approaches the Indian government and makes an offer to deliver 2 billion doses of a covid vaccine within 2 months for ₹2 trillion. At ₹1,000 per dose, Mr Rusk’s price is at least three times that of domestic...

Blaming the government’s pandemic response? Do it for the right reasons

The Union government has received a lot of flak over its management of the pandemic response, and deservedly so. But I want to look at three incorrect — or at least problematic — frames being used to blame the government’s pandemic response, inadequate and confused as it already is. The...

Modi’s only respite now is to adopt Kautilya’s doctrine. But first, own up your mistake

India is in the midst of a national health emergency of an unprecedented scale. Once again, it shines a spotlight on decision-making of the political leadership, and once again, the political elites could do well by taking a leaf out of Kautilya’s Arthashastra. The catastrophic scale of the Covid-19 second wave...
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