States Must Be Given More Ownership of India’s COVID-19 Containment Strategy

COVID-19 has been instrumental in testing the structural cohesiveness of human systems at the global level. Its shadow over India’s federal system is getting longer by the day and could accentuate the tensions that are endemic to it.

Constitutionally, health is a state subject but a pandemic allows the Centre to assume charge. The Centre has used the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 to take control of public health. Understandably, centralisation has been the defining characteristic of India’s efforts against COVID-19.

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