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Redistribution measures have been ineffective and there are no policies discouraging accumulation of income and wealth

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the stark divide between the rich and the poor. At this juncture, evaluating the state of inequality serves as an eye-opener on the income/wealth divides prevailing across regions. Such divides are represented in terms of the share of income/wealth among the top 10% of the population against the bottom 50% of the population. With regard to income, the top 10% of the global population share 52% of the total income, while the bottom half survives with a mere 8.5% of it. This leaves 40% in the middle with 40% of the income. This distribution shows the tendency of a rising middle class with the lower disparity in income, but it also shows that the status of the poor is worsening day by day. In terms of wealth, the top 10% of the global population own 76% of the total wealth, while the bottom 50% share a mere 2%. The practice of unabated accumulation has been possible in the absence of effective measures of redistribution on the one hand and the absence of measures discouraging undue accumulation on the other.

View: India need not worry about indicators like Global Hunger Index

Collection of caste information while conducting census may dilute the exercise at the very least and send wrong signals regarding its purpose.

Census data in India are losing their relevance in the development agenda

India is busy debating the caste census when the regular Census itself has not been conducted owing to the pandemic. It is quite ironic that various elections have been held, and people gathered together at large rallies flouting COVID-19 norms, while the Census has still not been conducted. This is the first time that India has not conducted its decadal Census since the exercise began.

More than 2 lakh returnees lost benefits, with months of salary arrears remaining; Expatriates in crisis, need government intervention.

Migration had been there even before Covid, but what Covid triggered was not a migration crisis. Covid created a health crisis. It was we who created the migration crisis. Our flawed policies converted this health crisis into a migration crisis. The underlying logic behind the lockdown was that by controlling the movement of people, we could curb the
spread of the virus.

The first step is to recognise their existence. Unless you identify a problem, you cannot solve it.

Ever since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a tussle between saving ‘lives’ or ‘livelihood’. I have always called for ‘unlocking’ because my concern has been livelihoods while doctors were concerned about lives.