Dr. Arun Kumar Calls for Collectivity and Rapid Vaccination in Fight to Accelerate Economic Recovery
New Delhi: Describing the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath as the “worst economic crisis post Independence”, renowned economist Dr. Arun Kumar, Malcolm Adiseshiah Chair Professor, Institute of Social Sciences, has called for “Collectivity” and the need for “a rapid ramping up in the vaccination process”, to help the Indian economy recover faster from the effects of the lockdown-induced recession that it has plummeted to.
Dr. Kumar made the comments while addressing students at the sixth edition of the Indian School of Business & Finance (ISBF), New Delhi, which hosted Distinguished Public Lecture Series, on the theme ‘The Impact of Coronavirus and the Lockdown on the Indian Economy’.
Elaborating on his thoughts as captured in his widely acclaimed latest book Indian Economy’s Greatest Crisis: Impact of the Coronavirus and the Road Ahead, Dr. Kumar said that given we had seen at least seven such virus outbreaks in the last two decades, the need was to be well-prepared for the next one and for that to happen a lot of Collectivity or ‘collective will’ would be imperative. Any divisiveness in society, he said, would be fatal to combat such outbreaks as the COVID crisis had aptly displayed all over the world.
Dr. Kumar also urged the Central Government to significantly ramp up the pace of vaccination in the country and prioritize vaccinating as many citizens as fast as possible, as once life was preserved, only then could the economic recovery be effective and sustainable, according to him.
Responding to a student’s question during an absorbing Q&A session after the Lecture, Dr. Kumar emphasized that the lockdown was essential to ramp-up health infrastructure in the country and also laid down immediate measures like expanding public expenditure, that were critical to resuscitate demand in the economy, a key factor according to him, in bringing about the recession.
Delivering a vote of thanks to conclude the session, Dr. G.L. Tayal, Dean, ISBF, said, “It must have been really gratifying for our students as it was for me, to be enriched by your knowledge and wisdom on the COVID crisis and its impact on the Indian economy. I am sure this will help them immensely in furthering their appreciation and understanding of the scale of the crisis we are faced with. On behalf of ISBF, I would like to extend our deep gratitude towards you for sparing your precious time to share your deep insights on the Post-COVID economy.”
The ISBF Distinguished Public Lecture Series in its previous editions have hosted leading names from Academia, Policy and Industry such as Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Former Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission; Dr Pronab Sen, Former (and first) Chief Statistician of India; Dr Abhijit Sen, Former Member of the Planning Commission; and Dr. Ajit Mishra, Director of Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), among others.