News Wrap


A working paper titled "Covid : Emergence, Spread and its Impact on the Indian Economy and Migrant Workers", is authored by Indian professors of various Research Foundations, in Delhi. The findings are published by the University of Bonn (Germany). The rural job guarantee scheme and the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Yojana provided work to less than eight percent of the migrant workers, who had returned home, after 2020's lock-down. It has argued that the high skilled returned migrants may have been uninterested in the unskilled work provided under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), and has suggested a broadening of the scope of projects under the scheme. 34.1 percent of migrant workers were self employed in farming, 1.3 percent were self-employed in non-agricultural work, some 11.2 percent were engaged in casual labour, 8.8 percent in agricultural labour, and 4.9 percent in public works like the rural job scheme, and the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Yojana.

The central government and the states have failed to ensure that India's estimated eight crore migrant labourers get adequate source of food and livelihood, as they have been most vulnerable to the second wave of the corona pandemic and the resultant restrictive measures. Across several states, migrant workers, having lost their livelihood on account of the Covid-induced restrictions, are unable to sustain themselves. There is large scale distress migration back to their home towns. Migrant workers are mostly excluded from the public distribution system and the National Food Security Act or similar state run programs, due to the lack of appropriate documents to prove domicile status, address, and other mandatory requirements.

Poll Reforms
The Election Commission has become the target of criticism of the judiciary and opposition parties, as high court after court has blamed the commission for the current second wave of Covid. There have been allegations of EVMs malfunctioning, and not registering votes, which corrode public trust in the institution. The Commission has not been able to contain money power and mussel power. Today those who come to parliament and legislatures are mostly moneyed candidates. The use of money power has not come down. In the 2019 parliament elections, total expenditure was estimated at a staggering Rs.60,000 crore, making it the most expensive poll in the world, more than double the expense in the 2014 polls.

Andren Brown Jr
Andrew Brown Jr, a Black man was shot and killed by deputies in North Carolina. Brown aged 42, was shot and killed on 21 April 2021, by police deputies attempting to serve drug related search and arrest warrants, sparking days of protests in North Carolina City, and rural northeastern North Carolina. An independent autopsy commissioned by his family said that he was shot five times, including once in the back of the head. Mourners gathered on 02 May 2021, as civil rights leader Rev Al Sharpton and other civil rights attorneys, delivered the Euology, to honour Brown Jr's legacy.

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Vol. 54, No. 5, Aug 1 - 7, 2021