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Upcoming Webinars

IHD-ISLE Web Lecture on “THE ETHICAL AND ECONOMIC CASE FOR BASIC INCOME IN A TIME OF PANDEMICS”









Speaker: Professor Guy Standing, Professorial Research Associate, SOAS, University of London; Co-founder and Co-President, Basic Income Earth Network and Former Director of ILOs Socio-Economic Security Programme

Moderator: Ms. Renana Jhabvala, Chairperson SEWA Bharat

Date: 7 August 2020

Web Panel Abstract: A basic income system is one in which all individuals within a community receive a modest regular cash payment without conditions as a non-withdrawable economic right. It is a component of a distributive system, necessarily complemented by other public benefits and services. Drawing on recent books, this lecture will examine the ethical justifications for a quasi-universal basic income, considering the standard objections, and then argue that in an era of severe economic shocks and pandemics, in which the neo-liberal economics revolution has generated a global system of rentier capitalism, it is also a policy imperative. As such, it should be understood as a feasible, affordable base of a new income distribution system. Finally, it will consider how its economic and social effects differ from other possible policy interventions. This will draw in part from pilots done in India and Africa covering thousands of individuals in many communities. It will plead for an end of a dialogue of the deaf that has characterised much of the debate on basic income in India

About the Speaker: Professor Guy Standing is Professorial Research Associate, SOAS, University of London. An economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, he is a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences, and the Royal Society of Arts, co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network, and member of the Progressive Economy Forum. In 2016-19, he was an economic adviser to Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell. He was Professor in SOAS, Bath and Monash Universities, and Director of the ILO's Socio-Economic Security Programme. He has been a consultant for many international bodies, was Research Director for President Mandela's Labour Market Policy Commission, and has designed several basic income pilots. His books include The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, published in 23 languages; The Corruption of Capitalism; Basic Income: And How We can Make it Happen; Plunder of the Commons: A Manifesto for Sharing Public Wealth. He is also the co-author of Basic Income: A Transformative Policy for India.

Click to Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_uSc7v05CScukBLPwYbS3yw


Past Webinars

IHD-ISLE Web Lecture on “THE PANDEMIC AND THE CHANGING STRUCTURE OF THE WORLD ECONOMY: INDIA'S BIG OPPORTUNITY AND BIG RISK”












Speakers: Prof. Kaushik Basu, C Marks Professor, Cornell University: Former Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, The World Bank

Moderator: Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Former Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission

Date: 27 July 2020

Web Panel Abstract: It is evident that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing major, long-run, structural shifts in the global economy. These will result in new winners and losers, both among nations and businesses. This lecture will use data and evidence on how nations are currently handling the pandemic and the economy to speculate about what the future might hold, and which kinds of economies are likely to prosper and which ones flounder. India has excellent prospects, in terms of fundamentals. At the same time, in recent years, India's economy has done poorly, with India dropping sharply on most global rankings. This is a puzzle that we must try to understand. It will be argued that the post-pandemic world will be a risky one for India. It can continue to blunder and drop rank. At the same time, there is scope for India to draw on its natural strengths, and come out right on top. But that will need changes in our political and economic policies, and the lecture will dwell on what some of those changes might be.

About the Speaker: Professor Kaushik Basu is Professor of Economics and the C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, and former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank. He served as the Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India. Earlier he was Professor of Economics at the Delhi School of Economics. Professor Basu is currently President of the International Economic Association (2017-2020). He has been Visiting Professors at several US and European Universities such as Harvard, Princeton and M.I.T. His contributions span development economics, welfare economics, industrial organisations and game theory. He has written several books and contributed a large number of papers in prestigious academic journals on these topics. Professor Basu has also contributed popular articles to magazines and newspapers, such as The New York Times, Scientific American, India Today and Business Standard. He also wrote a regular column for BBC News Online. He has appeared on various television programs including CNN (USA), NDTV and CNBC (India) and BBC. In May 2008 he was awarded one of India's highest civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan, by the President of India. He has received several honorary degrees, including doctorates from IIT Bombay, Fordham University, New York and Bath University, England.

Click to view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4xlCAjWRfY


IHD - ISLE Web Panel Discussion on "APPROACHES TO INCOME SUPPORT DURING THE PANDEMIC TIMES"









Speakers: Prof. Sudipto Mundle, Distinguished Fellow, National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi; Prof. S. Mahendra Dev, Director and Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai; Dr. Vinod Thomas, Visiting Professor, National University of Singapore & Former Director General, Independent Evaluation, Asian Development Bank

Moderator: Prof. Alakh N. Sharma, Director, Institute for Human Development

Date: 17 July 2020

Web Panel Abstract: There is a wide consensus virtually across the board among social scientists and economists belonging to different schools of thought, opinion leaders and others that the two immediate forms of relief the central and state governments needed to provide is food support and income support. The additional free food rations being provided by the government has indeed provided considerable relief to the affected citizens, though large numbers have not had access to this relief. The action taken in providing income support has been very meager by comparison. Opinions vary here about how best to deliver the income support? Should it be conditional cash transfers or should it be unconditional? Should it be delivered through the IT-enabled bank account system or through traditional means, should it be targeted or universal, what is affordable and what is not? The Web Panel Discussion will deliberate these issues in the context of India, drawing lessons from international experiences.

About the Speakers: Professor Sudipto Mundle is Distinguished Fellow, National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi. Formerly he was Emeritus Professor of National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi and a Member of the 14th Finance Commission, Government of India. He spent major part of his early career in the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and retired in 2008 as a Director in the 60 Strategy and Policy Department of ADB. Prior to joining ADB, he served in several academic institutions in India, including the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum; and the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi, where he was RBI Chair Professor. He has published several books and papers in professional journals in the fields of development economics, macroeconomic policy, and public finance.

Professor S. Mahandra Devis Director and Vice-Chancellor, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Mumbai. Prof. S. Mahendra Dev has been the Director and Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) in Mumbai, India since 2010. Prior to this position, he was Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, Ministry of Agriculture from 2008 to 2010. He was Director, Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad, India for 9 years from 1999 to 2008. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C. He was also Acting Chairman of the National Statistical Commission, Government of India. He received prestigious Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for outstanding research work on development studies. He received his Ph.D. from the Delhi School of Economics and did his postdoctoral research at Yale University. His main areas of interest are development economics, employment, poverty, inequality, agriculture policies, rural development and social sector. He has around 120 research publications in national and international journals. He has written or edited 19 books. He has been a member of several government committees in India, including the Prime Minister's Task Force on Employment, member of the Committee on Financial inclusion, member of the Expert Group on Poverty chaired by Dr. C. Rangarajan. He has received honors for eminence in public service.

Dr. Vinod Thomas is currently Special Adviser to the President and Dean of Asian Institute of Management, Manila and a Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore. Previously he was Director General of Independent Evaluation at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) (20112016). Prior to ADB, Dr. Thomas was the Director-General and Senior Vice-President of the Independent Evaluation Group at the World Bank (2006-2011). He was formerly Country Director for Brazil and Vice-President of the World Bank Institute, where he led the Institute's efforts to improve its focus, quality, and impact. Having joined the World Bank in 1976, he was Chief Economist for the East Asia and Pacific region, Director for the World Development Report, Chief of Trade Policy and Principal Economist for Colombia, and Economist for Bangladesh. Dr. Thomas holds a PhD and MA in Economics from the University of Chicago and a BA from St. Stephen's college, Delhi. He has authored 16 books, articles and reports on macroeconomic, social and environmental issues. His books include The Quality of Growth, 2000, Multilateral Banks and the Development Process and Climate Change and Natural Disasters, 2012 and 2017 respectively, and (with Namrata Chindarkar) Economic Evaluation of Sustainable Development, 2019. He has taught at Vassar College, New York and the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, been on several Boards and has addressed numerous for a in all regions. He has been adviser for evaluation at Global Climate Fund and at IFAD, and for Results for Development and the Emerging Market Forum.

Click to view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRG_YIFtTiI


Panel Discussion on “COVID-19 AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS ORGANISED BY: CENTRE FOR GENDER STUDIES, IHD”









Speakers: Dr. Shruti Majumdar, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, UN Women; Ms. Rashmi Singh, Executive -Director (Programmes), International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC); Ms. Lorna Mesina-Husain, Program Specialist, United Nations Trust Fund for Ending Violence Against Women

Moderator: Professor Aasha Kapur Mehta, Director, Centre for Gender Studies and Visiting Professor, IHD

Date: 26 June 2020

Web Panel Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing social isolation measures have impacted every part of the world, with over 100 countries in lockdown. The protective measure to restrict people to their homes has given rise to unprecedented levels of violence against women. It has further reduced reporting of all forms of violence against women and girls and increased its invisibility. This panel reflected on the impact of the lockdown on violence against women and girls at multiple levels. Shruti Majumdar from the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UNTF EVAW), presented the global impact from the perspective of the UNTF’s grantees i.e. grassroots organizations in the frontlines of this issue in 80 countries. Rashmi Singh from the International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Care presented the impact of the pandemic on survivors in India and the difficulties of data interpretation during this period. Lorna Mesina-Husain from the UNTF EVAW discussed the implications on the funding landscape from a donor perspective, and the urgent need for investment in civil society organizations who are acting as first responders in the frontlines during the pandemic.

About the Speakers: Shruti Majumdar is a Gender Based Violence Specialist with over a decade of research and programming experience at the World Bank and United Nations, particularly in the areas of women’s economic empowerment, community-based approaches and access to justice. As the Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women (UNTF EVAW), a global grant making mechanism administered by UN Women, she provides direct programmatic and M&E support to civil society organizations working on EVAW. She also leads the development and roll out of the Evidence Hub strategy and research partnerships at UNTF EVAW and is particularly interested in growing the evidence base for effective, innovative and scalable solutions on EVAW in low- and middle-income countries. Shruti holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Brown University, and a B.A. in Sociology from Delhi University.

Rashmi is currently working at PCVC. She has a long experience in developing and implementing programmes focused on gender, during her association with development organisations. She worked at Oxfam GB, Action Aid, and CARE India in important positions. She is specialised in mainstreaming gender into thematic programmes and monitoring and evaluation, and integrating gender equity and diversity in interventions on health, education, livelihood and disaster response, among others.

Lorna has worked at the United Nations for over 20 years. Her notable assignments have included field service in the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations in Mogadishu, Somalia (UNOSOM) and HQ support to the UN missions in Eritrea and Ethiopia (UNMEE) and the DRC (MONUC). Prior to joining the UNTF, she was with UN Women’s Policy Division. She brings her rich HQ and field experience in project design and management to the UN Trust Fund EVAW as portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific and the special window focused on refugee and forcibly displaced women and girls. Lorna has a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University.

Click to view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLeIBqotX50


IHD-ILO-ISLE Virtual Conference on “IMPLICATIONS OF THE COVID-19 CRISIS FOR LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT IN INDIA: IMPACT, STRATEGIES AND PERSPECTIVES”










Speakers: Sudipto Mundle, Ajit Ghose, Mahesh Vyas, Kamala Sankaran, K.P. Kannan, Sudha Narayan, R. Nagaraj, Ashwini Deshpande, Ravi Srivastava, Jeemol Unni, Sangheon Lee, K.S. Jomo, Marty Chen, Kunal Sen, Ian Prates, Dev Nathan, Uma Rani, Reema Nanavaty, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Ashwani Saith

Moderators: S. Mahendra Dev, Nomaan Majid, Gerry Rogers, Deepak Nayyar

Dates: 8-9 June 2020

Conference Abstract: The Institute for Human Development jointly with International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE) organized a Virtual Conference on "Implications of the Covid-19 Crisis for Labour and Employment in India: Impact, Strategies and Perspectives" on 8-9 June 2020. A number of distinguished scholars and public personalities discussed the Implications of the Covid-19 crisis for work and employment around three broad themes; Impact of Covid-19; Strategies to deal with the Impact and Perspectives for the future in four Web panel discussions.

Conference Details available on: http://www.ihdindia.org/IHD-ILO-ISLEVirtualConference/


Webinar on “IMPACT OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN ON THE INFORMAL ECONOMY”









Speaker: Professor Jeemol Unni, Professor of Economics, Amrut Mody School of Management, Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad

Moderator: Professor Indira Hirway, Director & Professor of Economics, Centre for Development Alternatives (CFDA) Ahmedabad

Date: 26 May 2020

Webinar Abstract: Much has been said and written about the impact of the COVID19 lockdown on the Indian economy, the stimulus packages announced by the government of India and the sad plight of the migrant workers. This webinar shall focus on particular segments of the informal economy and informal workers. After a brief account of the size of different segments of the informal economy, the dimension of the problem that these selected segments face, the measures that have been announced for them and how it may or may not help them to refigure their livelihoods after the lockdown is lifted shall be discussed. The specific segments that will be in focus are the construction workers, street vendors, domestic workers and micro enterprises.

About the Speaker: Professor Jeemol Unni is Professor of Economics and Chair of the Masters of Arts in Economics Programme at the Amrut Mody School of Management, Ahmedabad University, and Ahmedabad. Earlier she was the Director, Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA). She holds a Ph.D. and M.Phil. in Economics. She was a post-doctoral Fellow at Economic Growth Center, Yale University. She is currently a member of the Standing Committee on Economic Statistics, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India. She is a Labour Economist and her research focuses on informal employment, returns to education, social protection and women entrepreneurship. She is also on the Editorial Board of the Indian Journal of Labour Economics.

Click to view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUAaFYaqO44


Webinar on “LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS IN PANDEMIC TIMES”









Speaker: Professor Deepak Nayyar, President, ISLE; Emeritus Professor, JNU & Former Vice Chancellor, Delhi University

Moderator: Professor Alakh N. Sharma, Director, IHD

Date: 11 May 2020

Webinar Abstract: The objective of this lecture was to analyse the implications and consequences of the ongoing pandemic for lives, livelihoods and the economy in India. Its focus was on three propositions. First, it suggested that the morbidity and mortality associated with COVID-19 in India is much lower than elsewhere in the world, to explore possible underlying reasons. Second, it argued that saving lives and preserving livelihoods are imperatives, since both taken together shape the wellbeing of people and it is for the government to reconcile these objectives instead of letting it be posed as an either-or choice creating a false dilemma. Third, it discussed how the prolonged and draconian lockdown has dealt a crippling below to the economy, making recovery a far more difficult task, while placing a disproportionate burden on the poor, for whom it is now a question of survival. In conclusion, the lecture reflected briefly on possible ways forward.

About the Speaker: Professor Deepak Nayyar, is Emeritus Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and an Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. He was Distinguished University Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research, New York. Earlier, he taught at the University of Oxford, the University of Sussex, and the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. He served as Vice Chancellor of the University of Delhi, and as Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India. He is also currently President of the Indian Society of Labour Economics. His latest books, Resurgent Asia: Diversity in Development and Asian Transformations: An Inquiry into the Development of Nations, have been published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, in late 2019.

Click to view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLTQryXu23E


Webinar on “MIGRANT LABOUR IN THE SHADOW OF THE PANDEMIC”









Speaker: Professor Ravi Srivastava, Director, Centre for Employment Studies, IHD

Moderator: Professor Deepak Nayyar, President, ISLE; Emeritus Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Former Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi

Date: 2 May 2020

Webinar Abstract: The lecture had three major objectives. It clears myths about the nature of labour migration in India and presents broad estimates of such migrants by type. It then discusses the impact of the pandemic containment strategy (lock-down) on different categories of labour migrants and immediate policy imperatives. Finally, it discusses the medium and long-term policies in relation to labour migration and informal employment in India.

About the Speaker: Professor Ravi Srivastava is a former Professor of Economics, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is currently Director, Centre of Employment Studies, Institute of Human Development, Delhi. He is a leading researcher on labour migration, employment, and the informal economy, and was a full-time member of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector, Government of India.

Click to view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y5MOaqN9SY