Professor Gopal Guru, editor of the famous journal Economic & Political Weekly (EPW) and Professor (retired) at JNU, chaired the session ‘Distinguished Lecture #WebPolicyTalk on Socio-Economic Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic in India‘, organised by Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi, of which Prof Arun Kumar, one of India’s most eminent economist, was a part. The session was held on October 7, 2020.
During his concluding remarks for the discussion, Prof Guru recommended the direction towards which IMPRI should be headed. The kind of language we use while evaluating the impact of a pandemic is the foremost question we should currently focus on, especially pertaining to the demand and supply scenario. He said:
He said that there is an inherent contradiction between demand and supply as supply has always focused on giving something. The supply side has two languages: patronage and entitlements/rights. In contrast, demand involves the usage of normative language because demand guarantees us a sense of dignity. However, the demands have to reasonable and achievable.
He also raised another important point. With the help of policy incentives and intervention, he said, we now have to focus on the “reshuffling of language” vis-à-vis to the reshuffling of funds, owing to the rich deep-rooted economic theories that Indian scholars are well-versed with.
To conclude, he opined that this pandemic has given us an excellent opportunity to make a distinction between the kind of “language” we will produce while contradicting demand and supply. Prof Guru even said that Covid-19 has offered us an opportunity to distinguish between demand and supply as well as produce, and create some of the most brilliant ideas in terms of innovation.