Covid19

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Extended National Lock Down and its Ramifications on Indian Legal Professionals

I never thought I would live long enough to see the legal profession change to the extent it has”.

 Constance Baker Motley

The World is reeling under the COVID 19 pandemic in an unprecedented manner. India has reached a critical stage as the spike of COVID 19 cases being reported every passing day. In light of the above, our life is increasingly at stake. The question of the uncertainty of life pops up in our minds every now and then. A surge of despair, gloom, and pessimism is in the air. To contain the spread of the epidemic, there is an enforcement of recurrent national lockdown though the restrictions have been eased out at present. In general, our everyday life has come to a standstill as we are in enforced seclusion.

 The extended lockdown has stifled the economic growth and development of the country. The impact of a pandemic can be felt by all walks of life.  The legal profession is not an exception. As reported by the Times of India recently, the lockdown hits Rs.20,000 crore legal practice industry. Legal professionals are witnessing the consequences of the lockdown, as the Indian judiciary has been under the extended national lockdown since March 24, 2020. Access to justice has become limited in this challenging time. Given this context, the Indian legal system seems to be in jeopardy.

In the present circumstances, the physical hearing has come to a grinding halt at all types of courts across the country, barring the Supreme Court, high courts, and trial courts where virtual hearing is underway only for extremely urgent and important cases.  So, ‘work from home’ has become a vogue statement among the Indian legal professionals now.

Be that as it may, the extended national lockdown has brought to the fore the glaring class inequality among the Indian legal professionals.  The successful senior counsels- a well-paid small minority are in demand for arguing for the listed urgent or important cases at the above-mentioned courts amidst lockdown. They are in demand for arbitration to seal the pending cases too.

In contrast, the moderate lawyers closed their legal firms as they could not afford to pay their employees, and even some announced layoffs of employees because of the non-availability of cases.  In the case of ordinary lawyers, generally, most of them lead a life of hand to mouth existence as the income of these lawyers is generally based on a case-to-case basis.  In view of a prolonged shut down of the courts, the ordinary lawyers are left to fend themselves as there is no income coupled with no social security measures in place.

Amongst all, the novice or young lawyers have been hit hard because of a lack of work, and also, they miss their practical training to enhance their professional skills.  Under this scenario, they are deprived of training under a senior advocate or established lawyer at legal firms. In view of new work culture ‘work from home’, they feel alienated as they have not been directly inducted in the work. Physical presence in the legal firms is imperative to imbibe the professional skills.

Besides, the prowess of the legal profession can be learned or nurtured in a systematic manner gradually with the valuable guidance of senior lawyers. As lawyers are not born; they are produced through constant training at legal firms over a period of time. Thus, the virtual training cannot substitute the physical training of young lawyers to equip themselves. Even though the situation is grim overall, the silver lining is that the technically empowered lawyers or legal firms are doing well in this critical time.

Last but not the least, the freshly passed out law graduates are in limbo. Neither employed nor in training. Further, conversion to a virtual court or E-court is causing an inconvenience to judges and senior advocates given the poor digital infrastructure in our country. To sum up, the business is as usual for the successful senior advocates, the rest is left in the lurch. So, the scourge of class inequality has widened among the legal professionals during the extended national lockdown period. As the national lockdown has a strong bearing on the lives of ordinary lawyers, they are keenly looking forward to the functioning of the courts. Nevertheless, it is not feasible to open the courts in the coming months due to the escalation of COVID 19 cases.

Dr. Mahalingam M
Associate Professor
Faculty of Law
SGT University

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Thank God Corona is Here

India as a nation when jolted with Corona, was not the sweet healthy wholesome creamy bowl of milk that got inadvertently curdled by accidental add of a cup of lemon juice. Although this was an incident that made a roaring entry into the pages of history, for the world, definitely with disastrous consequences, Indians may finally remember and presently treat it is as one of the troubles in the long list, few of the constituents of which are exclusive for us.

At least Corona is not one of them, it was shared between all, in the world, irrespective of being the third world (third class?), developing (forever), brown or whatever prejudices, we as a nation have become accustomed to. This Virus actually has opened a new world of realization for us as a nation, a society, a family, and an individual.

As a nation, we have created an image of ourselves so low and substandard that even our goals to progress would be to become like one of our western neighbours. Have you ever heard of – the newly developed suburbs of Gurugram is so good that it looks almost like Europe!! Why such reluctance to give credit to ourselves. This is an era to shorten the gap. All the money, infrastructure, and manufacturing capacities were found lacking, with the realization that probably there is nothing forever.

How surprising is the ubiquitous presence of the single objective of parents, Indian education system, and society at large for their children, which is – to make them learned enough to finally get different citizenship, even at a cost of not seeing them ever again! One of my friends will repeatedly introduce the youngest son being so “useless” that he could nor go and work abroad, of course not giving any credit for being with the oldies at times of sickness and calamities like, say… COVID! What made them move back, during the pandemic in such large numbers? Wasn’t one of the reasons for them being there was the better capacity of their preferred nation to fight such rough patches. The virus has made people realize why earlier or maybe still in a few places people prefer to live in joint families and what is the importance of the institution of Marriage. The real difference between “globalization” and being “self-reliant”. Does globalization always have an element of loss of self-reliance? There is a difference between “Need” and “Creation of market.”

Is the word Marketing, all about the ability to sell a product to someone who actually doesn’t need it? If this is untrue how is the world’s economy going into catastrophe while all individuals are still consuming their necessities? Is the word “Development” actually an ethical coat for “How to extract more from nature to fulfill the created needs”. Many predict the future world will have lesser trades and movements between different parts of the world, so we should try to become self-sufficient for our needs (basic- right). Does that only mean, to produce all that you need by yourself or there is some element of the concept that you never required “That Thing” from the other end of the world, so stop considering it as your need? And to clear up those doubts here is a trial of survival with lockdown, thanks to Corona.

Wasn’t “Happiness” was misquoted as “Development” which was further defined by all “Created needs”. Isn’t COVID era is the time to realize the actual happiness is probably having more of family life, the payback time for the oldies, perusing all that you couldn’t due to lack of time, spend time for your fitness and spiritual health, work from home – which actually never required to travel 3 hours a day to reach a hired space, to be able to help someone in need, to talk to friends and relatives with all the time in hand. That is to find the contentment and peace of mind as a perfect recipe for happiness rather than an increase in salary that we longed for. How else but the presence of Corona would have made us realize this, maybe this is the way Mother Nature teaches us a lesson. Thank God Corona is here…

Dr. Supriya Gupta
Assistant  Professor
Department of Shalya Tantra
Faculty of Indian Medical System
SGT University

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Impact of Covid on Education System

Coronavirus Infectious diseases 2019 (COVID-19) is a severe acute respiratory syndrome first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and since then has spread globally, resulting in an ongoing pandemic all across the globe. the common symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, and loss of smell and taste; The virus is primarily spread between the people during close contacts. As of May 16, 2020, more than 4.56 million cases have been reported across 188 countries and territories&more than 3,08,000 deaths; Although the Recovery rate is more than 1.64 million people.

With the huge spread of disease, in the second week of March, state governments across the country began shutting down all the public places where there are chances of gathering and possibility of spread of the virus. These places include schools, colleges, offices, spiritual places, restaurants, cafes, gyms, and many other social gatherings places. Only the places that provide necessary services are allowed to stay open such as grocery stores, hospitals, medical stores, etc. The imposed shutdown is temporarily measured to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus& now it is close to a few months now and there is no certainty when the lockdown will be lifted. It is quite a crucial time for all the sectors as it is not only affecting the health of the people but also triggers the nervous system in the human body and adversely affects the economy of the country.

Read Also: Future of Education System Amidst Covid 19

One of the great impacts of Covid-19 is on the education sector of the country. Board examinations, nursery school admissions, entrance tests of various universities and competitive examinations, others, are being held during this period. As the days are passing by with no immediate solution to stop this outbreak, the closure of school and university is hugely affecting the learning across the country. The structure of the education system i.e. learning methodology, teaching techniques &assessment methodologies, are quite affected and result in a shift to online education with most focus on virtual education to accomplish the set aims and objectives. But only a handful of schools and universities could adopt such methods and the low-income private and government school are quite inefficient to adopt the same, thus resulting in a shutdown. Not only the school, but the pandemic has also significantly disrupted the higher education sector as well, which is a critical determinant of a country’s economic future.

Also, the employment rate had a huge fall due to the spreading disease. Recent graduates in India are fearing the withdrawal of job offers for cooperates because of the current ongoing economic crises. The centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s estimates on unemployment shot up from 8.4% in mid-March to 23% in April and the urban unemployment rate to 30.9%. The pandemic has transformed the centuries of old teaching methods, chalk-talk teaching model to one driven by technology. To overcome the increasing interruption in the education system during Covid-19, some possible alternatives or solutions can be used which includes the help of power supply, digital skills of teachers and students, internet connectivity, it is necessary to explore digital learning, distance learning program can be included, provide support for digitalization to teachers and students.  This disruption in the delivery of education is pushing policymakers to figure out how to drive engagement at the teaching level while ensuring inclusive e-learning solutions and tackling the digital divide. Therefore, it is impossible to ignore that technology plays a crucial role in the educational system and the demand for the current situation. In this time of crisis, a well-rounded and effective educational practice is what is needed for the capacity-building of young minds. It will develop skills, which will lead to their employability, productivity, health, and well-being in the decades to come, and ensure the overall progress of the student as well as of India.

Ms. Ruby Yadav
Asst. Professor
Faculty of Education

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Colonial-Era Law To Fight Pandemic In India

The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 is a law that was first created to tackle “bubonic plague” in Mumbai which was formerly known as ‘Bombay’. The law is meant to curb down the spread of this horrendous epidemics by extending special powers that are required for the implementation of containment measures to control the spread of the disease.

Since then the Act has been regularly used to contain various diseases in India such as swine flu, cholera, malaria, and dengue. In 2018, the Act was enforced as cholera began to spread in a region of Gujarat. In 2015, it was used to deal with dengue and malaria in Chandigarh, and in 2009 it was invoked in Pune to combat swine flu. Starting in March 2020, the act is being enforced across India in order to limit the spread of coronavirus disease in 2019.

LOOPHOLES OF THE ACT

The Act does not provide any power to the Centre to intervene in biological emergencies. It has to be substituted with an Act that takes care of the prevailing and foreseeable public health needs, including emergencies such as BT (bioterrorism) attack and use of biological weapons by an adversary, cross border issues, and international spread of diseases,”.

Behind the urgency to detect and quarantine suspected Covid-19 patients and the blaring call for social distancing lies a stark reality: in terms of enforcing laws to contain Covid-19, the Centre can do little on the ground. The legal inadequacy to tackle disease outbreaks was known for long, baby steps were taken, but at the end of the day, the country was not ready when it encountered another pandemic — arguably the severest since the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed around seven million people in the country. The main legal weapon the government possesses today is the Epidemic Disease Act of 1897, a hurriedly drafted short legislation to stonewall the bubonic plague that devastated life in Bombay in 1896, forcing people to migrate out of the city. Health is a state subject. Union government’s role could, at best, be advisory and coordinating in nature, since Section 2 of the Act only empowers a state to inspect people and segregate suspected patients. The only power the Centre derives from the British Raj-era law is on “inspection of any ship or vessel leaving or arriving at any port” that comes under its jurisdiction. The Act does not even mention airports. It is understandable — there were no airplanes 123 years ago. However, when the Centre drafted the 156-page Management of Biological Disaster Guideline in 2008 — followed in letter and spirit even today — the realization came that the Epidemic Disease Act was inadequate to deal with bioterrorism and international spread of diseases.

After all, the law does not bestow the Centre any power beyond issuing advisories and coordinating. It cannot even regulate the transfer of biological samples — imagine a coronavirus sample getting stolen while being taken to a laboratory.

During the first term of the UPA government, a public health emergency bill was drafted. But the bill went into cold storage after states called it an infringement upon their powers.

Later, during the Modi government’s first term, a similar draft was more sincerely followed up, with the health & family welfare ministry naming it Public Health (Prevention, Control, and Management of Epidemics, Bio-terrorism, and Disasters) Bill 2017, proposing to repeal the epidemic law of 1897. The draft bill explains in clearer terms the quarantining of suspects and isolation of the infected, in addition to empowering the Centre to direct states and district or local bodies as well as usurping powers bestowed to states under Section 3 if it is found to be “expedient and in public interests” to do so. In addition, the proposed law also embedded a provision marking that anyone intentionally violating the law could end up paying a fine of up to `1 lakh and face imprisonment of up to two years.

This provision could have been useful now given the rising instances of Covid-19 suspects skipping quarantine. Under current laws, police can charge someone under IPC’s Section 269 for negligent act and Section 270 for the malignant act for spreading an infectious disease that is dangerous to life.

Health Ministry concedes that there is a need to strengthen India’s legal framework but laws alone are insufficient. The problem arises mainly because of coordination and implementation issues. The home ministry, which usually takes the lead during crises such as earthquakes, floods, and cyclones, has taken a backseat, allowing the health ministry to coordinate with states as mandated by the Disaster Management Act of 2005.

FURTHERMORE ON EPIDEMIC ACT OF 1897

The seventh schedule lists health as a state subject, and different states have provisions that aren’t necessarily uniform and harmonized.

In the context of the Wuhan virus, the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) suggested that states/UTs invoke Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897, and many states/UTs have done so. The third plague epidemic also originated in China, though in Yunnan, not Wuhan. It, too, was imported, through port cities like Mumbai (spreading to Pune), Kolkata, and Karachi. The upshot was the Plague Commission, which identified September 23, 1896, as the first official outbreak of the plague, and delivered a mammoth five-volume report.

Majorly four questions were asked in this report-

  1. How did the plague originate in different parts of India?
  2. How was the disease communicated?
  3. What were the effects of the curative serum?
  4. What were the effects of preventive inoculation and how many people died as a result of the plague?

Now, these were surely not easy questions to answer, as it depended on timelines and region. On all India basis, Plague Commission computed mortality as 0.5 per 1,000 per year. But that is for three years- 1896 to 1898. With an extended timeline(the plague lingered), estimates of Indian Mortality figures range from 2 million to 10 million.

The plague led to the Epidemic Diseases Act, enacted on February 4, 1897. And sadly once the legislation is passed, we rarely read the statement of objects and reasons. In this case, the statement of objects and reasons said, “The object of the Bill is sufficiently explained by the title thereof and the spread of the bubonic plague from Bombay, unfortunately, renders it unnecessary to dwell on the reasons for its introduction in Council. It may however be stated that its main provisions are based upon those contained in Sections 4.34 and 47.1 of the City of Bombay Municipal Act, 1888.” Right after this special power was conferred on local authorities, and were implemented with the oppressive force for example, in Bombay and Pune. a Plague Committee was established in March 1897 by Bombay Presidency and WC Rand was made the Chairman.

The Epidemic Diseases Act is very perfunctory. With only four sections, out of which one is the title. Section 2 confers special powers on the government, which are over and above its normal powers. One needs to understand that no statute is constant over time.

And this legislation from 1897 is no different. It was amended in 1914, 1920, and 1956. Nonetheless, on reading it you will realize it is vintage. For example, in Section 2(2)(b), the state government can take measures and prescribe regulations for “the inspection of persons traveling by railway or otherwise, and the segregation, in hospital, temporary accommodation or otherwise, of persons suspected by the inspecting officer of being infected with any such disease”. Similarly, under Section 2A, “When the Central Government is satisfied that India or any part thereof is visited by, or threatened with, an outbreak of any dangerous epidemic disease and that the ordinary provisions of the law for the time being in force are insufficient to prevent the outbreak of such disease or the spread thereof, the Central Government may take measures and prescribe regulations for the inspection of any ship or vessel leaving or arriving at any port in [the territories to which this Act extends] and for such detention thereof, or of any person intending to sail therein, or arriving thereby, as may be necessary.”Railways, and ships, and ports, and what about airlines and airports? Of course, an Act as old as 123years was not capable of foreseeing airplanes at that time. Along with this, there used to be a Section 2B that allowed state governments to requisition private vehicles in times of plague, but that has also been repealed.

It’s very essential for us to understand that a statute just doesn’t become dysfunctional simply because it is old, but it does become dysfunctional when it is overtaken by events. Among other things, when it has been overtaken by the Constitution. “The seventh schedule lists health as a state subject, and different states have provisions that aren’t necessarily uniform and harmonized. Some have amended the Epidemic Diseases Act; some have their own public health laws. (Tamil Nadu was the first, in 1939).”

With regard to Public Health, Kerala has two separate public health Acts—one for Travancore-Cochin, and the second for Malabar. Initially, there were plans to unify the two, but nothing happened till date on those lines. Today, health issues are very different, and broader too in comparison to what we had in 1897. The role of the private sector is different from what it was then. In 2017, MoHFW prepared a bill known as “The Public Health (Prevention, Control, and Management of Epidemics, Bio-terrorism, and Disasters) Bill”. This is still a draft. The world has moved beyond epidemic diseases. The Epidemic Diseases Act has four sections, this draft bill has fourteen, with 14(1) being probably the most important. This says, “The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 is hereby repealed.” Incidentally, the 1897 legislation doesn’t define “epidemic”. Admittedly, the word is difficult to pin down. But, the bill makes an attempt, saying, “Epidemic means the occurrence in a community or region of cases of an illness, specific health-related behavior, or other health-related events clearly in excess of normal expectancy”.However, it is still a bill.

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Impact of Covid- 19 and Lockdown on Indian Agriculture

Doubling of the farmer’s income program initiated and steered by central and state governments will certainly be adversely affected due to the ill effects of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns. All agricultural activities were already feeling the burns of various factors, like unseasonal rainfall, its intensity, and distribution which impacted sowing, normal crop growth, diseases and pest spectrum, quantitative and qualitative yields, and ultimately remuneration received by the farmers. Other factors which were already impacting farming include deteriorating soil health, high crop intensity, imbalanced fertilizers use, depleting soil organic content, monoculturing, irrational use of weedicides and pesticides, uneconomical water use efficiency, depleting underground water table, unfavorable benefit-cost ratio, improper marketing management strategies, poor storage facilities at farmer’s level and at procuring agencies’ level, insufficient food processing facilities, technological gaps, diseases/ pest resistance due to underdose/ overdose usages of pesticides, lacks adaptation level of existing technologies, improper execution of Govt. policies and even region-specific faulty planning as well. Above all, the direct and indirect onslaught of Covid-19 and lockdowns aggravated the problems as if the existing problems farming community were not sufficient.

This instant jolt was given by COVID 19 to the farmers covering almost all the states, for harvesting and threshing of rabi crops, making reach them to procurement marketing venues. As the government tried to make some stop-gap arrangements for procuring grain-produce, wherein a set number of farmers would be present in the grain market at a given point of time to avoid crowding, maintaining the social distancing norms. To minimize shattering of the grains in standing crops, particularly wheat crop due to the fear of accidental fire in the standing crop by electrical sparking, machinery fire or smoker’s negligence, etc; the farmers were compelled to harvest and thresh the crops 2-5 days before actual ripening which affected the yields. It is a common knowledge that due to division and further divisions the landholding size in India has been reducing year on year basis and approximately 85% of the farmers fall in the category of small and marginal. Likewise for household units also the same fact is applied and they do not have much scope for permanent storage of the bulk farm produce.

This is also true relating to Covid-19 impacts that almost all the business activities are almost standing still, however the agricultural production system activities including grain production, milk, meat, fisheries, vegetables, horticultural produce cannot wait indefinitely. It is also a common knowledge that agriculture and allied sectors support directly or indirectly approximately 60% of the Indian population. Consequently, the whole lot is going to be affected by the onslaught of the dreaded virus impact.

It has become a fact that the unorganized casual labor force is majorly from a few Indian states where population growth rate is higher due to low literacy and other co-factors. Due to fear and uncertainty of the Covid-19 period and non-availability of casual jobs, as well as non-availability of permanent residence available for them at their workplace they are moving to their native place. This again has doubled and trebled their miseries as well as of that of farmers. All this is certainly going to heavily erode the Indian Economy in general and farmers in particular.

As of now, the feel of these burns looked temporary, however, its real impact will be realized if the Covid-19 and it’s offshoot lockdown are continued for a longer period. In general, the whole farming community at the national level will be badly impacted; however, its deep impact will be on the agriculturally progressive states, like Punjab and Haryana where major workforce (manpower) is from outside states. The most affected state should be Punjab, where the majority of youth have settled abroad and the inactive elderly population is left in rural Punjab. Due to their old age, they are not in the habit of doing field and menial jobs. Although mechanical field activities are relatively more in Punjab and Haryana, yet manual labor is a must for doing certain jobs. Even for handling the agricultural machinery the laborers, permanent or temporary, are required. As discussed earlier most of the labor force has returned to their native areas; therefore, this will certainly impact the agricultural activities, including total sown area, timely sowing and harvesting of crops, and others.

The ongoing situation will be a fall out on vegetable & fruit production system which is labor-intensive activity; and above all in the production of vegetables and fruits manual labor is a more practical proposition as compared to a mechanical one.

This will leave a cascading effect on the already slow-paced ‘crop diversification program’ run by state and central govt. This is, in particular, true of Indo Gangetic Plains (IGP) including Punjab, Haryana, and rice-wheat system growing areas where this necessary evil was to be broken down due to falling water tables in the said zones.
Crops other than rice and wheat are labor-intensive and as discussed earlier the labor deficient farming communities will be forced to revert back to the rice-wheat cropping system. On the other hand, the incentivized crop diversification program will receive a huge jolt. Under such a situation the farmers will be forced to leave their land unsown, at least a part of it, which will affect the total productivity of the states and nation as well.

Although it is very difficult to guess and pin-point that who will be impacted and in what way, yet the prevailing circumstances may impact different social strata in a number of ways. For instance, the landowners who presently do not work in the fields will start working for survival &sustainability. This will bring many sociological changes. Extravagancy will reduce inculcating the habits of saving, custom hiring patterns, land lease patterns, reduction in litigation, the dignity of labor, attitude towards cleanliness, unnecessary movements from one place to another, etc.

Although all the crops should be affected due to the impact of COVID -19, yet the most affected will be sugarcane, vegetable & horticultural crops, cotton & fresh-flower production. Sugarcane is a labor-intensive crop right from sowing till harvesting. In particular, Maharashtra will be most adversely affected by the want of laborers, who have migrated to their native places. This could also have a bearing on sugar prices. Other sugarcane growing states will also be affected due to migration and paucity of the casual laborer. Likewise, cotton-growing activities, being manual labor-intensive will also be adversely affected, especially picking cotton. In general, this will also leave an impact on production, productivity, and cotton prices.

Vegetables and horticultural crops require manual labourers from day one to the consumption point. Most of the vegetables and fruit crops are perishable and have a very short shelf-life; hence are required to be reached to the consumer in a time-bound manner. If manual labour is not timely available it brings a huge loss to the growers which directly impacts remuneration of the growers, and ultimately the consumer has to pay more price owing to demand-supply principle. Timely transportation of these commodities is another issue that spurts the prices of these commodities for the consumers of far-flung areas. Similarly, the quality of the commodities is badly affected due to such issues.

The most affected agri-activity is the fresh- flower growing industry which has fallen flat owing to the non-availability of the labour force as well as its demand in the local and international markets. Thus, the agriculture sector is going to see a sea change post-COVID-19 era which will redefine it and the consequences of which shall be far-reaching.


Dr. K. R. Dabur
Professor & Dean
Faculty of Agricultural Science
SGT University

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Impact Of Covid-19 On Garment Industry By Swati Yadav

Coronavirus (Covid-19) started from the “Wuhan” city of China at the end of 2019 and now spread out all over the world. Its impact has been felt across the globe in every government sector, Private sectors, Small and large scale businesses, and other areas too. Currently, not only India but worldwide is facing a severe lockdown. Similarly, we all know that the lockdown is a better option to save everyone’s lives but simultaneously lockdown put each life at standstill.

If we talk about the impact of COVID-19 on the Garment industry has almost reduced to halt. The garment industry is one of the largest industries in terms of economy, Import & Export, and employability. Due to the current scenario, the industry is facing the major hurdles in different areas like:

  • Importation and Exportation of raw material: India is the second-largest textile exporter in the world with massive raw material. This industry is a significant contributor to the economy in terms of both the domestic market and exports. But the pandemic Covid-19 affected the majority of India’s export market causing order cancellations, this leading to inventory framing and expectation of slower comprehension of export receivables leading to a higher working capital constraint. Indian domestic market is also getting affected due to countrywide closure, with this domestic prices could be negatively wedged if exporters will scrapyard their inventories in the domestic market leading to condensed margins also. All these things could lead to short-term failures such as increasing unemployment of low wages labor and reduced consumption.
  • Supply chain disturbance: Supply chain of material is disturbed because import and export are temporarily shut down due to worldwide closure. Therefore, the garment industry needs to look at local sourcing prospects.
  • Workforce: The garment industry Provides a maximum number of employability but due to lockdown, all the industries are lead to a temporary shutdown. The low wages workers of this industry who are dependent on a daily basis salary are not getting meals properly. They are almost unemployed or lay-off and there is no surety of coming months that industry will rejoin the employees or not.
  • Cash movement constraints: The garment sector contending with profitability issues due to shrill decline in the yarn exports, inexpensive imports, etc. And, if the industry will not get the same number of profit and it will definitely lead to cash movement constraints.
  • Consumer emotions: If the situation will remain the same for a longer duration, then it will impact the consumer feeling on the higher side. Consumers have a desire to do shopping but they are forcefully packed at their homes for safety purposes. Due to this pandemic retail outlet will be affected for longer duration because as per the current scenario consumers will prefer to shop online. The extension of lockdown would directly increase the length of the recovery cycle.

Swati Yadav
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Fashion & Design
SGT University

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Role of Artificial Intelligence in Food Industry Post-COVID-19

Whether we like it or not COVID-19 has established in our lives. While the world is struggling with the changed order, few countries have crossed the bridge and are slowly getting back to business. India is eagerly waiting for the dust to set and life to begin all over again. How soon we are able to do so is a million-dollar question at this moment. However, what all are sure of – is the need to urgently find a new way, evolve strategies, and be ready for the post COVID scenario.

Back to business

The food industry is slowly but steadily finding its lost ground. In the past few weeks, home delivery services have been resume, and restaurants are seeing a gradual spike in numbers. With no-contact deliveries and online payments, consumers are fast gaining confidence in ordering food from restaurants online. While consumers are also eagerly waiting to get back to eating out, the industry itself is trying to find ways to make the consumer experience more safe, hygienic, and assuring. Post-COVID, a lot is sure to change in the way people plan their eating outs. Restaurants, on the other hand, have to re-invent themselves in the way they cook, serve, and meet the high standards of hygiene. And the only answer is – shift towards automation and Artificial Intelligence for the benefits of all. The minimal use of human hand assures the food is safe, hygienic, and perfect to taste as every aspect is pre-programmed.

Also ReadArtificial intelligence – Future of Education Through a New Spectrum

Automation, the way forward

In this fast-changing scenario, the food industry should brace itself to more stringent rules for non-home cooked food preparations. One can easily foresee the introduction of strict guidelines by the government taking the benchmark of food safety and hygiene a notch higher. In many parts of the world traditional cooking equipment such as tandoor and gas stoves, which are both risky as well as unfavorable for the environment, have been banned in commercial spaces. While new rules might soon be laid down to beat the virus at all levels, consumers themselves will be more discerning in times to come. They will pick restaurants that follow high standards of hygiene and where social distancing is practiced in the best possible way. A recent study done by an Indian restaurant-tech-solution platform cited more and more people are moving towards digital ordering and payment, where they do not have to touch anything other than sanitized cutlery during their restaurant visits.

Read Also, COVID 19: How to Prevent Corona Virus Through Hand Cleansing

The professional kitchens are in for mega changes world over. Restaurants will have to upgrade themselves with new-age technology which depends a lot on Artificial Intelligence and complete automation. Smart combi-ovens are the ‘new normal’. These smart appliances can be programmed in such a way that they can cook the best meals with minimal intervention. They can make any chef’s craftsmanship come true with ease. From baking, steaming to giving the final finish with the right color crust, aroma, and texture; they can do it all. What’s more, most of the intelligent equipment comes with automatic self-cleaning function, and hence nothing is left to chance when it comes to matters of cleanliness and hygiene. Even the HACCP data can be retrieved from the units automatically which can become a mandatory requirement in the future for commercial kitchens to maintain.

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Future of Education System Amidst Covid 19

We all are fully aware that due to coronavirus pandemic state government across the country temporarily started shutting down schools and colleges. As per the current situation, there is absolute uncertainty as to when colleges and Universities will fully resume their operations.

Certainly, itis a crucial time for the education sector as various entrance tests and competitive exams are held in this period. No doubt that this will impact passing out of students from current courses and intake of students for fresh batches. Conducting Semester end exams for various courses will be a hectic job for college authorities and well staff while keeping the health concerns of students and professors in mind.

The immediate solution of coronavirus is necessary or if these days pass then closure of colleges and universities will not only have a short-term impact but also far-reaching economical and societal consequences.

Technology will play an important role during this lockdown period like working from home and distance learning as parents will become reluctant to send their wards to universities.

Institute offering teacher training to students will get an opportunity to help trainees to get digitally equipped and tray teaching students through google classrooms, google Meet or WebEx. In India, some private schools can adopt online teaching methods, but potential low income Private and Government schools may not be able to adapt to online teaching methods. This is where tutors can take the opportunity of reaching the masses but for this process to run smoothly the institution will have to bring changes in way subjects like educational technology and ICT are taught in teacher training institutes.

Ms. Ruby Yadav
Asst. Prof.
Faculty of Education

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ADMISSIONS 2020