Impact Of Covid-19


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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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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