The Indian political economy had been in a state of flux even before we became one of the worst-hit COVID-19 affected countries in the world. The coronavirus has aggravated several structural issues we had already been facing – bringing these issues to the fore for all policymakers to grapple with: revenue shortages, inflating expenditures, large-scale unemployment, dying businesses, a stagnant manufacturing sector, and amidst this – a breakdown of centre-state relations as governments negotiate the sharing of scarce revenue. Myriad legal and policy prescriptions have also been made to the government: to foster cooperation between the centre and states, to regulate the ever-widening size of the Gig or Informal Economy, labour reforms, rethinking environmental regulations, and so on. Many such key policy decisions have already been made by the governments, over the past weeks as the country wrestled with the pandemic.
This webinar series cum blog symposium – organized by the student wing of the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, the Kautilya Society, in partnership with the Young Scholars Initiative – aimed to analyse these choices in the context of three broad themes, over 3 discussion sessions and 3 articles each.
This Symposium was featured in the Compendium of Resources, curated by the the Peter Mackell Chair in Federalism, McGill University, Canada.
A Compilation of the Symposium
Speakers – Mr. Alok Prasnna Kumar (Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy) and Dr. Amal Sethi (University of Pennsylvania).
- Centre-state Coordination by Anubhav Khamroi
- Co-operative Federalism by Ragini Agarwal
- Fiscal Federalism by Tejas Popat
Theme#2 Gig Economy and the Law
Speakers – Dr Gayatri Nair (IIIT Delhi), Mr Sanjoy Ghose (Advocate) and Dr Jamie Woodcock (Open University).
- Anti-trust law & Collective Bargaining in Gig Economy by Apurv Jain
- Bias and Discrimination in the Gig Economy by Sushmita Som
- Gig Economy: Labour force v. Self-made Boss by Yamuna Menon
Theme#3 Neoliberalism and the Law
Speakers – Prof. Nayanika Mathur (University of Oxford), Prof. Philippe Cullet (SOAS) and Prof. Rashmi Venkatesan (NLSIU).
- How biased is efficiency as a standard for welfare? by Unnati Ghia
- Neoliberalism’s Capture of Environmental Law by Utsav Mitra
- Neoliberal Constitutionalism by Abhishek Nippani
This free-of-charge and open-for-all Programme took a comprehensive look at these themes through both the written and webinar media: three posts under each theme were published here every Saturday from August 8 to August 23rd.
The posts were authored by the Batch of 2020 graduates of some of India’s best law schools. These posts were followed by webinars every Sunday starting the 9th of August 2020. Each Webinar hosted two-three domain experts from the field of law and policy-making, who discussed the articles and navigated the otherwise vast ambits of these themes. 1 hour was reserved in each webinar for the participants to ask their questions and take part in the discussion.
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Click here for a glimpse into the successful symposium we hosted last year – Freer & Fairer: LSPR’s Conference on Electoral Reforms in India
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