India’s Policy Response to COVID-19: A Reality Check focusing on Dalits and Adivasis

Given that one of the biggest casualties of the COVID pandemic and the ensuing lockdown in India has been the loss of jobs and livelihood, this Discussion Paper focuses on the pandemic’s impact on employment and incomes for the economically and socially disadvantaged sections of society, such as Dalits (Scheduled 2 Castes), Adivasis (Scheduled Tribes) and women (to an extent). In the light of this background, the paper assesses the Union Government’s policy response and attempts to analyse i) how much of the nancial packages announced by the Union Government, at different points of time since the pandemic began, involve direct government spending; ii) of the total spending that has a direct scal impact how much is meant for protection as well as generation of livelihood and earnings of the poor, including for Dalits and Adivasis; and iii) what the coverage and accessibility of the measures are and whether, if at all, they were inclusive. Download PDF


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