Tracking Welfare Policy in Times of COVID-19: Edition 7

14 June 2020

Keep up-to-date with all that is happening in welfare policy with this curated selection of news, published every fortnight. The current edition focusses on the Coronavirus pandemic in India, and the government’s efforts to stem its increase.  

Policy News

  • India is now the fifth worst-hit country in the world with more than 2 lakh cases of COVID-19. Unlock 1.0 is to remain in force till 30 June 2020.
  • Against the backdrop of a marked increase in the number of patients in Delhi, the Union Home Minister, Delhi Chief Minister and Lieutenant Governor among other top ministers and officials, have met to decide the future course of action.  Testing is set to triple in the national capital within six days, the Home Minister has said.
  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on Monday launched PM Svanidhi, or Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi scheme. The scheme aims to provide affordable loans of up to ₹10,000 to more than 50 lakh street vendors whose businesses have been hampered by COVID-19. It is valid until March 2022.
  • There will be no new schemes in the remainder of this year, the Finance Ministry has announced in a bid to control spending. The ministry said that only those schemes sanctioned under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and other special packages will be focussed on. The schemes already approved under the Union Budget will stay suspended till 31 March 2021.
  • Based on present fund requirement for the MGNREGS, an “additional provision” of Rs 40,000 crore has been made by the Union government (increasing the outlay to Rs 1,01,500 crore). 
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development Ministry has set up a taskforce to examine age of motherhood and lowering of the maternal mortality rate (MMR). The report will be submitted by 31st July.
  • The government has announced the ‘Nagar Van’ scheme to develop 200 urban forests across the country in the next five years on the occasion of World Environment Day. 


  • In the latest edition of the Global Economic Prospect, the World Bank has said that the Indian economy will shrink by 3.2% in Financial Year 2020-21.
  • India has ranked 168th out of 180 countries in the 2020 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), according to researchers at Yale and Columbia universities, who say India’s decarbonisation agenda needs to amplify.
  • India’s unemployment rate fell marginally to 5.8 per cent in 2018-19 from 6.1 per cent in 2017-18, data released by the National Statistical Office showed. Statisticians pointed out that these numbers are likely to be substantially higher in the next survey conducted for the period, July 2019 to June 2020, when the effect of COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown in April and May will be factored in.

The views shared belong to individual faculty and researchers and do not represent an institutional stance on the issue.