India in the pandemic; IT systems by the government; Paths in disinvestment

India in the pandemic

My column in the Business Standard today thinks about how the pandemic interacts with business arrangements based on contract enforcement as opposed to business arrangements based on relationships.

The pandemic has brought fresh attention to diagnostic labs, the bulk of which are in the private sector. In an article Legal and regulatory framework for laboratory testing in India: A case study for Covid-19, Harleen Kaur, Ameya Paleja, and Siddhartha Srivastava carefully look at market failure in this industry, the elements of state intervention which have been prevalent in recent months, and the difficulties of the present approach.

Aakriti Mathur and Rajeswari Sengupta have an article where they look at mention of Covid-19 in earnings calls by firms in January and February 2020. They examine the characteristics of the firms that did mention this, and look at the correlates of abnormal returns after the first surprise of the March 24 nationwide lockdown.

IT systems by the government

Rishab Bailey, Harleen Kaur, Faiza Rahman, and Renuka Sane have an essay on the problems of IT systems and standards that are built by the government and backed by state funding and/or the coercive power of the state.

Pathways in disinvestment

The Indian disinvestment process in recent years has evolved into five distinct pathways. An article by Sudipto Banerjee, Renuka Sane and Srishti Sharma, The five paths of disinvestment in India, describes each of these pathways, and shows the broad summary statistics. This is essential knowledge for anyone working or researching in this area; the uncritical use of the standard data is problematic.