People in queues for buying alcohol as liquor shops reopen in Delhi. Photo | PTI
People in queues for buying alcohol as liquor shops reopen in Delhi. Photo | PTI
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Drink for thought
Pratap Bhanu Mehta | Contributing Editor, The Indian Express
The Indian Express


As liquor shops across the country opened after a long hiatus, Mehta emphasises the need to question our addiction what he calls to the “cultural’’ and “political’’ economy of alcohol. “Liberals should, rightly, be suspicious of alcohol prohibition on moral and practical grounds”. Moralism or puritanism on alcohol cannot be the basis of state policy, the author comments. He says that we should think about policy measures that reduce the harm and ideological valorisation of alcohol. Education on intelligent drinking, regulating outlet density of alcohol shops, greater control over surrogate advertising, franker social conversation are some of the steps which can be taken to find “intelligent pathways around a complex problem,” he notes.

As nations are called upon to choose between what is easy and what is right, they should form a global covenant against Covid-19
Pawan Munjal | Chairman, Hero MotoCorp
The Times of India

The author argues that the post Covid-19 scenario will be a turbulent new political and economic era, and there shall be a shift in the balance of power in the “theatre of geopolitics”. New practices will emerge and the world would have learnt a new way to live and flourish, the author says. In this scenario, a concerted global plan of action is required. “Disunity means prolonging the crisis while global solidarity will help the world triumph over the coronavirus”, he writes.

A blueprint to restart the economy
Rajat Gupta | Senior partner, McKinsey Mumbai
Anu Madgavkar | Partner, McKinsey Mumbai
Hindustan Times

The authors offer suggestions for effective management of the Covid-19 lockdown and a restart of businesses. The approach should consider that India’s manufacturing, labour and distribution chains are intertwined and the country’s economic activity is concentrated. The authors suggest that permissible activities should be moved to a ‘non-permitted’ or negative list, and lockdown should be reinforced to containment zones, not the whole district. Safe and controlled movement of labour, strengthening coordination and communication, as well as contingency planning might be a suitable approach for India, they suggest.

The threat of enfeebled great powers
Arvind Subramanian | Former chief economic adviser to government of India
Business Standard

Subramanian maintains that the Covid-19 crisis “augurs three watersheds”. First is the end of Europe’s integration project, the end of a united and functional USA, and finally, the end of the “implicit social compact” between the Chinese state and its citizens. After the pandemic, these three power centres will emerge as internally weakened. With the weakening of these global powers, the Covid-19 crisis threatens to leave the world more “rudderless, unstable and conflict-prone”.

Kick-start the economy with cash flow
Shyam Ponappa | Distinguished fellow, The Centre for Internet and Society
Business Standard

Ponappa argues that cash flows have to begin for “downstream problems” to be addressed. He says migrant workers need to return to work and the economy also needs to be restarted by ending the forced closure of productive activity. He argues that acting on cash flow and connectivity initiated by the government can help kick-start the economy.

Business consultants face an inflection point of their own
Rita McGrath | Professor, Columbia University
M. Muneer | Co-founder and chief evangelist, Medici Insitute

McGrath and Muneer argue that management consultants have retained their “allure despite a shift of the ground beneath them”. It seems as if consultants are embedded in the world as it is, not in the times to come. It can be anticipated that firms will begin to capture business that may have previously gone to an already established company. Moreover, an increasing number of technology-infused alternatives offering a combination of expert “brains at scale” will put pressure on the traditional model.

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