EVEN as the world counts the immeasurable human costs of the coronavirus, large-scale economic ramifications also stare in its face, calling for a united effort at global level to limit its damage. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has observed that the world is headed towards a recession at least as bad as during the global financial crisis or even worse. While the gravity of the situation can be gauged only after the affected nations start recovering from the pandemic, the present situation underlines further need of globalisation rather than growing tendency of self-precaution adopted by top economies like the United States. A large amount of fiscal action will be needed to boost healthcare systems which, in effect, will affect the projected GDP growth of all nations. In such circumstances, India has done well to propose a excise duty hike on petrol and diesel. The sharp drop in oil prices has given the Government a golden opportunity to shore up its revenues and prepare for a financial stimulus in case the lockdown goes beyond the expected deadlines.
THE management of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Gandhinagar to its students should be considered as a golden thought for everybody, including, of course, students. The IIT-Gandhinagar management has said, in effect, that the students should use the free time now available because of coronavirus lockdown to hone their skill like Isaac Newton did during the London plague 350 years ago. In tune with this advice, the management has launched what it calls “Project Isaac” to engage students locked in their hostel rooms or homes for productive activity. Newton, then a 22-year-old during the London plague, came out with some of the most profound discoveries, during that period when he was sent home perforce. His discoveries then included early calculus and theories of optics and gravity, the IIT-Gandhinagar management has said. This advice has a great merit and all students -- and others -- must pay attention to its metaphor: You have time at hand; utilise it for your and everybody’s good!