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Indian health policy in the light of Covid-19: The puzzles of state capacity and institutional design


  • Ajay Shah

    (xKDR Forum and Jindal Global University)


The pandemic has constituted a severe stress test for the Indian health system. In this article, we review India's experience with Covid-19 in 2020. An array of initiatives are required in response to these experiences, in public health and in health care. In testing and in health care, the substantial role of the private sector needs to be recognised, and integrated into thinking about health policy. There is a need to reform government organisations, which wield coercive power or spend public money, so as to refocus them upon addressing market failure, and achieving state capacity. There is considerable knowledge, in the field of state capacity in India, which can help in this task.

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  • Ajay Shah, 2021. "Indian health policy in the light of Covid-19: The puzzles of state capacity and institutional design," Working Papers 4, xKDR.
  • Handle: RePEc:anf:wpaper:4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Minu Philip & Debraj Ray & S. Subramanian, 2021. "Decoding India's Low Covid-19 Case Fatality Rate," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 27-51, January.
    2. Pritchett, Lant & Woolcock, Michael, 2004. "Solutions When the Solution is the Problem: Arraying the Disarray in Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 191-212, February.
    3. Patnaik, Ila & Roy, Shubho & Shah, Ajay, 2018. "The rise of government-funded health insurance in India," Working Papers 18/231, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
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    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

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