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Shashidhar. S. Kapur

Uptil now- in Covid 1.0 – the approach has been to follow the union guidelines and programmes religiously and emulate best practices of other states. At best , complement the central schemes and / or tweak those lifted from other states. There is no best practice or unique approach – at least not of note- which originated in Madhya P radesh. It cuts both ways – has both pros and cons- at times a bonanza , double whammy at others . For instance , assigning 4K to farmers in addition to Samman Nidhi of six thousand rupees per annum by the centre is great but naming the PM awaas yojana or the Smart cities where major contribution ( esp. counting the land ) is from the state is unfair.While this app roach keeps the CM in the good books of the centre and saves his neck , the state suffer . By merely following the other state practices MP remains a laggard. Moreover, the citizens hardly ever get what they ask or what was promised – instead they’re with unwanted gifts. Consequently , at the end of Covid 1.0 Madhya Pradesh figures in the bottom section of performance in both life and livelihood f ront.Unless it is changed , things may go from bad to worse. The second Covid wave offers the chance to make amends , post bypolls.

The idea of presenting a roadmap is good – an improvement upon previous Shivraj tenures when it was done towards the end .Also in that inputs from experts from all parts of the nation were taken (unlike the previous one which was made by bureaucrats ). However, it ought to be complemented with a vision – A roadmap without vision is blind ; a vision sans roadmap is lame. Not inviting Kamalnath -engaging the opposition- makes it half a dud at the outset.

We advocate an integrated -cum-consolidated approach for COVID 2.0 . Madhya Pradeshi strategy has to be a Multidisciplinary- cum – Interdisciplinary. (Using various streams of medicine together with Multiskilled personnel). The critical words post unlockdown 5.0 is take off “simultaneously” and in the same “ ratio”. Mere unlockdown would keep the state in the same bracket as Covid 1.0.

Our proposed unique approach for M.P. is that of a Crisis-cum-battle ( rather than war-cum-exigency attitude of rich countries / developed states)- in lives and livelihood respectively. Every crisis entails some battles and exigencies follow every war .The former lays more emphasis on saving lives (esp. of poor) than economy while the latter is more about saving the economy (esp. small businesses).The Madhypradeshi approach ought to be a proportional saving of lives-cum- rational safety of economy.Scientists , doctors , paramedics ,police , economists are the battle troops while the sick ,old , poor , children comprise the crisis ridden.M.P. government has constituted crisis management groups at the district levels – it should also organise economy battle teams at all levels.

M.P. needs to lay utmost emphasis on a statistical modelling in Covid 2.0.We do not have scientists and technologists as developed states/ rich countries nor a populace with scientific temper.So , even if stat approach errs on the side of being overcautious , we should go with it . In Covid 1.0 Math approach was key (since no data was available); now a stats approach for regions expecting a second wavemore relvant with data available esp.in infected zones. Math approach was Preventive; statistcal path would be preemptive. Eg. Math says subsequent waves will come ( at least one more before the vaccine/medicine hits themarket in the next 6-12mths.).Hence , we should’ve simulated for that. In Covid 1.0 , M.P faltered on both counts – by math projection , it ought to have imposed lockdown / curfew earlier than other states (esp. richer ones ) and continued it after the other states lifted it -esp. developed ones. Having committed a mistake twice over , we must now try and compensate by being stricter in masking, physical distancing , immunity building and sanitisation than other states ;do more screening,profiling, random testing , Sero-surveysand testing than others : bring Math -stat department into play.Good information, authentic data from many rigorously designed studies, about the prevalence and deadliness of coronavirus infections in given subsets of people, helps authorities to have an approach which sensible, sustainable and tailored to the situation at hand.

Since M.P. doesn’t have the best experts / specialists so , we’lll have to rely disproportionately on Consultancy and advisory , even if it ia a bit tangential. The idea is to cover the entire continuum from Left to right and apply it as per our indices. Inthat context, Atmanirbhar webinar was good but only one sided – the other view should been included.

Politically ,it has to be a collaborative – cum -cooperative approach ( than competitive -cum -comparative: which has been the case in COVID 1.0)-at least post bypolls.For instance ,in politically mature states with diversified polity, interests of most groups are protected in a competitive polity but in a state like M.P. with evolving two party polity, disengaging with major opposition shuts off half the population .In our state we need a much greater apolitical approach than developed states.We may not have apolitcal government but it is possible to arrive at a bipartisan consensus irrespective of who wins the bypolls .Daily bickering is taking a heavy toll on the system.

In Covid 2.0 , Media must playWatchdog -cum- monitor ; prism -cum-amplifier than lapdog-cum-mouthpiece or mere mirror- cum- reverberation board ; A major hope in Corona 2.0 rests on the civil society becoming proactive andfrontal workers being empowered .Media, lawyers, civil society , have a much bigger role than their counterparts elsewhere in Covid 2.0. It is a humanitarian crisis and lawyers / advocates , Journalists/ mediapersons , civil society/ activists – only they have the capacity to prevent this Pandemic from becoming a calamity- by ensuring fairness , justice , and protecting humane rights , entitlements.( Just as the government , polical parties ,administration had the ability and duty to convert this crisis into an opportunity – in terms of less shrinkage of GDP, enhancing economic activity bridging the per capita divide, inc reasing organic factories to offset deindustrialisation etc.).Thus Madhya Pradeshi activsts have to be doubly engaged than developed states.

A full spectrum combination of Individual-personal; Community-society; Govt – NGO approach….Each must do what the other cannot in a coordinated way viz. Individual- personal ( masking , distancing ,sanitising, disinfecting; helping at least one person, praying for others ) ; Community (Sharing ventilator costs ; group insurance ; community entertaiment ; helping at least one more community – all gated communities , mohalla samities, RWA’s ; Panchayats etc. must do this) ; Govt-NGO(integrating- uniting individual- community approach by supplementing- complementing them viz. providing masks to those individuals who cannot afford ; providing free medicines to communities who cannot afford etc.). M.P. doesn’t have the Governance capacity or administrative capability to let the government do most of the stuff- hence a full spectrum approach is a necessaity.

Physical distancing – cum-time separating– viz .the central markets /offices open first and close earliest .Keeping physical distance in the same space – cum – having different time shifts.M.P. can adopt this approach since we do not have too many areas working on multiple shifts already.

Immunity- Cum -Resistance Approach needed – the former for prevention and latter for recovery viz. Home drops are for immunity while Kaadha is for resistence.Use Herd/ people immunity ( Where virus spreads in lots of people in a short period to activate immunity ) and isolation resistence ( where virus stays for long enough in one person to activate antibodies ). Disinfecting – Cum-Sanitisation. Profiling-Reverse Isolation– screening- reverse Quarantine –testing ; quarantine.- Contact tracing – tracking-isolation-documentation.

We may not have world class experimentation but we can have excellent documentation– biomedical / biometric data is going to be the new gold.viz. the data for AYUSH trials in M.P. by Patanjali should be given to Ramdev for only one time use ; subsequently , government should produce/ outsource the generic versions of those medicines.

A lives- cum- livelihood approach is needed with rational medical services and with proportional relief package .Longest and / or harshest lockdown with biggest and / or most widespread relief package . The state has instead seen longest lockdown with lowest relief package.A supply- cum demand approach – Address supply in some sectors and demand in others. Mostly supply side has been addressed.Economic cost v/s lives lost – compensate lack of money with spending more time –at work.

Based on the above approach Madhya Pradeshi take off-Plan should be graded- cum- caliberated .It should be simultaneous and rational keyup in the same ratio as the unlockdown stages – viz. more activity rise than normal in green zone of Covid 1.0 ; likewise quarantine- cum-open up ; containment-cum- liberalised ; isolated-cum-congregated.

The COVID 2.0 Post unlockdown stage should be in a
Mission mode a Roadmap-Cum-Vision ready and communicated .If you proceed wihout a clearcut and shared mission – at least with all collectives – it’ll be a stumbling and fumbling approach thereafter too (as has been the case till now ) Re-Lockdowns, breakdowns et al. To begin with, M.P. should never be in complete lockdown due to corona virus whatever happens. At most there could be selective lockdowns only in areas which were in green zone in Covid1.0 – in o rder to delay the spread. Any other lockdown would be voluntary at the behest of citizens.Government ought to only impose cu rfew in emergencies.

Second wave which intiated in the first week of September in different places ,persons could peak in rurban areas in December.That is more likely in the eastern part / Vindhya , could even be different strain of virus.Simulation for the second wavewould be accurate to the extent of accurate data of maximum number of patients. So, do the maximum reverse isolation, reverse quarantine , self profiling / sampling there .Particularly Satna, Rewa , Singrauli and Sagar which could be the next hotspots.

The Pandemic could be better manged by having an Integrated – cum- Holistic system. The last mile healthcare man whether allopathic or otherwise has to be multidisciplinary. A Medical graduate with additional certificate/ diploma in traditional or allopathy as the case may be )and the Hospitals – allopathic or otherwise- have to incorporate departments from complementary streams. M.P. can emerge as Centre for chronic and terminal diseases-their control and management.

Have Natural Immunity builder regimen- even for the most sturdy people / workforce of the future , immunity coaches et al.; forest walks, buffer tiger zones. Convert Campuses of spiritual Gurus / sects as quarantine centres. Conduct a detailed comparative study / documentation of people with the similar symptoms put in regular quarantine v/s qurantine of spiritual sects. Anand

Make multicrisis centres like Bhopal Memorial twin focus Hospital : gas tragedy victums –cum Covid ( One wing each) allow no other patients viz. the private patients allowed earlier.It has the potential to be a Unique Global facility of research and treatment of Industrial disaster- cum-Pandemic. Disaster- cum crisis management. It is a good thing to highlight ward boys , beat policemen , survey team et al into the category of Heroes of Covid1.0.-this must continue in Covid 2.0 too.

As for the livelihood issues , M.P. may not be able to leapfrog in Industrial revolution 4.0/ 5.0 but we can restructure to have a bigger pie of Industrial system 2.0/3.0 besides opting for the dark removal aspects of the version 4.0/5.0.Shivraj Government has drafted a new industrial policy based mostly on groundwork by Kamalnath . In Covid 2.0 only Post Covid angle needs to be introduced viz. the focus ought to make M.P. a Hub of dark industry viz. Waste management; Recycling ( incl.E- waste ); scrapping ( after scrapping regulation is enacted- soon) ; Hightime that state e merges as MSME hub, a backroom office and workshop of the nation and an assembling destination.Research and Implementation of dark areas of futuristic tech- viz. how could A.I. be used for harm – consciously or inadvertently ; accordingly prepare its defences. Indore’s waste recycling revenue surplus model is an example worth replicating across the state ( Bhopal is likely to have it soon – perhaps before Swatch survey 2021. )

Smart industries with digital villages/ Home at Workplace at home are the new buzzwords in Covid. ; Gadkari has already mooted the plan. M.P. must try and get the lion’s share given our substantial experience of building Industrial toenships (BHEL / Bina refinery/ Singrauli could offer Consultancy) ; Focus should be Eastern MP: Vindhya – (Bundelkhand – Baghelkhand) for the Reason of less industrialization and organic cluster in the region.

The Labour reforms announced by Shivraj are more like factory reforms which loaded heavily against the labour. Increasing shift hours is O.K. but agrrement should be with Unions esp. in case of unskilled workers ; with semi – skilled it could be an agreement with two or more workers and only skilled in dividuals may be contracted individually. Hire and fire is OK – provided there is a collective safety pools.Make labourers as staholders ( If senior management can be given equity in lieu of bonuses why can’t labourers be given debentures in lieu of overtime ?).Individual labour only in export (incl. export from one district to another) Why should he get the incentive within the district as he is given the competitve edge? Local factories – merely opening shop will not do- all only micro packs in Gumthis , medium sized packs in stand alone shops and big packs only in shopping complexes /malls besides exclusive items – for niche shops ; general merchants may keep all.For unskilled labour provision of half shift .- so he can go to two places . Congress’ suggestion that govt. should buys from local companies is wo rth con si deriation.MSME thrust needed- Centre cameout with 2 lakh cr.Package for MSMES…M.P. could cash on it by going in for Franchise/ Assembly / backroom office / ancilliary / workshop / Jugaad model and coming up with a matching package for labourers- putting money directly in their accounts subject to working in the industry ( Instead of giving money to the factory owners who’ve mostly invested it in stocks rather than production)

Two Msme models operate the world over-German and Japanese – for Unique and best products respectively. Likewise , distinguish between factories and Industries.- organic and inorganic products respectively.Government’s labour law amendment – welcome but half baked ; only supply side …safety of labour – with unions- for skilled needs further rigorous discussion for a win-win. A rough and ready formula could be to invite a meet of relevant industries from where these migrant labour has returned to assess whether some of those industries can shift base / have anciliaries/franchises here.

A Mahrashtra like Labour Industry group with government may be con templated- it has to take care in case of crisis, give ration, mobility , insurance etc; Like U.P. peg minimum wages at 15 K .Renegotiate labour laws -Shivraj Govt. has spoken about relaxed labour factory laws. Our take is that it should be done in consultation with labour Unions – for double shifts , less payment, hire and fire etc.Else, it’ll become the Chinese model of extraction- Companies will get their funds as well as cheap labour from other states or be exploitative in other ways.Reviving Sambal and extending MNREGA is a good step – but use this time to skill them as per the region’s need.

Even if someone refers to 1991 financial crisis catalysing liberalisation nationally and 2019 Covid crisis activating labour reforms ,there is a fundamental difference. 1991 was merely limited to India while 2019 is a Pandemic – every country in the world is going to change / reform in some way.Hence our reforms will only make us stay in the same place –prevent from slipping- but may not necessarily take up forward . Besides , even at that point we’d advocated simultaneous labour welfare reforms …NREGA came in two decades later when the inequity became unsustainable. This time too we advocate Proportional /temporary supplementary income- that too simultaneously. with opening the Agri economy.

Transform organic economy as whole Horticulturists/floriculturists – Pump at least twice the current amount in Agri economy to even maintain status quo: Kamalnath govt. had allocated around 12 K cr. Shivraj’s pronouncements only add up to 6K cr.Compensate losses of Horticulturists /Floriculturists–incl. Betel growers -too; Procure Moong at MSP…Mega boost to food processing needed via MSMEs.

Improve cooperatives -The Israeli model of moshav(a type of cooperative agricultural community of individual farms), may be looked at alongwith the Amul Model. Only cooperatives should be allowed to deal with Corporates – whether for food processing or for procurement/ e- procurement by proposed Private Mandis . Else , ther could be hoarding and exploitation.Only a collective can negiotiate fairly with another collective.(Or a collective with a big cumulative/individual but a collective with small individual is always exploitative)

Immunity Tourism – Forest Rest Houses, Resorts in National / wildlife parks , ecotourism resorts could be ideal for reverse isolation. Research by Forest research institute showed that people in dense forested area of M.P. had higher immunity..For Rural infrastucture – Double the pace with half the cost – after negotiating with labour bodies.Begin reconstruction from red zones of covid 1.0. M.P is the among biggest labour markets of India- can supply anywhere large numbers .Negotiate best deals with national level companies / MNC’s .Cheapest labour , cheapest land , cheapest electricity, cheapest water biggest market basin; harmonious society ; incentives on domestic buying , incentive on local sale , preference in government procurement, free movement of both goods/ services as well as people etc.Overall, a change the local consumption pattern should be brought about.

Another idea is to have Import substituion zones – Local entrepreneurs manufacturing stuff largely for own consumption with local labour. These along with SEZ’ should be roughly in the ratio of our exports to imports.(incl. exports/ imports from other states) ;GST may have made it a single market but has skewed the table in favour of producers… Besides in any war ,pandemic the supply chain i s disrupted .Export replacement of labour , minerals, data. Import substituion of basics …M.P. needs to be self sufficient in essentials , self reliant in basics and interdependent in consumer and dependent in luxury items.Need to have prosumers.(producers-cum- consumers ) viz. if someone manufactures a product to be consumed at the least distance .M.P. may not be developed enough to have a win all situation but it can at least grate from win-lose to win-win.

Instead of implementing central schemes ditto, tweak them for MP. International engagement -cum-self reliance.(Global desi )Appreciative of global; Vocal for local and loud for desi ; Self reliant Madhya Pradesh along with Swavlambi Madhya pradeshi .Madhya Pradesh should become an Import substitution hub, a public sector node ,a centre of Swadeshi products and desi labour . Vocal for local along with solidarity for global; follow global protocols but use desi products to the maximum extent.

To sum, How does one convert the Covid crisis to an to opportunity ? For what ? To serve ; hasten change , to quicken reform…Opportunity for whom ? From lowest o higest ,individual to collective…Overall ,those who change – reform incrementally may survive , the ones who change substantially / do substantially different stuff will sustain; those who can do new/ original stuff will grow and only the ones who can do new / original stuff in opposite environment can turn it into an opportunity.There is no place for business as usual.( Those who survive / thrive even while doing routine stuff in regular manner-without changing/ reforming- would certainly be doing some dark activity). Aim for the least loss of life with maximum gain in immunity ; least loss of livelihood with maximum gain in economic activity.

An ambitious Vision alongwith an aspirational Roadmap can bring about an Evolving Madhya pradesh alongwith Mutating Madhya Pradeshi. A visionary leadership combined with compassionate guardianship can make the state more inclusive with better purchasing power parity, lesser divide et al…

Nationally , COVID-19 Pandemic presents a once in century opportunity -cum-crisis to leapfrog / backflip . For Madhya Pradesh it is a once in a millenium situation– given the demographics and history. Only a statesmanlike apolitical approach – rather than a partisan “Post”man attitude – can transform.