A Revisit to COVID-19 Challenges and Responses: A Case Study of Kerala

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Norvy Paul
Elsa Mary Jacob
Sheena Rajan Philip


Kerala, a state with high development indices distinguished with its Kerala Model of Development (UN, 1975), is also affected by recent Pandemic COVID'19 as other states and nations worldwide.  The existing socio-economic analysis of the State reveals that the land reforms, promotion of education, and early introduction of participatory governance through Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) have contributed to the State's socio-economic and political advancement. These factors played a significant role in the fight against the pandemic. This study is an attempt to answer what are the future economic and health challenges as the State, Kerala Model of Development, is faced with COVID'19? The specific objectives further guide this— to study the economic challenges ahead of the State as the tertiary sector is faced with challenges to contribute to the economy and attempted to study the possible ways to address health issues in the State. The researchers conducted an in-depth interview among 10 social scientists and economists of Kerala using purposive sampling to obtain primary data, which has been supported by secondary resources. The researchers did a thematic analysis of the primary data collected, further corroborated by secondary data. The study reveals that the State's current scenario during the pandemic, the grass-root empowerment in all spheres of life clubbed with administrative guidance, resulted in well-equipped public health care service delivery. The fall in the tertiary sector's income has decisively affected the State's economy, especially in agriculture, health, IT, tourism, labour, and foreign remittance. The State's economic and social equilibrium will face challenges in addressing issues in the post-COVID era. Even though the State suffered some increased Covid-19 cases recently, after expatriates' return, the dimensions mentioned above assisted the State in its fight against COVID'19. To address the challenges to the Kerala Model of Development, especially the post-COVID-19 requirements of the State demands interrogation, introspection, and integration of the current policies that majorly depend on the tertiary sector and initiate policies, plans, and programmes to strike a balance between all sectors, especially providing impetus to the primary sector so that a failure in one sector can be compensated by the other.


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PaulN., JacobE. M., & PhilipS. R. (2020). A Revisit to COVID-19 Challenges and Responses: A Case Study of Kerala . Space and Culture, India, 8(2), 47-61. https://doi.org/10.20896/saci.v8i2.1061


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