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India COVID-19: Impact Of Pandemic On Key Industries – An Analysis



India COVID-19: Impact of pandemic on Key Industries

It is no doubt that the lockdown imposed by the Indian Government, on account of COVID-19, had a drastic effect on the whole country. An economy which was already seeing a decline further plunged as the economic activities got suspended.

Only essential services were allowed to operate; whereas sectors such as agriculture and construction were allowed to function only after proper analysis by the authorities. Financial and employment uncertainties forced several companies to shut down completely. In short, COVID-19 did not fail to leave a scar to the key industries.

CEIC Leading Indicator’s Results

The Indian economy had been growing slowly until November 2019 when it started showing signs of improvements. According to the CEIC leading indicator (a proprietary dataset designed by CEIC Insights to detect the development of significant macroeconomics indicators and point out the areas of improvement for key markets), the Indian economy reached its peak in February 2020, recording a massive 119.7 points. There was a slight ray of hope which got crushed, once COVID-19 came into the picture.

Month in the year 2020

CEIC Indicator

March 2020


April 2020


May 2020


June 2020


We observe that there is a gradual comeback in May and June 2020. However, a sustainable increase in the economic activities is not yet confirmed.

EMIS Trend Deviation Index (TDI)

This TDI is mainly used by the ISI Emerging Markets Group to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the fourteen key industries of India monthly. There are three levels of effects that have been formed by the EMIS TDI, namely,

  1. Major (shows an index less than 40);
  2. Moderate (shows an index ranging from 40 to 60);
  3. Minor (shows an index greater than 60).

Ms Rohini Sanyal (Indian research Economist) had mentioned that “the recovery is in different degrees for each industry.”

The following table summarizes the impact of COVID-19 on fourteen key Industries of India and their anticipated speed of recovery: –



Level of Impact

Speed of Recovery

1 Agriculture Minor Quick
2 Pharma & Healthcare
3 Banking & Insurance Slow
4 Energy
5 Food & Beverage Moderate Quick
6 Mining & Metals
7 Transportation
8 Chemicals Slow
9 Consumer Electronics Major Delayed
10 Technology, Media & Telecom
11 Infrastructure & Construction
12 Tourism & Leisure
13 Consumer Goods & Retail
14 Automotive

(Source: EMIS)

Analysis at a glance 

1.Industries that have been minorly affected:

  • Agriculture (Quick recovery)- The overall impact has been minor since the agriculture sector was allowed to function from March 28 2020. However, the migration of labourers and supply chain disruptions had caused stress to this sector. Once the relaxations were permitted, the agriculture activities in the country started to improve. This Primary Sector has become a key area of focus for the Government. The Government had lent its helping hand to the farmers (emergency working capital loans) and also contributed to the agricultural infrastructure. A historic amendment was made to the ‘Essential Commodities Act’, which allowed farmers to realize better sales prices;
  • Pharma & Healthcare (Quick recovery)- Disruptions in the supply chain lead to a decrease in the production of pharmaceutical and medicinal products in March and April by 22.5 per cent year-over-year and 53.9 per cent year-over-year (y/y) respectively. However, in May, with the supply chains coming back to normal, the production saw a rise of 2.5 per cent y/y. The Government gradually lifted restrictions on the exports of drugs like the anti-malarial drug, Hydroxychloroquine. Indian herbs-based medicines had picked up the demand.

In July 2020, the Indian Biotech Company, Bharat Biotech, started the first phase of human trials for Covaxin, after securing the necessary government approvals. (Covaxine is India’s first experimental vaccine for COVID-19).

  • Banking & Insurance (Slow recovery)- In March, Reserve Bank of India’s measures to increase liquidity in the financial system enabled banks to be ready to face higher demand for cash in the economy and the moratorium on all term loans. Future still seems unclear on how further loans will be availed by the customers and the assessment of creditworthiness. Insurance companies will be highly vulnerable to the virus, as there are higher claims in the life and property insurance segments along with low demand from the automotive industry. However, the importance of health insurance has increased.
  • Energy (Slow recovery)- There is expected to be a slow increase in domestic electricity consumption coupled with financial difficulties of local power distribution companies. In terms of output of natural gas and petroleum products, the graph returned to growth in May, once the restrictions were uplifted.

2.Industries that have been moderately affected:

  • Food & Beverage (Quick recovery)- Being an ‘essential service’, it was not possible for this sector to remain shut for a long time. Although there is a minor impact, this sector suffered losses due to zero demands from bars, restaurants and similar establishments. The Governmental ban on alcohol resulted in a decline in beverages by 8.7 per cent (y/y) in March and by 93.9 per cent y/y in April. With the relaxations in lockdown and the ban on alcohol being lifted in May, the sector started to recover. The recovery rate increased in June with the increase in exports;
  • Mining & Metals (Quick recovery)- Due to the shortage of workers and lack of demand from key institutional buyers (automotive and constructive sectors), the output of mining products fell by 27 per cent y/y in April and even more by 21 per cent y/y in May. Growth was observed in this sector in June. A steady rise in exports is expected to compensate for the lack of demand shown by the key institutional buyers.
  • Transportation (Quick recovery)- With the nationwide lockdown, the transport of only those passengers and cargo, that were categorized as ‘essential services’ were allowed. Air transportation was the worst-hit, recording a decline in passenger traffic by 99.7 per cent y/y in April and by an additional 97.5 per cent y/y in May. With the domestic flights operating w.e.f. May 25, a slow improvement was observed. In May, Indian Railways launched ‘Shramik Special’ train services to move migrant workers, students and several others who were stranded in different parts of India. Taxis and auto-rickshaws were allowed to operate after May 3. The pandemic had a low impact on cargo movement.
  • Chemicals (Slow recovery)- This sector was highly impacted in April with its output dropping by 55 per cent y/y. Due to relaxations and a comeback in exports, the industry gradually started picking up its pace. The EMIS TDI indicated that the chemical exports were increased by 19.1 per cent y/y in June. A major obstacle hindering the fast recovery of this sector is the lack of proper domestic demand.

3.Industries that have been majorly affected:

  • Consumer Electronics (Delayed recovery)- On being classified as ‘non-essential’, manufactures had to halt the production of several electrical equipments. The output of various such e-products declined drastically in March and April. This sector got a breathing space when the sale of electronic goods were permitted in e-commerce platforms and stores located in marketplaces w.e.f. May 4 (easing of the lockdown measures). The possible inventory pile up and lack of foreign demand are also to be kept in mind by the sector players.

Another notable fact is the promotion of ‘Boycott China’ movement, which has affected this industry big time, in acquiring useful products. Similar alternatives are in the talks to replace the Chinese products.

  • Technology, Media & Telecom (Delayed recovery)- This sector met with ‘mixed’ results. Digital entertainment media services (video games, Netflix and Amazon Prime) gained massive momentum as the need for technology rose with the lockdown. The film and television industry saw delays and cancellation of new projects, whereas the demand for telecom services (fixed broadband) increased during the period. With digitization becoming necessary, companies operating in the banking & insurance, healthcare and retail sectors started accelerating its demands.
  • Infrastructure & Construction (Delayed recovery)- The rural areas allowed the sector to continue its operations, unlike the urban areas due to the lockdown and labour shortage. A delayed recovery is expected from this sector due to three reasons:-

a) Due to unemployment and lack of clarity on earning income, no houses will be purchased;

b) The demand for commercial real estate may reduce;

c) Even during pre-corona, this sector was suffering on account of demonetization, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and mainly the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, which introduced steps to protect the Buyers;

  • Tourism and Leisure (Delayed recovery)- This sector was taken for a down ride with many flight tickets (domestic and international), hotel reservations being cancelled. There was a decline in the visits made by foreign tourists due to the obvious reasons. State Governments continue to extend local restrictions on tourist activities. Uttarakhand was the first state to reopen its borders for domestic tourists on June 8, followed by Goa on July 2 and Maharashtra on July 8. The visitors do have to compulsorily follow specific rules related to the COVID-19 testing to gain access.
  • Consumer Goods and Retail (Delayed Recovery)- Various marketplaces and stores selling non-essential goods were forced to close down. After May 3, there were still slight restrictions in operating these stores to maintain social distancing. Also, consumers started buying only the essential goods. This sector has miles to go before it can stand on its own feet. As consumer demand and their sentiments remain depressed, one cannot see an increase in its sales anytime soon.
  • Automotive (Delayed recovery)- This struggling sector, even before COVID-19 happened, was hit big time by the lockdown. Being a non-essential activity, suspension of its operations led to a drop in the production and sale of vehicles by 33.6 per cent y/y and 41.6 per cent y/y respectively in March and reached zero in April. This sector still continued to be in the low levels in the subsequent months. Inventory piled up during this lockdown period is to be considered as well. With the demand for non-essential goods remaining low, sales are also expected to stay low.

From the above, we can infer that COVID-19 has affected the sectors, and although each industry shows a scope for recovery, it will take time to return to its former position.

Inputs from a webinar conducted by the ISI emerging Marketing group (CEIC Data & EMIS) on July 29, 2020, and the Report based on the webinar.


All You Need To Know About National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021



National Institute Of Food Technology Entrepreneurship And Management Bill 2021

On July 26, 2021, Lok Sabha passed a bill under the ministry of Food Processing Industry. The bill is titled as National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021. The main motive of this bill is to address issues with the Food Processing Industry, Entrepreneurship and one Institution for National Importance. With the passing of this bill, the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) and National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) is now merged as Institutions of National Importance, and it aims at providing various research and advancement in learning about the Food Industry and its associated branches. The bill was first introduced in the house in February 2019 but was pending due to protest by the opposition.

Significance of Institutions of National Importance (INI)

With the passing of this bill, the institutions enjoy greater autonomy through which they can carry out various courses, research attracting skilled faculties and students from all over the country and overseas. Good standards in education will be adopted to improve the present and future of education in this branch and sector, overcoming the technological gap in the country. This law aims to improve and introduce new changes in food, bio-nanotechnology, cold chain technology etc. The desired efforts will be taken in terms of human resources and infrastructure developments, labs for research etc. Liberty to open centres anywhere in India is also granted to INI and include courses regarding food technology certification and improving the workforce of the country.

Some other important features of this act are the Institution has been authorized with the Board of Government, Senate and other acting Authorities. The Council of Board will include 16 members from different branches from the same field. The Head will be Chairperson, who will be a skilled person from the Food Industry, the Director, Dean and Registrar. Members appointed from Centre and State Governments, Members from FSSAI and Council of Agriculture Research, as mentioned in the bill. The 16 members of the board will carry out work of taking administrative decisions, creating annual budgets and paths for institution progress as an organization, establishing departments, their appointment terms of services, faculties etc. The Board of Council also holds power to grant Honorary Degrees and Diplomas. The Senate shall be the principal academic body of the Institute, consisting of the people such as Director as the Chairperson; Registrar; Full-time skilled level Professor; and Three academically skilled Individuals nominated by the board from the field.

The Union Minister of Food Processing Industry, Mr Pashupati Kumar Paras, expressed his gratitude to PM Modi for this landmark step in this industry from his Twitter handle, indicating new opportunities in Food Technology Industries. Therefore, this Act looks promising on paper with new opportunities and in Educational Development. Amidst the Pegasus Spyware and repeal of the farm laws, this looks positive from the Modi Government.

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Curious Case Of Pegasus: Explained



Pegasus II News Aur Chai

Pegasus is a spyware that can hack the victims’ mobile phones and read their SMS messages and emails. The Pegasus spyware is owned by an Israeli software company named NSO Group. According to the various reports, this company has targeted more than 50,000 phone numbers at the Global level, of which 300 are in India for surveillance.

The news broke out after the 17 media partners investigated. This investigation brought into the picture information about a leaked database of mobile telephone numbers of Indian Ministers, Opposition leaders, journalists, the legal community, business people, government officials, scientists, activists and many influential personalities of the nation.

Pegasus Spyware and India

According to the report by the agency, the Israeli company which sells Pegasus around the world says that its clients are confined to ‘vetted governments”, believed to number 36. The NSO Group also says that ‘the target list in India is not ours, never was.’ Their refusal of the leaked database has created a loophole in understanding this case.

This whole case has violated the integrity of democratic institutions. According to the report by the agencies, after the mobile phones of the opposition leader Rahul Gandhi and various other leaders were hacked under the Pegasus spyware surveillance. Multiple tweets were made against the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) government in India. This whole case has become one of the major threats in the political arena and the Indian Democracy.

Though at the start, it was used for national security purposes. The explosive expansion of surveillance technology vendors has become a vast human rights and a global security issue. If such surveillance technologies increase, it might cause a lot of problems to countries around the globe. Hence, as a precaution, all these countries need to work on regulating this technology.

According to the reports by the agency, one of the targeted phones by the Pegasus spyware was of the former election commissioner of India, Ashok Lavasa. Various such people and such opposition leaders were somehow against the BJP government having their phones hacked with the NSO-owned spyware. All these instances and the names in the leaked list have pointed figures towards the Modi Government.

The Modi government’s stand on this case was put forward in Lok Sabha by two serving ministers, Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Singh Patel. These two leaders were also featured in the leaked database. The recent Information Technology Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw defended the BJP government in the parliament by saying, “the expose was an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions.” She even said, ‘any form of illegal surveillance is not possible with the checks and balances in our laws and robust institutions.’

This case has adjourned the parliament proceedings due to the protests inside and outside the house of parliament by the opposition party.

Pegasus Spyware and World.

 In the statement given to the agency, Access Now, an organisation defending the digital rights of global users, said it was outraged that products sold by NSO were allegedly “used to hack and invade the private communications” of thousands of people across the globe.

At a global level, France’s Emmanuel Macron was targeted in the Pegasus spyware case. As the phone of French President Emmanuel Macron was hacked, the investigation was carried out and later on was published which was directed by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden.  After this case came in front of the whole world, the Pegasus spyware surveillance came into the picture.

If this continues for some more time, it will ruin India’s Democratic values at a global level. As well as this might become a huge technological threat between the different nations around the globe.

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Modi Cabinet 2.0: Young and Dynamic Leadership or Otherwise



Cabinet II News Aur Chai

On the 7th of July, the union government announced the biggest cabinet expansion in the 7 years of NDA rule. The recent expansion increased the size of the Council of Ministers from 53 to 77. About 43 new ministers were sworn in, 15 of which were Cabinet Ministers and 28 Ministers of State (MoS). This is the first cabinet overhaul in the second term of NDA governance.

Experts however claim that the new cabinet expansion is a pre-emptive measure to balance electoral formulae in different states ahead of the 2022 State Assembly elections. It is also conjectured that the reshuffle comes as rectification of prolonged criticism about BJP’s governance in the past 2 years, including the Healthcare management during the Pandemic.

The Performance Paradox

This recent cabinet expansion is a report card of the BJP government’s performance in the last 2 years. Major ministerial changes, such as the resignation and replacement of Dr. Harshvardhan as the Health Minister indicate a confession of their mismanagement of the pandemic.

He has been replaced by Mansukh Mandaviya, a 2 time Rajya Sabha MP who has also been awarded by the UN for initiatives in Women’s healthcare in the past. His appointment as the Health Minister is one of hope for BJP, to change and streamline (a.) the COVID-19 Pandemic response and (b.) BJP’s image in the name of healthcare management.

On the contrary, Anurag Thakur’s promotion from MoS Finance to a Cabinet Minister defies all logical explanations for awarding performance. Not only has India’s economic condition worsened under his management, his controversial statements like “Desh ke Gadaaro ko…” do not present a strong case for him. His appointment is a political investment by BJP in Himachal Pradesh’s state elections next year which happens to be Thakur’s home state.

Similarly, Sitharaman’s finance ministry has remained untouched, after historical mismanagement of our Finance capabilities. All of this reflects a selective approach adopted by BJP, which is one of political hesitation and hyperopic ignorance.

BJP’s Political Calculator

Apart from the ‘punishment’ narrative, the new cabinet expansion has also given an insight into BJP’s political planning.  This expansion has incorporated key leaders from several states that go to elections next year. Moreover, it has also been carefully planned to cover the losses BJP has incurred in the past two years.

As a reward for dismantling the elected Madhya Pradesh government and tipping scales in BJP’s favor, Jyotiraditya Scindia was appointed as the Cabinet Minister for Civil Aviation (a post held by his father as well in ’91) almost after 3 years.

On the contrary, Pashupati Kumar Paras got an early reward for breaking down Lok Janshakti Party’s (LJP) representation in Lok Sabha. He was appointed as the Union Minister for Food Processing, after the attempted coup on Chirag Paswan’s leadership.

Sarbananda Sonowal, who was replaced by Himanta Biswa Sharma as the Chief Minister of Assam after the fresh elections, was also awarded a berth in the Cabinet. It is conjectured that this development was in talks ever since Himanta Biswa Sharma was chosen as the CM.

As the Uttar Pradesh elections near, BJP also made sure to improve representation from the state. Major appointments such as Niranjan Jyoti (MoS Food Processing), Anupriya Patel (Mos Commerce and Industry), and Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma (MoS MSME) were made majorly because of their heavy support base in UP.

Following the same lead, Ajay Bhatt from Uttarakhand was appointed as MoS Defence and Tourism. As seen earlier, BJP has made major organizational changes in Uttarakhand which goes to elections next year.

Some Positives

In the mirage of calculated placements and image reconstruction, BJP has hit a few rights with this organizational change. The new cabinet includes a maximum number of women to have ever served in a Union Cabinet, a first in a nation with largely patriarchal tendencies.

The cabinet has also tried to focus on bringing people with commendable background experience and education on board. Ashwini Vaishnav, former IAS and an alumnus of Wharton School have been given major ministries such as Railways, Communications, and IT. Similarly, Anupriya Patel who has been given the Commerce and Industry as an MoS has also served as an educator at Amity University.

Moreover, the diffused reliance on regional strength has become the overarching theme in this cabinet reshuffle. Even though the ruling party intends to balance the voter dynamics, this regional unity has become something to watch out for.

Yet, the big story remains the ouster of major politicians who have served loyally and faithfully to this government. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Jaavedkar, and Dr. Harshvardhan are major losers in this dynamic reshuffle. While the current government has tried to modernize the leaders of this nation, it has set a new precedent that loyalty is not the most critical virtue anymore; Election Commission’s schedule is.

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