Kerala model and the pandemic pinch
The latest book by the 75-year-old former professor and head of the Kerala University economics department examines the crisis induced by Covid-19 in the state.
KOCHI: Noted economist B A Prakash’s latest book – ‘Kerala’s Economic Development: Covid-19 Pandemic, Economic Crisis and Public Policy’ – has been released at a crucial time when the state is grappling with severe financial crisis.
Co-authored and co-edited by his son Jerry Alwin, the book comprises 21 original essays that delve into the economic crisis the state faces, and suggest ways to navigate it. With a prolific history of publishing economics books over the past five decades, Prakash requires no formal introduction. The 75-year-old former professor and head of the Kerala University economics department examines the crisis induced by Covid-19 in the state.
Prakash emphasises that this crisis has led to a significant decline in investment and production. Add to that job losses and the exodus of Malayali migrant workers from Gulf countries, and decline in foreign remittances. These factors, he argues, have spiked poverty.
Notably, the book sheds light on the return of around 14.15 lakh Malayalis from Gulf Cooperation Council countries to Kerala, highlighting the factors contributing to the flow of young people seeking opportunities abroad.
What distinguishes this book is its exploration of the pandemic’s impact on various sectors and its proposed solutions to the current challenges. Prakash, who chaired the Kerala Public Expenditure Review Committee for three years, asserts that the state government’s primary objective should be to fortify public and private healthcare systems. He also urges preparation for potential future pandemics to ensure the health sector’s resilience.
The essays in the book are penned by distinguished economics professors from various colleges within the state, as well as economists associated with the State Planning Board and the Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation. Contributors include former chief secretaries Nalini Netto and S M Vijayanand, who is also chairman of the Sixth State Finance Commission.
‘Kerala’s Economic Development’ offers a wealth of knowledge for economics students, competitive exam candidates, and general readers eager to understand Kerala’s post-pandemic scenario.
Published by Pearson, the book is priced at Rs 550.