- GS-3: Issues pertaining to federalism.
- GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Decentralisation and COVID
Context: We need to respond with speed and agility to turn the tide of COVID Second Wave that is ravaging our country.
Merits of Decentralized approach
- Local Knowledge: Giving freedom to local bodies is the key because they have the advantage of ‘on ground’ information, monitoring and immediate action when it comes to tackling a public health emergency like COVID.
- Decentralization encourages ownership and sharing of responsibility, while a centralized command-and-control approach leads to passing the buck for crisis decisions to alternative sources of authority
- Community participation is key: If covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccinations are to be effectively enforced, it will need the active participation of everyone at the community level across the country.
- Lessons from success stories: The decentralized approach during covid first wave had led to the creation of success stories such as the ‘Kerala model’, the ‘Bhilwara model’, the ‘Dharavi model’ or the ‘Karnataka model.’ Likewise, lessons from successful models (Ex: Kerala Model) needs to be learnt this time.
- Tiered vaccine pricing: Vaccines need to be offered to the Central and state governments at a uniform price. The private sector, may be provided price flexibility based on the volumes procured. This may speed up vaccination drive
In the next few days, industry associations, corporate entities, self-help groups, RWAs, traders’ associations and political parties will have to join forces and act locally down to the ward, district and panchayat levels if we are to win the battle against the virus at the national level.