News Excerpt
Recently, the World Bank has released South Asia Economic Focus, fall 2020 report entitled as “Beaten or Broken.
This report is a joint product of the Office of the Chief Economist for the South Asia Region (SARCE) and the Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment (MTI) Global Practice. The report includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
About the report

South Asian Region
●    South Asia region stands to lose USD 622 billion from the school closures in the present scenario or up to USD 880 billion in a more pessimistic scenario
●    Informality and COVID-19 in South Asia" claims that South Asia is set to plunge into its worst-ever recession in 2020 as the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on the region's economies linger.
●    Temporary school closures in all South Asian countries have had major implications for students. They have kept 391 million students out of school in primary and secondary education, further complicating efforts to resolve the learning crisis.
●    The report also noted that the pandemic may cause up to 5.5 million students to drop out from the education system and cause substantial learning losses, which will have a lifetime impact on the productivity of a generation of students.
●    The report has projected that based on country data on household labor incomes, the average child in South Asia may lose USD 4,400 in lifetime earnings once having entered the labour market, equivalent to 5 percent of total earnings.

    The extended closure of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic could dent India’s future earnings by anywhere between $420 billion and $600 billion, as depleted learning levels of students will translate into poorer productivity going forward.
    Engaging children through remote learning programmes had been difficult, despite most governments’ best efforts to mitigate the impact of school closures.
    The projected learning loss for the region is 0.5 years of learning-adjusted years of schooling at present, and this will already lead to substantial future earning losses, the report estimated.

Impact of COVID on productivity of the overall economy
    The increased integration of the global economy will amplify the adverse impact of COVID-19.
    Contagion prevention and physical distancing may render some activities, for example the hospitality sector, unviable unless they are radically transformed, which will take time.
    Even in less directly affected sectors such as manufacturing, banking and business, severe capacity underutilisation lowers total factor productivity while restrictions to stem the spread of the pandemic remain in place.
    Disruptions to training, schooling and other education in the event of severe income losses, even once restrictions are lifted, will also lower human capital and labour productivity over the long term.

India’s economy had been slowing prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The spread of the virus and containment measures have severely disrupted supply and demand conditions. Monetary policy has been deployed aggressively and fiscal resources have been channelled to public health and social protection, but additional counter-cyclical measures will be needed, within a revised medium-term fiscal framework. Despite measures to shield vulnerable households and firms, the trajectory of poverty reduction has slowed, if not reversed.

The ‘Learning Adjusted Year of Schooling’ (LAYS) concept, introduced by the World Bank, seeks to combine access and learning outcomes into a single measure.
It combines quantity (years of schooling) and quality (how much kids know at a given grade level) into a single summary measure of human capital in a society