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As the pandemic spreads and cases rise, the problem of keeping a functioning educational system has come to the forefront. Universities are now being faced with a unique challenge of whether or not to conduct the examinations in the traditional manner. 

The University of Delhi (DU) has set up a committee to look into the possible scenario of conducting examinations whilst University of Mumbai (MU) has decided to conduct examinations for only the final year students for the time being.

The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi has asked universities to maintain and develop new forms of getting the business done. However, professors and students are opposing the idea of conducting online examination.

At the very foundational level, most students come from rural backgrounds and many do not have proper access to internet facilities which would put them in a tough spot.

This is a unique situation, one that needs a unique solution. The pandemic has exposed the limits of our educational system and brought in open the out-dated assessment system which seems to be completely depended on the last mile performance and final grades.

One issue that the committee and the authorities discussing the issues still seems to give a brush is the how will it be conducting examination for students with underlying conditions?

Neither the University nor the professors seem to mention anything about this critical situation. The University cannot assume that all students are healthy and have no medical issues whatsoever.

Students struggling with underlying conditions such as Asthma, Diabetes, Chronic diseases and other conditions cannot give the examinations with other students.

Such students need a completely different set of policy approach if the university does decide to conduct examination in a traditional manner.

The incubation period for COVID-19 is 14 days, in such a situation when students do travel back they would be under a suspicious category and might be a carrier of the disease and can pass it on to a student of the chronic underlying condition which would cause a life-threatening condition for such a student.

A student with an underlying condition cannot be made to sit in the same room with a crowd of other students.

The examination process should not put life at risk for a student with underlying conditions.

These issues need to be dealt with utmost care and caution and should form a part of the policy for the University.

The process of examination needs a revamp. What is happening today in the world is a first, and for us to deal with this crisis we will have to explore arenas that will be first of a kind.

At this hour, we cannot hide away in inconsistencies by the fear of unknown, but take the steps towards the uncharted roads which will give us our first window to a more nuanced and up-to-date system of evaluation and assessment.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

The author is Pragya Gautam, currently pursuing BA LLB from Law Faculty, Law Centre-1, University of Delhi.

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With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing industries and working life to a staggering halt, the economy worldwide has plummeted. To combat the economic crisis, India has turned its labour laws to a worker’s worst nightmare.

With the entire world shut indoors in lockdown, the economy of not just India, but the entire world, has plummeted. The economic crisis that 2020 faces has been described to be even worse than the recession faced in 2007-2009. This global financial crisis is comparable to 1930s Great Depression, a period that saw devastating economic despair from 1929-1939, and led to mass unemployment, industry closures and human trauma worldwide.

The Indian unemployment rate in the week that ended on 3rd May 2020 rose to 27.1%, the highest that the country had ever seen. It is estimated that over 9 crore people lost their jobs due to the lockdown. In this calculated estimation, the ones hit the hardest were the daily wage labourers and small traders. In an attempt to battle this destructive economic decline, the Indian government has “suspended” major labour laws in various states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. UP government has suspended these laws for three years, under the ruse of “safeguarding the welfare of the workers and ensuring industrial safety”. 

In Uttar Pradesh, 35 of the 38 labour laws applicable have been suspended. The only three laws that have been exempted are the Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996; the Workmen Compensation Act, 1923, and the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, along with the Section 5 of the Payment of Wages Act, which relates to the timely payment of wages.

But does it really help India? For long, India’s labour laws have been criticized. They have been characterized as “too inflexible” and too many in numbers, making them hard to follow. Thus, reformed laws are needed in- lesser laws that are easier to follow would ensure that firms can contract and expand according to the market requirement, thus converting the largely informal sector that currently employees a large majority of Indian workers to a formal one that would provide with better salaries and social security benefits. 

However, the laws introduced do little to aid that. In fact, they have been largely characterized as slave laws, paving the way for exploitation in the 21st century. The provisions that have currently been terminated encompass basic rights like minimum wage, occupational safety, as well as minimum standards for working conditions. The Indian industries, many of which already lacked basic hygiene and safety equipment for their workers such as ventilation, toilets, daycare or even basic potable water, are now under no government obligation to provide these basic necessities. Keeping in mind that basic hygiene is probably more important in a post-pandemic world than any other, the introduction of these laws is not just ignorant, but downright inhumane. The basic minimum wage, that already was scant, to begin with, is now under no obligation to be met. Another heavily criticized decision was the increasing of working hours from 8 to 12. Not only would the increased hours prove to be exhaustive upon the workers, but the decision also does not aid towards utilizing more of the unemployed taskforce- it would do the exact opposite. Further, the laws risk the employment wages’ reduction as well, with nothing stopping the employer from firing his entire workforce and rehiring them on lower wages. 

Thus the reforms, which should be pushing towards formalization, can risk doing the exact opposite.

It is undeniable that the need for some sort of labour law exemption wasn’t necessary, or that it isn’t important to consider any opportunity that arises for marking an industrial revival in India and making its niche in the world. However, the justification that touts basic worker rights as the reason for the hindrance to some Indian manufacturing revolution is an inhumane and baseless one. The decision to scrap these laws was a poorly thought-out and untimely one. For now, the only purposes these reforms fulfil are stripping the workers of their basic rights and bargaining power, and making this the survival of the richest and the most privileged.

Featured Image Credits: BoredPanda

Shreya Juyal

[email protected]



Read on to find out the plights of students from a student of Delhi University (DU). This piece gives an insight into how different colleges withing our University are dealing with the pandemic. 

In these intense or rather stressful times of COVID-19 when the students are sceptical about their college and future and the college should take some actions to calm the students down. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College (DDUC) of Delhi University is paying no heed to any of these issues and moreover still using their tactful ways to bother and impose irrelevant obligations on them.

The hostel administration of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College is forcing the students to pay their quarter fees while no one is residing in the hostel. In these stressful times of lockdown when no one is allowed to go out and the financial conditions are not in good shape, the administration is forcing the residents to pay the quarter fee. The fee for the facilities (water and electricity) no one is consuming.

Moreover, the administration has denied answering any queries of the students or parents regarding this matter saying “no clarification would be issued in this matter. It is a compulsory fee and needs to be paid”. If not paid there is an imposition of INR 50 per day as a penalty. And this amount would not be refunded to the students. The very fact that this all is happening even after the orders of the government for asking for any further fee is saddening. This just another way of extracting money for these capitalist institutions. This sense of torture from the hostel authorities is now affecting us personally, with following a different set of rules for girls and boys’ hostels for handling situations.

This is just not it; the students of this college are suffering from the start of this academic session and this is just a chain of events that has led us to this point. The residents of the hostel have been facing such problems from the start of this academic session. After not having had got any answer from the authorities the residents resorted to the action of putting up a strike for the basic needs against the administration. But this was dismissed by the principal by the threat of suspension.

The union council elections were also suspended by the administration which is the basic entity for getting our voice to the ears of the authorities. The cancelling of union defeats the purpose of decent and our say of asking any questions. There is no transparency in any sort of matter.

All these add up to a totalitarian rule of the principal and other authorities which is suppressing the students and hostel residents, leading to no other option left to get our voice reached to the people. These links are for the support of the prior strike held against the authorities.

Looking at the different reactions to the Prime Minister’s (PM’s) ‘tasks’ that called for solidarity in these difficult times. 

With the nation under lockdown and the rapidly spreading pandemic, much has been called into question. The government’s response, testing rates and availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for medical personnel, among other things. In these dire times, as the nation looked to its leader for some reassurance, our Prime Minister gave us ‘tasks’ to boost morale and show solidarity.

In a country where a large number of people choose to get their news from the ‘WhatsApp University’, the ridiculous response to the Prime Minister’s tasks should be no surprise. Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Indians to clap and bang plates at five p.m. for five minutes on the 22nd March, in solidarity to the frontline workers who are working to fight the pandemic. However, ‘WhatsApp University’ was quick to claim that the 22nd March was the ‘darkest day of the month’ and that bacteria and evil forces were strongest that day or that this task had some deep scientific and astrological connection. The result was a commotion as people gathered on streets with chants of ‘Go Corona Go!’ to ‘destroy’ the virus with the sound of plates, drums, bells and more.

The next task given by the Prime Minister was to turn off all lights and come to our balconies on the 5th April at nine p.m. and light candles or flashlights for 9 Minutes. Yet again the ‘scientists’ of the ‘WhatsApp University’ leapt at the opportunity and spread messages that candles would ‘raise the temperature and kill the virus’ or that ‘nine p.m. for nine minutes’ has some numerology and religious connection. Another aspect that was overlooked was the potential electrical grid failure due to the sudden drop and rise in electricity demand as the entire nation switched off their lights and switched them back on at the same time. This, however, turned out to be the least of concerns as people gathered on streets in large numbers with candles and even flaming torches, leading processions and chanting slogans to ‘chase the Corona away’.

A BJP leader in Uttar Pradesh’s Balrampur, Manju Tiwari, also had a police report filed against her for firing a revolver into the sky as she supposedly got ‘caught up in the Diwali like atmosphere’ during Prime Minister Modi’s nine p.m. candle lighting. All of this after Prime Minister Modi specifically asked people not to leave their houses and the repeated stress on the importance of social distancing and self-isolation during this lockdown. These tasks by the Prime Minister have received backlash and were criticised as nothing but feel-good gestures and publicity stunts.

While the nation clapped and cheered for doctors, doctors across the country faced harassment in their housing societies and buildings and suffered from a lack of safety equipment of PPEs with many doctors wearing raincoats to protect themselves while treating patients. As the nation lit candles, migrant workers starve and die, unable to buy food or make their way home. Help may be on its way, but the damage has been done and these ‘feel-good gestures’ are doing nothing at all. While donations poured in for the PM-Cares fund, many have asked why the money from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) hasn’t been utilised instead. The PMNRF currently has a balance of INR 3,800.44 crore that is lying unutilised. Despite several warnings of the virus and the need for the lockdown, some people have shown that there will always be people who believe and spread misinformation without any validation of facts. It is ridiculous, just how quickly people jump to conclusions after reading some dubious WhatsApp chain message and all the efforts to curb the virus are thrown out of the window as people gather on streets to dances to the tunes of the Prime Minister’s next instruction.


Featured Image Credits: Gulf News 

Tashi Dorjay Sherpa

[email protected]


Read on to find the problematic association between eco-fascism and Coronavirus. 

  • The difference between environmentalism and eco fascism.

Environmentalism in its simplest sense is a political and ethical movement which seeks to protect, preserve, and improve the environment by putting a stop to harmful human activities. Eco fascism marries the ideas of environmentalism with racism and supremacy and propounds the sacrifice of humans and their interests for nature.

  • Eco fascism and racism

Eco Fascism tends to align itself with a Neo Malthusian thought process that the earth is simply falling apart because there are too many people, it does not question the entrenched factors behind environmental issues. Both the Christ church and El Paso shooters have referred to themselves as eco fascists. Though, currently on the fringe, Eco fascism can be used as an excuse to target racial, ethnic, and gender minorities in the name of the environment.

  • Linking Eco fascism to the current pandemic

The Coronavirus Pandemic has led to lockdowns and curfews throughout the world. The lack of human activity has led to substantial drops in pollution levels. Now, while this does pose some serious questions on the consumerist and materialist lifestyle we follow, Eco fascists have ignored all these questions and come up with a simple, yet ultimately flawed thesis. Which is highlighted by a lot of posts about how humans are the virus and how the pandemic was needed to reduce human population, basically the celebration of a pandemic.

  • The flaws and privileges behind “Humans are the virus.”

Ignoring the deeper questions presented by the pandemic and simply celebrating it has many flaws. It comes from a point of privilege as those propagating have access to healthcare and are at relatively lower risk and ironically lead consumer heavy lifestyles, while those in underdeveloped countries and from lower sections of society will end up suffering as always. So, before sharing content and tweets, spare a thought to how this movement carries echoes of exterminating/reducing what supremacists see as “inferior(minorities)” populations and try to judge what you share accordingly.

Feature Image Credits: The New Republic

Prabhanu Kumar Das

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If your friend is celebrating their birthday under the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, read further to see how you can make their day better!

2020 has a special birthday present, for all those born in the March and early-April borns out there- the coronavirus pandemic along with almost a month-long lockdown for the after party. Be a better friend than 2020 to ensure your friends don’t get too lonely on their birthdays. Here are some steps:


  • Houseparty at Midnight


Nothing is more special than having your best friend call you up at midnight to wish you a happy birthday. But what’s better is having five friends video call you over bad network so you can all blame each other for having the worst WiFi. Use applications like Instagram, Houseparty or even Zoom (because who really attends online classes) for group video calling.  


  • Send over Swiggy


Nobody really wants to eat homemade food on their birthdays, especially after eating nothing but that for the past few weeks under this lockdown. Get food delivered at your friend’s home from their favourite restaurant because nobody can be sad while eating their favourite food. However, ensure that the restaurant follows the World Health Organisation’s (WHO)’s safety standards. 


  • Make a Movie and Song Playlist


Since there aren’t many options at home, let’s resort to our standard solution- Netflix and Chill. Make a list of all the movies that your friend is certain to enjoy, make sure they’re all on some online streaming channel, and if not, download and send them on drive. Also make a playlist of all the songs that remind you of them to end this birthday on a little emotional note.


  • Multiplayer Online Gaming


Finally, you can download a bunch of online multiplayer games to play with a bunch of friends like Ludo, UNO, Call of Duty, Minecraft and many more. Just remember, don’t let your friend feel lonely. Be there for them and keep reminding them how much they mean to you. 

Have a happy and safe birthday to all March and April borns! 

Featured Image Credits: Bored Panda

Aditi Gutgutia

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Since the COVID-19 outbreak in India, many news websites have pointed out that India just isn’t doing enough tests of the disease. There have been many counter and pro arguments on this issue. In this article we examine this question and India’s approach towards the pandemic.

“We have a simple message to all countries – test, test, test,” World Health Organisation (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva when asked about solutions for the pandemic. “All countries should be able to test all suspected cases, they cannot fight this pandemic blindfolded,” he said.

On this Balram Bhargava, director of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said, “It is reassuring that at the moment there is no evidence of community outbreak.” He believes Mr Ghebreyesus’s advice is “premature” for India, and it would only “create more fear, more paranoia and more hype”.

As government response and public concern over Covid-19 ratchet up, the medical community is looking at two aspects. First, how much testing is optimal — should we expand it beyond at-risk populations to flatten the disease curve as South Korea has done, or does mass testing burden the healthcare system? Second, where do India and other countries stand in developing a vaccine?

However, among all this speculation, India is scaling up testing. Officials say existing labs are able to provide results in six hours and each lab has the capacity to test 90 samples a day which can be doubled. Fifty more state labs are expected to begin testing samples by the end of the week, bringing the total number of testing facilities to 122. Authorities claim that together, the labs will be able to test 8,000 samples a day – a significant scaling up. In addition, the government is planning to allow around 50 private labs to start testing, but they will take up to 10 days to procure kits.

Many experts have also pointed out that India, right now is not reporting the cases as it is taking time to buckle up its medical and health infrastructure for the pandemic. However, this is a speculation that some have fuelled while other have refuted.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India had performed 25,144 tests on 24,254 individuals as of 8pm on March 25. Among these, a total of 581 individuals had been confirmed positive among suspected cases and contacts of known positive cases.

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) tested random people to check for community transmission and concluded that it has found no positive case of coronavirus in 500 randomly collected samples of respiratory disease patients in ICUs. That sort of thing is hardly a justification to not test people with symptoms.


  1. Body had earlier said there is no community transmission
  2. Disease primarily in individuals with travel history to affected countries or via close contact with positive cases.
  3. Everyone needn’t be tested, it had said earlier
  4. However, ICMR had conducted random tests on people with flu-like symptoms.


  1. Individuals in close contact with laboratory-confirmed cases
  2. History of travel to affected countries in previous 14 days
  3. Home quarantine for 14 days
  4. Symptom watch for 14 day
  5. If no, no testing
  6. If yes, laboratory test

The question however still remains. Is Indian doing enough tests? The answer for this question will only unfold in the coming weeks as we see over 1.2 billion Indians fight the most transmissible disease in human history.

Feature Image Credits: World Economic Forum

Aniket Singh Chauhan

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With an increasing number of people getting isolated because of social distancing or quarantine, the ‘free-time’ that we have can be overwhelming and mentally isolating at times. 

Between the constant news alerts, memes and numerous WhatsApp forwards, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, anxious and tense because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With too much time in your hand, it gets all the more important to take care of oneself.


Routine for the win

There is too much uncertainty right now. While you cannot control the situation around, you can take charge of your daily actions and form a routine. Getting enough sleep and proper nutrition, video calling loved ones, prayer, and breathwork makes one feel better. Opt for indoor exercises, solo dance and singing sessions. 


Get Creative

The best way to divert one’s mind from negative thoughts is to spend creative quality time with oneself. Read, research, draw, paint, sing, dance, cook – anything that you like, now is the time to start it again. Pick up a new hobby – you could learn a new instrument, a different language or try gardening maybe. 

self-care illustration aishwaryaa

Image Credits: Abbey Lossing


Political Science student at SGTB Khalsa College, Suhani says, “I’ve begun painting. I’m trying to focus on learning new things. I go through online courses and tutorials. It keeps me productive and distracted from all the other things.” 

You could also start a journal. It doesn’t have to be all Tumblr-ish fancy – begin with writing the best and worst things about your day, something you are grateful for or a new skill that you learnt. Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do, it’ll be a reminder when boredom or anxiety starts kicking in.


Connect and reconnect, virtually though

While you are at a ‘social distance’ from your loved ones, you should still be connected to your college friends, old school friends, cousins and family. Set up video calls or write them an email. Form a Netflix party or binge read books together – trust me, there is no better time than this to reconnect with them. In the hectic college days, we often miss out on family time. Amidst the lockdown, now that everyone is probably working from home, talk to your parents and grandparents. Go through old pictures and revisit those memories. 

Prachi, a second-year student at Indraprastha College for Women says, “I’ve been helping my mother with cooking all the meals and it actually helps me spend a lot of time. We talk and our bonding has improved so much. Learning new recipes is almost a therapy now.”

Learning to use technology in a socially healthy way is crucial in times like these. React to stories, share memes and write good things about each other – a little online kindness certainly goes a long way.


News and Alerts

There are a whole lot of rumors, fake news and solutions about the virus that keep circulating. Because it’s crucial to stay informed, refer to news from official sources only. However stop when you feel it is getting too much. Take a break. It can get upsetting to see the updates, videos and images repeatedly. 


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following are common signs of distress –

  • Feeling of numbness, fear or anxiety
  • Changes in energy levels and appetite
  • Difficulty in sleeping due to upsetting thoughts
  • Nervousness

Look out for these and talk to your closed ones about it. It gets important to let it out. However, remember friends and family are not therapists. Seek professional help if the need arises. William James had said, “The greatest weapon against stress is your ability to choose one thought over another.”

While the pandemic is expected to persist, you must stay composed and spending quality time with yourself can help the most. Preserve your mental health while avoiding physical proximity.


Feature Image Credits: Hannah Jacobs for Yahoo Beauty

Aishwaryaa Kunwar

[email protected] 


With everyone under lockdown and confined indoors, internet usage has spiked, putting a strain on the network infrastructure as it struggles to cope.

 If you are a part of the large number of people who aren’t part of the ‘essential services’ that are exempt from the lockdown that has been ordered to tackle COVID-19, chances are that you are at home, scrolling through social media, working on your computer, binging T.V. shows or using the internet in some form. You may not have thought about it, but there is only so much internet bandwidth to go around. With everyone hunkering down at home and turning towards the internet to bestow some entertainment in these trying times, do we have enough bandwidth for everyone?

First off, what bandwidth is? In a very non-technical sense, it could be compared to the ‘pipes’ of the internet. Just as a wider pipe could carry more water at a time, higher bandwidth refers to higher internet speed or data capacity. But what happens when there is a massive surge in the number of internet users and usage? While the internet in itself cannot ‘run out of bandwidth’, what can happen is an overload on the network infrastructure that ‘delivers’ to users homes. While data centres or enterprise deployments of the internet are set up to handle large volumes of data, the same does not apply for the home data pipes that can reach a bottleneck or ‘run out of capacity’.

What would happen if we ran out internet bandwidth? Well, in that case, there would be massive internet slowdowns, and congestion that could make using the internet a pain or even impossible. This is a severe problem as other than the obvious fact that we love our internet, the internet also is an essential platform to disseminate information, provide updates and even run critical services such as Government sites. We need the internet to be up and running at a time like this and a breakdown could be more than just an inconvenience. There are priorities, like news, Government sites, research, and basic communication, which are more important than you watching ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ for the fifth time.

What is being done to ensure the internet stays up and running? The European Union ordered that, steps be taken to prevent a breakdown, and Netflix, YouTube and other platforms have taken measures by reducing bandwidth usage through lowering the streaming quality on their platforms.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) wrote a letter to streaming services in India asking them to reduce their internet usage, highlighting the pressure being put on Telecom Service Providers (TSPs).

In response, Netflix has reduced its traffic by 25% through bandwidth reduction on its platform. Amazon Prime has also reduced streaming bitrates, while YouTube has reduced streaming quality. Indian streaming platforms like Hotstar, Zee5, Voot, Sony LIV, Hoichoi and ALT Balaji have also taken similar steps to preserve bandwidth usage.

With coming times, we may even see the government step in and direct internet bandwidth away from non-essential or leisure services such as streaming. While Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do have the capability to slow down individual sites and services, they are not permitted to do so due to regulations that exist under ‘net neutrality’ that prevent ISPs from slowing down certain sites to charge a premium fee to access it or slow down competing sites and forcing consumers to use one service over others. If need be, there may be temporary measures brought in. After all, these are extraordinary times. If you feel your internet has been extra sluggish lately, you now know why.

Feature Image Credits: Cartoon Movement

 Tashi Dorjay Sherpa

[email protected]

The increase in the spread of COVID-19, coronavirus disease 2019 is giving a major threat to the entire world. Being declared as a pandemic it has already killed around 11,888 people across the globe. But, from where did this deadly virus emerge out suddenly? What was its origin? What led to its development as a pandemic?

When the entire world was celebrating New Year’s Eve the health officials at China confirmed the spread of pneumonia resembling mysterious disease. The first case appeared in December 2019 and very soon it got transmitted, grasping the entire county in its deadly claws. In December 2019, 27 of the first 41 people hospitalised (66%) passed through a market located in the heart of Wuhan city in Hubei province. But, What’s so special about Wuhan?

Scientist while searching for its origin got intrigued by the Hunan food market in Wuhan it wasn’t conclusive proof, but the Chinese government immediately ordered to shut down the entire market. An epidemic like this wasn’t something new to the Chinese government a similar outbreak known as SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome got introduced in the Chinese Mainland in 2002. Evidence pointed out of its birth in another wet market located in southern China, just like Hunan.

Majority of the fatal viruses which affect humans arise from animals. For instance, some of the viruses that cause Influenza come from pigs, Ebola most likely from bats and HIV from Chimpanzees. Continuing with this trend scientists demonstrate some proofs which point Coronavirus of being originated from either Bats or Pangolins. The exceptional ability of viruses to move between species was responsible for letting Corona reach humans. But, even for that, an encounter between all the intermediate and the final specie is a must and that’s exactly where the Hunan market comes in.

“It was not a surprise at all, and I think it was not a surprise to many scientists. The cages are stacked one over another. Animals at the bottom are often soaked with all kinds of liquid. Animal excrement, blood, pus or whatever the liquid they are receiving from the living animals above,” said Peter Li, Associate Professor, the University of Houston-Downtown in an interview with Vox. However, Pengalins or Bats being the final culprit has not been confirmed yet and is still being researched on. A wet market is a market where live animals are slaughtered and are sold for human consumption. Often, the lack of proper hygiene standards at a site where animals are killed and sold simultaneously leads to the origin of such horror causing diseases. But what makes only the Chinese wet markets as the most dangerous in the world?

Wet markets in China, unlike all the others, sell a wide variety of wild animals. Ranging from mice and snakes to peacocks and ostriches they sell everything. And why do they sell it? The answer lies back in the 1970s. China during that time was facing a serious food crisis. The communist regime ruling the country was unable to feed its people, millions died the famine became almost impossible to cope with. Owing to the severity of the condition the government uplifted the ban on private farming, while the rich companies producing pork and meet dominated the trade some of the poor farmers switched to raising wild animals for sustenance.

“At the very beginning, it was mostly peasant household, backyard operations of Turtles, for example. That’s how wildlife farming started to lay the ground. The government needed to encourage people to make living through whatever productive activities they can find them in,” informed Li, further in the interview. Then, in 1988 the Chinese government did one of the biggest errors of all time. It passed the wildlife protection act under which it called all the wild species as the resources of the state and provided protection to the individuals or units engaged in the development or the utilisation of wildlife in accordance with the law and with that, a new industry was born.

With the implementation of this devastating law, not only the number of wild animals but also the variety of species available for consumption increased. A bear farm which started with three started breeding and domesticating thousands of bears. With all this the possibility of selling an infection causing diseased animals increased along. After the 2003 outbreak, the government banned the trade in wildlife but only after a few months it legalized 54 animal species to sell and consume. Though the wildlife trade contributes very tiny in China’s gigantic GDP it’s the industry’s enormous lobbying capability which makes it unable for the government to declare it as illegal. Soon, after the 2019 tragedy, the country has again temporarily shut all similar markets and is facing pressure from the other countries to make the ban permanent.


Feature Image Credits: Bangkok Post 

Kriti Gupta 

[email protected]