Institute for Social and Economic Change

Established in 1972 by Professor V K R V Rao, ISEC is an All-India Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Training in the Social Sciences

Transformations Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Exploring the Possibilities of a Better Tomorrow – isec

Transformations Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Exploring the Possibilities of a Better Tomorrow


Institute for Social and Economic Change

ISEC Golden Jubilee National Conference sponsored by the ICSSR

Transformations Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic:
Exploring the Possibilities of a Better Tomorrow

on July 26-27, 2022 at ISEC Bengaluru

Programme Schedule

Organised by

Centre for Human Resource Development
Centre for Research in Urban Affairs
Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore

Call for Papers

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, across the world, we have been witnessing tremendous transformations in the economy, labour, education, health (physical and mental), environment, and technological advancement and so on. People from various walks of life have been engaged in unprecedented efforts to contain the virus from creating havoc on their lives and livelihoods. There have been successes and failures along the way in dealing with this contagion. But as we move forward, we are faced with an existential question – “How has our life been impacted due to the pandemic?” In this context, it is our collective responsibility to look for a silver lining beyond the bleak picture, explore the possibilities, and prepare ourselves for a better tomorrow.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an eye-opener for the research community and the public at large as it showed the cracks in the system and, in some cases, the ravines we have to overcome. There is a general consensus that it is time to break away from the old and create a new system. A better tomorrow is an ideal concept which has been pushing the world to understand the problems and find solutions to progress in that direction. For this, it is pertinent for us to find innovative means and ways to explore and understand the socio-economic, health and environmental issues we are facing within this era.

The labour force across the globe has been affected by the pandemic unprecedentedly, resulting in the loss of jobs and breaking away from traditional notions of work at a scale that created chaos across the labour markets (Bartik et al, 2020; Dingel and Neiman, 2020). Soaring unemployment rates were accelerated by large scale layoffs in the formal sector coupled with widespread panic in the informal sector, particularly during the first and second waves of the pandemic. The mass exodus of migrant labourers triggered by sudden lockdowns to contain the pandemic significantly affected all aspects of their lives and livelihoods, the true extent of which remains unfathomable. However, post the second wave of the pandemic, we also notice a reverse migration to the cities, which highlights a high level of adaptability, inevitability and acceptance of the crisis. In the field of education, sudden pedagogical shifts to remote learning coupled with the digital divide and loss of interpersonal academic interactions have had a deep impact on students and teachers, the effects of which need to be holistically investigated. Another outcome of this has been the ‘new normal’ wherein the hybrid mode of working across sectors has resulted in innovation, upgradation in skills, cost-cutting, etc.

Thus, the pandemic raises serious questions about the sustainability of the neo-liberal economic model we use to manage the economy, prompting a search for viable alternatives. The environmental and ecological sustainability, coupled with the need to redesign urban spaces to ensure the resilience of communities living there to face future uncertain events like this pandemic – are all aspects requiring serious deliberations. What impact does research, innovation and technological development play in augmenting our efforts to deal with the uncertainty that the pandemic has unravelled in our daily lives requires an in-depth introspection. Finally, and perhaps most notably in the context of COVID-19, it is important for us to reconsider the state of India’s health sector and to gauge the level of its preparedness to face what is yet to come.

In consideration of the aforementioned issues and to throw light upon the tremendous possibilities they open before us to build a better tomorrow, the conference aims to engage with various themes ranging from economy, labour, education, health (physical and mental), environment, and technological advancement. Issues that may be addressed by the papers include (but are not limited to):

  1. Understanding Shifts in the Labour Market during COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Migrant Labour during COVID-19 pandemic
  3. Impact of COVID-19 on the Education Sector
  4. Effects of COVID-19 on the Environment
  5. Reinventing Urban Space for a post-COVID-19 world
  6. COVID-19 pandemic and Economic Growth
  7. COVID-19 pandemic and Social Protection measures
  8. Technology and Innovation during COVID-19 times
  9. Relooking Health Sector post-COVID-19.

Venue: The Conference is planned to be conducted in offline mode at Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore. However, given the circumstances, it may be conducted in a hybrid mode.

About ISEC – The Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) is an All India Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Training in the Social Sciences, established in 1972 by the late Professor V K R V Rao to create a blend of field-oriented empirical research and advances in social science theories leading to better public policy formulation. For more information please check ISEC website

Submission Procedure: Interested applicants wishing to present original research should send their abstract by May 31, 2022 to The abstract should not exceed 250 words. Intimation regarding short listing of abstracts will be sent by June 14, 2022. The deadline for sending full papers with a word limit between 7000-8000 words in MS Word format is June 30, 2022.

Conference Fee: There is no conference fee.

Accommodation and Travel Support: Selected paper presenters (from outside Bangalore) will be provided accommodation and travel allowance (AC Three Tier train fare).

Publication: Outstanding conference papers will be published in an edited volume by a reputed international publisher.

Organizing Committee:

  • Dr. Indrajit Bairagya, Assistant Professor, Centre for Human Resources Development, ISEC.
  • Dr. S. Manasi, Associate Professor, Centre for Research in Urban Affairs, ISEC.
  • Dr. Channamma Kambara, Assistant Professor, Centre for Research in Urban Affairs, ISEC.

Important dates:

  • Abstract submission: 31st May, 2022
  • Notification of short listed abstracts: 14th June, 2022
  • Submission of full papers (to: 30th June, 2022
  • Conference: 26-27 July, 2022

Programme Schedule

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