'Nudges' from Modi were important in India's fight against COVID-19: Cambridge study

WION Web Team New Delhi Sep 17, 2020, 12.52 AM(IST)

PM Modi Photograph:( WION )

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India was under lockdown from March 25 to May 31 in four phases. The announcements about the lockdown were made by PM Modi himself via his national television address.

A study conducted in Cambridge University has drawn inference that 'nudges' from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were important during India's fight against coronavirus pandemic. The paper, authored by Ramit Debnath and Ronita Bardhan said that these nudges from the PM played a large part in creating herd effect on locdown and social distancing norms across India.

India was under lockdown from March 25 to May 31 in four phases. The announcements about the lockdown were made by PM Modi himself via his national television address.

The Cambridge Univeristy study said that PM Modi's addresses effected changes in various sectors like "public health (e.g., masks in public spaces; Yoga and Ayurveda for immunity), transport (e.g., old trains converted to isolation wards), micro, small and medium enterprises (e.g., rapid production of PPE and masks), science and technology sector (e.g., diagnostic kits, robots and nano-technology), home affairs (e.g., surveillance and lockdown), urban (e.g. drones, GIS-tools) and education (e.g., online learning)"
 
The study has been published in scientific journal PLOS One

Primary data for the study was taken from Press Information Bureau (PIB) in form of press releases of government plans, policies, programme initiatives and achievements.

"A text corpus of 260,852 words was created from 396 documents from the PIB. An unsupervised machine-based topic modelling using Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) algorithm was performed on the text corpus. It was done to extract high probability topics in the policy sectors. The interpretation of the extracted topics was made through a nudge theoretic lens to derive the critical policy heuristics of the government.." says the study