India's COVID Crisis: An Equity and Justice View

graphic for webinar series: renderings of coronavirus with text overlaid "India's COVID Crisis: An Equity and Justice View"

The COVID-19 pandemic in India is reaching crisis levels, as the country hits more than 20 million infections and its health system struggles to keep pace with the disease. At the same time, India is the largest producer of vaccines in the world, but only 11% of the country's population have been vaccinated and it is now facing vaccine shortages. 

In this webinar, leading academics with expertise in global health, epidemiology, policy, and supply chain management in the Indian context discussed India’s unfolding COVID-19 crisis. They centered the critical need for an equity- and justice-driven approach to tackle the rising COVID-19 crisis, and discussed various strategies to improve the situation.

This webinar is co-hosted by the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility and the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change at the University of Minnesota.


Remote video URL



Headshot of Sridhar Venkatapuram

Sridhar Venkatapuram, PhD

Sridhar Venkatapuram is an Associate Professor in Global Health and Philosophy at King’s College London, and based at the King's Global Health Institute. He is an academic practitioner in the area of global health ethics and justice. Sridhar has been at the forefront of global health for over 25 years starting as a researcher at Human Rights Watch documenting HIV/AIDS related abuses in India in 1994. His training includes international relations (Brown), history (SOAS), global public health (Harvard), sociology (Cambridge), and political philosophy (Cambridge). Before joining King's, he was a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in Ethics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and an Affiliated Lecturer at Cambridge University. During 2018-2019 he was a Wellcome Trust Senior Research fellow at the World Health Organization, and as a Fellow at the Global Health Centre, IHEID Graduate Institute.  He serves as the Chair of the International Resource Group for Global Health Justice ( formed in response to COVID-19 pandemic.


Headshot of Purnima Madhivanan

Purnima Madhivannan, MBBS, MPH, PhD

Purnima Madhivanan is an Associate Professor in Health Promotion Sciences at the Mel & Enid College of Public Health at University of Arizona. A physician by training from Government Medical College in Mysore, India, she has a MPH and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley, USA. She completed her post-doctoral training in 2010. She is the Director of Public Health Research Institute of India (PHRII) and is also the Director of the Global Health Equity Scholars (GHES) Training Program in collaboration with Stanford, Yale and University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Madhivanan’s work focuses on addressing the systemic inequities that put India’s rural and tribal women at-risk for poor health and birth outcomes. To address these issues, her work has focused on the establishment and use of mobile clinics along with self-help programs in rural and tribal communities.


Headshot of Karthik Natarajan

Karthik Natarajan, PhD

Karthik Natarajan is an assistant professor of Supply Chain and Operations at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He received his PhD in Operations from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he won numerous awards for his research including the Outstanding Graduating Student Award and a competitive University-wide Fellowship. At the Carlson School, Natarajan has received several recognitions for his teaching including the Outstanding Teaching Award (2016) and being nominated as a finalist for the Business Week Faculty of the Year Award (2019 and 2020). Natarajan's research interests are in the areas of social responsibility and humanitarian and non-profit operations, with a specific focus on global public health.


Headshot of Shailey Prasad

Shailey Prasad, MD, MPH

Shailey Prasad is the director of the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility, and vice-chair for education at the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health in the Medical School. Shailey has worked extensively as a primary care physician in underserved rural and urban areas of the US and amongst forest tribes in southern India, and currently practices family medicine at the Broadway Family Medicine Clinic, where his peers have voted him a Twin Cities Top Doctor since 2013.