Current Issue

Vol. 52,  No. 2,  2022

Conference volume

Changing Characteristics of the Indian Labour Market: Issues and Challenges in he Backdrop of Covid-19 (online)

Guest Editor: Niti Mehta

India’s Rural Employment Scenario: Challenges and Opportunities

Anvesak Vol. 52(2) (2022), pp. 1-12 Received: 7 July 2022; accepted: 19 December 2022

Rajarshi Majumder
University of Burdwan, West Bengal, India

Abstract: Sectoral transformation from a rural subsistence agriculture based economy to an urban monetised industrial and service led economy is generally accepted as signs of development. It is also expected that these changes will accompany the economic growth process in a reasonably capitalistic economy like India, at least after the neo-liberal structural adjustment programmes started since 1990s. However, India’s rural employment scenario is an enigma. While GDP share of agriculture has dwindled remarkably, its share in employment does not show signs of similar decline. Whatever changes have taken place are also questioned as to whether they are signs of positive dynamism or that of distress. This paper attempts to examine the complexity of changes in rural labour market in India over the last decade to untangle this riddle. A multi-pronged strategy of human capital formation, transforming rural non-farm business and augment returns from agriculture is necessary to improve the scenario. Opportunities are there but structural challenges must be overcome to reach those goals.

Key Words: Rural employment, Rural labour market, Rural transportation

Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Labour Market Outcomes among Vulnerable Households: A Case Study of Slum Dwellers in Select Cities in India

Anvesak Vol. 52(2) (2022), pp. 13-31 Received: 7 July 2022; accepted: 4 January 2023

Debolina Kundu, Tania Debnath And Biswajit Kar
National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi, India

Abstract: The dual shock of the outbreak of COVID-19 and its associated lockdown had an adverse impact on the economy, especially on the urban labour market across the globe. In the Indian context, this external shock related to the pandemic outbreak had a strong and negative impact on the already weak labour market characterized by high unemployment rates and a large share of workers engaged in informal work. The macro picture of the labour market based on secondary sources fails to unmask the nature and the extent of the impact on the employment conditions of low-income and less educated urban workers. To bridge the gap, this micro-study based on a survey of 1208 households living in slums of 10 cities intends to see the impact of lockdown on the livelihoods of urban households living in slums and their survival mechanisms to deal with their rapidly changing economic conditions. The study reveals that the principal source of income of a large share of slum households was affected during both phases of lockdown, but the impact was more severe during the first wave due to the stringency of the lockdown. The vulnerable casual wage workers, whose income levels vary depending on their daily participation in the labour market, have been affected more compared to the salaried workers with some job or income security. However, the second wave had harsh adversities on a large section of regular salaried workers, pushing them to the threshold of poverty. Overall, around two-thirds of the principal earning members of the surveyed households could resume their livelihood or diversify their livelihood opportunities in the subsequent period of the lockdown. It is noted that self-employment was a survival strategy for slum dwellers. Therefore, the policy focus needs to consider self-employment as a coping mechanism to economic shocks.

Key Words:COVID-19, Lockdowns, Urban labour market, Job loss, New poor, Survival mechanism and self-employment

Women’s Labour Contribution and Decision Making Power: Evidence from Gujarat

Anvesak Vol. 52(2) (2022), pp. 33-48 Received: 7 July 2022; accepted: 1 December 2022

Itishree Pattnaik
Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Ahmedabad, India

Abstract: Women’s participation in farming-related activities has been increasing in rural India, but the question is: has it improved autonomy in decision-making or raised their status at home or in the community? This paper – based on the findings from a large, questionnaire-based survey in Gujarat – shows that women’s burdens have increased, but the benefits that have accrued to them have not been concomitant. It raises the question of ‘preparatory work’ that women perform in agriculture, on and off the farm, to bring women’s concerns to light that this work remains largely invisible. It is argued that while reporting sex-wise activity status on the field, all the sub-activities or sub-components of a particular activity need to be considered carefully; otherwise, the coding of ‘activity status’ is gendered. The paper concludes that if farming in India is to thrive and provide its farmers fulfilling lives and its citizens affordable food, Indian policymakers need to address this imbalance, because many rural women are discontent with the compulsions of having to perform additional work in agriculture and would much rather perform non-farm, home-based activities.

Key Words: Women in agriculture, Preparatory work, Decision-making, Control over incomes, Rural India.

Explaining Gender Discrimination in Urban Informal Labour Market of Uttar Pradesh

Anvesak Vol. 52(2) (2022), pp. 49-65 Received: 7 July 2022; accepted: 29 November 2022

Nomita P. Kumar and Achala Srivastava
Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow, India

Abstract: The paper explores the level of gender discrimination and impact of various factors on females’ probability of getting discriminated in unorganised sector of urban Uttar Pradesh. Gender discrimination at the workplace is imperceptible and is reflected in the nature of work performed, valuation of the skills and the technology used by men and women. The main objective of this paper is to analyse the gender discrimination and its contribution to the gender-social group based wage gaps in India. Using data from the primary survey conducted in Uttar Pradesh in 2018-19, the paper analyses occupational segregation based on intersectional axes of gender and social groups by categorising wage workers according to the gender and social groups and estimates average wage gain or loss to each group due to their occupational segregation. The results show that the participation of female labour force is more as part time employees and gender segregation of total employment is more pronounced as casual workers in the unorganised sector in urban Uttar Pradesh, thus establishing that goal of equality in labour market remains a distant dream.

Key words:Informal employment, Wage inequality, Labour force participation, Unorganised labour market

Safety at Workplace, Health and Working Conditions of Workers in the Manufacturing Sector in Ahmedabad

Anvesak Vol. 52(2) (2022), pp. 67-85 Received: 7 July 2022; accepted: 1 December 2022

Amrita Ghatak
Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Ahmedabad, India

Abstract: The manufacturing industries are often found to be associated with risks of morbidity and mortality that raise the concern of policy makers regarding the introduction and sustenance of various safety measures at those industrial units. Using data collected through a primary survey before the onset of Covid-19 Pandemic during 2019-2020 this paper makes attempt to: a) ascertain the status of safety and health of workers at factories in selected manufacturing industries in Ahmedabad; b) discuss their working conditions and, c) discuss the governance of occupational safety and health. In the process of understanding the issues of health and safety at the factories the paper also highlights how the workers perceive their safety and health issues along with their working conditions. The results are useful in highlighting the status of occupational safety and health of workers as well as the challenges pertaining to governance of in the manufacturing industries in Gujarat for effective formulation of policies.

Key words:Ahmedabad; Manufacturing sector workers; Gujarat; Occupational safety and health; Working conditions

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