Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

Aug, 04, 2018

Mukhyamantri Yuva Nestam Scheme

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre & States & the performance of these schemes

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Scheme

Mains level: Initiative to address Unemployment related issues


News

Mukhyamantri Yuva Nestam- a Pension Scheme

  1. The AP government has launched this  scheme through which an allowance of Rs 1000 per month will be provided to unemployed youth in the state.
  2. About 12 lakh youths in the age group of 22-35 years will get the benefit of the scheme.
  3. The registration for the scheme will start mid-August.
  4. The scheme will be extended to all those eligible even if there are more than one beneficiary in a family.
  5. It will implement the scheme in a very transparent manner like pension scheme.
  6. The money will be credited directly into the bank accounts through biometric authentication.
Jul, 12, 2018

World Population Day: What ails the Youth of India

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development and employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: The newscard gives a quick recap of the issues faced by Indian Youth despite unemployment.


News

Liabilities to Indian Youth

  1. Plagued with problems ranging from stress, unmet family planning needs, unbalanced diets and gender disparities in labour, the Indian youth seems far from turning into an aggressive workforce in future.
  2. Population dynamics, marital statistics, fertility and contraception, mortality and neonatal health care, literacy and employment play important roles in the lives of young men and women.

Family Planning- the multifaceted problem

  1. An unmet need for family planning not only affects the abilities of men and women to plan families, but it also decreases overall well-being.
  2. It limits opportunities to increase earnings, participate in the workforce, access health services, and pursue their own education and that of their children.

Stress remains a major factor

  1. The Cigna 360° Well-Being Survey 2018 done by Cigna TTK Health Insurance covering nearly 14,500 people in 23 markets around the world reveals that stress levels are high in India compared with other developed and emerging countries.
  2. About 89% of the population in India said they are suffering from stress compared with the global average of 86%.

Women are worst hit

  1. The statistics are also disturbing for women in the workforce. A report by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation—Youth in India-2017—stated that during 2011-12, about 55% of males and about 18 % of females in rural areas were in the labour force.
  2. Whereas the corresponding percentages in urban areas were about 56% for males and about 13% for females.
  3. The lack of infrastructure, unavailability of basic amenities at workplaces, rigid and inflexible work hours, the absence of care facilities at or near the workplaces have not motivated women to participate in the labour market significantly.
Jul, 05, 2018

[op-ed snap] The paradox of job growth

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Central Statistics Office (CSO), Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), National Pension Scheme, Employees’ State Insurance Scheme, Employment-Unemployment Surveys (EUS), Index of Industrial Production (IIP), Annual Survey of Industries (ASI)

Mains level: Mismatch in actual job growth and data being provided and how jobs can actually be created in economy


Context

Latest employment estimates

  1. Central Statistics Office (CSO) released employment estimates recently
  2. The CSO’s press release has claimed that 4.1 million new jobs were created in the economy’s formal sector during eight months since last September
  3. They are off the mark, and confined to the economy’s organized or formal sector, accounting at best for 15% of the workforce
  4. NITI Aayog and official economists have also put out similar estimates since early this year
  5. But the official estimates are completely silent about the majority of the workforce engaged in the informal sector

CSO definition

  1. The CSO release defines jobs as ones that provide at least one government financed (or mandated) social security benefit such as Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), National Pension Scheme, or Employees’ State Insurance Scheme

Reliability of these estimates

  1. The estimates are based on administrative records of implementing the social security schemes, whose completeness, consistency and accuracy are unknown
  2. Since a formal (organised) sector worker, in principle, can legitimately access (or subscribe to) more than one social security scheme, double counting is a distinct possibility
  3. The official data also suffers from a conceptual problem
  4. The social security databases, by design, are lists of workers enrolled in the schemes, as an entitlement or as voluntary subscribers — not employment registers
  5. These schemes are applicable to establishments above a certain size (of employment), and to certain kinds of enterprises

How actual job growth doesn’t happen

  1. For instance, in the factory sector, those employing 20 or more workers are mandated to provide EPF to all the workers (with a matching contribution by the employer)
  2. So, if in a factory, employment goes up from 19 to 20 workers, it comes under the purview of the EPF, to be provided to all the 20 workers
  3. The EPF enrolment increases by 20 workers, but the additional job created is just for one worker

India’s job sector

  1. The formal sector stands at the apex of India’s labour market pyramid, agriculture being at the bottom, employing 50% of the workforce
  2. The remaining workers are in the non-farm informal sector, spread across rural and urban areas
  3. This sector has grown in recent decades at the expense of the other two sectors mentioned above
  4. Nearly half of the informal labour workers are self-employed in household (or own account) enterprises, often engaging unpaid family labour
  5. Varying degrees of under-employment or disguised unemployment are the defining feature of informal labour markets

Lack of data on job sector

  1. Since 1972-73, the five-yearly Employment-Unemployment Surveys (EUS) conducted by the National Sample Survey (NSS) have been the mainstay for analysing labour market trends
  2. The last round of the EUS was in held in 2011-12
  3. Now, there is no reliable way of updating employment trends
  4. The EUS has been replaced with an annual Period Labour Force Survey, and a time use survey but these are yet to be released

Why low job growth?

  1. GDP growth figures are probably overestimated on account of the mis-measurement of GDP in the new National Accounts Statistics (NAS) series
  2. The economy is probably growing much slower
  3. In manufacturing, in the last few years, the growth rates reported by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), and the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) are consistently lower than those reported by GDP in manufacturing, suggesting an overestimation of manufacturing value added in the NAS
  4. Demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) seem to have dented informal sector production and employment

Way forward

  1. The recent output growth rates are probably overestimated after the latest revision of the National Accounts Statistics a few years ago, on account of the questionable methodologies and databases used
  2. The faulty barometer of economic well-being seems to be misleading the nation
Jul, 04, 2018

[pib] KVIC launches e-marketing system

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development and Employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: KVIC, KIMIS

Mains level: Promotion of indigenous Khadi to boost rural development through employment


News

Khadi Institution Management and Information System (KIMIS)

  1. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) launched an e-billing system named Khadi Institution Management and Information System (KIMIS).
  2. The system is an in-house single umbrella billing software for sale and purchase that could be monitored, round-the-clock, from any part of India.
  3. The system can be accessed from anywhere in the country for the sale and purchase of Khadi and Village Industries products.
  4. This software will give real-time data of sales and will also give the updated status of stocks of khadi bhawans and godowns, allowing better planning and control of inventory of the KVIC.
  5. He added that 480 Khadi institutions and showrooms are linked with this billing software and it will be useful in raising demand and supply of goods in high demand.

Back2Basics

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)

  1. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body formed by the Government of India, under the Act of Parliament, ‘Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956’.
  2. It is an apex organization under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, with regard to khadi and village industries within India.
  3. Its head office is based in Mumbai, with its six zonal offices in Delhi, Bhopal, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai and Guwahati.
  4. The Commission has three main objectives which guide its functioning. These are –
  • The Social Objective – Providing employment in rural areas
  • The Economic Objective – Providing saleable articles
  • The Wider Objective – Creating self-reliance amongst people and building up a strong rural community spirit.
Jun, 25, 2018

[op-ed snap] Countering India’s labour market imbalances

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & Employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: NITI Aayog Action Agenda

Mains level: The newscard highlights dangers of low job growth and job displacement on the onset of new technologies like AI.


Context

Demographic Dividend – a benefit or bane?

  1. The issue of jobs has come into focus with forthcoming general elections.
  2. While economic growth has been impressive over the last couple of decades, job creation has been relatively slow.
  3. The increase in the share of young adults in the total population often called India’s “demographic dividend”, has turned out to be a problem rather than an asset.
  4. Whether or not job creation has slowed down in recent years has been debated vigorously, primarily owing to the poor quality of jobs data.

Jobs scenario in India

  1. Multiple data sources clearly show that job opportunities in India are, at present, limited, with the average annual addition to regular jobs during 2012-16 falling to 1.5 million from 2.5 million in 2004-12.
  2. Besides, job creation in India’s organized manufacturing sector experienced a sharp fall in 2012, later recovering only to a level considerably below any prior year during 2006-12.
  3. Furthermore, the share of regular workers with any form of social security has declined from 45% in 2011-12 to 38% in 2016.

Where the real problem lies- finds NITI Aayog

  1. NITI Aayog’s Action Agenda (AA), published over a year ago, attempted to find the issue.
  2. According to the AA, underemployment and poor job quality have been the real problems.
  3. No formula for the unemployment rate differs in India’s low labour force participation rate—the proportion of working-age people looking for jobs or working.
  4. It stands at its lowest in two decades, at 54%, compared to 62% in the late 1990s (it is currently around 70% in Brazil, China and Indonesia).

Find outs of NITI Aayog’s AA

  1. The AA has provided several good ideas for job creation, including labour law reforms at the state level, recognizing the difficult national political landscape as well as the wide cross-state variation in the nature of political constraints.
  2. Recent progress in this regard includes raising the minimum firm-level employment threshold for the application of the Industrial Disputes Act (that puts severe constraints on the hiring and firing of workers) from 100 to 300 workers.
  3. The AA has also identified labour-intensive sectors, such as apparel, electronics, food processing, gems and jewellery, financial services, and tourism, where employment needs to be encouraged.
  4. Furthermore, the report emphasizes the role of exports in job creation and recommends establishing coastal employment zones (CEZs), similar to China’s special economic zones (SEZs)

Health and Education- facing the real shortage

  1. There are some real imbalances across the economy, with some key sectors facing a shortage of skills and personnel. Such shortages are primarily in social services like health and education.
  2. The quality of these services, especially those available to low-income, remote and rural households, is shockingly low owing to the scarcity of quality doctors, nurses and teachers.

Automation and AI – filling the gap

  1. Another recently released NITI Aayog document, titled “National Strategy For Artificial Intelligence #AIforall”, proposes a strategy based exactly on such a principle of filling up the skill gap.
  2. For example, specialized software can be used to diagnose diseases (and prescribing appropriate medications) or grading students’ written work and providing feedback, thereby enabling large-scale online education.
  3. India’s information technology (IT) sector, until recently, had been able to create a number of high-skilled jobs due to a significant amount of offshore outsourcing by developed countries.
  4. In future, the support and maintenance services for AI, rather than IT, may be in demand, given that IT support itself is being robotized.

Way Forward: Countering Jobs- Skills Mismatch

  1. The new NITI document provides some specifics in this regard. However this document does not take seriously any job displacement threats from AI.
  2. For its future growth, India’s IT (and AI) sector needs to reinvent and position itself in a more innovative role, which will require considerable capacity building.
  3. Thus, there are serious imbalances, varying across sectors, between the availability of jobs and the supply of skills and workers.
  4. While good ideas to deal with them exist both within and outside the government, implementation is key. This is where the government often does not perform well.

Back2Basics

NITI Aayog Action Agenda

  1. The draft “Three Year Action Agenda” of the NITI Aayog been released in 2017  for 2017-18 to 2019-20.
  2. It focuses on seven key areas that include revenue and expenditure, economic transformation in major sectors, regional development, growth enablers, and reforms in governance, social sectors and sustainability.
  3. It is said to be a phasing out of Five Year Plan as a concept.
Jun, 20, 2018

Database on unorganised workers gets underway

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: UWIN — Unorganised Workers Identification Number, Socio-Economic and Caste Census 2011, Unorganised Workers Social Security Act, 2008

Mains level: Schemes for the welfare of people working in unorganized sector


News

Portable smart ID for workers

  1. The Centre has started work to create a national database and Aadhaar-seeded identification number system to facilitate welfare delivery to 40 crore workers in the unorganized sector
  2. This comes ten years after passing a law that envisaged a portable smart ID card for unorganized sector workers

Unorganised Workers Identification Number

  1. The Union Ministry of Labour has called for tenders to design, develop and run the new UWIN — Unorganised Workers Identification Number — Platform
  2. The “single unified sanitized database” will assign a ten-digit UWIN to every worker and include details of both nuclear and extended families of unorganized workers
  3. The Centre will create and maintain the platform and it is up to the states to identify and register unorganized workers
  4. The Socio-Economic and Caste Census 2011 will be used as the base for the platform, and other worker databases — from the states as well as other Central ministries such as Textiles and Health — will also be incorporated into UWIN
  5. The Unorganised Workers Social Security Act, 2008 had first mandated that every worker be registered and issued a smart ID card

Aadhar Mandatory

  1. Those who have enrolled for Aadhaar but have not yet received it can provisionally enroll themselves into the UWIN system with their Aadhaar Enrollment ID
  2. They will be assigned a UWIN number only when they are able to link Aadhaar with their dataset at a later stage
Jun, 15, 2018

India among 90 nations without paid paternity leave for new dads: UNICEF

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: UNICEF

Mains level: DEmand for paternity leave across the world and various impediments in its implementation


News

No national policy on paternity leave

  1. India is among almost 90 countries in the world without national policies in place that ensure new fathers get adequate paid time off with their newborn babies
  2. Almost two-thirds of the world’s children under one-year-old, nearly 90 million, live in countries where their fathers are not entitled by law to a single day of paid paternity leave
  3. This was revealed in a study conducted by UNICEF

Family-friendly policies being formulated

  1. Around the world, momentum for family-friendly policies was growing
  2. For example, in India, officials are proposing a Paternity Benefit Bill for consideration in the next session of Parliament which would allow fathers up to three months of paid paternity leave
  3. Earlier this year, UNICEF modernized its approach to parental leave provisions, with up to 16 weeks of paid leave for paternity across all of its offices worldwide

Need for paternity leave

  1. Evidence suggests that when fathers bond with their babies from the beginning of life, they are more likely to play a more active role in the child’s development
  2. Research also suggests that when children positively interact with their fathers, they have better psychological health, self-esteem and life-satisfaction in the long-term
May, 08, 2018

[op-ed snap] Rural income: looking beyond agriculture

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development and employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: The suggestions to increase rural income through non-farm sector.


News

Ambitious dream of the government

  1. The government has announced its ambitious target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022-23 in 2015-16
  2. Incomes would have to grow annually by 10.4% to double in seven years

Reality: The current situation

  1. The data on growth rates of farm income given by NITI Aayog in its policy paper on doubling farmers’ income shows that:
  2. the real income of farmers has grown at a rate of 3.4% between 1993 and 2016

 Raising of the minimum support prices (MSPs) will not help

  1. Recent efforts to improve farmers’ income have been focused on raising minimum support prices (MSPs)
  2. Historical evidence shows that MSP does not directly translate into higher incomes for farmers due to a deficient ground-implementation framework
  3. Additionally, high MSPs result in market distortions and render Indian exports uncompetitive in world markets

Thus, it does not appear realistic to double the real income of a rural household from agriculture alone. Incomes of rural households need to be augmented from non-farm income sources

What is needed?

  1. A shift of workforce is required from the farm to the non-farm sector, including household and non-household manufacturing, processing, mining and quarrying, repair, construction, trade and commerce, transport, communication and tourism, etc.
  2. More than 45% of the workforce is engaged in a sector(agriculture) which contributes less than 17% to the country’s GDP
  3. This share is poised to further decline; agriculture cannot sustain households dependent on it for long
  4. The sooner we recognize this, the faster we will be able to evaluate policy alternatives

Comparison with China

  1. China, whose farm sector was similar to that of India in the 1960s, now employs only 27.7% of its workforce in agriculture
  2. It has left India far behind in value of agriculture production and rural household incomes
  3. This is because first, it produces much more from each hectare than India does, and second, it rigorously developed non-farm income sources
  4. Labour-intensive “township and village enterprises” (TVEs) were established in rural areas and saw keen participation from the private sector due to low-wage labour
  5. TVEs became engines of growth for Chinese rural non-farm sector
  6. As a result, rural poverty levels are as low as 2.5% now in China while in India, they remain as high as 40% in some states

India should follow the footsteps of China

  1. Taking a cue from its neighbour, India needs to undertake a drive to intensify non-farm employment in its rural areas
  2. Rural households need to be encouraged and enabled to engage household members in non-farm livelihood and contribute to the household income through remittance earning or direct earning

 The manufacturing sector in rural areas needs a great push

  1. The thrust on the manufacturing sector in rural areas has been woefully inadequate. Manufacturing activity, especially employing modern technology, in rural areas has been neglected
  2. Lack of required skills and technical knowledge are the major barriers, apart from good quality infrastructure and power
  3. This has led to minimal private sector investment
  4. Growth of rural manufacturing requires massive investment in skill formation and entrepreneurship development as well as in infrastructure

The way forward

  1. Overreliance on using pricing and MSPs to boost farmer incomes may be short-sighted as Indian agriculture prices need to be aligned with global prices
  2. Focus on non-farm incomes will thus go a long way in raising farm household as well as farmer incomes
May, 03, 2018

Policy for domestic workers ready

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: National policy for domestic workers

Mains level: Working conditions of domestic workers and measures taken to improve them


News

National policy for domestic workers

  1. The draft national policy for domestic workers would make recommendations on working hours, leave entitlements and minimum wages, but would leave it to states to notify them in accordance with their existing legislations
  2. It is likely to be announced this month

Proposed provisions

  1. Boards of registration could be set up at state, district, or even Resident Welfare Association (RWA) level
  2. These boards would administer social security benefits for workers, including Provident Fund contribution by employers and medical insurance
  3. The draft policy envisages that states would set up mechanisms to register and regulate placement agencies for domestic workers, with no provision for Central regulation
Apr, 27, 2018

India has to create more formal jobs: World Bank

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: World Development Report 2019, Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD), World Bank

Mains level: India’s informal job sector and urgent need of formalisation


News

Need for formalisation

  1. The World Bank in its draft World Development Report 2019 said in India the pay-offs in the formal sector are over twice as much as in the informal sector
  2. It made a strong case for creating more formal jobs in India

Need of formalisation

  1. Persistent informality and low-productivity employment pose the greatest challenge to developing countries
  2. Informal workers show resourcefulness in handling the constraints they face, but the businesses they run are too small to raise the livelihoods of their owners
  3. Informal firms add only 15% of the value per employee of formal firms
  4. The size of India’s informal sector has remained around 91% despite economic and technological revolution

Other similar observations

  1. In another draft report titled Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) for India released in February, the World Bank said India needs to create regular, salaried jobs with growing earnings rather than self-employed ones
  2. In a report titled ‘Jobless Growth?’ released earlier this month, the World Bank said to keep employment rates constant, India needs to create 8 million jobs per year as it adds 1.3 million to the working-age population every month

Counting informal jobs

  1. The government recently decided to start counting jobs created in the non-farm informal sector
  2. The government has asked the labour bureau under the Union labour ministry to begin counting jobs created in establishments deploying less than 10 people
  3. It means that establishments and shops run by a single owner or with one employee too will be counted as employment generation
Apr, 20, 2018

[op-ed snap] Demographic dividend, growth and jobs

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development and employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Demographic dividend, human capital, etc.

Mains level: Importance of Demographic Dividend for India, how to build India’s human capital, etc.


News

India has one of the youngest populations in an aging world

  1. By 2020, the median age in India will be just 28, compared to 37 in China and the US, 45 in Western Europe, and 49 in Japan
  2. Importance: Demographics can change the pace and pattern of economic growth

What is demographic dividend?

  1. Demographic dividend refers to the growth in an economy that is the resultant effect of a change in the age structure of a country’s population
  2. The change in age structure is typically brought on by a decline in fertility and mortality rates

Demographic dividend can increase economic growth through six channels

  1. The first channel is through the swelling of the labour force, as more people reach working age
  2. The second channel is the increased fiscal space created by the demographic dividend to divert resources from spending on children to investing in physical and human infrastructure
  3. The third channel is the rise in women’s workforce that naturally accompanies a decline in fertility, and which can be a new source of growth
  4. The fourth is the increase in savings rate, as the working age also happens to be the prime period for saving
  5. The fifth channel is an additional boost to savings that occurs as the incentive to save for longer periods of retirement increases with greater longevity
  6. The sixth channel is a massive shift towards a middle-class society that is already in the making

But demographic dividend can also transform into a curse

  1. The growth benefit of a demographic dividend is not automatic
  2. A lot depends on whether the bulge in working population can be trained, and enough jobs created to employ the 10 million more people who will join the labour force every year
  3. There is mounting concern that future growth could turn out to be jobless due to de-industrialization, de-globalization, and the fourth industrial revolution and technological progress
  4. While digital technologies may enable the creation of new products and more productive jobs, they may also substitute existing jobs
  5. India may not be able to take advantage of these opportunities, due to a low human capital base and lack of skills

State-wise opportunity

  1. Whether the demographic dividend promotes growth or transforms into a curse depends on how prepared the states that should benefit from a young population are
  2. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and other lagging states will experience a much bigger bulge in working population than more developed states like Tamil Nadu
  3. Unfortunately, the less-developed states are also the least prepared to take advantage of the demographic change they will undergo

India’s human capital is not enough

  1. India’s human capital base may not be adequate for the future or in a position to benefit from the demographic dividend
  2. India is home to the world’s largest concentration of illiterate people in the world
  3. It has made gains in human development, but challenges remain
    (human capital: the skills, knowledge, and experience possessed by an individual or population, viewed in terms of their value or cost to an organization or country)

What should be done?: Building human capital

  1. Investing more and more efficiently in people will enable India to tap into its demographic divided, and prepare the country for the future
  2. There is a powerful link between these investments and economic growth, stability and security
  3. Investing in people through healthcare, quality education, jobs and skills helps build human capital,
  4. which is key to supporting economic growth, ending extreme poverty, and creating more inclusive societies
  5. New technology could be exploited to accelerate the pace of building human capital, including massive open online courses and virtual classrooms
  6. Policymakers should have a greater incentive to redouble their efforts to promote human capital so that it can contribute to economic growth and job creation

The way forward

  1. No country can achieve its potential and meet the challenges of the 21st century without the full participation of working population
  2. High-quality education is one of the strongest ways for countries to reduce poverty, achieve gender equality, and create more jobs
  3. Building human capital translates into higher rates of economic growth and job creation
  4. Demographic dividend without investments in human capital will be a wasted development opportunity,
  5. and it will further widen economic and social gaps, instead of narrowing them
Mar, 23, 2018

Parliament passes Payment of Gratuity Bill

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Polity | Parliament & State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges & issues arising out of these

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017

Mains level: Labour law reforms and their effects


News

Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill passed

  1. Parliament passed a key bill that will empower the government to fix the amount of tax-free gratuity and the period of maternity leave with an executive order
  2. The legislation will enable the government to enhance the ceiling of tax-free gratuity to Rs. 20 lakh from the existing Rs. 10 lakh for employees falling under the Payment of Gratuity Act

Other benefits

  1. The bill also allows the government to fix the period of maternity leave for female employees as deemed to be in continuous service in place of the existing 12 weeks
  2. The amendment comes in the backdrop of Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 enhancing the maximum maternity leave period to 26 weeks
Mar, 21, 2018

Government extends facility of fixed-term employment for all sectors

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Fixed-term employment, Industrial Establishment (Standing Order) 1946

Mains level: Variuos initiatives being taken to ease labour laws and doing business


News

More formal employment 

  1. The government has extended the facility of hiring workers on fixed-term employment to all sectors
  2. This has been done for improving the ease of doing business for players intending to hire people for completing specified projects, tasks or orders

Fixed term employment

  1. The concept of fixed-term employment defines the tenure of employment as well as other associated conditions of service and remunerations, which are provided to regular employees under various labour laws
  2. The fixed term employment was defined as a workman who is employed on a contract basis for a fixed period

Present status

  1. This facility was available only for the apparel manufacturing sector as per the Industrial Establishment (Standing Order) 1946

How will this amendment benefit workers?

  1. The fixed worker would be entitled to all benefits like wages, hours of work, allowances and others statutory benefits, not less than permanent workmen
  2. Services of the temporary workman shall not be terminated as punishment unless he has been given an opportunity of explaining the charges of misconduct alleged against him
  3. The employer can directly hire a worker for a fixed term without the mediation of any contractor
Mar, 13, 2018

New metric for jobs growth to include informal economy

LNote4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Labour Bureau, NITI Aayog, TDS, GSTN, sixth economic census

Mains level: Job growth and related issues


News

Expanding the scope of job creation in the country

  1. The government has now decided to start counting jobs created in the non-farm informal sector
  2. The government has asked labour bureau under the Union labour ministry to begin counting jobs created in establishments deploying less than 10 people
  3. It means establishments and shops run by a single owner or with one employee too will be counted as employment generation

A pragmatic definition of workers

  1. In July 2017, a government task force headed by then NITI Aayog vice-chairman had suggested adopting a “pragmatic definition” of formal workers
  2. It recommended that workers covered under private insurance or pension, those subjected to tax deduction at source (TDS) and those working in companies excluded from the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) should be considered for counting of jobs

Data coverage

  1. The labour ministry will take the 2013-14 sixth economic census as the base for the new survey of informal jobs
  2. The annual household survey by the department of statistics, the quarterly establishment survey by labour bureau covering eight sectors and 18 subsectors and now the new survey of establishments with less than 10 employees will give a comprehensive picture of jobs in India
Feb, 14, 2018

India needs to create more salaried jobs: World Bank

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: World Bank, Systematic Country Diagnostic, Demographic dividend, employment-unemployment surveys

Mains level: Rising number of job seekers and low employment opportunities


News

Draft Systematic Country Diagnostic

  1. India needs to create regular, salaried jobs with growing earnings rather than self-employed ones
  2. This needs to be done in order to join the ranks of the global middle class by 2047—the centenary of its Independence
  3. The World Bank said this in a draft Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) for India

About SCD

  1. The SCD is an analytical exercise that the World Bank conducts in all countries
  2. It articulates an analysis of the most important opportunities and challenges to achieving, in that country, the two goals the World Bank Group holds itself accountable for—eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity

Demographic dividend may turn into a demographic curse

  1. Between 2005 and 2012, the Indian economy generated about 3 million new jobs per year, while an extra 13 million people entered the working age population each year
  2. There is no recent credible jobs data as India conducts the comprehensive employment-unemployment surveys only once in five years
  3. The World Bank warned that with an increasing number of youths needing employment, the jobs deficit that India faces has the potential to turn the much-awaited demographic dividend into a demographic curse

Reforms in land and labour markets required

  1. The existing stringent labour regulations create a segmented labour market with a high level of protection for a very small fraction of workers in jobs
  2. It creates high barriers for the entry of other workers into the protected segment of the formal labour market
  3. Flexible labour markets that facilitate the reallocation of workers in response to market conditions are important for productivity and job growth
  4. Well-functioning land markets require clearly defined property rights, a reliable land registry, and predictable processes for investment and changes in land-use
Feb, 07, 2018

[op-ed snap] The manufacturing muddle

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy & their effects on industrial growth

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Union Budget, inverted duty structure, GST, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, Annual Labour Bureau survey, Economic Survey 2018, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, twin balance sheet problem, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

Mains level: Rising youth population and lowering jobs


Context

Correction in IDS

  1. The Union Budget has reinforced the correction of the inverted duty structure (IDS)
  2. An IDS means higher duty on intermediate as opposed to final/finished goods
  3. Final/finished goods often enjoy concessional customs duty under some schemes

Effects of IDS

  1. Chinese/other imports have swamped India’s small- and medium-sized enterprises and large manufacturing companies
  2. It has raised the import-intensity of manufacturing as well as dampened job growth by raising capital intensity
  3. The share of manufacturing in GDP and employment has not risen since 1991

Benefit by GST

  1. The goods and services tax (GST), especially the IGST or Integrated GST component, has begun to erode the advantage that the IDS was giving to foreign exporters in Indian markets

China’s strategic industrial policy

  1. China had followed a strategic industrial policy for two decades and thus stolen a march on India in labour-intensive manufacturing exports
  2. China reduced the absolute numbers and percentage of the poor in the population by absorbing surplus labour in manufacturing
  3. One major reason for this was that China’s agricultural and rural income growth was much higher
  4. It sustained consumer demand and also generated industrial jobs much faster
  5. India’s policy structure failed to utilise its labour advantage to grow labour-intensive manufacturing exports

Return to pre-1991 ‘protectionism’?

  1. Customs duties have been raised on capital goods and electronics, and silica for use in manufacture of telecom-grade optical fibre
  2. Duties have also been raised on labour-intensive manufactures such as food processing, footwear, jewellery, furniture, toys and games

Effect of tariff reductions

  1. Reduction of tariffs (1991-1998) was precipitous, from an average rate of 150% to 40% by 1999
  2. Indian manufacturers, unreasonably protected till 1990, were suddenly exposed to competition
  3. A slower reduction would have enabled them to adjust to import competition, upgrade technology, and compete
  4. The sudden onslaught of lower-priced imports decimated many domestic enterprises
  5. This overexposure gathered momentum as from the early 2000s, free trade agreements with much of East/South-east Asia reduced tariffs further

Rise in informal employment

  1. Beginning 2000, the number of those joining the labour force grew sharply to 12 million per annum till 2004-05
  2. As domestic manufacturing employment growth was slow, they could only be absorbed in agriculture or traditional services
  3. Two fortuitous, though policy-induced, developments have saved the day since 2004-05
  4. As population growth fell from 1990 onwards, entrants to the labour force fell
  5. As school education access grew rapidly, post-Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, children remained in school

Present challenge

  1. These entrants, much better educated than the earlier cohort, are now entering the labour force
  2. They want either white-collar jobs in the private or preferably public sector or in industry or in modern services
  3. Data from the government’s Annual Labour Bureau survey and the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy indicate that job growth is lower than entrants to the labour force
  4. The only sector with a significant increase in labour absorption has been services

Way forward

  1. The GST, Economic Survey 2018 has rightly claimed, led to a formalisation of some informal firms, and hence workers (by registration in the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation)
  2. The resolution of the twin balance sheet problems (of companies being over-leveraged and banks unable to lend due to mounting non-performing assets), together with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, should now open the floodgates for new manufacturing investment
  3. Policy must attempt to close the loop between rising demand and supply through consumer demand
Jan, 23, 2018

India improves global talent competitiveness ranking to 81st

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Global index of talent competitiveness

Mains level: India’s position in various indexes and reforms required to improve ranking


News

Global index of talent competitiveness

  1. India has moved up on a global index of talent competitiveness to the 81st position
  2. India has improved its position from 92nd last year
  3. India was at the 89th place in 2016 on the index

About the index

  1. The index measures how countries grow, attract and retain talent
  2. It is released every year on the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting
  3. The study was released by Adecco, Insead and Tata Communications this year
Jan, 15, 2018

First labour code on wages likely to be passed in Budget session

Image source

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Wage code bill, Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Minimum Wages Act, 1949, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976

Mains level: Reforms in labour laws


News

Wage Code Bill for labour reforms 

  1. The government will push its first labour code – Wage Code Bill – in the forthcoming budget session
  2. This would enable government to set benchmark minimum wage for different regions

About the bill

  1. The draft Code on Wages Bill 2017 was introduced in the Lok Sabha in August 2017
  2. The bill seeks to combine Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Minimum Wages Act, 1949, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 into one code

Important provisions of the bill

  1. The new Code on Wages will ensure minimum wages to all and timely payment to employees irrespective of the sector without any wage ceiling
  2. The bill proposes a concept of statutory National Minimum Wage for different geographical areas
  3. It will ensure that no state fixes the minimum wage below the benchmark decided by the Centre for that particular area
  4. It also provides for an appellate authority between the claimed authority and the judicial forum which will lead to speedy, cheaper and efficient redressal of grievances and settlement of claims

Restructuring labour laws

  1. The Ministry of Labour and Employment aims to combine over 44 labour laws into four broad codes in wages, industrial relations, social security, and occupational safety, health and working conditions
  2. The other three codes are at different levels of consultations with the stakeholders
Dec, 14, 2017

[op-ed snap] A job crisis, in figures

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development and employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Employment data discussed in the newscard. Employment issue is specially mentioned in the Mains Syllabus, and is therfore very important.


News

What is the main issue?

  1. Much of the debate on employment performance over the last few years has been mired in ambiguity due to the absence of high-frequency employment statistics

Step taken by the government

  1. The government has put in place a taskforce to revamp India’s employment data architecture, but new employment numbers are unlikely to come out anytime soon

Statistics which underscore the severity of India’s job crisis
First: Data from the Labour Bureau’s Annual Household Employment survey

  1. It shows a decline in total employment from 480.4 million (2013-14) to 467.6 million (2015-16)
  2. The only sector to have witnessed a significant increase in employment was wholesale and retail
  3. In the manufacturing sector ( both organised and unorganised) employment has declined over the same time period

Second: data from the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI)

  1. It is an enterprise survey which covers only the organised manufacturing sector
  2. It is found that employment to have increased from 12.94 million to 13.25 million between 2013-14 and 2014-15
  3. Given that there is no ASI data beyond 2014-15
  4. Calculations suggest that between 2014-15 and 2015-16, employment in the private corporate manufacturing sector (PCMS) increased by approximately four lakh
  5. In the following time period (2015-16 to 2016-17), a little over three lakh jobs were created in this sector
  6. Given that this is the organised sector where the “good productive” jobs lie, the pace of job creation is far from adequate

Third: NSSO’s recently-released report, “Unincorporated Non-Agricultural Enterprises” (73rd round)

  1. It provides data on unregistered/unorganised firms in the non-agricultural sector (excluding construction) for the year 2015-16
  2. It is found the total number of workers engaged in unorganised manufacturing enterprises increased from 34.88 million to 36.04 million between 2010-11 and 2015-16
  3. On the other hand, the total number of workers engaged in non-household establishments (which employ at least one hired labourer) declined by 0.67 million
  4. Household enterprises pay lower wages and have lower productivity as compared to non-household establishments
  5. The increasing employment in household enterprises is thus a disturbing phenomenon
  6. It seems to be a consequence of the lack of alternative decent employment opportunities

Fourth: Statistics from various administrative data sets

  1.  A noteworthy source in this context is the government’s recently launched National Career Services (NCS), which attempts to provide a nation-wide online platform for jobseekers and employers
  2. As of March 2016, 36.25 million job seekers were registered on the NCS portal. By October 2017, this had increased to 39.92 million against a mere 7.73 lakh vacancies posted on the exchange
  3. An analysis of the NCS data is fraught with several challenges such as limited coverage
  4. And the fact that job seekers registered on the exchange are often already employed in low paying establishments and are in search of better paying jobs in the organised sectors of the economy

The way forward

  1. The numbers given above reinforce the enormous gap between the pace of job creation and demand for productive jobs.
  2. An examination of multiple datasets reaffirm the acuteness of India’s jobs crisis
  3. It is time we stop citing the lack of reliable and timely data as an excuse for having a meaningful debate on job creation

 

Dec, 14, 2017

[op-ed snap] Two myths about automation

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development and employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of Automation

Mains level: Automation is an important topic of discussion these days because of its affect on jobs. This article supports automation and suggests some measures which can lessen the affects of it.


News

What is automation?

  1. Automation can be defined as the technology by which a process or procedure is performed without human assistance
  2. In other words, Automation or automatic control, is the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery, processes in factories, boilers and heat treating ovens, switching on telephone networks, steering and stabilization of ships, aircraft and other applications and vehicles with minimal or reduced human intervention, with some processes have been completely automated

Reports on Automation

  1. According to a report, Automation Will Eliminate 9% Of US Jobs in 2018
  2. And one-third Of US workers could be jobless by 2030 due to Automation
  3. Reports like these leave the impression that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically (First Myth)
  4. But there is no evidence of either trend

Are jobs really at risk?

  1. Everyone thinks they know is that previously safe jobs are now at risk (second myth)
  2. Once upon a time, it was possible to argue that robots would displace workers engaged in routine tasks, but not the highly skilled and educated
  3. In particular, machines, are not capable of tasks in which empathy, compassion, intuition, interpersonal interaction, and communication are central
    Automation in law
  4. Machines are already more efficient than legal associates at searching for precedents
  5. But an attorney attuned to the personality of her client still plays an indispensable role in advising someone contemplating a messy divorce whether to negotiate, mediate, or go to court
  6. Likewise, an attorney’s knowledge of the personalities of the principals in a civil suit or a criminal case can be combined with Big Data and analytics when the time comes for jury selection
  7. The job is changing, not disappearing
    Automation in medical field
  8. It’s not that nurses’ aides are being replaced by healthcare robots; rather, what nurses’ aides do is being redefined
  9. And what they do will continue to be redefined as those robots’ capabilities evolve from getting patients out of bed to giving physical therapy sessions and providing emotional succour to the depressed and disabled
  10. Thus, the coming technological transformation won’t entail occupational shifts on the scale of the Industrial Revolution
  11. Important concern: But it will be more important than ever for people of all ages to update their skills and renew their training continuously, given how their occupations will continue to be reshaped by technology

What is the real problem?

  1. In the US, board membership for workers’ representatives, strong unions, and government regulation of private-sector training are not part of the prevailing institutional formula
  2. As a result, firms treat their workers as disposable parts, rather than investing in them (for their skill development)
  3. And government does nothing about it

What is the solution?

  1. Instead of a “tax reform” that allows firms to expense their capital outlays immediately, why not give companies tax credits for the cost of providing lifelong learning to their employees?
Dec, 12, 2017

Railways halts 2004 job scheme for children of staff opting for VRS

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Principle of equal opportunity, Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution

Mains level: Schemes/provisions that violate basic principles of Constitution


News

Employment initiative for family members of employees stopped

  1. Railways has stopped an employment initiative launched in 2004 when it started giving jobs to children of employees in the lower tier in return for voluntary retirement
  2. The Liberalised Active Retirement Scheme for Guaranteed Employment for Safety Staff (LARSGESS) was suspended indefinitely last month
  3. Railways decided to approach the Supreme Court to determine if the scheme is Constitutionally tenable

Why suspension of the scheme?

  1. The move comes after the Punjab and Haryana High Court said in July while hearing a case over the scheme, that it violated the Constitution on the “principle of equal opportunity” for all in government jobs
  2. Such a policy was violative of Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India the court found

Divergent views of judiciary

  1. In the past, the Kerala High Court and Patna High Court had found merit in the scheme
  2. So, railways wants SC to decide this matter for entire country as jurisdiction of high courts is limited in their respective states
Nov, 07, 2017

[op-ed snap] Aiming high, looking far

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development and employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: It is important to know ‘the other side of the story’, as in last few months we had many articles which criticized demonetisation. But this article shows opposite views and how it will be helpful in countering employment issues.


News

Context

  1. The article talks about the positive side of the demonetisation

Is unemployment our real problem?

  1. Our unemployment rate of 4.9 per cent is not  vague but a wages problem(i.e. low wages)
  2. This diagnosis is important
  3. As our real problem is wages, India needs the higher productivity that comes from structural change: Formalisation, industrialisation, urbanisation, skilling and deep financial markets

How demonetisation made India a better habitat for formal job creation?
There are five reasons behind this:

FIRST: Rs 18 lakh crore new lending capacity

  1. Demonetisation has reduced cash with citizens
  2. Bank deposits have increased by somewhere between Rs 2.8-4.3 lakh crore
  3. Currently, banks are lending this liquidity to the RBI but when they start doing their jobs well, this liquidity  will boost investment and formal job creation

SECOND: 7.6 crore new monthly digital transactions

  1. Demonetisation exploded the number of digital payments on UPI/Bhim from 1 lakh in October 2016 to 7.7 crore in October 2017
  2. Digitisation is important for formalisation because it makes regulatory arbitrage and tax evasion difficult

THIRD: 3 lakh crore new financial savings

  1. Demonetisation has catalysed a savings shift away from gold and real estate
  2. The eight months after demonetisation saw mutual fund inflows of Rs 1.69 lakh crore and the three months after demonetisation saw Life Insurance Premiums rising by 46 per cent
  3. Greater financialisation of savings creates a virtuous cycle for formal job creation because they deepen and broaden domestic capital markets

FOURTH: 2 per cent lower interest rates

  1. Expensive loans are better than no loans but the cost of money has been crippling for India’s entrepreneurs
  2. Lowering interest rates is a policy priority and banks had been only passing on 50 per cent of lower policy rates to customers; in the year after demonetisation this has risen to 100 per cent
  3. India’s economic trajectory suggests interest rates could reduce another 3 per cent over time
  4. sustained formal job creation needs the lower interest rates that come from macroeconomic stability, fiscal discipline, muted inflation expectations and an Independent Monetary Policy Committee

FIFTH: permanent damage to our sense of humour about the rule of law

  1. Demonetisation targeted a less-cash society because cash is the primary tool of corruption
  2. Demonetisation did not end corruption but raised its costs
  3. And ending our sense of humour about the rule of law that bred a riskless view of cash is an important pre-condition for sustained, formal, high-wage job creation

The way forward

  1. The problem for India’s youth is not jobs but wages
  2. As India completes a year of demonetisation, it’s early for conclusions but the early results are encouraging
Oct, 14, 2017

To reverse women leaving the workforce, policies must change behaviour before they change beliefs

Image Source

News

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Important issue of women’s workforce is discussed in the article. The UPSC is known to ask questions on these kind of issues.


News

Context

  1. In most countries, higher numbers of educated women have resulted in the improvement of their societal status and economic participation
  2. But in women’s participation in economic sector is very low
  3. The article talks about this serious issue

Low participation of women in the economic sphere

  1. Only 27 per cent of working-age women in India work
  2. The number fell sharply in the last decade from 43 per cent to 27 per cent
  3. Nepal and Bangladesh are way ahead, leaving only the Arab countries and Pakistan behind India

The World Bank report, ‘Precarious Drop: Reassessing Patterns of Female Labour Force Participation in India‘

  1. According tot the report, participation of women in economic sector depends on their marital-status, age, education, family labour composition and whether in rural or urban India
  2. Stability in family income levels also lead to women dropping out of the workforce
  3. Other factors include lower levels of job creation, availability of very low paying jobs in the informal sector, poor infrastructure, safety issues, and boys outnumbering girls in technical and professional education
  4. The study concludes that “education skilling and legal provisions may not be sufficient”

What are the acceptable norms of work in India?

  1. In a heterogeneous country like India, ‘acceptable’ norms of work may differ based on income, caste, rural/urban and informal/formal sector
  2. One belief is allpervasive: women are primarily homemakers and men breadwinners

Is breaking stereotypes really difficult?

  1. Research in neuroscience states that deep-seated ‘typical’ beliefs regarding race, caste, gender and other social categories get embedded or hardwired in the brain
  2. Inaccurate to start with, the brain finds it difficult to ‘unlearn’ them even when the reality has changed. It interprets new data in a biased manner to confirm originally held beliefs (confirmatory bias)

Can behavioural changes counter these stereotypes?

  1. Research in behavioural design provides evidence that this is indeed possible and has been successfully pursued in many countries
  2. There are ‘behavioural insights’ groups advising governments in the US, Britain, Australia and Germany

Misguided policies

  1. Government and corporate sector policies, instead of taking steps to encourage and hasten this permeability, have been misguided
  2. The flawed legislation introduced recently increasing maternity benefits from three to six months is a case in point
  3. For ensuring that women don’t opt out of work, it reinforces gendered norms and unwittingly places women at a disadvantage
  4. What could have helped instead is a combination of maternity and paternity leave, on a ‘use it or it lapses’ basis

The way forward

  1. Involving women in the decisionmaking process and in leadership roles, rather than providing benefits passively, can have far-reaching benefits
  2. Behavioral design, when complemented by a judicious mix of legislation and incentives, can go a long way in resetting norms sooner
Oct, 12, 2017

[op-ed snap] Tapping potential of India’s other half

Note4Students

Mains Paper 1: Role of Women

The following things are important from UPSC perspective:

Prelims: Not much

Mains level:  Female labour force participation rate in India is around 27% which is abysmally low in comparison to China and Western nations. This article gives some reasons for the same and solutions of how to increase female work participation.

 


News

Context

India has a low female work participation ratio.

In global context women outnumber men in positions with lower salary, and are employed in industries that pay less.

Why low female labour force participation?

  1. Among professionals, where equal pay for equal work is the norm, women fall behind because of significant transitions of their lives such as child bearing and rearing.
  2. An American study put the so-called motherhood penalty — the average by which women’s future wages fall at 4 per cent per child, and 10 per cent for the highest-earning and most skilled women.
  3. Society at large gains from its quality reproduction, but the bulk of the cost is borne by women
  4. Wherever there are fewer jobs, men corner the available jobs, as they are seen as the primary wage earners.

What can be done to get more women working and narrow the gender gap?

  1. Flexible working hours and decent conditions of work, including security at the workplace and during the commute to and from the workplace.
  2. The need is for liberal policies such as letting both men and women have equal access to flexible working hours and leave for care.
  3. To let women continue with their work after child birth and enhance the participatory effort by both parents to raise families.
  4. Most countries have adopted contributory pension plans because women who take time out from work to look after the young and earn less than men at a similar stage in their working lives will not be able to build a decent retirement nest.
  5. This is important especially in the West, given high divorce rates among the elderly; but could be a problem in this country as well.

Forgoing women in the workforce is to forgo a large part of the nation’s economic potential.

 

 

Oct, 03, 2017

From Textile to IT: Wave of Job Losses Hits New And Old Economy

Note4students

Mains Paper 3| Indian Economy: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Schemes: TWRFS and RGSKY

Mains level: Understanding the phenomenon of unemployment in the economy


News:

Context

  1. The article elaborates on the series of job losses witnessed by the economy in multiple sectors in the last 2 years.
  2. The author has tried to collate data from various ministries and has tried to connect the dots.

 

The main reason for job losses is following-

  1. There is hardly any growth in private investment, private consumption and exports. The growth in economy is fuelled by government spending only.

 

Scenario in textile sector-

  1. Exports and production is down due to slump in both external and domestic demand
  2. Demonetisation and transition to GST has hit small players
  3. Labour issues and cost of production is also causing structural issues in the sector
  4. Most of the units that have been shut in the sector belong to power loom textile
  5. The government does not capture data from the small and medium scale textile sectors, hence the distress in these areas is not visible.

 Important observations

  1. Capital goods firms are struggling as most of the downstream sectors are saddled with excess capacity and low demand.
  2. Labour bureau’s Quarterly Employment Surveys (QES) are also showing downslide in employment growth because of the layoffs in IT/BPO and financial services sector, which were earlier the key drivers of growth in these surveys.

Textile Workers Rehabilitation Fund Scheme (TWRFS)

  • The scheme was introduced in the year 1986
  • Aim: to provide relief to workers rendered jobless due to permanent closure of non-SSI (Small Scale Industry) textile mills in private sector
  • Relief: workers who have suffered job loss are given wages for three years on tapering basis
  • This scheme has been merged under Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojana in 2017

Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojana (RGSKY)

  • Introduced in 2005
  • This is an unemployment benefit scheme when the unemployment is caused due to closure of a factory or permanent invalidity arising out of non-employment injury
  • The unemployment benefit is provided for the period of 12 months
  • This also covers medical care for the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s family

Back2basics

  1. New Economy and Old Economy:
    Old Economy includes industries embedded in the industrial revolution and the mass production of physical goods. Eg Energy, automobile, steel etc
    New economyis the result of the transition from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy. Eg. IT and IT-es industry
  2. Capital goods are goods that are used in producing other goods
  3. Meaning of excess capacity and low demand: when a factory is not utilising its full capacity due to low demand then there is bound to be stress in the sector
  4. Private Investment: the investment coming in from private players in the economy to purchase assets eg. Roads built by private players, spectrum sale etc
  5. Private consumption: it is the consumption of goods and services by private households.

 

 

 

Sep, 20, 2017

Women employment rate in India sees dramatic drop in last 20 years

Note4students

Mains Paper 1: Social issues | Role of women and women’s organization

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: The data in the article presents an important issue related to Indian Society.


News

World Bank report on Indian Women

  1. A team of economists from the World Bank released a report on the labour force participation of women in India
  2. Using data from the NSSO, this report shows that labour force participation rate of women in India has slipped dramatically in the last 20 years

Particulars of the report

  1. The drop has been most dramatic among women in rural India
  2. Research shows that while nearly half the rural women aged 15 years and above were “in the labour force” in 1993-94, the number dropped to less than 36% in 2011-12
  3. Labour force participation rate of urban women has also dropped in the same period

 

Sep, 07, 2017

Centre sets up panel to suggest on new jobs

Image Source

Note4studnets

Mains Paper 2: Polity | Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Important step taken by the government for countering unemployment issue in the counrty.


News

A new Task force

  1. The government has constituted a new task force led by NITI Aayog to recommend measures to increase employment by promoting labour-intensive exports
  2. Task force will give its report on recommendations in November this year

What is the strategy behind it?

  1. An important strategy is to enable a shift towards more labour-intensive goods and services that are destined for exports
  2. Given the importance of exports in generating jobs, India needs to create an environment in which globally competitive exporters can emerge and flourish
Aug, 23, 2017

[op-ed snap] The republic of statistical scramble

Image Source

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the NSSO and Labor Bureau

Mains level: Accurate Data collection is very much needed for better policy prescription


News

Context

  1. The article talks about the employment data in the country and the issues related to its collection

Contradictory Data on Employment

  1. One set of numbers claims the current phase of economic growth as jobless
  2. Other set of data have accompanied vigorous assertions of rising employment

Different Employment surveys

  1. The National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO), under the ministry of statistics and programme implementation (Mospi), conducts a comprehensive household survey once every five years
  2. NSSO also conducts an unorganized units survey
  3. The labour bureau in the ministry of labour and employment also conducts two household surveys—a quarterly quick employment survey and another on an annual basis
  4. Finally, various government administrative bodies, such as the EPFO or ESIC, provide some indication of organized sector employment trends

Issues with employment data collection

  1. All the surveys given above suffer from some infirmity
  2. Why: Because of methodological issues, unviable sample size, inability to distinguish between different types of employment, long gaps or irregular frequencies
  3. But one thing is common: the findings only provide a partial picture and are therefore useless as a tool for policy design

Comments of the Economic Survey on Employment data

  1. Part two of the Economic Survey says: “The lack of reliable estimates on employment in recent years has impeded its measurement and thereby the Government faces challenges in adopting appropriate policy interventions”

Recommendations from the NITI Aayog

  1. NITI Aayog has recommended
    (1) vast improvements to existing surveys
    (2) institutional and legislative changes
    (3) improved physical and digital infrastructure
    (4) more aggressive use of technology to crunch the time-gap(in employment surveys)

The way forward

  1. The infrastructure of employment data collection needs an urgent improvement to maintain credibility, perceive economic trends and deliver appropriate policy prescriptions
Aug, 07, 2017

[op-ed snap] Private power, public apathy: labour laws for domestic workers

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.

Discuss the need for the Parliament to urgently enact a comprehensive law covering the rights of the country’s domestic workers?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

 Mains level: International Labour Organisation’s Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers. Why  India is unwilling to ratify it.


News

Context

  • Domestic workers are among the most exploited sections of the Indian workforce. 

Domestic labourers in India

  1. The 1931 Census recorded a large pool of labour, i.e. 27 lakh, as domestic workers, or ‘servants’
  2. These high numbers reduced considerably with the growing intensity of the anti-feudal struggle and development of occupational diversities in the post-Independence era. 1971 Census recorded only 67,000 domestic workers.
  3. However, this trend has been reversed since the early 1990s and  1991 Census recorded 10 lakh domestic workers. 
  4. The NSSO data of 2004-05, for example, has recorded 47 lakh domestic workers in India; the majority of whom, i.e. 30 lakh, were women. 

Noida issue

  • The recent confrontation between this otherwise docile workforce of domestic workers and their wealthy employers in Noida(Uttar Pradesh) brought to light, the widespread exploitation of domestic workers, and the huge antagonism between their interests and those of their employers

Over exploitation

  1. Employer-dominated, domestic work industry is characterised by low, stagnant wage rates. Wages are particularly low for Bengali and Adivasi workers.
  2. Irregular payment of wages by employers
  3. Extraction of more work than agreed upon at the start of employment
  4. Practice of arbitrarily reducing wages

Reasons behind over-exploitation

  1. Indian state’s unwillingness to ratify the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers, and thereby, to modify landmark labour laws to bring domestic work under the purview of state regulation. 
  2. Private power of regulation enjoyed by the employer.
  3. Private nature of regulation has allowed the employer to exercise quasi-magisterial powers over the domestic worker in India.
  4. Workers’ attempts to renegotiate their terms of work or to leave such employment are outbid by verbal, and often, physical assaults by employers
  5. Domestic workers are on an almost absolute risk of unemployment or criminalisation when they try to obtain their dues.

Back2basics

International Labour Organisation’s Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers

Provisions

  1. Each Member shall take measures to ensure the effective promotion and protection of the human rights of all domestic workers, as set out in this Convention.
  2. Each Member shall, in relation to domestic workers, take the measures set out in this Convention to respect, promote and realize the fundamental principles and rights at work, namely:
    • (a) freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
    • (b) the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour;
    • (c) the effective abolition of child labour; and
    • (d) the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
  3. Each Member shall take measures to ensure that domestic workers enjoy effective protection against all forms of abuse, harassment and violence.
  4. Each Member shall take measures to ensure that domestic workers, like workers generally, enjoy fair terms of employment as well as decent working conditions and, if they reside in the household, decent living conditions that respect their privacy.

 

Nov, 09, 2016

States to get Rs7,000 crore for skill development II

  1. Besides, it will disburse some Rs 3,000 crore or 25% from the funds earmarked for the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
  2. PMKVY is a flagship skill development scheme of the Union government to train 10 million people over the next 4 years
  3. Why: The ministry feels that the centre will not be able to achieve the target of skill development all on its own and taking states along will be the key
  4. India wants to skill train some 500 million people by 2022 but has been largely behind the curve in last five years
  5. Baring 2013-14, the skill development initiative has fallen short of target each year between 2011-12 and 2015-16 as per official data
Nov, 09, 2016

States to get Rs7,000 crore for skill development I

  1. What: The Union government will disburse around Rs7,000 crore to states to help align them with the centre’s skill development agenda
  2. And also persuade them to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurship for youngsters
  3. How: The ministry is taking soft loan of $1 billion (nearly Rs 6,660 crore) from the World Bank for skill development initiatives
  4. Most of the amount will be disbursed to states
Nov, 02, 2016

Lesser wages for equal work is violation of human dignity: SC

  1. SC judgment: It terming the denial of equal pay for equal work to daily wagers, temporary, casual and contractual employees “exploitative enslavement,”
  2. The SC has held that they should be paid at par with regular employees doing the same job as them
  3. Such classifications resulting in disparity and denial of the principle of “equal pay for equal work” is esseantially oppressive, suppressive and coercive conduct by employers
  4. It is also antithetical to the ideal of a Welfare State
Oct, 03, 2016

Centre rethinks plan to widen EPF coverage

  1. The centre is reconsidering a plan to widen the social security net for workers by bringing more factories under the provident fund coverage
  2. The Labour Ministry has proposed to bring down the threshold limit for coverage of firms under the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) to factories with at least 10 workers
  3. At present, the EPF Act is applicable to factories with minimum 20 workers
  4. Contradiction: On the one hand, there is a proposal to bring larger number of people under the EPF fold and on other hand, there is another proposal to give workers an option to opt out of EPFO and move to NPS- this needs a re-think
Sep, 14, 2016

Govt widens scope of jobs survey- II

  1. New Survey: In its place, Govt has started another, more broad-based survey, which captures the employment market in India
  2. Instead of just eight manufacturing and export-oriented sectors, the labour ministry has zeroed in on 18 sectors and sub sectors, including services that make up most of the non-agriculture labour market in India
  3. The new quarterly employment survey will have a sample size of over 10,000 industries—five times as large as the previous survey’s
Sep, 14, 2016

Govt widens scope of jobs survey- I

  1. Gone the old: Govt has discontinued the quarterly employment survey, more than seven years after it started the exercise
  2. It was aimed at gauging the impact of a global recession on manufacturing and export-oriented industries
  3. Why? The quick employment survey has outlived its purpose
  4. Now we need to have a broad-based focus keeping in mind the new realities of Indian economy
  5. While manufacturing sector is important, ignoring the service sector will not give a complete picture of the employment generation in the country quarter-on-quarter
Sep, 01, 2016

Increased rural spend fails to cheer real rural wages

  1. Source: A recent Yes Bank report with the help of Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) database
  2. Spending growth: Govt’s rural spending has seen a marked uptick this year including spending on rural roads
  3. Employment generation under MNREGA too has seen robust growth in the June 2016 quarter
  4. Wages stagnant: But these measures haven’t led to any rise in rural real wages yet
  5. Real rural wages have been in the negative territory since October 2015 and continued to be so until May 2016
Aug, 31, 2016

Minimum wage hiked, but unions firm on strike plan

  1. News: The Left-affiliated central trade unions will go ahead with the one-day nationwide strike, even as the Centre announced sops in a bid to placate the unions
  2. Govt offers: A hike in the minimum wage for unskilled non-agricultural workers in central public sector units from Rs. 246 to Rs. 350 a day
  3. Formation of a committee to look into extending benefits under the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation Act to unorganised sectors, including anganwadi, mid-day meal and Asha volunteers
  4. The Finance Ministry also issued a notification on higher bonus to government employees for 2014-15 and 2015-16
Aug, 22, 2016

Govt links job creation sops to growth in company’s headcount

  1. Concern: Companies may let go of existing employees and hire replacements to avail of the incentives offered by the Govt
  2. Step taken: Govt has specified that companies will have to increase the headcount they had as of 31 March 2016 to qualify for the benefits in the current financial year
  3. Background: Govt is trying to incentivize employers for creating new jobs at a time when new jobs are scarce
  4. Stats: Some 12 million people enter the job market every year but employment hasn’t kept pace
Aug, 09, 2016

Panagariya blames industry for employment crisis

  1. News: Indian entrepreneurs’ tendency to invest only in capital-intensive businesses or those requiring high-level skills is to blame for the employment crisis in the country, according to Arvind Panagariya, Vice-Chairman, Niti Aayog
  2. These sectors did not create well-paid jobs for those at the bottom of the pyramid
    Indian firms have succeeded in sectors such as automobiles, software, telecom, finance and engineering
  3. However, investments in clothing, light manufacturing or food processing, where jobs could be aplenty for people with less or no skills, have been abysmal
  4. This is the reason why the transition in India of taking the workforce out of agriculture towards industry and services is the slowest in the world
  5. It was transformational growth of 8.3% from 2003-04 to 2011-12 but we didn’t see a transformation in the workforce because not enough well-paid jobs were being created for those who could migrate from agriculture
  6. That is actually an issue that industry associations need to take up on a war-footing
May, 12, 2016

Govt. to define ‘new employees’ for EPS

  1. Govt is likely to come out with a definition for the term ‘new employees’ for Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana
  2. Accordingly, ‘new employees’ may be defined as those in excess of the average employee base of a firm for the previous three years
Apr, 15, 2016

Law to increase workers’ bonus faces fresh hurdles

  1. Context: The Payments of Bonus Act of 2015 has hit an embarrassing roadblock with High Courts in eight states staying the payment of such benefits
  2. It is considered as Govt’s attempt to appease the working class by paying higher bonus, with retrospective effect from April 2014
  3. Act: Was passed by Parliament in December 2015 and notified on January 1
  4. It doubled the statutory bonus paid to employees and made more workers eligible for bonus by raising the salary ceiling under the law from Rs.10,000 to Rs.21,000 a month
  5. Why stay? Industry bodies had approached the courts because retro-active amendments would be very difficult for employers
Apr, 08, 2016

Ministry plans Rs.10,000 minimum monthly wage for contract workers

  1. Context: The issue of wages to contract labour had led to increasing labour unrest in the past
  2. News: The Labour Ministry has proposed a minimum monthly income of Rs.10,000 for contract workers
  3. At present, employers give the fixed minimum wages to workers for 45 economic activities,as mentioned in the Minimum Wages Act, 1948
  4. Criticism: Out of estimated 3.6 crore contract labourers, only 60 lakh were covered under the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970
  5. Impact: It will increase the minimum wages of contract labourers from around Rs.6,000/month that is paid to them in a few sectors at present
  6. Fact: Of the 3.6 crore contract workers about 32% are employed by contractors in the public sector
Apr, 01, 2016

Pace of job growth slows to six-year low

  1. Context: The Labour Bureau report on changes in employment in selected sector
  2. News: New jobs in 8 labour-intensive industries fell to a six-year low in the first nine months of 2015
  3. Reason: Industrial growth has been low and employment takes place only when production is up
  4. A lot of rationalisation of staff is taking place in the corporate sector and the govt itself is not recruiting people
  5. Criticism: The data doesn’t give a comprehensive pciture of the job growth in the country as it doesn’t capture many sectors
  6. Challenge: The main idea of growth is to create jobs at all levels, which is not happening
  7. 8 crucial sectors: Textiles, leather, metal, automobiles, gems and jewellery, transport, IT and handloom
Mar, 25, 2016

New labour reforms in way

  1. Context: Govt plans to introduce five new labour bills in the second half of the budget session
  2. Aim: To accelerate labour reforms that have been on the back-burner for the past year
  3. Bills: Industrial Relations Code Bill, Wage Code Bill, Small Factories Bill, Shops and Establishments Bill, EPF Bill
  4. Simplification: Govt wants to club around 40 existing labour laws into 4-5 acts
  5. For example, all wage-related laws will be made part of the wage code and all industrial relations laws included in the related code
Mar, 14, 2016

PF benefits may reach all contract employees

  1. News: Employees Provident Fund Organisation will make public as well as private sector companies accountable for providing PF benefits to contract workers
  2. Background: The govt. decision to be strict with large employers who increasingly rely on contract workers often without paying them their statutory dues
  3. Reason: Fresh instances of industrial strife due to pay disparity between contract staff and regular employees
  4. Contract Labour Act: It requires employers to pay equal pay and benefits for work done by contract employees that is similar to regular employees’ role
Feb, 22, 2016

NSSO data on unemployment

  1. Statistics: In urban areas, the unemployment rate had reduced from 4.5% in 2004-05 to 3.4% in 2011-12
  2. In rural areas, the rate has been stable at around 1.7 per cent during this period
  3. Self-employment is the major source of income for almost half the households, across all religious groups, in rural areas, followed by casual labour
  4. Christians have the highest rate of unemployment in both rural and urban areas in 2011-12
  5. Reason: Christians are economically better off, so they have the capacity to be unemployed as they look for the right job
  6. Christians are also the most educated group, hence unemployment rate is higher among them
Feb, 19, 2016

Labour Ministry moots National Social Security Authority

  1. Context: To provide social security to the entire population in a bid to prop up the government’s pro-worker credentials
  2. The News: The authority may have all ministers and secretaries dealing with social security programmes along with state officials as members
  3. Functions of Authority: To formulate the National Policy on Social Security to co-ordinate the central and state level programmes
  4. To ensure that the objectives of the policy are achieved within the time frame prescribed
  5. Policy Objective: The proposed Social Security Department within the Labour Ministry will provide “policy inputs” and “secretarial services” to the body
  6. Idea comes: when the trade unions have announced fresh nationwide protests on March 10 against the government’s “anti-labour policies”
Feb, 18, 2016

Haryana to set up police stations in industrial parks to check unrest

  1. Context: Recent incidents of labour unrest and violent industrial strife in and around the Gurgaon-Manesar belt
  2. News: Haryana govt. is setting up police stations within industrial parks and an industrial intelligence unit
  3. Purpose: To look out for any signs of festering industrial unrest so as to improve security for investors
  4. They are expected to quickly track and react to ‘unwanted activities’ that could trigger industrial strife
  5. Updates: State has also approved many labour reforms as it competes with neighbouring Rajasthan
  6. Future: The state is planning to declare IT, auto, textiles and electronics as public utilities, making it difficult for workers to go on strike
  7. It is also bringing in a new regime to ensure investors are not harassed by frequent inspections
Feb, 15, 2016

Ministry rejects smart card plan for unorganised workers

  1. Context: Finance Ministry rejecting the latest Labour Ministry proposal to issue one card per family as an impractical idea
  2. Background: The Unorganised Workers’ Identification Number (U-WIN) scheme, first mooted in September 2014
  3. Aim: To provide a smart card to the unorganised workers for entitled to benefits under various schemes such as Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and other schemes
  4. Relevance: There are around 40 crore unorganised workers, which accounts for around 89 per cent of the total workforce
  5. Idea: The portable smart card would have details of bank account, mobile numbers and benefits of social security schemes that can be availed by the workers
  6. Why Rejection? The Finance Ministry has asked for individual smart cards to the unorganised workers irrespective of the cost implications
Feb, 10, 2016

Labour ministry to restructure job survey

Union labour ministry will revamp its quarterly job survey to reflect the latest employment data

  1. Data will be from both the manufacturing and service sector
  2. Aim is to make it more structured and sync it with policymaking and have regular up-to-date jobs data for both policymaking and public consumption
  3. More job-creating sectors, like banking, insurance, e-commerce and small and medium enterprises, will be added to “get a complete picture”
  4. Labour bureau to visit over 10,000 firms every quarter, more than four times present number, to track employment
  5. So far, employment data collection in India has been ad hoc, patchy and irregular
Jan, 29, 2016

Trade unions to hold nationwide protests in March

  1. Trade unions across the country will hold nationwide protests in March.
  2. It will be against the govt’s labour law concessions for start-ups and its failure to hold negotiations on the unions’ charter of demands.
  3. The unions have also questioned the govt’s continued push for contentious labour law reforms.
Jan, 27, 2016

Soon, annual and quarterly reports to replace once-in-5-year job surveys

  1. The govt. could soon launch a first of its kind annual employment survey.
  2. It will have the ability to generate quarterly reports on job market trends in certain segments like urban India.
  3. The plan is to release such employment data soon after the surveys by using modern technology.
  4. This will enable policymakers to react faster to labour market movements and track job creation goals.
  5. An estimated million people are joining India’s workforce every month.
Jan, 11, 2016

Cabinet to soon consider law to retrench workers

  1. The Union Cabinet will soon consider a law to combine India’s 3 archaic labour legislations.
  2. To make it easier for companies to retrench employees and to raise severance pay.
  3. The Bill will club the Trade Unions Act, 1926, the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, and the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, into a single code.
  4. Trade unions continue to oppose the proposed law, which allow firms with a staff of 300 to sack workers without govt permission, up from the present requirement of up to 100 workers.

    Constant protests from the trade unions have derailed the government’s proposed labour reforms.

Jan, 09, 2016

Bonus Act notified

  1. The Union govt has notified the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Act, 2015.
  2. It will allow lakhs of workers to become eligible to bonus retrospectively from the last financial year.
  3. The decision has enthused workers, but the industry is unhappy and it has written to the govt suggesting ways to simplify bonus distribution.
  4. It says that the new Act will lead to financial stress, especially on small and medium enterprises.
Dec, 24, 2015

Parliament approves backdated bonus hike

  1. The Rajya Sabha approved amendments to the Payment of Bonus Act of 1965 in the winter session.
  2. It approved a retrospective bonanza for employees by changing the effective date for a hike in statutory bonus payments to April 1, 2014.
  3. It will make millions of employees eligible for bonus arrears for 2 years.
  4. The financial burden on the central govt. is expected to be around Rs. 6,115 crore.
Dec, 07, 2015

Government aims to move five more reforms to labour laws

  1. The govt is striving to introduce 5 more labour reform legislations in the winter session of Parliament.
  2. It will introduce bills for new wage and industrial relations code and amend laws governing child labour and bonus payments.
  3. The key thrust of these reforms was creating more jobs and improving the ease of doing business.
Dec, 02, 2015

Gujarat’s controversial Bill gets President’s nod

  1. President has given assent to the contentious Labour Laws Bill of Gujarat.
  2. The govt. passed the Bill to relax labour laws to give an impetus to industrialisation in the State.
  3. It has provisions to ban strikes in public utility services for up to 1 year.
  4. The bill provides for out of court settlement between mgmt. and the labourers by paying certain fee to the govt.
  5. It also allows employers to change the nature of job of the employees without prior notice.
Apr, 29, 2015

Gender gap becoming a chasm in labour market

UN report says women are forced to work under harsh conditions.

The Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016 report comes 20 years after the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

  1. In developing regions, up to 95% of women’s employment is informal, in jobs that are unprotected by labour laws and lack social protection.
  2. In South Asia, the gender pay gap is 35% for women with children compared to 14% for those without.
  3. This is a care penalty that unfairly punishes women for stepping in when the State does not provide resources
Mar, 30, 2015

What policy challenges exist in bringing labour reforms in India? (2/2)

  1. Reforms must be linked to worker benefits, while simultaneously easing the compliance burden on small and medium enterprises.
  2. Women workers require legislation too – Scheme based workers (Indira Kranti Patham/ Anganwari) should have social security as well.
  3. For urbanisation and development to take place, labour must be formalised in India.
Mar, 30, 2015

What policy challenges exist in bringing labour reforms in India? (1/2)

  1. With an average age of 29, India’s population is in the middle of a demographic boom.
  2. In 2014, 93% of India’s workforce was in the unorganised sector.
  3. Primary challenges – Increase the employability + shift labour from agricultural to non-agricultural jobs + social security measures.
  4. Low wages, limited security  Rurban jobs don’t offer much better + Women have difficulty participating in the industries.
  5. Reforms at slow pace – India’s labour law regime & the ease of doing business have always been at loggerheads.
Mar, 01, 2015

What do we know about informal employment?

  1. Activities and income that are partially or fully outside government regulation, taxation, and observation.
  2. Neither taxed, nor monitored, it is also called ‘grey’ economy.
  3. The financial contribution to economy not included in GDP and GNP.
  4. In India – 75% of employment in rural area and 69% in urban area are under informal sector.

Discuss: NSSO surveys are used to identify these Informal Sectors. What more do we know about NSSO’s methodology?

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