ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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More Moonshine on Employment

THE Committee of Experts on Unemployment, which submitted us report recently, was set up as early as in December 1970 "for assessing the extent of unemployment and under employment in all its aspects and for suggesting suitable remedial measures". Despite its labours spread over two years, the Committee has hardly enlightened anyone on the subjects of unemployment and underemployment. It may be recalled that when the Fourth Plan was under preparation serious doubts were raised regarding the statistics of backlog of unemployment mentioned in the Plan documents. That was how the Dantwala Committee on Unemployment Estimates came to be appointed in August 1968 to advise the Planning Commission on methodological issues concerning estimates of unemployment. The Committee, which submitted its report in April 1970, had deprecated the existing practice of estimating labour force, additional employment generated and backlog of unemployment, at the beginning or end of a Plan period, in "one- dimensional magnitudes". It unpha- sised the need for studying what M L Dantwala subsequently described in this journal as the anatomy of unemployment and underemployment ("Approaches to Growth and Employment", December 16, 1972). This called for "estimation of different segments of labour force, taking into account such important characteristics as region (state), sex, age, rural- urban residence, status or class of worker and educational attainment". The Committee had suggested a series of measures for the collection and presentation of unemployment data to be procured through the Census, the National Sample Survey, Employment Market Information and the Employ ment Exchanges.

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