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

LabourSubscribe to Labour

How Unstable Are the Sources of Livelihood?

This paper, based on the data from the annual Periodic Labour Force Survey, reflects on the lack of sustainable sources of livelihood and the phenomenon of multiple activities pursued simultaneously. A thorough analysis of the quarterly data suggests that in the rural areas, workers largely dependent on agriculture are compelled to shift to other activities in the off season. The nature of employment also varies, particularly in the urban areas. The occupational choice model estimated based on the quarterly data is indicative of changes in the marginal effect for workers of a given caste or an individual with a certain educational attainment. Certain social categories and workers with less educational attainments are more susceptible to changing probability of joining a particular activity and adopting multiple activities.

Navigating through Democracy

Politics of the Poor: Negotiating Democracy in Contemporary India by Indrajit Roy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, New York, US, Melbourne, Australia; New Delhi and Singapore: 2018; pp xxi + 521, price not indicated.

The Lost Decades

The government must reimagine the fundamentals of the economy in favour of equality.

Military History Meets Labour History

The Coolie’s Great War: Indian Labour in a Global Conflict 1914­–1921 by Radhika Singha, New Delhi: Harper Collins, 2020; pp 396, ₹ 699.

Bare Minimum to Moral Minimum

The idea of minimum wages makes sense inasmuch as it offers some protection against the vagaries of the labour market and fluctuations in inflation index in which the employer may not stick to the logic and ethics of labour contract between the employee and the employer. However, the age-old...

Another Committee for Minimum Wages

Minimum wages in India fail to recognise social realities of labour outside formal labour relations.

Concrete Labour and Corporeal Aesthetic

The art of lavani as an aesthetic labour involves a contradictory sense of the self. At one level, self-realisation of an artists assigns them a complete autonomy on aesthetic production, while at another level, it also generates a sense of self-exploitation which is social and structural.

Between Precarity and Flexibility

The Gig Economy: A Critical Introduction by Jamie Woodcock and Mark Graham, UK, Cambridge and Medford: Polity Press, 2020; pp ix + 182, £14.99.

Research Radio Ep 18: What Prevents Indian Public Hospitals from Being Hygienic?

In this episode, we speak to Payal Hathi and Nikhil Srivastav about how infection control and caste-based discrimination are closely connected.

Labour, Livelihoods, and Employment in the 2021–22 Union Budget

Coming in the midst of the immense damage inflicted on the Indian economy by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021–22 Union Budget needed to perform the unenviable task of compensating households for massive livelihood losses as well as stimulating economic growth while maintaining some fiscal discipline. As it turned out, the government chose to focus on the second and third goals and largely ignored the first.

Precarious Transitions: Mobility and Citizenship in a Rising Power

Over the summer of 2020, millions of migrants streamed out of Indian cities in the wake of the ill-planned lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 March 2020. The most conservative estimates suggest 30 million internal migrants in India (Ministry of Finance, Government of India 2018: 267). More realistic estimates peg the numbers at 140 million (Rajan et al 2020). If even half the most conservative figures are trekking back home, we are likely to be witness to the forced migration of at least 15 million people criss-crossing the country to get back to their homes. These numbers most likely dwarf the migrations wrought by the partition, estimated between 10 and 12 million people. At a time, millions have been cut adrift by the Indian state, we need to urgently reflect on what it means to be a citizen.

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