Employment Outcomes along the Rural-Urban Gradation

In an economy that is transforming rapidly, both economically and spatially, the boundaries between rural and urban areas have become blurred. In practice, the rural-urban divide is more accurately characterised as a rural-urban gradation. Labour market outcomes vary along this gradation. Not integrating the gradation in our data and analysis leads to important loss of granularity and can yield misleading conclusions, a point we illustrate with the decline in female labour force participation.

Debt Bondage and the Tricks of Capital

Migrant labourers, free from rural bondage, are now bonded to other sources of debt, contracted from the agro-industry or construction sectors. The flows of migration in the brick-making and sugar cane sectors in Tamil Nadu, where bondage coexists with many public welfare schemes, illustrate the persistence and renewal of this phenomenon. The welfare schemes play the role of a safety net, but also contribute to low wages, and impunity on the part of employers. Alliances between capital and the state, through the politicisation of employers, are instrumental in the continuation of all forms of labour exploitation. When workers resist, employers tighten working conditions and start recruiting migrants from North India. And even if these forms of labour management obey a capitalist logic, they are inseparable from the caste hierarchy.

Review of Rural Affairs / Review Issues

Seasonal employment in the rural economy at a wage rate below subsistence level forces underprivileged labourers to migrate for survival. Brick kilns in India are a major destination for migrant labourers, who are tied to them for the production...

Review of Rural Affairs / Review Issues

Presenting an exploratory approach by which quantitative data from the National Sample Survey can be analysed to throw light on the most marginal households whose primary occupation is recorded as mining and quarrying, this paper finds that a...

Review of Rural Affairs / Review Issues

An analysis of 40 years of water management research and outreach in India using data from 34 centres and 5,000 field trials across 23 states shows that of the 502 technologies released, only 110 technologies (22%) have been transferred...

Review of Rural Affairs / Review Issues

Even if we concede that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is designed as a demand-driven programme, and that local residents desire to have work projects in their area, whether it translates into effective demand, and...

Web Exclusives

The death of the four workers and injury to two others on 12 May 2015 in Karnataka brings to the forefront the harsh and unsafe working conditions under which the workers “contracted” under the private “Field Agency,”...

Insight

This article looks at the data, reported in the Crime in India- Statistics Report, Chapter 10, on juveniles in confl ict with the law and analyses and interprets it against the "disclaimer" and "limitations" published in the...

Reports From the States / Web Exclusives

Despite widespread support on the importance of participatory planning and local knowledge networks, a clear boundary remains between those who make decisions about world heritage and those living within heritage environments. The 2011 demolition...

Special Articles

In its spatial expansion, capital has globalised the production and distribution chain. The division of labour has been restructured throughout the world, factories have shifted from North to South, structural unemployment has increased in the...

Commentary

This article provides an overview of the economics of solid waste, and related issues. Public attention to solid waste and recycling has increased in India. In response, economists have developed models to help policymakers choose an efficient...

Commentary

Theory and poetry speak to us in ways different from each other. It is in this sense that John Rawls and Namdeo Dhasal have to be understood when they speak about the idea of justice. This article engages with the theoretical schemes of Rawls...

Editorials

A trigger-happy government will only deepen the political mess in the North East.

Editorials

The essential discussion should be about the poisons in our food chain.

Editorials

An ideological impetus has been given to a growing, albeit difficult, relationship.

Stratrgic Affairs

An exploration of a new Chinese vision of international relations which positions the erstwhile "Middle Kingdom" as the 21st century's lodestar of global stability and progress.

Commentary

Some reasonably astounding claims have been made about the commando raid carried out by the Indian Army on rebel camps in Myanmar. A long-time observer of the region and military operations there separates the chaff to prise out the possible...

Commentary

Delhi's chest-thumping journalists are becoming mere stenographers of power, forgetting to ask questions and interrogate offi cial narratives. A journalist from Manipur recounts the events leading up to and around the 9 June 2015 "...

Commentary

With two endearing female protagonists who defy attributes of modern bourgeois femininity and at the same time do not fit in with notions of transformative womanhood, Tanu Weds Manu Returns is a refreshing social drama. It explores social...

Book Reviews

The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China by John Bellamy Foster and Robert W McChesney, New York: Monthly Review Press; published in India by Cornerstone...

Book Reviews

State of Renewable Energy in India: A Citizen's Report by Chandra Bhushan, Nayanjyoti Goswami, Aruna Kumarankandath, Kanchan Kumar Agrawal and Joel Kumar, New Delhi: Centre for Science and Environment, 2014; pp 198, Rs...

Special Articles

The Ebola virus disease, which spread in four West African countries, brought to light the feeble health governance system not only in these countries but also at the global level. Weak health infrastructure, resource crunch, non-viability of...

Special Articles

The microfinance movement has experienced economic transition over more than four decades across the world. In the 1990s several microfinance institutions were forced to change their institutional structures to face competition from for-profit...

Notes

The process of redressing grievances of public sector employees has received little systematic attention, despite the large volume of such litigation. This article attempts to address this gap through an analysis of the role courts play in...

Discussion

A response to Rajmohan Gandhi's "Independence and Social Justice: The Ambedkar-Gandhi Debate" (EPW, 11 April 2015).