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

Articles by G RaveendranSubscribe to G Raveendran

Good and Bad Statistics

There has been a public debate on the quality of offi cial statistics being produced by the Indian statistical system. The debate was initiated by persons holding high positions in the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister and claimed that the existing survey mechanisms were archaic and not adapted for rapid changes, and thus grossly underestimated India’s progress. It also made an assessment that India’s offi cial statistics are excellent on the administrative side and mediocre on censuses and surveys. This article examines the basis on which the above statements were made and proves its fallacy.

From Jobless to Job-loss Growth

The unprecedented decline in the absolute number of workers in the Indian economy in recent times has been a subject of debate and a matter of public concern. A closer look at the data for the period 2011–12 and 2017–18 shows that it is the net result of a dynamic process of job creation and destruction. Those who have lost jobs are all with low education, that is, less than secondary level of education. From a gender perspective, rural women workers are the net losers. From a social point of view, the net losers belong to two groups: Muslims and Hindu Other Backward Classes. These are clear signs of rural India in distress with strong gender and social dimensions.

Counting and Profiling the Missing Labour Force

This comment on "Where Is the Missing Labour Force?" (EPW, 24 September 2011) attempts to answer four questions: (1) What is the magnitude of the decline in the labour force and which segment of the population has been affected most during the two surveys, 2004-05 and 2009- 10? (2) What proportion of the decline can be attributed to an increase in enrolment for education? (3) What is the economic status of those who dropped out of the labour force for reasons other than education? (4) What is the extent of decline in the workforce, of which labour status and from which sectors of the economy?

India's Common People: The Regional Profile

The measurement and analysis of poverty and vulnerability in the different states in India unequivocally brings out the stark hierarchical social divide that exists not only at the national level, but also at the states. The dominance of this social divide over the regional divide clearly calls for policies and programmes that are more socially sensitive and nuanced to take care of the varying regional contexts. The analysis in this paper reveals the economic gradation of poverty which is closely associated with social gradation in terms of social identity.

Growth sans Employment: A Quarter Century of Jobless Growth in India's Organised Manufacturing

There has been considerable debate in India about the impact of growth on employment especially in the organised manufacturing sector for different periods since the early 1980s. However, changes in the coverage of the Annual Survey of Industries demand a fresh look at the issue over a longer period. This paper attempts such an analysis for 1981-82 to 2004-05. For the period as a whole as well as for two separate periods - the pre- and post-reform phases - the picture that emerges is one of "jobless growth", due to the combined effect of two trends that have cancelled each other out. One set of industries was characterised by employment-creating growth while another set by employment-displacing growth. Over this period, there has been acceleration in capital intensification at the expense of creating employment. A good part of the resultant increase in labour productivity was retained by the employers as the product wage did not increase in proportion to output growth. The workers as a class thus lost in terms of both additional employment and real wages in organised manufacturing sector.

India's Common People: Who Are They, How Many Are They and How Do They Live?

This paper attempts to define the common people of India in terms of levels of consumption and examines their socio-economic profile in different periods of time since the early 1990s with a view to assessing how the economic growth process has impacted on their lives. The findings should worry everyone. Despite high growth, more than three-fourths of Indians are poor and vulnerable with a level of consumption not more than twice the official poverty line. This proportion of the population which can be categorised as the "common people" is much higher among certain social groups, especially for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. There is also evidence to suggest that inequality is widening between the common people and the better-off sections of society.

Growth of Employment (1993-94 to 2004-05): Illusion of Inclusiveness?

Viewed over the long-term, employment growth slowed slightly in 1993-2004, compared to 1983-1993; the slowdown is quite marked in rural India. Employment has grown in urban areas over the past decade, but the nature of this growth and the quality of employment generated need probing. There has been a substantial increase in self-employment, much of which is poorly remunerated and for the first time in decades, there has been a decline in the real wage rates of regular salaried workers and urban casual workers.

Are the Results of the Economic Census Robust?

While the buoyancy in the growth of employment in the economy since the year 2000 cannot be dismissed, this cannot be surmised from the results of the Economic Census 2005.

Back to Top