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

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Growth, Employment and Labour through a Budget Lens

Despite the rhetoric in the budget speech of the finance minister, the larger picture emerging from the recent data is a slowdown in growth and a net decline in employment. Not only is this a case of jobless growth, but also one of job-displacing growth. Men have gained and women have lost. The rural economy has suffered the most. In the meantime, there is a process of downgrading the rights of labour. There is very little to cheer about the economy.

Corporate Capitalism in the Name of Social Security

The many schemes that have been announced in the name of social security are limited in scope and the quantum of security they prefer. The promotional schemes will also be linked to the market and will benefit the insurance companies. In the meanwhile, basic social security programmes are either ignored or provided limited funding

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.

Agricultural Development in an Emerging Non-Agrarian Regional Economy: Kerala's Challenges

This is based on the author's Dr K N Shyamasundaran Nair Memorial Lecture delivered on 13 August 2010 at the Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur. Research assistance rendered by Varinder Jain and S Dhanya is gratefully acknowledged. K P Kannan ( ) is with the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram. Changes in Kerala's economy have led to a structural transformation, giving it a non-agrarian character, both in terms of income and employment. This poses new difficulties for agricultural development at a time when there is a scarcity of labour as well as profits. The present stagnation in the state's agricultural sector has come at a time when its non-agricultural sector has been growing at more than 9% per annum. In this sense, the current challenge of rejuvenating Kerala's agriculture is of a qualitatively different kind in its developmental history. This paper probes the issue and puts forth a set of measures that are needed to meet the problem head-on.

K N Raj and the Centre for Development Studies: A Tribute

 that this inheritance is safe in the hands of a young generation of talented and motivated scholars who flock to the CDS from all over India, year after year. They are the future and hope of the institution built by Raj as it wishes to remain a proud custodian of the fine traditions set by him.

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.

A Major National Initiative

For the first time in India a comprehensive social security scheme for the unorganised sector has been proposed. The proposal by the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector seeks to develop a healthy workforce that in turn will have a positive impact on national income and economic growth. The scheme aims to cover sickness, maternity, old age and death and proposes a participatory system with some contributions from the workers.

Linking Guarantee to Human Development

If properly planned and implemented, the rural employment guarantee programme will create favourable conditions for much-needed rural regeneration. But it is also important that the scheme be considered as part of a larger package linked to the objective of improving human development.

Kerala's Turnaround in Growth

Kerala, which has been known for its high human development but low economic growth, is now exhibiting a new phenomenon. Growth has accelerated since the late 1980s, as a result of economic reforms and a large inflow of remittances. However, the challenge remains of translating its high human development status and relatively rapid growth into meaningful outcomes in employment and equitable participation of women.


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